For those that have been following my work, or that know me personally, know that I don’t indulge on my adventures. Also, I don’t really have a lot of dialog that goes with my photos. 99% of the time I am ho-hum about it.
Well my friends, this falls deserves the deets. I know the word “remote” gets thrown around for street cred, but this place is no fuckin joke. Wassen Creek is the most remote place on the Oregon Coast, and possibly Oregon (that has a destination like this worthwhile visiting). For years, it was endangered of getting logged, much like Opal Creek was. In November of 2013, it passed protection from voters. It will remain wild! There has been no wildfire in here for I bet 150 years. Undergrowth is ridiculous.
The “main” route to this place calls for a minimum of 8 hours. However, my good buddy
Brian and I tried another way. Wrong idea. We planned on camping one night. We left the dip in point at 2:45pm and by 8:30pm, we had only gotten half way to the falls – maybe 1.5 miles in. The next day we broke down camp and left at 8am and didn’t reach the falls until a little after 10am. The lighting wasn’t the best, and the water was maybe 2 feet higher than any of the photos I had seen of this place, but was still magical nonetheless. Visiting a place that maybe less than 15 people a year see is really an experience.
We left the falls a little after noon and a few bad calls later, we were camping again on a creek. It is disheartening to go 3 hours and gain 700 feet of elevation in trail less forest to reach acres and acres of huckleberries, rotten trees, and a ton of rhodys out of the blue – to the point we were crawling on all fours for 100 yards. With a 40lb Gregory Baltoro 75 litre bag. Yes I need to re-evaluate my gear 🙂 We made a decision at 7pm to head back down the 700 hard ass feet in elevation we had worked for hours to gain, to get water (which we were super low on), and to try to get sleep.
We reached the creek in which it took us 2.5 hours to reach the first day. We actually were super lucky to find the location we camped at, as flat ground is non existent in this area, literally. I had to use my emergency blanket, and I had a Marmot down vest, pants and a 30 degree down bag. It was 39 degrees, but I was set up on the only level ground, 6 inches from the creek. We both were. Photos will be posted on my blog.
Now before I left, we were smart and let people know where we were going. We left on a Sunday and I worked on Tuesday at 8am. I have to say that REI is the BEST place to work – not just saying that because of the discounts. They were in contact with the sherifs office all day, and a special thanks to my wonderful wife, who started the whole “chain reaction”. I told her if I wasn’t back by midnight on Monday, to call it in. Same thing I told several people at work.
So when we left camp at 8am, I knew it was bad. The problem with this place is that the GPS only works maybe 50% of the time. Creek level, you are better off finding a money tree than getting a satellite feed. When we reached an “opening” in the tree line, it would “update” our track. So while we were checking where we needed to go, it would suddenly move our position. Yes, I had a topo map as well.
After 5 hours of super hard conditions, we came up maybe 10 feet from the truck! We were both super exhausted, low on water but high on spirits! We did hear a heli fly over maybe 40 minutes before we reached the summit.
Would I visit this falls again? I actually would. This area is super amazing, and I would love to visit in fall. In total, it took us 21 hours of action to reach this spot, and I would guess 2900 feet of brutal elevation gain to reach this place – all with 30-40 lbs on gear on our backs each.
I present to you the Devil’s Staircase.
via 500px http://ift.tt/1lrjJjI