Korbulic and Ryan Knight planned to blue angel the slide, but the
hole disagreed and spaced them out. Chris Korbulic.
It just keeps going, with "Little Niagara" wrapping around a bend into
a boof - Chris Korbulic.
Little Niagara is occasionally portaged due to a cave awaiting paddlers
who fail the boof. At lower flows it's a pretty easy boof though, and
we couldn't resist more blue angels. Ryan Knight and Darin McQuoid.
A few read and run rapids led into one more slide that dropped us in
the pool where we previously put in. Devin Knight.
we are unloading boats a little ways downstream from the normal
Hospital Rock put-in. Putting in here takes out the steepest section of
Holbek & Stanley state: "This
section of the Kaweah
isn’t a classic…” and the Kaweah
says “Be reminded that
this section and the continuence of the Middle Fork to the park
boundary is very difficult and dangerous whitewater and should be
attempted ONLY by experts under the most favorable conditions in strong
These sources and the long driving distance had been enough to steer me
away from the Kaweah drainage. Word of mouth made the Kaweah drainage
sound a lot better, and a lack of water anywhere else had us heading
down to the Kaweah Drainage. We had medium low flows of 650 @ Three
Traffic was bad on our
drive down, so we arrived late and lazed around in the sun at Three
boater friendly camping right outside the park.
We put on late in the day at three thirty in the afternoon. Taylor
Robertson was leading the charge on the water, and with his uncanny
ability to remember all the lines on an astounding number of runs, we
made quick time down Hospital Rock. We made one quick portage and
stopped to scout twice, one of the times being the “420
Upstream view from the scout.
Ryan and Devin Knight running the fun gorge.
You can't really scout the last move that's on the left, but just drive
back to the right side of the left channel.
Standard Hospital Rock fun...Ryan Knight.
We ran a lot of class V blind with good instructions from Taylor, and
soon enough arrived at zero to sixty, the most famous rapid of the run
where he told us to scout while he probed away. This is a great drop,
but not as large as I had mentally pictured it to be, as it's not the
drop named "0-60" in the Doc's Proplugs ad.
Shon Bollock running 0-60 from an upstream view.
The major hazard in zero to sixty is a cave on the right, although at
lower flows people can paddle out of it. Devin got in it his first run
and hiked back up for a redemption run.
Here is Devin Knight getting redemption with Taylor Robertson in the
And one more view from a different trip with similar flows.
Hospital Rock is a class V classic that generally has a decently long
flow window in the spring. If you don’t have someone in your
group that knows the run, plan on a full day with lots of scouting and
a portage or two where necessary. We took out at Potwisha, but the run
stays high quality class V for a long ways when flows are higher. At
lower flows it’s just a bit too boney to make continuing on
worthwhile. All logistical info can be found in The Best Whitewater in
California, or a AAA map. This one is easy to figure out. You will have
to pay to enter the park, either $20 for a week long pass, $30 for a
year or $80 for an all year all parks pass.