Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Upper NF Kaweah

Photos By Eric Giddens, Mike Spradlin, & Alison Diller
Paddlers: Eric, Rebecca, Mike, Dave Diller, Brett Duxbury, Andrew Pernicano, Mike Martyr
Special Appearances by Copper, Lucy and Charlie


Last week brought about some really nice weather in the Southern Sierra; temps in the 70's and wildflowers galore tempted a group of us Kernvillians up to the Kaweah for a couple of days. Our destination was the upper North Fork of the Kaweah; a low elevation drainage that joins the Middle Fork of the Kaweah in Three Rivers. This section is probably least boated of the standard Kaweah runs - most likely due to the 5 mile hike in...


Eric and Copper Crossing Yucca Creek



As far as 5 mile hikes go, it is one of the easier ones; it follows an old mining/logging road so the grade is fairly mild. Still, schlepping your boat for almost 2.5 hours is never a picnic



Dave, Eric and Mike early on

This is a fun early season run for several reasons. First, it has some really fun drops, but overall it is not a super demanding or commiting run - so it is perfect if you are in need of an early season tune-up on your creeking skills. Second, the hike is great training for some of the later season hikes - you can test your pack system and start to build those shoulder calouses. Finally, when the river is running in the early spring, there is a good chance the wildflowers are going off - they provided a bit of distraction during the hike.


If your pack system gives out, the grassy road makes a low impact dragging surface


Surveying some granite goodness



The finals stats for the hike

At the end of the hike, the fun starts right away. A nice 20 ft granite slide provides a great way to cool off after the hike. We ate some lunch then did a few laps to celebrate our arrival


Dave

Mike


Brett

Eric, Rebecca and Mikey - Three's Company


After a few grins on that drop, we headed downriver. Within the first mile of the run are three more fun drops, the first one being a slide lead in to a ledge.


Mikey boofing the ledgeRebecca from a different angle

The next drop is a funky boof in to a boilng eddy that recirculates back under the boulder that forms the drop. At higher water this can be a bit sketchy, but today everyone styled it.


Rebecca on the lipThe next drop is the one pictured at the top; a slide where you have to stay away from the right wall. It is a bit easier than it looks, but you still have to put in a little effort.


Eric on said drop


VIEDO PENDING

After this, things start to get a little bouldery for a while. This is the part of the run where more water really helps. Still, everything was navigable. After a while you get back into another fun section, the highlight of which is a clean 8 foot ledge.


Andrew getting air


Brett at the lip


Mikey somewhere in the middle of it



All in all, it was a very fun day. Good drops and good folks


The take out



On a side note, the next morning folks that stuck around were treated to the arrival of helicopters and Park Rangers - apparently in the midst of a pot farm bust. For the record, if you are out there mister pot farmer guy, we did not turn you in! It was all a coincidence!







Friday, March 13, 2009

It's Spring!

One of my favorite times of year here in the Kern River Valley is Spring time. The flowers are blooming, the weather is beautiful and the rivers are about to start running. Probably my favorite springtime ride is the Kern Canyon Trail...


Rebecca near the end of a climb


Looking down into the canyon

Another field of poppies

Lupine

Rebecca's Garden
Starting the descent to the River (devil's lettuce in the foreground)

Yep, that's a nice poppy!

Babies Breath and Owl Clover

Baby Blue Eyes

If you are in the area, you need to do this ride soon - the picture do it no justice.










Friday, March 6, 2009

Postcards From Costa Rica




video

Boating Season is Coming Soon!

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Brush Creek has been trickling out at about 1 on the gauge; the snowpack for this year is looking good though with lots of low elevation snow and close to normal snowpack at Sherman Pass. Here is a little teaser on the portage...