Glacier Creek

Class III-IV, 150cfs, 175fpm

June 2, 2002

Jason, Josh, Ben

Author: Jason Hummel

Josh finishs off the bridge rapid.

 

After another failed attempt to ski the Coleman Headwall (which Ben, Troy, and Charlie just skied on June 15 while Josh and I went to our little broís graduation. I guess the third time is a charm. I still feel like I missed out), we were itching for some kayaking. Glacier Creek first caught our attention in the Winter of 2001. Since then, our imagination has grown and we figured it was about time we satisfied our curiosity. The information we could find on the creek was minimal, as in none. We couldnít imagine that no one had boated it before, but since there was no information we were going into the unknown. Of course, this is what we live for. Ainít nothin' sweeter.

Ben was living in a basement again so we tried to gather our gear and bring it all out to the car with as little noise as possible. He had his new truck so, for once, the ride was plush. I even had to take my shoes off. Before we left, Ben threw his bike in for the shuttle.

We were set.

Since Ben bought his truck a few weeks ago, he has had a permanent grin pasted on his face every time he is behind the wheel. Also, Iíve noticed when you have a nice rig everyone treats you differently. I donít know if that is good or bad, but one thing is for sure, you get noticed. Ben was now riding the bumper of grandpa and grandmaís Lincoln Town Car and busting out the music like he was punk kid stuck at a stoplight in downtown. Else, pretending to be a redneck behind the thundering diesel. By the time we arrived at the Town of Glacier, I was wishing I had me a big bad truck. There is a turnoff just before the bridge on the right. We turned there and left the bike stashed in the trees. Back on SR542, we drove up another quarter mile before turning on Glacier Creek road.

The creek from the road looked fun because there were very few logs and a consistent gradient in a scenic creek-valley. There was nothing that raised our sense of doom and gloom, so, within minutes; we were at another bridge that crosses Glacier Creek approximately 3.5 miles from the take-out. The previous day, we had decided that this was the best place to start our run. From our parking spot, we could see some froth. Just then, the grins began to grow cause the day had just begun, adventure was ahead, and the sun (yea, that long lost compadre) was baking our backs. Shrugging my boat on my shoulder, I walked to the bridge where I planned to set up for a photo. I scouted a few rapids Ďtill Ben and Josh where ready.

 

Josh and Ben at the put-in.

 

After the photo, they continued upstream for 100 yards while I again prepared for a photo. Looking into the sun, I waited for Josh and Ben to bomb by. The rapids were full of small boulders typical of a glacier-fed stream. Peering down the river, I was crossing my fingers for something better. Ben soon went by followed by Josh. They waited under the bridge while I jumped in my boat. Once on the water, Ben pointed center and then right. I went center. I felt a bit off but managed to miss the rocks and clean the drop. On the right, I scouted the next drop and waved Ben and Josh down. I followed their lead. So far, things were looking up and the creek was being boater friendly.

 

Ben enters the bridge rapid.

 

Josh under the bridge.

 

Ben gets rid of some gradient.

 

The next drop came just after the last one and was the best of the whole run. In the center there was a chute that dropped a few feet into fast moving water giving you just enough time to hit the next rapid on the left. It consisted of a river wide reversal. The camera didnít work when Ben went by so I took two of Josh, one on each drop. We all went through smoothly.

 

Josh enters the second rapid below the bridge.

 

Josh exits the second rapid below the bridge.

 

Next we were presented with some fast wavy boogie water followed by a few logjams. We ran one on the far right, and the next one was an easy portage on the left. I took a photo looking through. The following mile or more was pure joy to boat. There may have been one other portage to deal with. Other than that, we mostly boat scouted, only occasionally peering around the corner to see what was up. There was one drop that gave Ben some trouble. Turns out, he had his wind knocked out by a log. I guess he felt lucky to be wearing a life vest (sometimes I feel as if it is a bullet proof vest).

 

Ben and Josh put-in below one of several log portages.

 

The next mile was more of the same except the valley pulled back and let some more sun in. I snapped photos wherever just trying to make the ride last as long as possible.

 

Ben enters yet another fun section.

 

We had one more portage that could be a nonexistent, a few feet, to a few hundred depending on where you went. I walked a few feet. There is a large riprap on the right diverting the river away from some houses. After that, more fast water leads us to the end of the run. It wasnít long before Ben was on his bike. While we waited, Josh and I laid on top of our kayaks and took a nap. Now that is what life is all aboutÖsimply nothing better than sleep.

 

Josh and Ben finish it off. Make sure to catch this creek on a sunny day.

 

I thought this was a good run if you live nearby or have a need to run a small creek with lots of fast water, a few good drops, and more fast water. Truth is, we had fun, but you should also note that logs could destroy this run and water is a must. Try to have 150 to 300cfs. Enjoy.

 

 

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