Tuesday, April 17, 2007

April in California

This past weekend four of us from Corvallis headed down to the Feather drainage hoping to hope on some of the goods. Against advice from a few friends, James Bagley, Jeff Hazboun, Chris Korbulic and myself went hoping for West Branch runs.

After meeting up, we tossed ideas of an impromptu Royal Gorge trip but settled on Big Kimshew and Bald Rock. We didn't count on the gates....

Gate#1: Jeff and James try for a way around

Gate#2: Jeff the ghost.

Gate #3: We could still hear the river

After hours of driving around on forest roads we gave up at about 1:00 am Saturday morning; we camped at Gate# 1 deciding to hit Bald Rock in a few hours.


In the morning, on the road and a few phone calls later to some locals, we were told that Milsap Bar gauge was reading low, the level was already near the recommended max and it was raining and our local wanted nothing to do with it. We ran shuttle, and put on at noon. I think we were all pretty nervous till after the portage around Atom Bomb Falls. Lots of solid V drops, lots of bank and boat scouting, a few portages including Curtain falls and we finished the run about 6:20pm. I can easily say I have never dodged so many sieves and undercuts in my life and my heart was pumping the whole way down. No photos in the rain and the time crunch. James shot some video so hopefully he puts somthing together!

We were all pleased to be at the lake, in a limited sort of way. Happy to be at the bottom safe, happy to have had safe lines all around... no so pleased looking forward to the 4 hr, 13 mile paddle out. At 10:30pm Saturday night we stumbled up the steep bank by the van, made some food, toasted our arrival and went to camp at the put in.


Up at the crack of 9, on the road by 10 searching for access to Big Kimshew again. This time, more dirt roads, and deep Cali red clay stopped us. No photos: I was too busy trying not to get stuck and helping James not to slide into the ditch. In the end, we were skunked on Sunday.

Big Kimshew will have to wait till the next trip when we figure out the gates down there. I'll post more pictures then.



Darin said...

Nice working on getting down here that week. Current Kimshew situation is open roads but no water. Doesn't look like she will go unless it rains a bunch and goes for one day.

Royal, road is snowed in 6 miles from the put-in. Was reportedly 4' deep drifts on Thursday of last week (4/26) It had the flows though...

EJ said...

Lets all pray for rain then!