Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bull Run Adventure

Back in March we did a little local adventure up Bull Run Creek. Kevin Smith and I had run it back in 2008 during a rain storm; this year's big snowpack allowed us to venture back up there during much more pleasant weather to get another run down.

The old Brick Factory on Bull Run

Bull Run is not a convenient run; it is just short of a 2 hr hike in with your boat through some rugged terrain (and yes, there are ticks). Still, it makes for a fun adventure as you pass the old foundation of a brick factory (shown above) and some interesting old mining remnants (shown below)

An engine of some sort

You also get a nice overlook of Kernville as you head up and over a saddle into the main part of the run.

Taking a rest and overlooking Kernville

After a little bushwacking and a recommended tick check, you get to the start of the run, indicated by a sweet falls into a giant pool with rope access to the top.

The Start

Using a boat to negotiate the falls is optional, but since we brought them all the way up, it seemed appropriate to go ahead and use them

First Lap

Second lap (with a boat this time)

The run also has a pretty sweet 20 foot falls

Nice Falls
And some fun slide/slot sections as well (watch out for the sticky hole at the bottom of one particular section)

Blocking the hole makes it harder for the next boat...

The finale is a set of fun slides before the river starts to loose its bedrock character and turn into a rocky jumble. At this point it is probably best to just put your boat back on your shoulder and hike back out to your car.

Ryo sliding the Bull

Overall it is a lot of work, but there are some fun drops and it makes for a fun adventure on a nice March Day. Did I mention to make sure you check for ticks?..

Last drop before walking out

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Calm Between Storms

After a long January Thaw, the weather has gotten more active again in the Southern Sierra. If you are a skier or paddler, these storms are great; the nice weather in between storms is even better!

A Friday-Saturday Storm dumped some nice cold snow in the Sierra and Sunday looked as nice at it could possibly look for heading out in the back country. The crew met for breakfast at the new Bayesian Cafe (mmm Crepes) and then hit the road up to Sherman Pass. Hoping for a nice plowed road up to the standard starting spot, we were a little dissapointed when we turnined up the road and it was immediately evident that the plow had taken the weekend off.

The Chain Gang

No Problem though, the Tacoma has chains and a good set of snow tires, so we put all the weight in the back and the chains on the front and gave it a go. It was such a nice day that the ride in the back seemed pretty pleasant.

Rebecca and Marc enjoying a lift with no lines

Dave and Allsion are Stoked

The Skin up was a bit long; some of us had not been skiing enough this January. Still, despite the sore tele muscles, the scenery and the day were both spectacular.

Dave and Charlie chasing snow rats

Allison enjoying the weather at the top

If you don't already know, Rebecca is skiing for two these days. She is getting pretty big (due May 26th), but still able to get out and do plenty. Turns out all the motion on the skis and the bike tends to put the baby to sleep (surfing. on the other hand, makes her wiggle a bunch)


and company...

This is the third trip in a row that we have gotten to the top of the Embry Bowl and had absolutely no wind and fantastic weather. So we all were able to stop and enjoy the view

Check out my stylish (borrowed) shades!

Dave thinks they are hilarious

or maybe he was laughing at this...

Marc and Keji having another great day in the snow

After a bite to eat and some good laughs it was time to head down the hill; the snow wasn't quite epic, but it was excellent!

Dave in Tele Mode
Rebecca and Keji following

Marc having and Embry Day

Allison Ripping it UP!

And Loving it!

The snow got a bit thin on the exit; we have definately lost some snowpack in the 6000-8000 ft range, but it sure looks like the high country has plenty for this time of year. Looks like the March Snowpack report for the Kern Drainage is at bout 135% of April 1 - gonna be another great year!