California Trip Report '07
Summer '07 is game-time for researching the River Gypsies' Guide - our first stop is California to check out some Sierra classics. Here's the report:
Bald Rock and Playboating
We got our shuttle run and put on the river around noon, having heard that it would take us about 6 hours on the water. We were pretty relaxed about the adventure at this point, thinking we'd have plenty of time to scout our way through the canyon. After a couple of miles of building boogie, we dropped into the granite zone.
After a couple of class IV and one class V drop, the first major obstacle of Bald Rock is the portage at Atom Bomb Falls. Atom Bomb is a giant pile of boulders in the bottom of the canyon, with huge falls dropping a total of 40 or so feet over drops and into sieves. It is not runable. The portage requires walking over a boulder pile on the right, then making a hairy ferry just above where the river pours over about a 20 foot drop into a bunch of sieves. The ferry is not super hard, but it is a bit nerve wracking.
Having heard that this was the crux of the run, we were releaved to have gotten it behind us. We spent a while eating lunch and exploring the caves under some of the giant boulders that make up Atom Bomb Falls. At high water these would be enormous sieves with a huge volume of water flowing through them.
Below here are the biggest named rapids that we had heard of on the run. The first is Curtain Falls - a clean bedrock drop of about 25 feet.