Kayakings first natural 20 meter megaramp! Summit Creek, Washington is the venue for one of kayaking most noteworthy drops. First found by up and comers Todd and Chris Wells, they soon spilled the beans to Cody Howard who in turn thought it was the coolest drop he had ever seen. However no one was sure how 50 to 60 feet of freefall transitioning to a nearly flat rock slab would feel on the body.
Way back in the day I used to specialize in low water big drops, and even in my "old age" this one was right up my alley. After Cody, Bett Adems, and I explored the upper gorge of what will be known from now on as skate park creek, Cody insisted on hiking into the lower gorge to show me Mega Ramp falls. With rain pouring down and light waning everything I saw in the drop exuded perfection. The was visibly raising the level of the creek and I knew that the following day could be the perfect opportunity to probe the giant ramp. With an all important Ashland showing of Hotel Charley Vol. 4 to attend that same evening, we would have to get to the creek at the proverbial butt crack of dawn in order to run the drop into the down stream gorge and still make the 7 hour drive to Ashland, OR by show time.
At 6 am Cody, Bett and I were joined by videographer Ryan Scott and Pro Photog Lana Young to make the return trip to Summit creek. Visual inspection revealed that the once paltry flow was now roosting over the massive drop. Although the entry to the falls had cleaned up considerably, there was concern that the thick flow was now vaulting over the transition and landing abruptly on the flat slab below. Cody decided against probing the drop but was eager to help with safety and cameras. After a few more test logs, I was confident in gaining the transition and rocketing cleanly into the pool below.
Avoiding the acceleration of the lead in flume, I ferried into the drop at the lip and tried to hold my speed to a minimum. I went dead vertical right away and rocketed at 32 feet per second squared towards the flat slab 20 meters below. As hoped and anticipated, the transition was as perfect as anything dreamed up by Tony Hawk, sending me flying off the trani into a 40 foot dart move towards the pool below. The descent was so clean that Cody quickly followed with and equally spectacular and clean descent. Cody and I then proceeded down the rest of the gorge below the falls that was something like nearby Little Goose Creek (aka Kenobi gorge).
Big props to the whole crew for their commitment to expanding the boundaries of the sport in the already ultra-classic Columbia River Gorge!