Salazar, Chris Zawaki, Jared
Nocetti, Ben Wartburg and Thomas
Moore take a look downstream.
back upstream at the portage.
Not sure if it's ever been run, I
always pick up my boat and start portaging.
Without this small ledge, the portage would be a heinous affair, so
Danny Salazar is happy about the presence of the ledge.
a small patch of poison oak
is the hardest part of the portage.
& Jerry's Gorge is not the
deepest gorge, but in several
sections it's a committing mini gorge with no escape routes. Excuse the
bad lighting as Danny Salazar and Jared Nocetti drop into the first
What follows is a tricky inescapable two set. Offset rocks block what
would be an easy route in the entrance. Water pushes right, while the
line a move to the left.
Maurier making the crux move in
the first drop, which at higher
flows contains a notable hole.
Once below the first move, you are "in it to win
memories of assembling a Lendal breakdown while clinging to Chris
Korbulic's boat, bobbing in a surging eddy while he held onto the only
hand hold after his paddle had snapped in the entrance. All because the
downstream ledge varies from moderately retentive to highly retentive,
not a place to hand paddle.
Moore is sure to boof over the
gorge may not be tall, but it's
locked in. Ben Wartburg boofs out
of mini gorge #1.
The first gorge is short and sweet, ending in a
swimmers the ledge may incur. Then the West Branch opens up, although
typical to all Feather Country, the canyon walls are steep and infested
with poison oak. A few larger rapids are interspersed throughout the
Maurier boofs into China One.
afar, Nick boofing into the same.
is a good bit of nice class IV
in the open section. Thomas Moore.
the proverbial belt tightens, be on
your toes for another quick
portage. This one has a tempting lower eddy that is hard to catch, the
small, less obvious upstream eddy is the safe choice.
Ben and Jerry's saves the best for last, with the
rapids of the
run lying deep in the final gorge. Portaging options are minimal on
most rapids, and some channels dead end, this is where the run earns
Salazar runs move two of the
Thomas Moore buried in the crux.
Salazar finishes strong in the
final 10' drop.
Below the largest rapid there are still several
One of note is a two tiered drop, with the first tier being run on the
far left, and the second required a strong ferry across to river right
avoiding a large hole in the center. A recent rock slide has changed
the line here, and the right side is now a pile of rocks, but
thankfully the new line through center hole flushes more than it used
If the reservoir is full, the paddle out begins
the lake is at ideal levels, there are still a few more big rapids.
Some years the lake is low enough that the West Branch flows all the
way to the boat ramp. Tragically this also uncovers "Slam Hoggin" a
mean V+ mess. The portage is a tedious affair in the bathtub ring of
Maurier hikes out from ideal lake
levels, maybe a mile and a half
paddle out with no Slam Hoggin.
Ideal flows are 350-550 at Whiskey
. The run has been
done as low as 300 and as high as 700. Shuttle is accurately described
in the Best Whitewater of California.