With our team carrying on it wasn’t long before we came across one of the coolest things I have ever had the opportunity to paddle through. A Snow Tunnel. This epic tunnel had obviously been created by an avalanche earlier in the year and being witness to just how big a snow year Cali had this year was still in full force in the middle of August!!! Getting through the snow tunnel we all were in a state of awe.
Below this we made quick progress with us all remembering snippets of what lay downstream. Before long we arrived at the waterfall Gorge where I pulled over to empty my boat feeling as thou it seemed a bit full. Turning it over I soon realized I had a 30cm long crack in the base of my boat. Knowing I was past the point of no return I left my boat to dry in the sun scouted the waterfall Gorge and with the help of the boys applied a layer of bitchothane to the inside of my hull and got back to business. The next few more miles progress we camped at the sweet 'Pruett' camp, a nice spot on river right at the end of a few miles of cruisey whitewater.
The following morning we motivated early putting on at 10am, running some good cruisey water for the first few miles. I was happy to be making good downstream progress with my wounded boat. Soon however the intensity picked up and after another couple of miles of chunky whitewater we reached the “BIG BAD BEAVER”. All deciding to give it a look the only one with the fire in his eyes after about half an hour of chilling at the base of the Beaver was Smurf. Avoiding the killer hole on river left with ease Smurf showed us all how this bad boy should be run. Below the Beaver we were in for a few more sweet rapids and a friendly meadow before reaching the towering dome of campsite of Tehipite at 2pm. That afternoon we chilled out knowing the next day would be a big one as we planned on pumping out the 20 mile section of both the bottom 9 and Garlic falls in one day.
smurfs criteria for running drops! (p. Barny)
Lifestyling (p. Barny)
Tehipite Valley (p. Barny)
The following day we defied all odds and even had preacher on the water by 9am for what we knew would be a big day. We made quick progress through the steep and continuous bottom 9 section, making a few quick portages and us all taking our turns of probing some exciting lines. In the final mile of the bottom 9 I noticed my boat had started to full again but was stoked it had made it. Reaching the confluence at 2pm we chillaxed for an hour before Taylor Cavins crew showed up who we had met again midway through the bottom nine. Throwing our high fives we were all stoked to have made it. Not before the Garlic falls section was done however!! This 10miles is a complete different style after getting of the Kings with a Big water feel that with some cunky holes and hydraulics that keep you on your toes right until the end.
Reaching the car at 7pm, we were stoked to see Pruetts pink shorts hanging in the tree. With cold beers all round it was an amazing finish to another Epic cali season!