Friday, June 15, 2007

East Fork Kaweah

Testing a new way to get photos online...

Friday, June 8, 2007

Lover's Leap on the S. Fork of the American

The second day of the trip took us just a bit above the kyburz section to the Lover's Leap section of the S. Fork of the American. We put in at Strawberry and took out about 5 miles downstream. The pace felt slow that day but it would turn out to be the pace of most of the trip. Paddle up to the horizon line - first guy jumps out and looks at the rapid. He then decides if he can describe the line to everyone else or if we should all have a look. When it gets really juicy is when you have two guys out - one on the right and one on the left. The guy on the right looks confused so he looks to the left who looks even more confused. They both shrug their shoulders until one suggests right down the middle. The other will then shrug as if to say "Why not?" and then they will both tell us its not really worth looking at. This is not the most reassuring feeling.

Lover's leap was full of quick bouldery drops with some sieves and logs. We even came upon a massive logjam that completely stopped up the river. The water was obviously coming out the bottom but it looked stable from the top. As we walked across the trunks of 6 ft diameter Ponderosa Pine trees we realized that these massive logs were all just loosely arranged and were not stable at all. People were falling through all over the place. Imagine being in a log rolling competition while trying trying to carry a 40lb kayak and if you fall too deep you might get sucked under.

Here's a pic from the bottom of the logjam (unfortunately we didn't take any from the top so you'll just have to use your imagination):

The rest of the run was very good boating but no major rapids. More pics to come soon.

Tulley loves him some backwards boating:

Friday, June 1, 2007

Kyburz and South Silver

We arrived in Cali on Friday night and things immediately were off to a rocky start. United The trip certainly started off on a good note as United thought it would be better if Tim tried to kayak without his gear. Things did improve a little though when I picked up my sweet Chevrolet Impala which was to be the shuttle vehicle for the week.

Here's a picture of my sweet Impala:

Here's a picture of the type of riff-raff we had to scrape off the front of the sweet Impala every morning due to its incredible allure:

So Tim ended up sleeping in the impala the first night with only a stinky polypro to keep him warm (don't worry Lydia - he made the Hawaiian tropic girls go home).

Luckily he was able to get his bags the next day and join the rest of us in time for a warm up run down part of the Kyburz section of the South Fork of the American river. Just before putting on we met up with Chris Tulley, Ian Buckley, and Chris Conlin. It was a good run but not really worth taking photos.

South Silver

We drove we up into the hills after the Kyburz run to hit up the South Silver. It averages an amazing 430 feet drop per mile with one mile rated at 600 feet/mile!

It starts off with a 300 yd slide with the self explanatory name of 'Autobahn'.

Pruitt looking a little worried before the Autobahn:

We walked the next two rapids due to nasty looking sieve and a bad undercut. The third drop was 'Boof Boof Slide' (sidenote - the cali boys were about to walk this one until us southeasterners showed them how its done).

The last section was the teacups. Again, its pretty self explanatory. Normally a series of ten foot waterfalls would be enough on their own but these end in a stout class V+ named skyscraper which is immediately followed by another V+ called off ramp. Only Ian and Tulley fired up the teacups that day and both caught a microeddy above the last drop before Skyscraper.

After their successful runs we all hiked out on river right down to the ice house reservoir.