Sunday, April 6, 2014

South Branch Feather (How much can you Handle)

Text message "You want to go on an adventure? - Darin McQuoid" 

Around six in the morning Darin and i decided to head out and see if we could get on the South Branch of the Feather, one of the most classic waterfall runs in California. On the way to the put in we found ourselves driving through 8" of fresh snow and up and over fallen trees. Not knowing if this run is going to be in or not we kept driving.

Darin holding up a tree to continue our trek to the put-in

Finally making it to the put-in, we both looked over the bridge and saw water flowing beneath us! We had little optimism that the run would be flowing at all, when we saw that it was on the low side but in we were more than excited and jumped out of the car and got dressed. 

Getting ready to head down towards the water.

The first couple miles of the run consisted of nothing but beautiful scenery with nice class 2-3 white water. Everywhere you look is coved by a thick blanket of beautiful snow.

Not much can compare to the pure beauty of kayaking through a winter wonderland just waiting to run so of the best whitewater their is. 

After a ways of strait forward, smaller scale rapids we reach the first significant drop, its about a 8 foot waterfall with a strait forward leaden. Driving down the center of the drop both Darin and I had great lines. 

We make our way down more of the run, we come to a horizon line and Darin looks at me and says, "This is where it gets good." Two options at the top of the rapid, a left line sneak and a big boof on the right than fallows down into some holes and a horizen line at the bottom, run the first drop and than make sure you go right down the rest. Darin goes first running the right boof, I fallow second running the sneak line and charging off the right of the bottom drop into the pool below. 

After this drop the creeks starts to steepen drastically, the next memorable drop is a perfect 20 footer, enter on the left and work your way next to the house shaped rock in the center of the river. You can boof this drop but I wouldn't recommend it, I landed almost perfect off the drop and had a big hit.

My excited face before running the first major waterfalls of the run.

The Lip of the 20

This drop goes immediately into another perfect waterfall, enter far left come down a nice slide that goes directly off the lip of a 15 footer. Boof it! It is an amazing waterfall to go as hard as you can off of. 

Slide to boot

Taking a second after this drop is amazing, looking back up at the two perfect waterfalls you just ran, the light layer of snow that has by lightly placed on the mountains and trees that surround you, Nothing can quite describe the beauty.

Next is a series of ledge drops that go seemingly flawlessly. One good drop after another that leads into one of the best drops on the run, Double Drop. Scout on the left side. 

Darin on the top drop of double drop.

Coming off the lip of drop number 2

The second drop has one of the best water boofs I have ever run. Coming into it with right to left momentum is prime and you can boof as hard your heart desires.

Next comes a bunch of "This ones good" slides. Clean as can be. But be careful one of them has some new found wood in it. Not to hard of a portage on the right side. 

The next drop you dry out on the left side falling into a green water crack and float out on the left side. Than run a really clean drop into slide down the left side. After these drops you are sitting above High Pressure 20. A left line allows you to plug it or you can take the middle line and hit the biggest boof of the run. Be careful though this drop goes right into 99 problems.

Coming off the lip of Pressure 20

After taking a quick look at 99 problems we decided to walk, lowering boats down on left and an easy walk around on the same side. The next drop sends you really deep, with no way to boof you plug the it. I popped both ear drums and took a bit of water up my nose. Make sure you get an eddy after this drop, it leads right into 199 problems witch is portaged on the right. 

Seal launching into the base of 199 problems.

After this you have an easy slide and your at the top of Perfect 50! Scouting from the right I got to watch Darin run it. Good line, nice paddle toss, and he's in the eddy on the left. I go get in my boat, sit in the eddy for a second and peal off onto the lip of the waterfall. I head off the lip, throw my paddle, and tuck up, I feel the hit and wait to surface, It became apparent that i hadn't ended up in an eddy so I hand rolled as quick as possible and hand paddled into an eddy avoiding a log jam. 

Not much can describe the feeling I felt down in that bottom eddy, looking back at this amazing waterfall I felt perfect, amazing, worded description can not relate to the true feelings.

Darin sending it

 Chucking the paddle off the top

The end of the run is a beautiful seen of the last half of 7 sisters.

The hike out of the run isn't by any means easy, its about a mile hike strait up a mountain. It took us around 30-40 minutes to reach the road. Finally getting there I threw my boat on the ground sat down and rested. Looking around I realized we had started in snow kayaked out of it and hiked back into it. I sat resting when Darin looked at me and said, "you ready to go?" I hopped up, and we began to walk. We walked 4 miles back to the put in, in 8" of snow, it took us about two hours of pressing on, moving fallen trees. By the time we made it to the car it was getting dark, and I was extremely cold. We changed and got into the car to go pick our boats up where I realized i was hypothermic and exhausted. After getting the boats, thank you Darin for getting mine, we stated back, where I asked Darin to pull over and proceeded to puke, and than puke some more. It took about two hours of the heater at full blast and a flaming hot coffee to finally warm up. But at the end of the day all was good, we both had a great time on the water and working hard is sometimes the price you pay for kayaking. Check out Darin's website for other great rivers and river reviews .
Just remember when Darin asks you if you want to go on an adventure,

You better be ready for a true adventure in every since of the word!
Video at:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Kern Playboating

Inbetween kayaking all the creeks it was nice to get on the kern witch was going off huge flows!! got a nice play wave witch is called our wave! starts coming in around 6000.. Not much to say on the wave other than no eddy but a nice big pool after to get out at and a nice trail to walk back up on!

Just some surfin and a decent round house good time out on the river

Monday, September 19, 2011

Upper Tule!

30 footer
30 footer
Well i don't remember who thought it would be fun to go run this drainage but they were right it was amazing! we hiked down into the ran a very short ways only 200 yards. when we put in we had to portage right away.. after the short portage we walked down streem to scout the first rapid. it was a lide into a herizon line.. we figured we should check out the next drop while we were out of our boats.. when we climed over and got a glimps of what was to come all of us were overwelmed with joy to see a sweet looking 30 footer after looking a little bit longer we relized that on the left side there was a rock hidden under the water. we decided so run far right witch was also a sketch line.. it was a 2 foot slide of a kicker and a 28 foot free fall to a reconect with the rock and bouncing hard into the water. When i dropped in i felt like i had a pretty good line from the top i was calm and relaxed but when i hit the reconect my head wiplashed back and paddle was blown out of my hands and my friends at the bottom made sure i was ok and my asking if my back was broken i assured them i was ok and started to decent the rest of the run. later in the run we came to another huge herizon line. we scouted on the right and found ourselves looking at a sick double drop a 10 into a sick 22 footer!

Such an amazing place to be i cant wait to explore more sections of the tule river.. after many more fun slides and an awesome 12 footer we were at the take out.

All of us were sad to be off of the run.. its an amazing place with very few portages!

Horseshoe Days!!!!!!!!!!

This was an amazing day.. the main thing you should know about this event is that everyone gets worked! its a great time. i thought the best way to take this beating was with a friend.. so me and my good friend andrew mathews took the DD into this beast.. i thought it would be good to loop in so i went for it but andrew didnt thinks so so he pulled out and we window shaded hard got face surfed in the hole got spit out and both tried to roll on opposite sides causing us to do absolutely nothing other than sit upside down. After a good day of beat downs and friends we all met up at pizza barn and got awords.. best roll in the hole for the DD

Forks of the Kern!

The beautiful hike in clouded by smoke,The Crew
Spencer, me, Evan
After the South fork of the Kaweah we had made plans to go to Dinky creek but most the crew had dropped out and we decided not to go. Only austin decided to go.. Check his website out for other rivers and reviews. So deciding to stay in the valley we went up to do an over nighter on the forks of the kern. After scavenging over night gear together and stashed it in the back of my jefe we went up into the high country and made the short easy 2 mile hike in.. With high water on the kern 4000cfs and a 17 mile wilderness class 4-5 run, we were just super excited! when we made it to the put in we jumped right in our boats and just got on the ever right away.. it was nice to have some volume under you.. After 2 or 3 miles we made it to the first class 5 called lower freeman! a junky tongue into the rapid into a sharp left hand turn with a ledge eddy hole hugging the right wall. we blue angled.. after this its a long ways down tell you reach the next class 5.. but when you do its one of my favorites.. Its called big bean. a long entrance with lots of stout holes and big waves.. end of the rapid ='s a pyramid rock in the center with a huge hole on the left. witch is to be boofed! pure goodness.. the next major rapids you come across are vortex and the gauntlet. vortex is a big stout with a slideing entrance down into a hole. right into a second hole.. i went last when i hit the second hole my stern dropped and my bow came up.. i went completely vertical.. i stomped my nose back down before the ledge hole at the bottom boofed it and paddled through. the next rapid is called the gauntlet.. a series of ledge drops into bigg holes.. after this rapid we set camp!

The next day we awoke and hung around camp for a while.. after a nice relaxing morning we set back out on the river.. the first major rapid we came to is a mile long class 5 called west wall. I decided it was best to scout the biggest part witch was about half way through the rapid.. while we were standing on the rock spencer noticed a boat floating down the rapid. when we relized it was my boat we ran down to the bottom of the rapid and swam acoss luckly catching my boat.. with full intent of loosing my paddle i sat on the shore and looked back across for where i jumped in at and evan leaned down to grab something when he put it his arm in the air i saw my paddle! after these events we got ourselves collected and got back to the run. we found ourselves at carson falls before we knew it.. after a short scout we decided to run the sneek that kept us away form running the 5 foot drop that led into a nasty body surf hole called the "thing" carson was the last big rapid on the run when we made it to the bridge that maked the take out we were all smiles and laughs about the amazing place we had just passed through. the forks is one of the most amzing places i have ever been!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Upper South Fork of the Kaweah.

Daniele R.I.P

The crew
Taken by, Spencer Josif
Part of awesome slides

A few weeks after the south fork of the Kaweah we made it back up to the kaweah to run one of the more exciting runs the kaweah has to offer. We made the journey up therw with me, evan, spencer, eric, and austin. We stopped at a bakery and met up with some italians, Daniele, Gigi, and Giorgio. Arrived at the put in to the run and after a short hike down a steep hill we made it to the creek. Right off the back there was a class 5 stout. A 10 foot ramp into a pillowing meaty hole! No beat down on this but got the nervs going. The second rapied consisted of a good 10 foot boof. After 1 mile of stressful mank we came to a drop that had a pretty crazy entrance with a nasty pot hole on the left taking must of the river up.. and about a 4 foot spot that led into a sick 15 foot slide than a 20 foot slide. after a sick 9 footer austin was bombin down the next part git a boof went over vert and got stuck in a big ledge hole.. after about 100 yards of walking he found his boat and was able to return to the run. After a few more miles of mank a sweet slide section came to be!! Three other slides make this section up.. The big finaly of the run was a super stout 20 footer! the entrance started with a 3 to a 4 to a 5 foot drops into a 7 foot slide and around a courner off the 20! Not to much carnige off of the drop. When we made it to the take out it was all laughs and booty beers for some! good times friends on the river are friends for life

Johnny, Evan, Spencer, Giorgio
Bottom of 20


Top of cherry falls (Johnny Chase)
taken by, Austin Nickell
Haven't posted in a long time.. lets see a recap of the summer..  First expedition of the summer was to the north fork of the Kaweah!! This was our first time to the kaweah it was me evan moore and Javi Ruiz. we didn't know much about the run other then there was one good drop called cherry falls a 25 footer. But we drove up there and decided to go for it with no info.. It started out with Javi having some trouble on the put in slide (pin and swim) but no problems after that. the first significant rapid was a fun 30 to 40 slide ending with a channel hitting you on the left at the bottom. After 1 or 2 more miles of fun read and run class 4 we found ourselves looking over a horizon line. We all hopped out of our boats and checked it out.. With a pretty big hole at the top and a huge flake about 10 feet down the drop and all the other water falling into a seem we decided to make evan go first.. the line was to skate by the hole on the left than charge for left and fall onto the flake hitting and landing flat at the bottom. evan hit the line perfectly so i decided to go next. Hitting the top line just how i had wanted to but ended up not high enough left fell into the seem, going really deep and not coming up for 5 to 6 seconds.. Javi than fallowed by melting into the seem.. good fun rapids after the fact.. a fun 10 food dam into a boulder garden and lots go good qualite slides! took one beat down of about 20 seconds in a ledge hole at the bottom of one of the bigger rapids.. but overall a great run! no portages all clean and good to go! wonderfull way to start the year off!!