Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kidder Creek and the Scott River

I ventured out to Etna (Northern Cali) with the idea of doing a couple of runs around the area. PK had mentioned that the Scott River was a great trip out at a good flow. Rush suggested doing Kidder Creek as well. Sounded like a good day out, two new runs in a day. 

Kidder Creek was the first on the list. It's a small creek that flows into the Scott River . To get to the put-in you take a road towards the mountains, between Etna and Fort Jones. The road takes you next to the river most of the way. On the drive up I was surprised at how small the run was, not a lot of volume in a very small gorge. There was maybe 200 cfs at the put in, maybe less. It has a couple of very cool rapids and it also had a little bit of braided river bed. Jess and I joined Zak, Rush and Ben for this run. Rush was the only one in the group who had done this run.

The first part of the run has lots of small, tight drops with some good boofs in a tight little canyon. Around the halfway point of the run we came to a tree that crossed the river. It had a sneak chute on the right under the tree, and a smashed up jet boat on the left. The jet boat was a crazy thing to see on this run because the river has some reasonable gradient in places, is narrow in lots of spots and had only just enough water for our kayaks.

Jess and I on the first rapid

Jess lining up a boof

Nearing the end of the first rapid

The tight exit of the first rapid

Lots of cool chutes


Looking at the jet boat from upstream

And looking back up at the jet boat

Jess almost getting pulled back by a sticky hole

From here Zak, Jess and myself drove towards the Scott river to do a 20 mile section. The style of this run was good but the quality of the water was a down side. The water was very murky - this is mostly from local agricultural run off. I prefer pristine water ways that you can drink. The whitewater was more of a river feel with lots of big holes and pour overs. 

At the take-out we were met by an angry local. We were about to take out on his land, which he wasn't at all happy about. As soon as we started talking to him he chilled out a lot - this way mainly due to the fact that none of us were from America and he had been watching the news story about the stranded Emperor penguin in New Zealand which he was eager to talk about. 

Rock rail slide on the Scott

Jess leading the way

One of the many big holes

Lining up another hole

Zak getting air

And yet another big hole

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