With low water
on the North end of the island we started doing a bit of driving down
the west coast to see what we could find. Traveling into the night
found us on the beach by the Sea of Japan.
I intentionally left the dust marks in here, a nice reminder that even
with sensor cleaning in the camera, it's still necessary to clean the
sensor manually on a regular basis.
The beach itself wasn't legal to camp on, so we drove a bit more until
we found a flat spot and called it a night.
In the am we
woke to drive a bit
more and after an hour or two were at a trailhead. The park and huck
looked good in the book, but was just a bit too low to be run
Skunked by low flows we
decided we were done with the far Northern end of the island for our
trip and returned to Minikami where we'd meet up with Lincoln Taylor,
an Australian turned Japan local. Lincoln had something in the books
a run he'd done at low water with a waterfall hidden in a gorge.
Looking at the put-in falls Lincoln said flows were about double what
he'd done the run at before, and we knew the day would be full on.
There was hope that the put-in falls would go, but it fell about thirty
feet onto rock before plunging off the bottom tier.
The river looked truly glorious during the short hike in.
Lincoln had mentioned a steep put in. This is what happens when you
kayak with people who rock climb & or canyoneer: kayakers using
Cody Howard approaches river level.
With the team assembled
level we wasted no time putting on, as we had not gotten an alpine
start. Soon enough we were in the goods, a series of bedrock slides and
falls, most dropping ten to fifteen feet. Kind of like a Japanese South Branch Feather.
Cody boofs a nice double set.
Shon gets into a nice double ledge hole drop that had serious swimming
Yoshiro Takahashi boofs
into a double
Shon exits the same.
We'd been taking our time down the river and were perhaps halfway
through as the sun dropped over the ridge. It was a deep canyon, so it
wasn't too late in the day but the pressure was on.
Ryan Knight on the same.
Nikon D700, Nikkor 70-300VR @ 122mm 1/1000 f/5.6 ISO 200
A little boogie water led to a large horizon. Cody scouts.
Things were looking a bit
bleak. A forty foot falls landing in a box canyon. Good to go minus the
severely undercut wall on the right. Most of the river was flowing into
the wall, which looked terminal. A lot of deliberation and we decided
that we'd run the falls on the far left. Boofing. Sore back potential.
Ryan Knight focused and coming in strong.
The undercut on the right is far worse than it looks in the image.
the canyon slipping into
full shadow we pushed hard to exit the gorge. One portage held us up
for longer than expected due to high flows, and we barely made it out
before dark, happy to have completed our first serious mission in Japan.