Tuesday, June 29, 2004

We survived (barely) the Devil's Postpile of the San Joaquin

Well we made it. We will have a day by day report of what happened with pictures and video up soon, but lets just say that it is without a doubt the hardest river trip (aka river mission) that any of us have ever been apart of.

When Royal Robbins paddled the river in 1982 he reported 64 portages, lets just say he was real close on those stats. The water was high for our trip and we kept thinking it was gonna be the end of us. At the end of the trip the level only forced us to walk 4 rapids (several of which Tommy ran, of course). But the continual and enormous piles of boulder/sieves forced us to walk an uncountable number of rapids.

The river went COMPLETELY under rock (no sign of flow on the surface) at least 4 times.

If any of you know much about the Devil's Postpile, you will recall tales of the "Crucible Gorge". An unscoutable, unportagable section with the river left wall shooting straight up out of the river to the top of the balloon Dome summit, thousands of feet above the river. The river right wall does an equally impressive number and forms a ridge of domes which essentially rules out any exit from the gorge, but more on that later.

This river is the finest fishing I've ever seen. We paddled a full 8 hours everyday and I still managed to catch 72 trout, some in the "Trophy" category.

Fred at the Putin
photo by Nikki Kelly

looking into the crucible
photo by Nikki Kelly

big trouble
photo by Nikki Kelly

the upper river


At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The day3 clip is wrong today (10/10/2004)
It shows the Stikine instead.


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