Thursday, November 01, 2007

South Fork American Silver Creek Run

On October 20th, W.E.T. River Trips whitewater guides rallied up for the pure air of the high Sierra's and the unique opportunity to run the Silver Creek: one of the tributaries to the South Fork American that flows from Ice House Reservior. PG & E (Pacific Gas & Electric) is providing test flows of 500 cfs for 10 days and we hit it!

Country Mike of Gold River, Saul of Newport Beach, Jason of Marin, Nate of Lake Tahoe, Andrew of Lotus, Wolf & Little Alex of Auburn, Justin and his brother from Grass Valley, Ryan Mac of Lotus/Rio Vista, Alex H. of Berkeley, and Big Poppa from Sactown got together for our collective first-ever run on the elusive (10 boatable days in 2 years) Silver Creek flowing out of Ice House Reservoir and eventually contributing to the South Fork of the American.

We started out with a leisurely load and a caravan to breakfast in Placerville as we then traveled to Ice House where we met Nate and a friend of his from Kirkwood. We launched 3 rafts and three kayaks at the base of the Ice House dam where 500 cfs blasted 75 yards into the canyon at the lip of a class 4 rapid... nice start. The day was incredible with beautiful fall colors, old growth trees that were saved from the massive Ice House fire 20 years ago and a non-stop read-and-run day of whitewater.

The day included some big whitewater fun with 4 portages around log jams and Country Mike wrapping on a log jam (saved by Nate who literally walked on water and when called on his miracle... he calmly responded that he is a Jewish carpenter... makes sense - ha!).

The 11 mile run ranged from fast flats, steep creeking, limbo moves under massive old-growth logs, and the bonus surroundings of high Sierra geology, and forestation that glowed in oranges, yellows, reds, and every conceivable shade of green.

Beautiful, precious day... just cold as F'n Hell... Bonus: we were met at the takeout by Bird and Heffe and we handed off a raft so that they could make the run on Sunday (they had just been hired at the Sierra Ski Ranch job fair... lift tickets, anyone?). Also... mad props to the kayakers that built the fire at take-out... the warm was another bonus....

Unless something else pops up, our 2007 season started the first week of February on the Smith River and finished on the Silver Creek in October... ten months and 11 rivers over countless days and miles in three States... nice, nice, very nice!

End of 2007 Season

A Big Poppa Post

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