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 Topic:  Hazard: Deer Creek, the "invisible" log nails anot 

Forums -> Hazards -> Hazard: Deer Creek, the "invisible" log nails anot Page 1 of 1
Posted to flow site: Deer Creek - Near VinaLatest PostNext TopicPrev Topic
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Posted: May 31, 2006Post Subject: Hazard: Deer Creek, the "invisible" log nails anot
There are older posts about this hazard, apparently: An innocuous III - IV drop below the Ponderosa Way bridge and above the harder drops in that section: a basically invisible log protruding from a large river-center boulder, log is perpendicular to the current and completely submerged and nearly impossible to identify as a hazard at 4.15 and higher on the guage. The log is still alive and lurking, as it claimed a brand new yellow Jefe for exactly 24hrs over the weekend of May 20-22. First boater (me) ran drop over to right side without incident and was not able to identify any hidden danger. Second boater ran slightly farther left (2-3 feet at most), and current caught the back end of his loaded boat and sucked it down. Boat vertically pinned stern-down immediately, paddler was able to free himself under water and swim out under the log approximately 10-15 seconds later, reporting a "very tight squeeze." Pinned boater was average size (5'9" ~160lbs) and felt that a larger paddler might have been fatally trapped. This was the fourth trip down Deer Creek for myself and the third member of our party, though neither of us had done it in the last six years. Seems like maybe this HAZARD warning should stay posted on the current flow page until it is determined that this potentially fatal and very difficult to spot log is gone. Log is definitely solidly wedged where it is, and seems to be in no hurry to move. We had a three-pulley Z-drag on the boat going to the right shore that was completely ineffective, and possibly even made the wedged boat worse. Only when we climbed up and switched to pulling directly in toward the undercut side of the big river-center boulder the next morning were we successful in extracting the boat. IF a boat pins on the upstream side of this log at ~4.2 or higher, getting a line on it will be difficult to impossible without using someone in a "strong-swimmer" setup. We were able to clip a biner and line to the front grab loop by duct-taping it to the end of a very long/strong tree limb and working from the boulders just off of river right shore. Even then, the entire process took us just over 7 hours of actual work to retrieve the boat, and we had good rescue gear and know how to use it. The problem with this hazard is it is in too easy of a drop and definitely gives no indication of its presence at moderate to high flows. I would imagine that at low flows (inflatable kayak levels) it may become quite obvious and be easily avoided. I have sent photos of the pinned boat and views of the rapid from upstream to Dave Steindorf at AW. Hopefully, this spot will not become the site of a river tragedy. Pinned and possibly lost boats are bad enough.
Site Admin
Posted: May 31, 2006
Okay, I've set it up so this hazard will stay on the reports indefinitely. So please post updates here as changes occur (so I know to remove the links eventually).
Posted: Jun 1, 2006Post Subject: Still there
Almost exact same scenario as described above. 5/26/06 flow ~500 CFS@ Vina.

First boater went down to the right of log. Log underwater and not visible as a hazard from water or shore.

Second boater went down the *cleaner looking* line just to the right of the large boulder (river left). Stern caught and boat backflipped at 45 deg off vertical. Larger paddler was able to escape with significant effort. This may not have been possible with a near vertical pin. Boat was recovered with aid of raft and large team of coordinated effort.

Based on my recollection, this drop is ~4 miles from Pondorosa way and the drop is a boulder drop of 10-15 vertical feet. Flow is from river right to river left. There is a large (~20 foot diameter rock) on the far left. and a smaller (~10 foot diameter rock) on the right. The log is along the left most 8-10 feet channel between these two rocks. Drop is easily walked on river right.

Be safe out there.

Site Admin
Posted: Jun 1, 2006
Jon Hindman sent me some photos of the pin, and boat extraction, asking me to post them here. They should greatly aid in identifying the rapid in question, and where in the rapid the problem log is:
Posted: Nov 26, 2006Post Subject: The rapid in question...
I am trying to figure out which drop it is so i can note it in my website... I think I filmed the rapid from top and bottom, calling it "Rocky Rapid."


Video 11: The first shot of it is from below, red M:3 and the second is a few shots later from above, blue M:3. Let me know so I can note it in my write up. thanks.

Posted: Apr 13, 2009Post Subject: location of log in deer creek
log has been there for many years but will surprise anyone.
look at the photos and try to memorize the rocks.

the way to anticipate the rapid:
difficult rapids greet you from the putin at ponderosa way for 2-4 miles. then you get a lull of about 2 miles of class 2. the log is in the first big rapid after the lull, with big rocks and an unclear channel. once you recognize this rapid, get out and walk on right, or i prefer to do a wet portage through the mini flow in river left. it really is a death trap - don't try to run it!
Forums -> Hazards -> Hazard: Deer Creek, the "invisible" log nails anot Page 1 of 1