Jed Hawkes's Submission - Entered on 10/8/2015 10:35:00 AM
Notes: updated length 10/08/15
Gauge Information (Last updated with USGS at 2/20/2017 6:54:31 PM)
CASCADE RIVER AT MARBLEMOUNT,
3rd Party Gauge
||2/20/2017 5:45:00 PM
Minimum Recomended Level: 700 cfs Maximum Recomended Level: 3000 cfs
The put-in campground closes on 9/30 every year, after which a 1/2 Mi. walk is required.
2000 cfs is medium-high, and experts run it up to 3000cfs. 500-800 is ELF. Catarafts also commonly run this river reach.
Scout SWB and Bridge Wreck by taking the trail down from the lookout creek bridge. Use the parking for the lookout mtn trailheand and find the trail near the bridge. Be sure to to return to the road on the upstream side of Lookout creek or you will regret it!
It is known that there is still some rebar and bridge remnants in the Bridge Wreck rapid. Although most of the dangerous debris is gone, some deep water twisted metal may remain in the river right "sneak line". Be advised that if you swim in there you could still find something to get caught up on. Be careful.
Boaters once found a dead bear at the base of the waterfall coming into the river on the left below Monster. It had fallen to its death. This is one of the hardest Cat Boated rivers in the nation.
The river Starts With a Bang, which is the first rapid on the river. This is a long, big and pushy drop that could be scouted from river right at the top of the drop or river left with some scrambling through devilís club. Starts with a bang has an entrance and then three distinct drops. The entrance can be run right or left, and then the other three drops have been run every which way. Scout. While technically speaking "Starts With A Bang" boats like class IV or IV+, at moderate flows and higher treat it like a class V, because "Bridge Wreck" is immediately downstream and the two rapids run together.
Around the next corner are two enormous ledge holes that changed to riverwide in the 2004 flood season. Directly below these is Bridge Wreck rapid which, for more than 20 years, contained the remains of the Lookout Creek Bridge. The bridge has been taken out, but this is still a very difficult class V rapid. There is no clear line but running right to left is the basicly it. At flows of 1200 or more you can take the "Chicken Channel" down the far right side of the riverbed, through a mess of scattered boulders and small rock. Scout from below the two ledges at the top on the right.Be carefull here,whichever route you choose. This rapid is long and gnarly.
It is reported that some bridge rebar remnants remain deep in the right "Chicken Channel). If you look closely you will notice that not all the scattered boulders are actually rock but cement with rebar. If you take the "Chicken Channel" beware that a deep swim could be extremely dangerous.
Below Bridge Wreck the river mellows out for a bit until Premium. Boof center. Right below Premium is the Monster (V).
Monster begins with a center left or far right boof. Just in from the right bank, the ledge is backed up by a boulder. In the second main drop you may find it more simple to run right down the gut, slightly favoring the rightside of the main current, then working towards whatever route you decided on when you scouted.Monster is the last notable rapid on the run. Irene Creek enters on R. Left at the bottom of the rapid.
Below here there are lots of fun waves and holes formed by some bedrock shelves and smooth polished granite boulders of medium size.
Sooner or later you'll arrive at Shark's Tooth, the last major named rapid. This one is tough because it is very hard to scout.Lots of kayakers have found various manky routes down the center of the river bed over a seivy pile of boulders that stretch out from the left bank.But be careful with this routefinding strategy, as there is a great potential of getting pinned in that mess. Really it is better to follow the main current toward the headwall on R. Right.Take a somewhat slow approach and you should be able to find an obvious place to boof back toward the center and paddle away.
You can paddle all the way down to the gauging bridge which has a takeout on the left. Please keep this area clean so the landowners continue to be okay with boaters being there. There are no trespassing signs at the spot on the upstream side of the bridge on river left at the take out. The owner of the campground on river right, downstream of the bridge is OK with paddlers using the campground for a take out. His name is Bob, say hello if you see him and make sure to ask any campers permission before taking out through their camp.....