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Peshastin - still fun at low water

Peshastin Creek
Class: III+ (IV)      GMap
Highway 97 culvert to Wenatchee River
Trip Date: 5/8/2010
Written on: 5/10/2010
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This isn't going to be the most exciting TR ever, as this trip went over very well with no incidents to speak of, but rather it seemed prudent to get this out there especially to those thinking about trying this neat little run out for the first time.

Saturday 5/8/10, Brian, Lyles, Homer and I rallied out to Peshastin. Homer just had her first time paddling the Green River gorge the previous weekend during the Green River cleanup and had a stellar run there. Peshastin looked to be just runnable, and therefore we hoped it would be a good flow for a newbie. It turned out to be just right. On the gage we had a stage of just a hair under 2.0 feet, which equalled about 260 cfs. This was just enough water to pad out the rocks and get down without too much scraping. It was not the super fast flush that the creek normally is at higher levels. It was still continuous in the first few miles, but generally a bit slower and plenty of little eddies to catch. This was the bottom end of runnable flows though, you wouldn't want it any lower.

We met up at Fresh Squeezed and did a quick scout there. The drops all looked good to go and there was some good recovery space at the bottom as well, so we went and set shuttle. The lower half of the creek is wider and shallower than the upper half of the run. At medium flows, there are fun wave trains all the way down to the Wenatchee, but at low water, the last few miles are just a shallow class 2 scrape. So we set shuttle at an easy roadside spot  that cut approximately 3 miles off the run. This also turned out to be a very cool takeout, as at the end of the run Lyles found some wild morel mushrooms growing there.

We put-in at the turnout just upstream from Ingalls Road. The first mile or so of rapids were fun slaloms around the many small boulders. Everyone eddied out at the corner just above Fresh Squeezed and I headed down to probe and set safety. At the entrace to the rapid there were a couple skinny logs across the main channel right at water level. There's a small gravel island here, so you can cut hard left to skirt around. I pulled out on the island by the wood and made sure everyone got around the wood fine. At higher water you would probably run over these logs without even seeing them. The looked small enough that they could be pulled out, but that may just make them drift down and wedge someplace worse, so I just left them alone.

Now that everyone was eddied out on the little island they were all able to watch my run, and I ran the drop and set up at the bottom to take some pictures. The water was shallow enough I was able to wade across here, and actually take pictures from the middle of the creek. I doubt many pics are ever taken from this vantage point. I'll upload some when I have a chance. Everyone had good lines. At this flow, you basically lined up center right at the top and just followed the main line of current down through the small holes.

The next mile below Fresh Squeezed is the most fun part of this run in my opinion. It's steep and just keeps going, but it's all just fun read and run stuff. At this level it was pretty user friendly class 3. We stopped for lunch at the log bridge. This would have been a good spot to take out, but I'm not sure if it's all private property or not. So we continued down to our takeout which was another mile or so down.

All in all, a very fun day. And a very user-friendly, if a little scrapey, flow on Peshastin Creek.

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