It was a bit of a surreal experience driving north with the understanding that the next day we would be hiking into Tshletshy Creek again, less than a year since the previous trip. Brett Barton was fired up to the Tshletshy again this year and we made plans well in advance to make it happen. Scott Baker met up with us late Thursday night and we started hiking the next morning. At a leisurely pace we made our way up the trail and enjoyed the nice weather. We had one more paddler that was going to join us sometime on saturday so our plan was to make it to the water and wait.. As it turns out, the hike into Tshletshy doesn’t change and whatever trail conditions you choose will determine your pace.
The next morning just before we started our long day of hiking Scott Matthews had appeared on the trail just below us, already 5 hours into his hike that day. Our group was now complete and we set off to reach the snow and make it over the low saddle down into the Tshletshy drainage.
The next morning we dropped almost straight down the hill from camp and ended up above a gorge that held 3 waterfalls which none of us had seen before. Scott Matthews had been here before, in 1989 when Tshletshy was only 12 portages… We eventually found what we hoped was a suitable put-in and headed down the creek only to have our nice flowing creek end in a wall to wall log jam. Some scrambling up and over put us back in the water and heading toward the 1st Canyon.
Tshletshy Creek is a good test of endurance. Everyday you go at it all day long and everyday you get more and more tired of carrying/pulling all of that weight, that you have to have with you, around the logistics of Tshletshy.
Our water level on this trip had been very similar to last years flow up to this point, but once we were down in the 5ft and longest gorge it filled in a little more. I had been able to remember quite a few land marks throughout the bottom gorge, but there are so many rapids in there and quite a few surprise ones… We paddled out into the Queets river near dusk to beatiful view of the Queets valley. When we set shuttle 4 days prior we had to park just down stream of Matheny Creek due to a road closer there whitch added about 7 more miles onto our paddle out. We had one more camp as the sun set on us just a few miles from the take-out and we were out early the next morning. Once again, it had taken us 4 days, 4 nights and a couple hours to finish the trip.
Flows for this run: