We took off Devil's Postpile late at around 6:00 pm and made our plan to go run the Middle Kings. Ben and Jared drove us back to the put in near Mammoth Lake and left for the L.A. airport to go fly away to Europe. We spent the majority of the day hanging out in Mammoth until Lane's mom picked us up and drove us all to Bishop just south. We met the UGC crew and picked up my good buddy Cheese (Ian McClaren). We drove up to South Lake after getting food for the 5 day adventure. We sat at the lake and packed our boats and rigged our backpack systems for the hike while talking with Tommy and John who were about to do thier one day decent of the river. We started hiking around 7:30pm and stopped at the base of the actual bishop pass around 9:30-10:00pm. I was out in front of the group so I caught a few more zzz's. No real dinner just a few snacks on the hike up the hill.
All Photos by Tyler Bradt so no copying
Hiking on top of Bishop Pass 12000 feet and 7 miles to go 6 behind us.
Real Day 1:
We woke up at 5:30 and started to hike over the steepest part of the pass and made it to the highest point before stopping and eating some quick B-fast. We watched the sun rise over the mountains and it was glorious. That place is amazing and unique to anyother river in California. We walked the rest of the way down the hill to the last overlook before the final drop to the rio. 1600 verital feet and two miles later we were at the side of the river but not ready to put on until we had a nap time. The river starts off very small with an incredible amount of mank and sliding drops. At the end of a small valley the rapids start. The log drop and a cool slot boof lead us to a steep slide.
Cheese boofing the slot drop on day one.
We got some air time off the center left and ran some steep boulder rapids brought us to the famous squeeze play. This is the drop on the cover of the 7rivers DVD. It was late and we were all tired so it was time to call it a day. We made a nice fire and enjoyed being in the Kings where not may kayakers have been before. We all feel asleep early due to the level of fatigue from the hike.
This was my favorite day of the entire river. It started off with the squeeze drop and a manky cascade, which were very exciting and crazy to wake up to.
Lane squeezing it trying to get the boof off.
Me boofing into the mank cascade ready to get barried.
Some fun boof and slides that flowed into the "Money drop" a two tiered sliding falls that is in every Kings video ever.
Rush at the bottom of the Money Drop ready to film.
More big slides and continuous boulder gardens lead us into the first gorge of the Kings. There are a few boofs with big holes that we mad bombed through. It leads into another section with steep boofs that pushes hard into the big slide gorge.
Me at the bottom of the big long slide.
At the end of the slide there is a tight section of whitewater with lots of cool moves around rocks and wood when all of the sudden you reilize your in a canyon named the "Devil's Washbowl". This is a classic section of rapids that ends in a nice 20 foot freefall. No picture of this but we did get some quality video. There is a portage right after the falls that puts you at the top of the good morning gorge. This is my favorite single part of the Kings. The Willie Kern melt down drop is at the top which I probed blind and found out why it has that name, taking my Jefe deep. Two sick slides spit you out at the top of a steep continuous boulder garden that goes and goes. Fun as boating right there. Showing up at a crazy looking 30 footer we portaged on the right. The extent of the drops are inexplanable but there was a cool 10 footer and a shity slot I broke my paddle in, but Ty found a paddle at the 10 footer that I ran back up and got. Luck was on my side. We made it to Cartrage creek and the enterance to a huge valley. More fun stories and a good night of camping brought us swifty to manana.
This is the most mellow day of the river. With only one true big drop and a big valley to pass through our day three was a happy and fun day to love the river and scenery. This was kind of a nice warm up for the bottom 9, because there were no more major tributaries to come in, and the boulder gardens are similar. We all walked the BIg Bad Bever that Cheese and Boomer ran the week before which is a burly drop that scares me to the bone. It was good but being 100 miles from a hospital and 30 miles from any roads sends me walking this one. We ran all the way into Tihipiti Valley and camped on a nice sandy beach over looking the massive dome.
Tihipiti Dome with our humble fire in the foreground.
A nice view to chill and eat to before the malstrome of the bottom 9 miles of the Middle Kings.
Tihipity Valley looking upstream at the day three canyon.
The bottom 9 miles is a super fun and continuous section of whitewater. It is one big rapid so I can't tell you about any drop in particular but it was all very fun. Cheese had another swim out of a pocket hole that beat him good. There are twobigger rapids one being a double drop the other being a river wide pourover. We found Katie Hilieke's burn at the bottom of the pourover drop and scavenged some dry food out of a dry bag. At the confluence I reilized what we had just done and shed a tear of joy......... NOT! But it was one of the best rivers I have ever done and one of the coolest place I have set foot and paddled in. We were not done yet we still had Garlic Falls.
Garlic Falls or Kings Canyon is a classic run that reminds me of Lower Cherry but maybe a bit easyer. There was one sick drop that has a crazy 10 foot lancher boof in it. Anywhoo Ben Brown ran our shuttle and I guess I told him the wrong spot so we ran the 10 mile run and had to paddle another 9 miles of class II. Actually it was only me and Andy Maser the rest of the crew got a ride with a raft company bus... luck was not on my side that day. We all made it to Ty's truck safe and sound. We drove stright to Fresno pumping Journey and eating mexi food. what a trip!!! later E.G.