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New Years 2008 Sultan Run

Class: III-IV+      GMap
2. Powerhouse to Fishing Access
Trip Date: 1/1/2008
Written on: 1/1/2008
Written by:

On January 1, 2008, Sampson, Adrian, and I decided to bring in the New Year by paddling the Sultan Powerhouse run.  The Sultan was running a healthy 1080 cfs and was pretty much the only thing running at a decent flow. 

The three of us put on and had a pretty uneventful trip down to the drop before Last Nasty.  We had run this stretch of the Sultan the prior Saturday at 820cfs and knew there was a tree across the chute just above Last Nasty.  At 820 cfs, we were able to duck under the tree on the left side of the chute but today at 1080 cfs, we decided to portage on the left.  Sampson and I bumped down the left bank and Adrian got out and walked. 
So then it was time to run Last Nasty.  Being the one with the most experience on this run, I got to go first.  I made it through about half of the rapid before flipping on a diagonal wave.  I rolled back up quickly and hit the big eddy above the last drop in Last Nasty.  I waited there for Sampson and Adrian.  Sampson came down way off course and managed to catch a tiny eddy on the brink of the last drop.  At this point, I see Adrian's upsidedown boat coming around the big rock I was behind.  Adrian rolled up just in time to have the water push him up onto one of the big rocks that forms the last drop.  He teetered there for a second before tipping over the drop into the big hole below.  I couldn't see him after he went over so I hollered at Sampson who had a better view to see if he was ok.  Sampson nodded yes and I relaxed some.  Then I saw Adrain swimming towards the bank and his boat floating on down the sultan.  I had assumed that Adrian was still in his boat when Sampson said he was alright.  that's what I get for assuming.  I peeled out of the eddy and made for the line I typically take (left to right angle near the right hand bank) but I must not have hit it just right or didn't hit it hard enough because all of a sudden, I was in the hole.  I rolled twice in the hole before catching myself in a very low brace / side surf.  I hung there for just a second before making my way a little to the left and stern squirting out of the hole.  I checked on Adrian and then paddled after his gear which had a pretty good head start.  A few rapids down, I got lucky when his paddle and boat both got hung momentarily allowing me to get ahead of it.  I tossed his paddle to the bank and then towed his boat to shore in a calm pool.  Wisely, after watching Adrian and I both get worked in the hole and having no one near him for support, Sampson portaged the last drop of last nasty.
We regrouped in the pool where I got Adrian's boat and headed downstream.  It wasn't long before we arrived at Little Paradise which was at a great level for us.  Sampson tore up the hole with some nice moves.  Adrian and I managed to get some spins in too. 
Once we got into some of the flatter water toward the takeout, I spotted a Bald Eagle in a tree about 20 yards ahead of us.  Then Adrian points to the right bank and there is a second Eagle 15 feet from us snacking on 2 Salmon on a rock.
All in all, a great way to bring in a new year of paddling.

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