Tuesday, June 21, 2011

South Branch Middle Feather

After Deer Creek, we all went our separate ways. However, Nemo (Toni's Toyota Tercel) got a flat tyre and not having a jack onboard, meant a quick phone call for Hank (our truck) to come to the rescue and help out. While parked next to the freeway, we came up with the plan of going into the South Branch of the Middle Fork of the Feather. 


After some solid night-time 4WD action and camping out at a forestry junction (thanks TomTom - you need updating and a few navigation lessons) we rocked up to the put-in. There was another team there about to put on, which is always a good sign. The flow was on the high side of medium. 
Only Ryan had been in here before (and with Evan Garcia leading him down) so his memory of the run wasn't very helpful. With a bunch of scouting we made it safely down the run.

Me on one of the early drops

Toni at the end of a gorge, working on her rescue pose

Jess, getting her nose up

Me trying to straighten up

Looking back at the goods.

Pete, stomping it

The run was steeper than I thought it was going to be and I don't do so well with heights. The heights affected my mind - I didn't feel solid at all. I would love to go back in there now that I know what the lines are and have an idea of what I am getting myself into.  

Me launching 

Toni, firing it off a double drop

Ryan, flying

Me on the double drop, after spending a bit of time in a corner pocket 

Deer Creek

We rallied to Deer Creek, as all other options were going big. The idea of doing a multiday trip was well received by the crew. With a quick phone call our team went from 5 to 8. We met at the take-out with a flow of 750 cfs. An alternative put-in was easily found (thanks to Andy Round). From there we made good time, even overtaking a group within the first 30 minutes (that had put on an hour before us). 

The run had a lot of read and run Class 4, not too much that was harder than that. A couple of rapids stacked up and had some good boofs. The style of the run is volcanic - big boulders make up the rapids.
A few rapids were continuous but these were mostly found in the first half. The second half, after our camp, started really well and ended with manky Class 1, willow-infested, low-volume grovelling. Our team had 2 swims, both of which were pins. This was due to the mid-stream boulder rapids. If given the chance to go back it would take a good crew, more whisky and 1000 cfs to get me onboard. 

Sorting out gear at the put-in

Jess doing a night time repair

Ryan learning the hard way how to back flip

Pete showing how it's done

Drying gear at the take-out

Pete back flipping