Thursday, May 21, 2009

South Branch Middle Fork Feather and DAM-age

Last weekend (5/14-17) myself and Chiseki Mconnaughy made the barge north the get the last water on the S. Branch of the Feather. We left Santa Cruz Thursday night planning to meet the rest of the Shasta Boyz and crew the following morning. After the a brutal drive up the back side through Milsap Bar, Chiseki's Lexus was pushed to the max.

In the morning we arose early and waited for the crew to arrive. When everyone showed up the group consisted of us two Devin Knight, Ryan Knight, Chris Korbulic, and Darin Mcquoid. When people refer to this run one of the best day trips in California, this is no joke. The run has everything from fun rapids, waterfalls, slides, and the opportunity to go as big as you want. There is an option to do a two day trip and hike around Seven Falls (three waterfalls from 100-200ft). We opted to do the one day mish and hike the 1000 vertical feet out the canyon above the falls.

The run starts out mellow with some fun boogie before it starts to gorge up. It begins with some fun rapids and smaller ledges before getting into the waterfalls section. Once the waterfalls start they don't stop till the end. An array of 10-20ft drops, a 45 footer named "99 problems", and a 50 footer to finish out the run. One of the most spectacular canyons that I have ever seen in my life. Here is yours truly on givin' it on 99 problems followed by the big hitter Ryan Knight. Photos by: Chris Korbulic

Below 99 problems there is a fun 20ish foot slide and then straight into a 130+ footer that you portage on the right. The seal launch at the base of the 130 footer is amazing because you get to reconnect in the base of the falls. Here is a shot of some Shasta Boyz at the base of the falls courtesy of Ryan Knight.

There is another fun little slide right after this and then straight into the 50 footer. This is an amazing curtain drop that reconnects at the bottom. This waterfall is somewhat notorious for breaking paddles so make sure to tuck er' up at the bottom. Pep the sequence provided by Ryan Knight.

From the base of the falls its a straight shot to take out at the top of Seven Falls. We only spent a little time here to appreciate the scenery before the barge out of the canyon. The hike out is pretty steep but a good straight shot up to the road. It takes most boaters between 30-40min to get out, but it took myself and Chiseki a bit longer due malnourishment and dehydration. Here is a beautiful shot looking back up the canyon from take out. Courtesy of Ryan Knight.

We had a great crew and it was amazing to finally get in there and experience it for myself after hearing so many stories. We left no drops untouched, except the 100+ footers, not quite good to go. From there we left and headed for a weekend on the American with the UCSC kayak club. While in the area we got into some mischief looking at some DAM action and decided to give her a go. We will leave the "exact" location unsaid but it was an epic 70ft non-vertical slide to 8ish ft. kicker to green water due to the low water. We both took really big hits at the bottom, knocking the wind out of us and exploding both our skirts. Besides a swollen finger and very sore backs we had a lot of fun.

Here is a video of the trip and there will be photos of the Dam coming soon, as well as a video featuring the UCSC kayak club trip. Hope everyone is finding themselves on a river somewhere, and remember to keep firin'.



Anonymous said...

Awesome video man - felt like I was right there.

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