Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Devil's Postpile Day 2

Day Two of the Devil’s Postpile

We awoke at what we now know as the spot where Clay Wright pinned his boat and hiked out. We began our descent into the first deep gorge. After running several slides, one over 300 feet long but low angle, we came upon a tight corner with a tricky rapid with a big hole at the bottom. Tommy ran down the meat and the rest of us chose to portage. After dropping back in to the gorge we ran three drops, the last an excellent 15-foot falls/slide.

John Grace

photo by Nikki Kelly

After paddling through this gorge we began to enter the upper crack in the earth gorge, where the river cuts through the high Sierra.

Using the safety link method we began to drop deeper and deeper into the gorge. With only six people we had a maximum of six drops of safety. Meaning that we could only exit the vertical walled gorge by ascending the river upstream, with each paddler providing the anchor point for the next paddlers down to exit. We ran out of safety line 3 drops before the end of the gorge. Feeling severely claustrophobic, Tommy and myself began a short mad bombing session, delivering us to the brink of a large falls. After setting up an anchor in the wall to “dock” our boats, I poked my head over edge and to my delight saw the ultra-classic “boof-o-matic falls”, a 20 some-odd foot slide into a ten-foot kicker.

photo by Nikki Kelly

After the falls was a gorge with 3 huge poor over holes. After a bit of contemplation by our scout Toby, we decided to portage the lower gorge on the river left. A short session of rope work later we were at the base of the gorge and realized that the drops would have gone. Next time.

We had lunch right above Fish Creek. It was here that I tested out the Blue Fox “Vibramax” 1/16 oz spinner on the local trout. 15 casts later I had hooked landed and released 15 trout, from 6 to 12 inches long. The finest trout-fishing spinner ever invented. Hands down.

After fish Creek the river flow doubled and we were definitely floating on the ‘juice”. Some of the best big water rapids were run near the end of Day two.

We made camp at “Pine Flat” where we ran across two rattlesnakes in our camp.

“Age 16-34, Male, between the forefinger and elbow.”

Messing with the rattler.

photo by Nikki Kelly

Watch Video from Day 1 in widescreen format

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Watch video from Day 1 normal aspect

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Watch Video from Day 2

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At 4:00 PM, Anonymous George said...

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