Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Break Cali Style

For the Last 2 years I have made California my spring break destination with other members of the CU kayak club, and this year was no different except for the fact that I am not a student and that I had to get time off work to go. This year I was joined by Christian (Christ-Ian as all the freshman ladies know him), Peter, Brian and Ginger Matt fresh off his win at NCAA for nordic skiing.
We started off with two days on the Giant gap section of the north American river, this stretch is ultra classic with amazing scenery and good 4+ whitewater. I didn't get any shots of the river because we didn't have to get out our boats.

We all jumped off this cliff at the putin to giant gap nothing like the feezing water to wake you up after the 1.5 mile hike to the river

Next up we rallied up to oroville to get supplies for a devil's canyon trip on the middle feather river, Christian and i decided we were going to have ribs for our night on the river while peter and Brian went for fajitas. This river is perfect to indulge in the luxuries because there is no hike in and no portages longer than 5 minutes. We didn't end up heading down to milsap bar (the get out) until 11pm and we planned on running shuttle that night. Well it ended up that on the way back out we needed gas and the only credit card we had got canceled when the wrong zip code was entered and no one had a cell phone to use because we left all our shit at the take out. So Ginger Matt was off to try and find a phone, eventually getting a night manager at a holiday in to let him use theirs , I guess the guy wasn't afraid of catching gingervitis. We ended up getting to the putin at about 4:30 am looking to get an early start for our 2 day trip.

We awoke at the early hour of 10:30 ate breakfast packed our shit (took some time with it being Brian and Peter's first overnighter) and we were off by 12. We paddled through the day getting through franklin canyon and found a camp at an old miner claim= shit everywhere. The first day has some good rapids but it was cold and we were trying to go fast so no pics except a bear on the paddle in shot from my kayak.
Christian and Brian Feasting

We woke early the next morning knowing we had a good 6+ hours of paddling to get to the takeout.
Sunrise over our camp

The Second day was awesome just so many rapids, Christian and I have done the devil's canyon so we were able to just bomb away I think we only scouted 4 or so time on the second day. This was a big test for Brian and Peter, and they ran and were able to get directions on way more rapids than I thought they would be able to, way to step it up guys.
Peter on an intimidating one that all flushes out at the bottom

We had lunch at this fun rapid (called eat the meat); me, christian and matt ran it, loads of fun.

Christian firing

The Ginger throwing ends in the hole, he eventually got out after we all had a good laugh at his expense

We made great time and we were down in the devil's canyon by early afternoon, most of the canyon is just good fun 4-4+ but there are 3 bigger drops in there that you want to look out for, the first 2 are portagable but you have to run the bottom of helicopter. Me and Christian ran the drop above "the portage" while the others made a quick portage.
Christian coming through the crux and getting left of the big hole.

Next up was "the portage", which me and Christian had been talking about running for weeks leading up to the trip, we took a good long look at it but only Christian stepped up to give it. He made it through the top part OK but halfway through (the crux drop) he got stuffed in a hole for a while, but was able to work his way out and finish the rapid off, a huge drop for sure.

Next up was helicopter which looks worse than it is an is basically just a big flush, everyone had great lines but the best was had by Christian and Brian who ran it VERY close to each other.

Brian and Christian blue angle, I was laughing my ass of at this point

It was a quick paddle to the takeout, where we were glad to see no cars were broken into and all enjoyed a beer while we looked at the low level on the South Branch. We rallied the shuttle that night and ended up camping up at the putin, deciding to take a slow day on indian creek falls park and huck and spend some time driving down to the kaweah (about a 7 hour drive).
Christian, Matt and Brian hucking their meat

Peter with a sick paddle guitar

Me about to practice my handle roll

Coming up....The Kaweah

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