well yesterday paddled the Giant Gap section of the North Fork of the American, its quite a lengthy name really isn't it? 16miles of Class 4 & 5, was awesome, one of the deepest canyons in California and really really beautiful with wicked rapids. Had a 2.5mile walk in which was all downhill through poison oak and swarms of mosquitoes.
Was charging there were 10 of us, 2 kayaks and 3 rafts, so myself and another guide Christo were paddling and then everyone else was in rafts, they were all guides from here and there, first day of their new Class 5 of the week program. Not that its really a program they just decided that they should do at least one solid class 5 run per week for summer, and this was the first.
So I styled all the rapids, portaged one called locomotive, a massive river wide hole with two possibilities for lines hard right & left, but the boil behind the hole was surging between flat and sloping about 15 degrees back in to the meat. I didnt like this thought so went with the portage, one raft ran it. All clean and continued on down, only scouted one rapid for the day everything else we read & ran.
Only carnage for the day was in the final rapid, I was in front, did the top section, went to catch an eddy mid stream, washed out the back and was forced to go right (normal being left apparently). I dropped into a big juicy hole, pulled through allright then flipped on a seamline. Cracked my paddle against my head and cut about 2cm gash just above my eyelid. Its all good though, didnt even realise it was cut until i looked in the mirror, the water washed all the blood away and it just felt like I'd taken a hit.
16miles, Class 4-5, 2.5mile walk in, avg fpm 55, max fpm 125, flow about 1600cfs, duration 8 hours on water (damn rafts)
Paddled with Christo from Whitewater Connections, and guides from Voyages Whitewater