Mission West Cherry... a maze of roads sat between us and the trail head to get to the river. We met Gharett from Redding and Devin Knight at Cherry Lake to run shuttle. My memory from the past is normally quite good with roads to rivers, but this time I was wrong and we were lost. We went to Hell's Mountain and hiked up the ridge over to the river. As soon as I saw the canyon I knew we were miles from the put in. We hiked back to our cars and went back to driving. We found out later that the trailhead is at Bourland mountain.
The rolling granite faces of the cherry creek drainage.
Sam Sutton taking it all in and ready to walk down in to the canyon to eat.
This two day run is the sickness that rarely gets run. Last year we had high flows and it was a great couple days of kayaking with some big demanding drops. The flow was identical to last year so I was super fimiliar with the run. We did the hike in about an hour and camped at the put in due to our waste of time earlyer in the day. The bugs were bad on the hike for 20 minuets but once we got to the open rocks they disappeared. We got a good amount of rest but were still up and on the river by 8:30 fired up to run some drops.
The first big rapid you get to looks a lot like this....
Going over the curler befor dropping on to the huge ramp slide.
Directly below that rapid is a sick 20 foot boof with tons of hang time into a stacked section of whitewater that creates a sick mini gorge feel.
Gharett boofing the top 20 footer of this rally of drops.
There is a nice steep fast gorge that send you hot into the waterfall gorge which at this level is one of the nasty-est drops out there. Last year nobody touched this thing so I was pretty sure that it would be a walker.
It was... the lead in rapid is huge and the drop has the worst pot hole cave that I have seen. Although it looked nasty I really thought there was a line through it but today was not the day to find out.
More fun sliding rapids and calm pools brought us to a set of steep slides. The first one is a fun auto-boof and the next drop looks horrible but goes well with lots of water. It's a tiering bouncy slide that send up off a couple boofs.
The key move is not falling too far to either side. Left is a poop shoot and right is a deadly piton rock. Dead center misty middle.
The scenery in this canyon is some of the best you can find in California a lot like upper Cherry but more vegitation. This is a great place to enjoy the place before you get to the Charlie Bevers double drop. This drop is my favorite of this run and one of the best drops in the state. There is an enterence slide you can run, but the hole is huge at high water and not worth screwing with. The drop itself is a big loofty 15 foot boof into a shallow pocket before flying off a 30 foot slide. This drop look crazy and feels even more roudy. Sam ran this puppy first followed by Josh, me, B-unit, and Devin.
Josh boofing the hell out of the top holding on for the ride.
After you land it's game on off the 30 foot slide into 2 more big scary drops in a gorge below this one.
Chilling about to watch B-unit run this one.
Bee baby styling the Bevers drop.
After this drop there are some more fun drops but the run gets a little frustrating until the confluence with cherry creek. There are onlt two portages but the second one is a doozy, boulder hopping and walking for about a mile or two.
Looking towards Cherry lake from the big long portage at our lunch spot.
Once you get to Upper Cherry the last few gorges are sick nasty. The high water it take to make West fork good has the main running super high. The rapids are river like with huge waves and holes to dodge. We walked the bottom gorge into the lake but it looked good for next time. Big holes and fast slides! We met with some other groups as wel got to the lake and found out that they all had good run as well. A short lake paddle and hike put us back at our car and food ready for some sleep and Groovytown lovin'. Later E.G.