Tuesday, July 15, 2008

South Branch of the Middle Fork of the Feather

The South Branch is hands down one of the best 1-day runs I have ever done. I would say it's a knotch up in quality to Tatlow Creek or maybe it's California's Tatlow Creek. Different character and geology then Tatlow, but super high quality steep creeking that leaves an ear to ear grin for the whole next week.

Anyways, this has been a very well documented stretch of river this year so I won't bore you with details. I took a few pics and Darin McQuoid did an excellent write up on the run.

Matt Thomas enjoying some air time

Photo by Darin McQuoid

The first time I did this run I pretty much got routed off every drop with only verbal beta except for a high pressure twenty footer above a portage and the last big one. So the beta I got on the drop shown above was go left and follow me. So I peeled out of the eddy onto a 30 degree slide then the next thing I know I'm completely airborne dropping about 20 feet. Wasn't expecting that at all!

Devin Knight on the same drop as above.

There's a portage around about 150 foot water-fall. The portage itself is pretty easy, but putting back in is a little less than ideal. The river pounds into a vertical wall less than 50 feet from the base of the falls. So when you seal launch back in you're sitting right next to the curtain and you have decide do I go for the micro eddy on the right then try and ferry between the boil and the wall...OR do I just launch directly into the curtain and hope it shoots me out the other side?

Darin McQuoid about to do the bold and zesty portage line

Unfortunately you can't see the wall from this picture, but it is literally right out of the frame. The curtain option goes slick and is kind of fun in a way. It's a little intimidating sitting there because the sound is deafening and you're constantly getting sprayed from the curtain. It definitely gets you attention.

Directly after the portage is a fun little slide then it's the final biggie, which needs no description just take a look at the pics.

Ryan Knight taking the plunge

Darin McQuoid probing the final biggie

Darin doesn't get a lot of pictures taken of him because he's pretty committed to taking photos you usaully probes the drop and then sets up to take some pretty sick pictures. If you haven't checked out his site you should do so at Jefferson State Creeking.

I've said it before and I'll say it again the best thing about Southern Oregon is that it's close to California whitewater!!

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