I know Donovan prefers not to have links to other forums, but there's a trip report that I suspect anyone on this site would be interested in on "another hiking site" in the Off Trail/Lost Trail category. It's a top-to-bottom traverse of Pup Creek revealing no less than SIX significant waterfalls located upstream from the known falls along the Clackamas Trail. They range from 12 feet to nearly 100 feet, and are very interesting in scale and form -- fun to see!
The report also includes a look at a couple of the smaller streams in the Fish Creek drainage, albeit with less spectacular discoveries. Definitely worth a look if you're a waterfall fancier!
The reservation is with links to .com sites. Relief from commercial solicitations, active or dormant, etc.. But if users want .com links, let us know, and we can discuss it.
As for trekking those ravines, I would highly discourage anyone from doing so.
Philosophically, I find the extreme quest thing disquieting. Must man go everywhere?
Well, it's definitely not a commercial site, so here's the link:
I differ a bit on the philosophy of exploring. After all, it's the best way to get "eyes on the woods" by people who care enough about them not to dump their household trash, broken appliances, old furniture... or just shoot up trees for the heck of it. So, the more the merrier is how I feel about off-trail explorers. Besides, they're also the most likely to use the lesser-used trails, so to that extent, help keep the system monitored.
I admit that I'm less of a fan of the extreme sports movement, ala canyoneering and extreme kayaking, but only because they often leave equipment behind. But that's still a small impact compared to what a good number of the forest "users" out there leave behind.
That particular canyon wall, in my experience, is just not safe to scramble. Much of it is barely stable scree barely stuck together with moss. Much rock and litter is easily loosened. A lot of the sides are such that a man will leave a two foot disturbance at each step. One man, two man, twenty men?
The other thing is that no I or E device will work in the ravines. A slip or a fall? Rescues to that side of the river are very difficult. I was involved in one that took 12 hours, and that was for someone who stepped off the trail. A person wedged under a snag up some ravine would be very hard to find.
It is easy to underestimate the woods.
I'm familiar with that quandary, Robert, and it's a brave new world out there in terms of information and the ability for people to explore the forests. Tools like Google Earth, hand-held GPS devices and online communities were unimaginable when I was in my teens and 20s, and doing this sort of canyon exploring. They're here to stay, and I don't think there's an option of having places with this kind of access remain undiscovered for long. Since the age of the internet, waterfall "discoveries" (for example) have gone off the charts, simply because information and communication is so much more advanced.
I had an interesting conversation with a USFS recreation planner about a year ago regarding an old trail near Mount Hood that was posted online. She was very unhappy to see this information "made public" because she didn't want the trail to turn into "the PCT". It struck me as an odd comment, given that we're losing trails right and left to lack of use, access and maintenance. In this way, the age of the internet and GPS locators is a boon to those who love trails, because it allows people to navigate the faint, old paths without worrying about missing signs or even losing the tread, occasionally.
I suppose I see the glass as half-full when it comes to the information age. To me, it has been a great tool for pointing people to places that need their footprints (and hopefully, a pair of clippers in their pocket).
I disagree. The link posted below took me to a webpage that had almost 20 advertisements on its home page alone for 'trails' in the gorge. I also noticed a trip-report of a place that I had previously revered as almost sacred because of its inherent solitude. The blood sweat and tears I shed to reach it are much more meaningful to me now that any (in)conceivable highlight along the way has been poorly photographed, roadmapped and then published on a social networking site. Regardless of why I prefer being reserved and modest about my explorations, the loss of any perceived solitude is a small price to pay knowing that more people enjoying these types of areas will result in a reduction of the trash I see in the woods...except for what's left by extreme kayakers.
"it has been a great tool for pointing people to places that need their
footprints (and hopefully, a pair of clippers in their pocket)." T Kloster
The problem is that the clippers are left at home. I would have to ask you to consider that this is a logic which is perhaps consoling - they will come to repair - but only because the certaintity that they will not come is tacitly conceded.
Tagging every falls kind of reminds me of prospecting. A very narrow object. Conquest. Glory?
Things are "here to stay" when we fail to move beyond them. There is life beyond the internet, I think. There was before. I am beginning to realize in my world that surpluses of knowledge are not directly proportionate to the minutes of quality life I experience.
Interesting topic and dilemma. I'm certainly guilty of posting trip reports on the internet to obscure places. Has this led to overuse? I don't think so. I've found that there are really only a few people that like to do that kind of exploring and a lot of people that just like to look at stuff on the web. I think there have maybe been 4 groups of kayakers that have run the SF Clackamas since my group ran it years ago. Then again, I've done some interesting bush-wacking around the Clackamas and haven't published those trips because I know there aren't very many folks interested.
There are so many obscure places out there that I really don't think we'll run out of places to explore. Heck, I've already forgotten half of the trip report on Pup Cr. and if I wait a few years I'm sure I'll forget everything about it except there are some waterfalls on the creek. Still going to be a new exploration for me if I ever decide to go look which I think is unlikely.
Zach: Were you kidding about the extreme kayaking trash? If not, I'm curious what you've found related to kayakers and where? I'll grant that there are more kayakers hucking stuff in the gorge and I'm not a big fan of that crowd but I'd think they keep most of their stuff with them.
Ahhhh! Gotcha. I was hoping that was the case but you never know. Figured there might be some ruffled feathers in the Gorge where kayakers have been all about dropping the waterfalls.
I once hiked into the Salmon River Gorge just to carry my broken kayak back out of the Gorge after it broke near the end of the run. It was a huge amount of work but felt good to have it out of there so someone else didn't see it on their run. Such a magical place. Made me wish kayaks were made out of biodegradable material though.
Pete, I don't doubt that — to clarify, I'm talking about webbing left behind, wrapped around trees at the top of waterfalls. I suspect it's primarily canyoneers, but extreme kayakers use ropes to rappel the big drops, too… so I don't really know who leaves the hardware behind. I'm certainly no expert in either sport, but is it safe to assume that your practice (of retrieving everything) is the only accepted practice?
Well, I think in some cases, yes, kayakers have left rappel anchors. I only personally know of one in the Salmon Gorge but I don't do a lot of the big waterfalls like others these days so there could be others I suppose. Strangely enough, most kayakers have actually jumped off Final Falls in the Salmon Gorge rather than rappel. I saw on the other hiking site people thought the rope at the falls on the NF Clack was from kayakers but I highly doubt it. I think more often ropes are left from summer hikers and other locals. On well traveled runs like the Little White Salmon and Green Truss on the Middle White Salmon, there are fixed ropes at the common waterfall portage. I've used these ropes but, in general, I'm not a fan of fixing ropes.
I'm a bit unusual in that I would much rather find a way to scramble around something than rappel or jump. Those things scare me.
I think most kayakers don't boat something planning to leave hardware and ropes in the canyon. But, if a big waterfall is commonly portaged I can see some of the pros leaving stuff there for future use. Again, not sure I'm a fan of this and I'm not really tied into that scene.
I suppose it would bother me the same way that unnecessary flagging (not the trail related flagging) bothers me. It's a bit annoying but I don't spend too much time thinking about it.
Pete Giordano said:
....I think more often ropes are left from summer hikers and other locals....
...I'm a bit unusual in that I would much rather find a way to scramble around something than rappel or jump. Those things scare me....
I think you're right about the ropes -- often they're pretty sketchy ropes, too. I found a plastic clotheslines leading down the face of a falls in the Coast Range a couple years ago... half-expected to find a skeleton at the bottom. On my first trip into the Salmon River Gorge (1983), we dropped in at Split Falls, and found a huge, 1" hemp rope tied around a tree that we used to get down the final 20 feet or so (we were young). These days, I avoid ropes, entirely. I'd much rather pull myself up (or lower myself down) with vine maple..! I can't imagine jumping -- the kayak reports that involve doing this simply amaze me! That's brave!
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