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




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


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!

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