Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hamma Hamma Falls

Between a weak shoulder from that Van Island expedition & a really bad illness that landed me in the hospital, I've been on the bench for about the last month. And for me, a week-&-a-half of uber-medicated deathbed confinement naturally yields to a sort of cabin fever-type depression & therefore fertile soil for shaky decision making.

Which leads us to Hamma Hamma Falls .. we've been talking about this big double-set ever since I moved out here, & undoubtedly it's been discussed & scoped for years prior to that. But to the best of anyone's knowledge around here, it had remained unrun. Johnny Utard was an especially big instigator. He'd been out to the Peninsula to scout a couple times over the last month & reported that there was an impassable log blocking the lip of the entrance falls. So with a come-along & some rope, we tried to lift the thing out of the creek high enough to pass under it, but the rope had too much play & the log was old & surly & water-logged -- it wasn't budging. On a tight timeline, I proposed that if we came back out in the morning, I would seal-launch off the log directly into the first waterfall. After looking at the sketchy plan, my cohorts reluctantly agreed. But within hours of leaving the Hamma Hamma valley, both bastards had already backed out. Fortunately, my main man & fellow Range Lifer Shane Robinson -- fresh off the boat & bronzed from a 6-week trip to Brazil -- was game for some adventure .. & although we begged & pleaded for some more hands-on-deck for safety's sake, it was destined to be just the two of us. I would just have to not mess it up too bad ... Below are some photos from today's mission. Enjoy.

The road up the Hamma Hamma ends after crossing the creek directly over the falls. Here's the view looking down. Getting into my boat was probably the scariest part of the day (year?) as it would have been very easy to fall off the upstream side of the log (booo!), & with Shane at the very bottom, I was on my own.

View of the horizon line & pool of the 2nd/main one.

In position on the log.

Droppin' the entrance falls .. 20-25 ft.

Droppin the main falls .. 50-60 ft.

Close crop. Upon entry, I lost my paddle & got slammed into the pocket on the right (booo!)

HH Falls (directly below us) is in the midst of some pretty OK alpine scenery, & the coolest part is that the ocean is about a 20-min drive downstream.

Seattle shuttle rig: the ferry.


Shane Robinson said...

Just wanted to add a congrats to Todd for firing this thing up...I can't wait to give it a go sans log.

Also felt the need to tell our younger (and older) readers out there that we don't recommend the one-man safety team, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Be safe out there.

Todd Gillman said...

Agreed. Thanks again for the support on this one Shane, & yes, a better safety net is *highly* recommended. We just couldn't convince anyone else to come with.

Having now done this & knowing what I could've done differently & all that, I gotta say that I'd do it again in a heartbeat .. & for the right crew this set is a very worthy big huck destination .. once the log is not a factor. A stealthy chainsaw mission or better winch would do the trick.

Safety on R-left is an easy hike to the base. Safety from R-right is possible (recommended) from the rock that forms the pocket I got stuck in. Access it from R-left.