Friday, August 19, 2011

Upper Cherry

Upper Cherry has to be one of the most well-known runs in the world... and this is justified! Amazing granite slides, dome gorges and pretty much everything is good to go. Although I tried to sack up and carry my boat in there, after I had an a nights rest I realised I still wasn't up to it so ended up hiking it out. But not after hanging out at Flintstone for a few days with the drove of kayakers that were around there. Barny, Snarley, Cheese and the Canon were the first crew down to me at Flintstone, with Barny, Snarley and Canon running Cherry Bomb at high flow late in the evening. The next day was lifestyled at Flintstone, ate dank food including a 2 1/2 pound steak, done some laps of the tea-cups, caught fish and just chilled! The last day I hiked out to the trail and took my boat out and the boys walked up to run Cherry Bomb and then mob out in time to make San Fran for Barny's Birthday celebration. Barny's camera died on this trip but here are some of the photos he got from this super classic trip!

The canon on the early slide (p. Barny)

Snarley entering Gorilla Slide (p. Barny)

Peacher rolling into Cherry Bomb... switch! (p. Barny)

Cheese on the Tea-Cup's (p. Peacher)

Barny about to fly after a HUGE seal-launch (p. Peacher)

Needless to say, this was a sick trip for the boys and even for me just chilling at Flintstone... and we definitely had a sick time in San Fran for an more than memorable birthday!

West Cherry ... and the end of my season

Well unfortunately this would be the end of my paddling season in cali. After Fantasy we made the annual pilgrimage to Three Rivers, for some laps on Hospital Rock. But on my second lap I took a kayak to my ribs in the hole below little Niagra and that was that... no more boating for me Cali 2011.

ANYWAY, Barny and the boys would obviously continue to charge and the next thing on the agenda was West Cherry. After our low water trip last year, Barny and Snarley were keen to catch it with a lot more water and also walk up to check out the infamous Graceland. The crew for this trip was Barny, Snarley, Smurf, Korbulic and Jake. Barny fired Graceland first, followed by all the boys! But it wasnt over, Charles had some how managed to piton on the 15footer in the top half of Graceland... he decided to clean it up and Korbulic thought he might run it again. After this was a series of burly rapids, portages and good times. From the confluence the boys found a huge amount of water in Upper Cherry, most notably in the Bottom Gorge. The boys took care of it all and had a sick trip in there. Here are some of the snaps of their trip.

Graceland (p. Barny)

Barny routing Graceland (p. Snarley)

Charles roosting on his second lap! (p. Barny)

Jake cleaning the West Branch (p. Barny)

Barny on chuck's (p. Smurf)

Korbulic dropping in (p. Barny)

Smurf charging! (p. Barny)

The boys had a sick trip and the next thing on their agenda would be a lap on the bottom section of Middle Cherry while they waited for Upper Cherry to come in.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

North Fork of the Mokelumne - Fantasy Falls

After last season's exhaustive schedule there were still a couple of torns in our side, and Fantasy was one of these. By doing Royal twice we had missed the minute 2010 window for Fantasy but were told that not to worry as if there was one to miss, Fantasy was it. Bullshit!!! We had a group of virgins on our trip, Mancheese, Snarley, Barny, Pruett and Myself and we basically moulded in with Smurf, Nugget-Charger, Riley and Josh Hill. We had a healthy flow, not high but everything was well cushioned, and such an amazing trip. White-water that rivals any run I had done or know of, scenery that is unbelievable and some of the most amazing camping I have done. Apart from the lake paddle at the end, I cannot fault this run at all. Yeah there are a few portages, but I would say all but 'The Untouchables' go, and the start of day one is manky... but both of these facts are overshadowed by how amazing the rest of the run is. Here are some of the MANY shots we got of this run, enjoy.

Me charging a mushroom (p. Barny)

Cheese Greasing it (p. Barny)

Snarley.... smiling! (p. Barny)

Barny lapping the Fantasy Falls (p. Jordy)

Smurf between the two Fantasy Drops (p. Jordy)

Pruett CHARGING... (p. Jordy)

Cali 2011..... Mob-a-thon!!! (p. Barny)

There is nothing else to say really, this is one of my top 5 favourite runs in the world... hands down! Do not ever think about passing this one up!