Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Classic Upper Cherry Creek

After our taster on the West Cherry Creek, it was only a matter of time, and water levels dropping before we would hit the fabled Upper Cherry. Much to Chris’s relief, water levels remained high until he and Andy departed, and it was a reduced team of Si, Kev, and Young Max who set out. Kev had paddled the river before, and had warned that the 12 mile hike in was probably the most grueling thing he had ever done. He wasn’t wrong.

The night before, a cold front moved in, so we packed warm. Drysuits, Down jackets etc, all added to the weight that had to be lugged along. And its mostly uphill….. Oh, it also started snowing on the way. We had planned to split the hike in half, but due to Max’s work commitments we decided to do it all in a day.

Much huffing and puffing, and back strain later, we finally reached the river. The skies cleared, and we collapsed for the night. (A very cold night). At camp, we were visted by cute fluffy Marmots... They looked good enough to eat after that hike.....
By morning, skies were blue, and river levels seemed low. We met up with Josh and Matias at the put in, and headed out onto the river. The first couple of miles of slides were pretty scrapey, but soon the river gorged up and we were into classic granite drops and slots.

Mid Afternoon we took out and inspected the Cherry Bomb gorges. And miraculously they all looked good. After all the LVM pre-inspection video watching, it actually looked paddleable! Both Kev and Josh had been here before, but both had passed on the gorges due to levels. This time though, things were different and very manageable. (But still very scarey!)

Cherry Bomb Falls (from above)

Runout from Cherry Bomb Falls

An hour later we were at Camp, having all successfully notched our first runs of Upper Cherry Gorge, and Cherry Bomb gorge. The teacup section afterwards was a relaxing warm down in comparison. We were all relieved to have paddled it that evening rather than leaving it to the morning….

Max (intentional Wavewheel, or something) - teacups above camp

The next day, runs of the Waterfall, double pothole, and the second set of teacups went smoothly, despite some backwards double pothole runs.

After these gorged sections, the river spread out some, and alternated between being scrapey, and gorged up. That was the price to pay for the right levels for Cherry Bomb….

After the West Cherry Confluence, we paddled the Red Gorge, and the runout rapids. Only incidents were me breaking a paddle, and Matias spending a short time in a cave……

A short trip across the lake, and we were done…..The cold weather had made for an interesting hike, but had dropped levels perfectly to allow a full run of Upper Cherry gorges. Perhaps we could have done with a little more water for some of the other bits, but I wouldn’t have wanted too much more for a first run of Cherry Bomb Gorge.

A day later, my back still hurts from the hike in……

Yosemite Wilderness

The temps dropped and the flurry of snow flakes I (Cheryl) decided not to hike Cherry Creek and instead go off on my own adventure.

My first hike was in to the back wilderness of Yosemite to Lake Eleanor. A short 5 mile round hike, I didn't meet a single person except a ranger hiking into his post in Miguel medows. The unkempt trail meant hoardes of beautiful flowers and wildlife, unlike the animals in the main Yosmite park they run away on my appraoch.

Day two I went to Hetchy hetch Reservoir in Yosemite a complete contrast to the day before lots of tourists all doing the same hike to Wapama falls. Hetchy Hetch is breathtakingly beautiful. The water is aquamarine blue and clear as glass.

More Pictures available on our Webshots Page... Use the Our Pictures link to the right of the page to take you to the main page.

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