Trip Reports

Boat Reviews

Articles & Tutorials

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:

South Silver
After a brief stop to play on the Tiger Creek run of the North Fork Mokelumne (see our report here), we headed into the South American drainage to hit some bedrock on the legendary South Silver. After driving around 4x4 roads looking for the put-in, we were pleased to round a bend and see the colorful beacon of cars covered in boat plastic. There were plenty of paddlers camped at the put-in, and after not seeing our friends who we had heard would be there, we hooked up with some new friends from the campsite for a run.

The run starts with Autobahn - a very long and very fun slide that looks really intimidating but is good to go - really. It's also really fast!

Here's the middle third of Autobahn.

After Autobahn there are a couple of junky rapids that can be run or portaged, then the slides really get going for the meat of the run.

Our new friend Mike in a big triple slide - he had a clean line and didn't get caught in the "towback" at the bottom.

The next drop is Boof-Boof-Slide.

Corey showing some really nice balance between the boofs.

After Boof-Boof-Slide there is one more junky slide before you hit the main attraction - the Teacups into Skyscraper into Off-Ramp. The section is too immense to properly get into a photo, but here is a shot of the teacups and Skyscraper.

A serious gradient storm.

There were tons of paddlers there firing up the Teacups - here are some shots of our group.

Corey on the third teacup.

Brian on the 4th teacup.

After a thorough scout and much deliberation about the water level (most locals saying high end of medium - meaning a juicy hole at the bottom of Skyscraper) Andria decided that she would have a go at the big one. Thanks to Brian, Mike, and Corey for watching her back while Leland took photos high on the other side of the river.

Andria falling down the Skyscraper on a nice line.

After a lonely beating in teacup number 2 when he went back to get his boat, Leland caught up with the rest of the crew at the bottom of the Off-Ramp for the big portage (it is California, after all...). I was a little wary of running the Skyscraper right after getting a beat-down, but my line worked out ok (I got over the hole).

Corey working the ropes on the portage.

Below the portage there are several more good slides and drops leading to the final big one - Plastic Surgery. Our buddy Jim finally caught up to us here and we got a nice photo of him.

Jim running Plastic Surgery.

Now we're catching up on our work and plotting our paddling plans for the coming weeks. Bald Rock Canyon on the Middle Feather is at a nice level - hopefully we'll get some more goods before California snowmelt runs out.