Middle Middle 04/27/07 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paula   
Saturday, 28 April 2007 20:16

Nasty Drop after house rocks1870 cfs is pushy for this narrow river.   The Middle Middle Snow is a class III with one class IV drop.  My reading is that at 1800cfs some of the class III are into the class III+ range.  There are monster holes!

Our group consisted of Doug (our guide and amazing kayaker), the usual mugs, Katheryn, Shannon and Paula as well as Debra, Arnest and Dave.

It starts out relatively mild with a easy warm up and intesifying boulder garden.  Lots of class II boulder gardens and plenty of opportunity to slow things down as we make our way down the river.  A frame is the first big drop and is a powerful river left wave train after you bang over some rocks.  Hard to avoid the small holes and once you are in the major jet your paddleing like hell to power through the wave train and eddy out on river right.  there is a great play wave for those especially gifted (not me!)

More boulder gardens in the class III range and lots of pour overs that you must avoid.  This is a real challenge as reading the river becomes much more important.  With the speed of the water, watching probes just won't cut it.

Then, along comes house rocks.  This is one scary MF.  First part is a left right move to an eddy above the biggest house rock.  The water is channeled though this rapid directly into the house rock.  You can see the huge buildup of water in front of the rock and clearly a nasty hole on its river left side.  Below our eddy  and to the right  is agiant pour over with little space between is bus sized hole and the water pileing up in front of house rock.  The move is into the jet trying to clip the base of the pour over hole to get a couple of good strokes in, straighten out and ride the wave train to and eddy out below house rock.  Unbelieveable, we all make it through (Shannon manages to get tossed by a wave and roll up in time to recover and finish the drop.

Exiting house rock is another class III drop (oh, did I mention that house rock was a damd class IV, what was I thinking....) with several pour overs alternately lined up so as to force you to make your kayak move and I mean move.  The last move I made was not quite enough and I flipped on an edge of a hole.  Tried twice to get up and wet exited.  I wasn't alone,  Katheryn and Denise also swam here.  Team carnage.

About now I'm pretty tired.  I know there is more to come and I'm forcing my body to move baby move.

The next class III drop is un named.  I'm following a probe and get twisted up in an eddy.  Exit before I've really cased out a line and end up falling into a small hole which tosses me.  I'm on river left and I know there is big rock splitting the current.   Left side into the bank and unknown hazards.  Right side back into the river.  I pop out just as I come up against the rock and feel the current pulling me to the bank.  The bank is clear so I self rescue with all my gear.  Everyone else has made it down this rapid with Katheryn eddied out half way between.

I get myself put back together, shake of the willies, and look at my options for finding my way down.  I spy a sneak route down to Katheryn (some fast shoots with necessary moves).  Once down to Katheryn's eddie we look at the rest of the drop.  There is a giant boulder in the middle of the river up stream from us providing a good eddy jump before peering at pour overs and holes below us and a giant wave train river right of that.  The far right looks like the wave train has less stoppers.  Katheryn goes for it.  Plows into the jet, gets swung around quick and heads straight for the stoppers.  Seconds later I see the bottom of her boat.   My turn.  Doug is waving at me to paddle paddle paddle.  I decide to power into the jet with a ferry angle rather then a fast peel out hoping I can get further over to river right without getting sucked into a wave hole.  I let the bow swing around and line up for the wave train and paddle like hell.  Some how (I'm sure not by skill) I power through the wave train and get into smoother water to eddy out.  I've got to say,  after the little swim at the top of this rapid, I was totally surprised I pulled that move off.

The river widens up and the rapids turn into boulder gardens with smaller holes.  Just before the power cables there is a drop that has river wide holes.  I could not find a clean line but could see that the holes were not huge and managed to bang through them.

That was my first experience with Middle Middle.  Shannon is anxious to go back and do this one again.  I'm thinking I'd like to do it at like 1200!  when there is actually a space to move above house rocks!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 August 2009 21:59