Yo homies. This past weekend (3/26-3/29) myself and Justin Patt rallied south to meet our former kayak academy World Class. It was great to see the school again and realize how lucky we were to have been able to attend. We were intent on gettin er' done this weekend so we set our sights high on the goods.
First up in the morning on Friday was nothing. Sleep, check flows on E. Kaweah, and waiting for the chitlins to finish classes. Around 3pm Friday we charged up into Sequoia National Forest with our eyes set on Chucks Slide to kick the weekend off. After the 20 min hike or so up to the slide, JP and Jesse Shimrock gave me the thumbs up, so we all got our scout on before firin' er off.
Jesse went first with a pretty clean line catching some air and grazing the right wall at the bottom. JP stepped up next. It was his second time on the beast so he had a good feel for er'. He cleaned it like a virgin on prom night. Last up, I hopped in my white water craft and paddled at the lip. The thing was super fast, and the big roaster tail in the middle sent me for almost a clean 180. Finished out the bottom backwards but upright, which is all I cared about. Caught the wall a bit at the bottom but a quick roll and no problems. Check out the sequence by Jason Cohen.
From there we finished out Chucks section and Hospital Rock on the Middle Kaweah with the World Classers. The flow was good, a little low but still lots of fun. I got a bit tooled on Little Niagra because I forgot it was there and JP broke his boat towards the bottom of the run. Other than that we had a great run with our small battalion of paddlers.
Saturday morning the group decided to rally out to the Tule drainage in search of some new fun. Never having seen this place, I was inclined to check it out. After the coupe hour drive from the Kaweah we arrived at the Middle Tule looking at flows. It was definitely a bit low but still a very cool landscape to see.
We waited till Sunday to try and do the East Fork to allow the warm weekend to give us some more water for the run. The group (myself, JP, LJ Groth, and Jesse Shimrock) were determined to get in there and check it out. Since JP broke his boat on the Middle Kaweah he opted to take the Green Boat down the run. The flow was on the low side but still an incredible run. The last time I ran it was with Taylor Robertson and the Shasta Boyz a few years ago at much higher water. I didn't remember a lot of detail of the run but with super solid group we routed it just fine.
All the early stuff was a playground all the way till Skyhook. We check out the stout and with more water it goes, super rowdy, but it goes. The group didn't feel like ridin' the bull so we took the portage high on the left. I remembered the portage being much worse but this time it seemed mellow for all the goods you get afterwards. After one more portage we started getting into the treats. Here is a photo of Jesse and I blue angleing Double Drop courtesy of JPatt.
This is a fun drop but the best part is that you know your getting closer to Triple Drop. Photo: LJ Groth
After seeing a glimpse of it from the road all of us were amped to huck. After a quick scout, Jesse our fearless East Coaster called dibs to hit it first. He styled it. Launching a fattie boof off the top drop and cleaning the bottom two. Next up was LJ, he drove a little far right on the top drop but till made it happen making it down the other drops upright. JP went third in his massive Green Boat skying off the top drop with plenty of momentum driving him through the bottom two.
Last up after filming the others from the top, I gave her a huck. Got a great boof off the top drop which carried me into good position for then second drop. I got eddied out on the right between the second and third drops but a hard ferry got me back to where I wanted to be. Check out the sequence provided by LJ Groth.
This drop is sooooo sick. The last trip or group portaged because the second drops hole was super gnar gnar at the flow we had it. After Triple drop we took our time enjoying the scenery and busting out the bottom section. After Skyhook all the portaging is pretty mellow compared to many other portages. Towards the bottom JP lead into a drop blind and fully submerged the Green Boat pinning in the top right of the drop. Right when we heard his scream we were all out of our boats with ropes trying to get him out. Eventually he found his pull tab and was able break free from his boat. From there Jesse clipped a bag on his stern and tugged as hard as he could to budge to boat, while LJ and I pulled on the rope from the opposite side of the river. After some serious pulling and jolting we were able to get the boat out unbroken.
Stoked to through that hairy situation we plowed through all the bottom goods and got to the Gateway just in time for happy hour, burgers, and music. A perfect ending to an amazing day of paddling. After saying our goodbyes we loaded up, feeling accomplished by the weekend and stoked to hang with such a cool group of paddlers.
Now I am back in SC studying for midterms and doing all the homework I procrastinated this weekend to go paddling. But was worth it...........are you f**in kidding. Worth every second and now at least I get to think about sick boating while doing my school work. Enjoy the little film. I shot it all with a POV helmet cam, my HD is gettin fix but should be back in a week. Hope everyone is gettin' into the Spring goods and look forward to an epic CALI season.