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SF Stilly at 7.5 Feet

Stillaguamish, S. Fork
Class: III+      GMap
2 - Mallardy Creek to Verlot (Middle)
Trip Date: 3/18/2007
Written on: 3/19/2007
Written by:

Just combining two postings about the trip - one from Texas Dave and one I wrote - so that it is associated with the river as a trip report in PP.

First from Texas Dave...
I think that "Bigger than expected" about sums up the day.    I think the Stilly averaged about 7.5 feet while we were on it and Wiley Creek Rapid and the rapid below it were both pretty hairy.  Wiley creek is just big and "above 6 feet ...approaches class IV" per the AW description might be a little understated.  We had one swimmer here and I'll let them step up and identify themselves if they choose.  But we gathered up bodies boats and gear and pushed on.

The next rapid took us by surprise.  It was a slalom course through massive holes that somehow formed everywhere.  I found one hole and luckily flushed and rolled.  I think Deborah also had a roll here, and again, we had a swimmer. 
Other notable occurances - Bryon decided to play in a massive hole for a little while.  Shaunna had her first boating experience with Kyle in an Inflatable (I'm pretty sure they are still together ) .  As we were portaging a log jam near the takeout, the cliff wall on the other side of the river kept giving way in massive pieces.  Very impressive to watch. 
Dinner at a mexican place in Granite Falls capped off the afternoon. 
Great run everyone and hopefully I didn't get anyone in too far over their heads.  Hopefully we can get back out there at around 6 feet and play the river a little more.

Now mine with more logistics information...

We put in at Boardman Creek - about river mile 53.5 on the old USGS maps.  There is a bridge across Mountain Loop Highway (MLH) here and a good pullout on the right hand side.  There is a trail down to Boardman Creek from this pull out and the creek joins the SF Stilly immediately after the bridge.

Most of the river at 7.5 feet consists of class II and class III boogie water and some flat sections.  The exception to this is the seemingly endless Wiley Creek rapid.  The lead-in to Wiley Creek is some harder class III water that eventually leads to a large eddy pool on river left in a river bend just as the river gets close to MLH again.  When you are here, you are coming to the crux of Wiley Creek rapid (or so we thought) - the part you can scout easily from the road.  All of us searched for the glassy (HAHA) tongue that was left-center while trying to avoid the seam that was left-center as well as the monster hole that ate Dylan on river right.  The river at 7.5 feet was big and pushy and, frankly, I'm more a little surprised that most of us survived upright through this rapid - especially me.

Reaching the bottom of Wiley Creek rapid, we all breathed a sigh of relief as our fearless leader assured us that the river would be a little calmer after this.  Yeah, right.  The next section, IMHO, was the even harder than the so-called crux move of Wiley Creek rapid.  As Dave stated above, it was a slalom course of huge holes.  Last night, I must have heard at least 25 times about the hole that literally ate Adrian.  Deborah said she was following him and then he was gone - swallowed by the river.  This was terrifying to her as she was on his line and expecting the exact same fate (and, worried about Adrian - probably in that order
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