(Echo Bend) Eagle river
Jim, Brandon, and I put our boats/IK's on our backs and started walking up the Crow Creek Pass trail for about one and a half hours. We launched our boats at the sign that says (Echo Bend). The first time we tried this run we put in at Rapids Camp and missed the good stuff, (go over Dew Mound).
I forgot my dry suit and after discussing this with Jim and Brandon I nervously and pumped up my boat. The weather was nice, I had dry clothes in a dry bag and the trail was right next to the river, getting cold was my only worry.
I tried too hard not to get soaked and did not paddle with focus, which in turn cost be a smooch with a boulder and I swam. I remounted quickly after hitting another boulder underwater, and instantly before I could even paddle, I hit a hole sideways and swam again. I remounted and bagged an eddy and thought "that wasn't so bad". (Good polar fleece does work).After my baptism, the game face was on and the run was excellent.
The first few drops are class IV at the level we ran it, which was right at 4.00ft. on the gauge, the rest are class IIIish. You have to make several hard ferries with poor forward visibility and it is full of boulders. We did not get out and scout, but I would recommend it because of logs possibly being wedged in the boulder slots. The holes below the ledges were bigger than I imagined, so I was looking for tongues through them or just tried to avoid the big ones. The river was Grey which made partially submerged rocks hard to see and also made the ledges hard to see in time to make a decision.
Your first time down watch the flow and scout carefully. Many pack rafters and some other boaters wait for the water to clear up and run this section at lower water. It is alot like the Guardrail/ Willow Creek with some drops being a little harder and more convoluted than any of the guardrail drops. The ledges are not as tall and abrupt but the slide characteristic seems to create some decent holes. I will test them out when I have my dry suit. The main problem is boulders everywhere creating some exciting slots to thread. The run appears to be relatively safe at reasonable flows and really is worth the hike in and out, even though the run is shorter than the hiking part. After another trip at a different level I will know more about the general character of the run.
We did run into a grizzly bear. You now what to do, or should.
I have some nice pictures and I will post them soon