Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Midsummer River Flows and the Summer Super Moon

   Over the past couple weeks the wet  pacific northwest climate dried out. This led to falling river flows that stabilized around 4,000 cfs on the Main Skykomish and then steadily dropped to 2,000 cfs. As a result I was able to use the low water technical river skills I've acquired from years of guiding in Colorado.
   At these flows the North Fork of the Skykomish proves to be narrow, shallow, and generally technical. Thus providing clients with opportunity to hone their paddling skills while preparing for the increasingly difficult Boulder Drop. This dynamic and diverse rapid has an intricate character, from high water over head crashing waves to medium flow greasy tractor beam lines to technical meandering through narrow channels, around boat wrapping rocks, and down steep drops this rapid truly is compelling.

The Crew and Jere Coming Through Airplane Turn in Boulder Drop
   During this prolonged period of clear dry skies we had a stunning full moon display. The giant super moon posed along side the monolith that is the North Peak of Mount Index. The North Peak rises 4,800 feet from the valley floor. This striking tower of rock has resonated my imagination since my first trip to Washington over a decade ago. Now on a nearly daily basis I have gazed upon its faces. From the river and town walls, through shrouded fog and clouds, layered in a white blanket of snow or a sun setting red this peak is yet another beautiful, rugged, wild distinction of the Pacific Northwest.
Full Moon and the North and Middle Index Peaks