doesn’t get much better than the morning of our third day on
the Middle Kings. Perfect blue-bird California sky, and one gigantic
slide to get the heart going.
Kelly gets a big skip.
slides continued for a short while, here Eric Seymour enjoys the
slides and dramatic views.
mini gorge guards the exit of the slides, and
sets the tone for the
Jason Stingle heads into the gorge above the twenty footer.
The first leads through several ledge holes to a twenty
footer that has seen plenty of media exposure. This waterfall is
incredibly clean, but just downstream is a portage, so it’s
not quite as mellow as I had always imagined it.
higher flows the gorge above the twenty footer can be a little
Edgeworth shows how the falls is run.
Kelton runs a true gem on the Middle Kings.
We made quick work of the steep climb to the
trail, and most of us
hiked about half a mile while Rolf and Ben pushed through at river
level. Walking on the trail is actually faster than dealing at river
level, but Ben said the effort was worth it.
Tim Kelton on the trail.
At river level it's a whole different story for the Middle Kings. This
is the only section of river that's locked into a gorge with must run
Just below the pinch portage.
Jared Johnson runs Raw Dog Falls.
Pat about to enter the mandatory section.
Mandatory gorge of the Milddle Kings.
Perhaps the most dubious of the section.
Corey Boux exiting the last rapid of the Mandatory Gorge.
As the Kings exits the gorge, it turns into a good section
of nonstop class III before emptying into Simpson Meadow. After a brief
respite in Simpson Meadow, the river gets
steep and the rapids come one after another for several miles. We
section the “Middle Four” in relation to the more
infamous “Bottom Nine.” Rapids in the
“Middle Four” aren’t as big as the Bottom
Nine, but they are considerably more manky. We had hopes of making it
to Tehipite Valley, but due to consecutive late starts were behind
schedule and camped out in the midst of the Four. As someone said
“all boulder gardens look the same”, and we were
making time with aggressive boat scouting, so no photographs.