Thursday, June 28, 2007

Wonderful West Cherry Round 1

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.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fantasy Falls North fork of the Mokelumne

After our night mission to the Take out Salt Spring reservoir we woke up early (We meaning Sam, Josh, Brendan, Me, Nick and Jimbo) in the morning to run the massive shuttle. Due to the amount of snow pack the normal road was closed which sent us on a long 3-4 hour drive through Kirkwood ski hill to hiway 4 and the put in. We didn't put on the river until 1:30, a late start and got busy on the mank.

Sam Sutton at the end of a mini gorge during day one.

The first few miles of the river are low volume bloudery manky mank but it soon gains tributaries and turns into good solid whitewater. A few fun gorges and some sick nasty cali canyon scenery later you come to the first major section of whitewater of the run. This gorge started out with a sick drop but we were forced to portage because of a phaty log that jamed up all of the flow.

Scouting the first major gorge of the river with the log portage in the background.

After that slideing drop there was some fun boof and big holes that lead down to a small break in the canyon where we set up and stopped for the night. We cooked up some tasty camping food over the fire, which always roars to life in the dry climate.

Kiwi's love to feed on the river B-unit, Josh, and Sam left to right.

I went on a scouting mission to see what was up for tomarrow morning and saw that the river was only going to get better and steeper the next day, what a good feeling.

Our humbel abode amongst the trees and rocks.

Late afternoon clouds rolled into the canyon and gave us a scare that it might rain on us but it cleared up and was a cool stary night.

The next morning It was cold as, and I was up early to re-kindel the fire that was my food and life line. We ate some packs of instant oats andhit the water becuase there was no reason to hang around in the wind getting colder by the minute. Our first rapid was a cool pinch into a slide with a hole at the bottom, nice brain freeze to wake up to. From there on was all granite slides some big some small but two that got the blood flowing.

Sammy on a nice boof in the cold morning.

The biggest drop had a clurler with some sort of object inside it, but out of site so we ran it boosting down into a twisting slide around a big boulder.

Brendan on the biggest slide of the day around the boulder.

We decided that day two was our rally day becuase of our late start the day before, so we got a move on through smoe quality drops and portages around manky stuff and sieves. The sky was overcast making for a freezing cold morning on the river with a stinging wing blasting our faces, made for the coldest day of kayaking I have evr had in this state. Our down stream momentum brought us to the cool mushroom boof that is in some of the classic videos, fun fun.

Me on the mushy boof ride it and avoid the crack.

B doing the same on the classic drop.

After some more steep rapids and a bit of class two moving water through the high Sierra valleys we came upon a big walled in section which we looked at before droppin gin on. There was some tight cool rapids and a good slot boof that lead to a big steep sliding exploding drop that we walked and ate lunch at. Between here and the next gorge was some mellow rapids and some good time to enjoy the place we were in.

A tributary coming in off the top of the canyon sliding to the bottom. Enjoy the place when you're there because you're gone before you know it.

Every time we looked up in the sky we saw air plane due to the size of the air ports in Sac. and surrounding areas. We got a kick out of it because we knew that no one in that plane knows that they are above such an amazing place, us Americans are all about work and business.

R. Sea B-Unit on a fun one of dia dos.

More short exciting gorges and drop lead up to the infamous big portage gorge. People have run this entire section at high flows to varying level of bueno-ness but I was not about to rally in there and huck it.

High and dry is the way to go on alot of cali walking just watch the manzaneda that will get ya.

We walked the whole gorge high left as told to do by many other groups that had done this run in the past. Funasshell boofs and Evan in the front routing continued up to some more mellow waters above a 15 footer with a log in the base that at this point in the 8:30 to 5:00 day I was in no mood to do anything but eat and sleep. After Seeing the next rapid which has never been run we all called it a day and found a sick camp at the bottom of the biggest drop/portage of the run.

Our view from camp two looking at the biggest drop. No body has claimed this one yet but there may be a line...maybe!

Food, rest, talking shit, and dazing out lead us through the night to day three.

Knowing that we covered amazing ground the day before we now could relax, but with none of us knowing the river we still got a good start time and headed downward. The first drop was a doozy. No warm up at all and into a mass of water going down some steeps.

"Good morning Mr. Garcia I'm going to send you deep" Said the monster seam. And down I went

Come on baby hold on, I love it, you know it.

We came upon a nice section of boulder gardens that went for miles until I remembered the horizon line that marked the dreamy fantasy falls.

Me rocking it off of the Fantasy Falls in the morning of day 3.

This drop is da bomb a fun 30-40 tall steep cascade into a nice deep pool. I ran up again and ran this puppy twice with the rool to tuck line. Everybody was all BD up in that thing loving the falling feel.

Joshy H.M. hitting it up down the middle, fire at his tail he sailed threw the air plugging deep.

100 meters down from here is a cool 15-20 footer that you can run anywhere. The canyon is wide and huge by this point in the run and there are massive domes surounding you 360 degrees. This is by far the best day of kayaking on the run where the mank cleans up into amazing drops and slides. Fours main drops to write home about. Fantasy Falls. Then bouldery stuff ;eads you up to the brink of Island drop. A long clean smooth slide that pinches down into a gigantic hole, turns 90 degrees, and goes off another big slide with a hole. It's big and scary trust me on that. We all sat there at the hole and said well maybe until Sam and I decided to give it a go. Sam ran first cleaning the scrizzel out of it.

Sammy in the zone cleaning the line.

Fired me up for the line, so I came in to the pinch hot, caught my nose on a out cropping rock and spun. I hit the hole backwards with speed and surfed right out of there running the rest of the slide.

Wam Bam!!

Thank you Mam!!

OOOut of there, yeah exciting rapid and there was more to come.

Jonny Kerns drop is up after a 1/2 miles of slidey stuff. This is the infamous drop where Jonny says "If I get stuck in that hole I'm swimmin' like a carp." and he did. Sam stepped it up and hit a beautiful line off of it with a late boof.

He was still like "Well I'm glad there's a pool because I may swim here." Champion!

The last Major challange of the mighty Upper North fork. THE THING!!!!! This is the big slide at the end of Fantasy that everybody swims out of. Yes it's hage and scary but clean. The mentality that went in to this one was it looks so fun and big that it worth the swim just to run that powerful of a drop. By this time the river is big with lots of volume so the hole at the end is like the jaws of a beast.

Line it up at the top and get ready for the "THING".

I ran that puppy first from right to left at the top which was a mistake. As soon as I hit the main curent I was swept right by the power, hit "the thing" (a 10 foot wave tail) that is formed by rock formations. Hit the pillow on the right wall scraped down it with my hands, flipped, and hit the hole upside down at the bottom. Sat there in that hole getting blasted and swam like a rainbow salmon.

Surfing in the beast, wow it felt good to be there.

Alot of people like to try and hide it when they crash, like it was fine or something, because they are embarssed that they messed up a line. Well I think it's good to say I didn't do good on that one and ate shit. That's what happened. I was tatally fine nothing wrong with me other than a boat full of water. Nick went and gathered my gear, thanks for the help dog, then we watched Sam fire it up.

Sam ran it far left as possible at the top. Went through the thing on the spot you look for spun a 360 down the slide and made it out the hole at the bottom with a blast of speed and a bit of good luck. I was stoked to see him fire it up and do what I didn't.

At the top further left than I.

At the bottom glad he made it through the hole.

Salt Springs Reservoir we were very tired after the 5 miles of flat water paddling with upstream wind.

Fantasy Falls was one of the best rivers I have ever run there were an uncountable number of good rapids and a fair number of portages that could be runable. Different flows will effect this river in many ways, I think if you are fired up high water is the best and make for the most runable level for everything. You just gotta be ready for some big Vadanrazzy if you know what I mean. We were on our mission and headed stright to Groveland and the Cherry drainage. Keep it real E.G.

Road Trippin' With the Kiwi's

After GG we sattled up and decided that Fantasy Falls was our next river. The never ending vortex of Coloma stopped us and sent us on a side mission to South Silver before leaving that night. We hit the play park of slides and waterfalls one more time at a slightly lower level and got going around 11-12 p.m. The begining of the three Kiwi's and a guy named Evan trip. Some elder video grabs for some entertainment
later EG

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Portageless Decent of Golden Gate

Yep ran that sickness with getting out of my kayak and walking around a rapid. Drain pipe, Stright shot, Taco bell, Brain Fade, The Rose, All F***ed up, and F-111 are all the biggest rapids but there is 10 miles of quality whitewater. It was a good day. I met a group of Kiwi's in Coloma the day I got back from Oroville and talked myself into another day in a row of class 5 kayaking. No media on this run but it was a good time and the begining of a 3 kiwi's and a guy named Evan trip. We ate some In n' out Burger and created our epic idea of kayaking as much as possible and getting out of Coloma to do so. Later E.G.

Bald Rock Canyon

This is a great clean run with only one mandatory portage. I spendt the night at a friendly locals house, I think his name is Eric but I'm not sure, he's the man for putting us up for a few nights. The run starts off with some fun mellow ledges and cool high volume rapids. Atom bomb falls is the big legendary portahe that marks the begining of the goos stuff. After that come great class 5 rapids with a nice 25 footer in there some where.

Rusty Sage running the much loved Cirtin Falls in the heart of the gorge.

Taylor running a big rapid named something to do with hell and death.

Taylor Robertson led our big group down and knew the river very well. I got to boat with my good friend Shon Bullock who lives in Mount Shasta. He came to WCKA foe the Chile semester and is the cool home dog ever. The canyon is truly amazing and worthly even without the miles of good rapids. Devin Knight forgot his helmet and was forced to hike out of the Milsap Bar road becuase his girld friend drove away with his gear. At the lake we had beer, food, and a house boat waiting for us to drive the 13 miles out on the lake to our cars.
Shon on the portage of Atom bomb falls a big sieve lies ready to kill down stream.

Bald Rock is an epic day I only portaged once and some only three times. My first of many runs I want to do in the Feather drainage but all the water disappeared so early that I headed back to Coloma the following morning to met some friends for some GG action. Later E.G.

Love dat South Silver

After coming off of the Dinkler we headed back up to Coloma and met Katie Scott and Lizzy English. We drove up I-50 and ran South Silver on a nice sunny day. I ran Sky Scraper 3 times, t'was an epic day on the river. The high flow made for the idea to run to the lake so we did and it was boney and fun to get bounced around for awhile.

Lizzy and Justin racing down Autobon at the top.

We quickly drove to Tiajawana Taquaria for some darn good borritos. Three days of class 5 in a row many to go. Oroville was my next destination. Later E.G.

Waterfalls of the Dinky Creek

Its been too long since I have updated my blog, but it's not because I havent been kayaking. I have been so busy going to rivers and boating that I have not even had the time to get to my computer. I left my house after graduating high school and winning the mens belt buckel in the Best in the West rodeo this year. I spent a total of 20 hours at home before getting in my Subi and driving 16 hours to met my friend Justin Patt for the Dinky creek. 1300 miles from my front door later I reached Ross's crossing after being lost for a bit due to fuzzy memories from last year.

Me on the second part of the huge triple drop boofing the froth.

Tucking through the kickers on Willie's drop oh baby light my fire???

Mr. Patt going backwards down the Tiering Monster after watching me run this one twice (once backwards)

Dinky Creek has proved to be my favorite run in California. The pool drop nature and sickest drops ever have me at hello. Nothing in my mind beats this river. A long shuttle is needed but it beats the heel out of carrying your boat up the river. It was just the two of us on this run and I had done it last July with Lane Jacobs and My older Brother Ian so we went fast and safly down stream past the normal camp to a crazy tight slot into a huge hole, which was where we camped. The hike in maybe took a half hour of some manzaneda infested trails where I almost stepped on a rattler. Between the putin and our camp lies some of the biggest and cleanest drops ever!!! All stacked right on top of eachother. Willie's drop, Cirtin call, Tripler, Camp Slide, Tiering Monster, and so many more drops are all in a row ready to be run for the most enjoyable day of kayaking that can be had. We finished off the short second day with running the biggest drop of the river (the one Niki Kelly smashed herself on)

Justin on Niki's drop ready to make contact with the wall.

The 25 foot perfect cirtin drop which is right below a perfect 20 footer, get some.

We got to the take out at around noon only to run shuttle and end up back in the San Joaquin valley dizzy from wondering what it is about people that make them not go do fun and beautiful things in the mountains instead of living their lives sheltered in cities and lights. For me this summer is more about what I stand for and want out of living than a kayak trip. Going out and throwing your self into the wild not know what is going to happen, weather or not you will run out of gas in the middle of no where, or crash your car down a steep embankment because the forest service locked the gate to the putin. Thats what its all about going on a sick adventure and this markes the start of my summer of freedom and kayaking. Take it easy E.G.