Friday, March 23, 2007

Copper Creek

Copper Creek

Last Winter we had our first trip to Copper creek. This was Nick and my first river with tough class 4. The trip went well and access is easy enough. We looked down stream and wondered how we were going to get down if the river spread out at all. With 1100 cfs in the EF Lewis it turned out to be an optimal first time flow. We made it down the first section of class 2-3 rapids to Triple Delight without incedent. The falls consists of three ledges, the first a two footer into a seven footer, then only about 20 yards downstream it drops over a clean 18'. The 7 foot drop is definately the crux and the approach is made somewhat difficult by a boil after the first drop that funnels a boater into the meat of the ledge. The plan was to drive left after the first drop and boof off the left side of the ledge. This worked perfectly for my dad.
Nick and my dad scouting the begginging of Triple Delight
Nick went left and got pushed right by the boil. He gutted the meat of the hole and overotated upon landing. I went next and hit the left bank between the drops. I recovered enough to give a halfhearted boof over the ledge which is all that is required if you are in the right spot.
Nicks first run
After my mostly successful run Nick decided to try and redeem himself with much the same results, this time finishing with a huge ender where he was sucked from his IK.
Nick attempts to redeem himself
We decided to run the left side of the falls which is an autoboof that me and my dad both botched and ended up turning sideways midair, but no flips. Nick did redeem himself here with the perfect line and keeping his head dry.The right side is run often but from the videos looks like it pushes you left onto the ledge forming the falls before dropping over. It also had a large branch in the landing making it unrunnable that day.
Myself resurfacing below Triple Delight.
My dad below the lip of the falls After this were a few fun ledge drops including Piton and the Flume. Niether was class 4 at this level, but still very fun.

Nick drops into the Flume

My dad exiting the Flume
After some more class 3 we arrived at final five. This is the signature drop on Copper creek and is a very fun rapid. It was the toughest thing Nick or I had ever run before so we scouted the second and third drops for ahwile. We had seen plenty of video of this canyon so we had a pretty good idea of what we were going to do. My dad went first and ran the first three drops perfectly. Then Nick and I headed to the top for our run. We cleaned the top drop and said a few words before the next two drops which include a 5' punchbowl and an 8' slide into a headwall. Nick dropped over and got a HUGE tailstand, he should have gone over but incredibly landed it. It would have been a very bad thing to swim here because of the headwall drop. I then came down and shot to the right with a boof then dropped down the slide with no problems. Once we were below these drops we realized we couldn't scout the last double drop from where we were. We had decided not to do it earlier because of private propery issues and were hoping to get a peek from in the canyon. Nope. I already knew how I was going to run it, but my dad insisted on going first for safety reasons. I explained that you just aim left over the top drop and boof off the left of the next ledge. He didn't go left... I came down next and did excactly what I wanted then Nick came down a little closer to the hole on the right. He paddled out just fine though. It was then that I realized my dad was a little wet. He ended going to far right where the hole is backed up by the right wall. He ended up swimming and getting recycled by the hole for about 15 seconds. After he felt a little better we headed downstream.
The exit to Final Five CanyonWe then drifted to The EF Lewis and enjoyed almost continuous class three to Horseshoe falls. We all dropped this easily down the center chute and made good time to the takeout.

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