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  • Level 3 Class - The Narrows of the Willamette

Level 3 Class - The Narrows of the Willamette

  • January 21, 2017
  • 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM
  • Willamette Park Boat Ramp
  • 0


  • Active club members, including kayaking professional and lifetime. Provisional acceptance, pending approval by the instructor.

Registration is closed

This trip is limited to members with a wet exit certification.  To successfully register you will need to log into your OOPS member account, and your account will need to be a member of the "Wet Exit Certified" group.

Narrative: This is a local favorite. Depending on water level, it can be mild (maybe 56 feet on the gauge) to wild (maybe 62+ feet on the gauge). The intent is for the river to cooperate and give us a level somewhere below the wild side, between 58 and 60 feet on the USGS 14207740 WILLAMETTE RIVER ABOVE FALLS, AT OREGON CITY, OR gauge.

This will be a class all based on playing and having fun on moving water.

We will work on improving skills around:

• reading water to gain an understanding of how to use features to your advantage

• upstream attainment

• ferrying

• entering eddies

• leaving eddies

• bow surfing standing waves if conditions are right

And endeavor to have a good time while doing all this.

Put in at Willamette Park, West Linn. Paddle upstream to play amongst the rocks, currents, eddies, and swirlies of the Narrows. Some of the play spots are pretty safe, and some are not - as in upstream of woody debris hazards. So pick your play spot carefully. 

Come join me.

Meeting Time: 9:30:00 AM

Launch Time: 10:15:00 AM

Type of activity: Class

Put in: Willamette Park boat ramp, West Linn, OR

Take out: Same as Put In

Route Alternative for bad weather: None

Required equipment: Helmet

Minimum Immersion protection: Drysuit

Primary Organizer: Dennis Pennell

Assistant Organizer(s): 

Has organizer paddled here before? Yes

Has organizer led an OOPS paddle here before? Yes

Organizer's first aid and CPR current? Yes

First Aid /CPR Person: Dennis Pennell

Maximum number of paddlers: 5

I certify that I understand and will conduct this activity in accordance with the OOPS Activity Policy: Yes

Estimated Air Temperature: 44

Estimated Water Temperature: 44

Estimated Water Time: 4 hours

Tide times & heights: River level is rain and snow melt dependent. If above 60 feet on the gauge, cancel this event.

Current information: Maybe 5 knots in the fastest channels


Wind strength: Level 2: 7-12 knots (14 mph) – wind noticeably effects movement of paddle

Swell/Surf size: Level 2: Waves up to 2', no breaking waves

Sea state: Level 2: Waves up to armpit; light to moderate chop, scattered whitecaps

Landing types: Level 3: Bad footing, rocky shores, or surf up to 1.5'

Currents: Level 3: Up to 4 knots: paddlers must sprint to move forward

Total distance: Level 1: Up to 6 miles

Open crossing: Level 2: Less than 1 mile

Paddling Environment: Level 3: Exposed river or coast

Overall rating: Level 3

Rating Comments: The currents at the mouth of the Tualatin River and up in the Willy Narrows can easily be 4-5 knots.

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