Whychus Creek, Three Sisters Wilderness 8/19/08

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The C-Ws
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Whychus Creek, Three Sisters Wilderness 8/19/08

Post by The C-Ws » August 22nd, 2008, 11:14 am

As part of a four-day trip to Sisters, we bushwhacked to 9 falls near Whychus Creek in the Three Sisters Wilderness. We arrived at the trailhead early, after driving the horribly rocky road. We left the trail shortly before Chush Falls and crossed Whychus Creek on a log. We then bushwhacked up the South Fork a short distance to Shelter Falls (kudos to Bryan for naming all these falls). We had horrible lighting for photography of most of the falls, and this one was no exception:
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We continued a short distance upstream and scrambled down into the gorge through lots of brush to Mosaic Falls. This one is hard to photograph because it can only be seen in the spray zone:
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From there, we climbed steeply to cross-canyon views of Columnar Canyon Falls, and this time I lucked out with a cloud obscuring the sun:
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We scrambled over the ridge to Park Creek Canyon and made a steep, sketchy scramble down a loose talus field to Howlaak Falls. The sun was shining directly over the top of the falls, making for horrible photography. The photos turned out so bad that I'm not going to bother to post them. If you want to see a decent picture of the falls, see here. From there, we climbed back up the crumbly canyon slopes and crossed the creek on a log. We then traversed over half a mile through a burn area to Pheonix Falls. This one suffered similar lighting issues, but the pictures from the canyon rim turned out all right.
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On the way back to the trail, we stopped to see Middle Park Creek Falls:
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From there we bushwhacked back to the main trail. We took a side trip to see Kalawus Falls (finally good light!).
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On the way back down, we stopped at The Cascades and Chush Falls.
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Our GPS track:
Whychus Creek.JPG
GPS Track
All in all, it took 6 hours to go about 5 miles.
Casey

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Splintercat
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Re: Whychus Creek, Three Sisters Wilderness 8/19/08

Post by Splintercat » August 22nd, 2008, 12:09 pm

Wow - great report, Casey! That's a really rugged area. Are the trees dead from bug kill, or did a fire sweep this area?

Tom

The C-Ws
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Re: Whychus Creek, Three Sisters Wilderness 8/19/08

Post by The C-Ws » August 22nd, 2008, 12:40 pm

It was definitely a fire. I'm not sure when it happened. The bushwhacking isn't all that difficult, as long as you stay out of the alder thickets near the creeks.
Casey

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Sore Feet
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Re: Whychus Creek, Three Sisters Wilderness 8/19/08

Post by Sore Feet » August 23rd, 2008, 12:56 am

Wow there is still a ton of water down there. When I went through the area in 2005 there wasn't even that much water in June!
Now that McKenzie Pass is open, I'm getting tempted to make the trip down there that I had relegated to next year (of course that was before I quit my job).

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Re: Whychus Creek, Three Sisters Wilderness 8/19/08

Post by greglief » August 25th, 2008, 1:02 pm

Hi Casey,

Thanks for the report and photos. Despite the sunlight, you got some wonderful shots of Howlaak Falls, Chush Falls, and The Cascades!

Greg
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