Monday, July 09, 2007


Now is the time to join Small World Adventures for a paddling vacation in Ecuador! Things have never been better down south—access to Ecuador’s plethora of outstanding whitewater is easy with our local knowledge, Small World’s riverside lodge is the most deluxe place to stay in any of Ecuador’s kayaking regions, and we have just recently discovered four new runs to add to our already long list of great rivers to paddle.

In our effort to spread the good word about Ecuador’s whitewater, we created a “win a free trip” contest where people can visit our website and enter their name into our online raffle. The winner gets a free week of kayaking in Ecuador on any trip during our 2007-2008 season. Don and Darcy are traveling around to river festivals and great boating destinations throughout Canada and the US signing people up for the drawing.

The first official festival on our tour was the Puntledge River festival held on Vancouver Island. This great festival is held on the Puntledge River near the towns of Courtney and Comox on the northeastern side of Vancouver Island. The lower Puntledge has some outstanding play features, and the festival organizers have coordinated with the dam keepers to assure flows for the weekend. The upper Puntledge is a wonderfully odd piece of whitewater for British Columbia. Festival flows were between 65 and 110 CMS (2800-3500 CFS), and on the upper run, all this water comes crashing down 30-70 degree slides with a couple of vertical waterfalls thrown in the mix. Check out for more information on the Puntledge River festival. It might just be the perfect excuse to go see Beautiful British Columbia for yourself! If you want to see some photos of both the play run and the upper run, check out

After the Puntledge Festival, it was time for Don and Darcy to move out of Vancouver and head back to the US, but before we left we tried to squeeze in a few more days of boating on the record snowpack that was just beginning to run off into the rivers. We rallied together the great friends we made over the past two years in the Sea to Sky corrider and hit up a few classics before we left.

The photo of Darcy above and this one of Roger on the "balls to the walls" falls are courtesy of Steve Rogers with Bread and Butter. You can check out more of his fine work at

Our next stop was the Wenatchee River festival near Leavenworth and Cashmire, Washington. This was another great festival that included shuttles on the play run of the Wenatchee River and featured a rodeo at “Granny’s Hole.” Due to some cold weather during the week preceeding the festival lots of other Leavenworth area gems were in while we were there including the Tumwater section of the Wenatchee, Icicle Creek, the Little Wenatchee, and the Nasson. Seattle Raft and Kayak and Leavenworth Mountain Sports were there lending out the newest kayaks on the market, and people were doing impressive things with them! Colin Kemp from Jackson Kayaks was on scene giving clinics and pointers as well. All and all it was a great festival. Unfortunately Don and I had to blast out of town fairly quickly, but we did manage to get in a few runs before heading south to Hood River.

On our way to Hood River, we stopped and paddled the Lower Wind River on a suggestion from our local contacts. After that, we arrived in BZ Corner just in time to meet our friend Jason from for an after work run down the Green Truss section of the White Salmon. Jason definitely hooked us up in Hood River, and gave us a memorable, and outstanding 3-day stay.

Don Beveridge on the Wind River

Day 1: Wind River/Green Truss

Don Beveridge stomping Big Brother falls

Darcy Gaechter following suit

Beveridge brothers portaging the log in lower Zig Zag

Day 2: Little White Salmon

Jason, our guide

Don at Wishbone

Darcy at Stovepipe

We opted not to run Spirit this time around as our backs were still sore from the last time we did it.

Day 3: Salmon River Gorge

preparing for the hike in Darcy on the "put in " falls

Frustration falls is the big falls and the highlight of this trp. As you can tell from the photos, the falls is not quite vertical, and Darcy hit bottom which made for an interesting entrance into the pool below. Jason (blue boat) is looking much better!

Shortly after Frustration Falls is a 75-footer that most opt to portage. We sent the boats flying--Don's had a nice line--and then repelled down into the pool below.

Lana and a few other local paddlers helped our trip to the region to be as good as good can be—thanks to all of you!

I am amazed by the number of paddlers in the Hood River area. It’s great to see so many people getting out there enjoying their world-class rivers!
I hope to see a Hood River crew come down to Ecuador this winter! I know you can paddle year round in the Northwest, but you gotta admit, putting a shorty top on in January is a damn nice thing.

to be continued in September

Unfortunately we had to bring our Northwest tour to an end in order to get back to Colorado to put in a couple months of work. We will, however resume the tour on September 5th when we head back east. We plan to spend most of September and October hitting up river festivals and releases in the eastern US. So far, the Gauley River Festival and the Moose River Festival are on our schedule of events as are paddling the Russell Fork and Youghiogheny Rivers while the releases are going on. Since Don and I have both spent most of our boating days on the west coast, we are somewhat clueless when it comes to the east, so if anyone out there has any suggestions of festivals or runs we should do while we are out there, please send me an e-mail! I welcome all suggestions.

Stay tuned for reports from the east.


Monday, July 02, 2007


Ok, Ok, I know that the Ohanepecosh River in Washington has nothing to do with Ecuador, but it was the last stop on Don and my Small World Adventures spring promotional tour, so I thought it was appropriate subject matter for the blog. Washington boaters might take interest as well if they are heading down to paddle this run.

While the massive rainfall in the Northwest this past fall cleaned up many rivers in WA, the Ohanepecosh was NOT one of them. The lower section of this run is still great (except of course for Elbow Room), but the upper section from the Ohanepecosh campground down to the "sercret campground" is choked full of logs and, honestly, not worth doing.

After hearing about a log jam just downstream of the regular put in, we found a little trail from campsite A-21 leading to and around the first log jam. This log jam is impressive--there are trees with 10 and 20 foot diameters stuck in there--but it is only a small sign of things to come further downstream.

We put in below this log jam, paddled a few fun rapids, then got to one that had a marginally runnable line that was made more complicated by 2 ill-placed logs. We opted for an "arduous portage" high and on the left. Shortly after this portage, we encountered log jam #2. This one was runnable, but the rapid underneath it runs directly into log jam #3 which looked unpleasant to say the least.

Luckily, these big logs make nice sidewalks for portaging!

After this 3rd log jam, we paddled one great rapid (the one just above the "secret campground").

There were 3 fun and runnable rapids in this upper bit, but they are NOT worth all the other portaging.So, our conclusion at the end of the upper part of this run, is that it ain't worth putting in above the "secret campground." If you could put in above the rapid just above this secret campground, that would be the best option.

We are lame and didn't get any photos of the lower section, but it was great and mostly clean! There were logs in 2 of the rapids(1 of which I'm pretty sure was there last year). We were able to run them both but lower water might make the second one unrunnable. It is wedged across the river at the bottom of a non-descript class III rapid where the river narrows down to about 25 feet wide. We did portage Elbow Room, but the falls below it were clean as was the last rapid. The gauge was reading 1,640 at Packwood when we did it and that seemed like a fine level to us.