Thursday, May 3, 2012

Old Man McCoy

With a busy work week and an impending trip to California, I don't have the time to write up a full post, but I will say this:

McCoy Creek is cleaner than it has been in years!

Our crew of four put on the creek Saturday morning with trepidation. The Cispus was hovering right around 3100cfs, which would make McCoy higher than we had heard of people running it, and the last group who attempted the creek reported over 30 wood portages. Arriving at the put-in and seeing the creek wasn't in flood, we did a quick pow-wow and decided to to give er a go. We noted that there were no log portages in sight, a positive sign which strongly influenced our decision to put-on.

All in all, the creek was a blast. Plenty of big drops and unique rapids to keep you busy. We portaged logs 5 times on McCoy and Yellowjacket combined and none of the portages ruined rapids.

The flow turned out to be a double edged sword. The majority of the creek benefited from the extra water; however, Chinook Falls was too big for our taste. We opted to do an extended portage on river left that required a short rappel, but wasn't too taxing. Chinook, with the proper level, looks to be one of the best pieces of whitewater I've ever seen.

We ended up leaving our boats below the 25 foot vertical falls (just above the portage) and hiking off the creek when a member of our crew dislocated his shoulder. 3 of us returned the following day to retrieve our boats and finish the creek. Unfortunately, the one boat remains in the canyon. I carried the Jefe through a majority of the portage and anchored it to a tree just above the ledge that leads back down to creek level below the falls. For the time being, it serves as great marker to better signal the correct portage route.

I did shoot some video, which I'm hoping I can throw up here in the coming weeks.

Note: The very first rapid you hit after putting on is deceptive. It occurs at the first right bend in the creek bed. Two members of our group flushed into a nasty crack in the center of the river that isn't visible from above. Both disappeared for a good second or two and emerged upside down in the manky run out before rolling up. Run this drop on the far right to avoid a similar fate.


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