Maytagged! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paula   
Thursday, 12 April 2007 20:55

"Hey Shannon, have you seen the flow levels?"  My noisy van makes it hard to hear her say "5000 and rising".  "Think we'll still put in at the bridge?" Some garbled words and "I'll see you there".

Fifteen minutes later I'm at the Big Eddy parking lot and chatting with Mike, the leader of the trip on the Big Eddy.  Normally, the Big Eddy is a class II river with one II+ drop called Fishermens.  Last time we were down we noted a tree on river left and the the last drop into the take out pool had totally changed.  This time was going to be a bit different, a bit more pushy, 2000cfs higher then the March run.

Fishermens holes

Mike our leader, Dave, Dan, Shannon, Katheran and myself have been on the water all winter.   A new guy, John,  had not paddle in eight months.  We teased him and got him to come along.  A lone paddler, Brian asked if he could join in and we set off for the railroad bridge put in.

As expected the put in was running high.  some pushy water and wave trains to get across before we could safely eddy out below the first drop.  There was no good sneak route on river left.   Mike, Dave and Dan show the way.  Brian and Mike are looking nervous.  I decide to go next and manage ferry into a hesitation current halfway across then back into the main flow through the wave we were targetting and into the eddy.

Dave lines up on river left. Dan and Mike line up on river right.  I stay out of trouble!  The rest of the paddlers come down over the first drop but short of the wave and manage to bomb through a small hole.  No one flips (whew)

It's a fun time through most of the small drops and there are a few very nice play spots.  Get a few roll practices in and we head down to Fishermen's

This one is a 'get out and scout' spot especially with that wood I remembered.  Fishermens is running fast with lots of pushy water moveing from right to left into the left to right bend.  There are big holes all over the place.  At 3000cfs most of those holes are big boulders.   Today they are big pour overs.

The top of the drop offers a center route with a needle thread between to big holes a quarter way down this 1/4 mile long rapid and a must ferry toward river right after the hole and in fast moving water.  It also offers a river left route in slower water but another must river right move after one of those very same holes.  Then comes the real fun.  Four giant holes lined up on river left making an even sharper bend then the river and pushy water aiming at the holes.

Dan, Brian, Shannon and Katheran take the center line.  Mike, John, Dave and Paula ( in that order) take the river left line.

All goes well down to the big grey rock and the move to river right.  I see a couple of holes go by on my left and think I've made it (not).  Those holes form a nice little crescent towards river center and leave a gap between the fourth hole and another hole toward river right.  I'm not far enough right and I know it.  I'm going to clip the last hole so I decide to face straight into it and paddle like hell.

The hole flips me like so much flotsam.  I set up and get wacked good on the head.  Tuck and setup again but no joy, yak and I are under water.  Get wacked on the head again and I can tell I'm not moving down stream.  I pull the cord and as I'm popping out I can feel the yak get yanked away from me.  I pop up at the edge of the downstream side of the hole and I can feel myself getting dragged back in.  My paddle feels a purchase of water so I flatten out and dig the paddle in and get pulled out of the hole.  My kayak pops up (yes, pops up) a few feet in front of me.  I manage to swim to river right just above some boulder and get myself out of the water.

Mental note.  See big hole, point kayak away from hole and paddle like hell!

Turns out Mike and Brian had a little swim as well.  Mostly ego's hurt.  I get back in and retest my roll.

The rest of the run is very pushy but fewer dangerous features.  Porters creak had a nice right to left run with an eddy out on river right.  Mike wanted to run the final drop on river left as he remembered that to be the easiest route.  I remembered big boulders and holes on river left about half way down and above the giant wave train.  We decided to scout.  Half way down on river left the holes were huge.  The line was river left at the top because river right was to shallow. Then a move to river right when the water got deeper with a shot gun run through the haystacks.  That was a fun ride!

All in all a great run at high water and my first experience at being maytagged.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 August 2009 22:00