Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wiki # 11: Pure Joy Gorge on Quartzville

I am writing about this one as documentation that it has been run.  Its not worth the effort for the typical boater.  I took out at the bridge upstream of the Pure Hate Gorge and put in at a spur road a couple miles upstream of that.  I didn't want to miss the ledge I had seen from google satellite imagery and ended up suffering through some devils club and log portaging before the ten foot ledge which was a fun boof into a pool.  Below here was about a mile of class III-IV boulder gardens with wood.

First ledge

There is a quarter mile long gorge that was the main event.  The walls soared overhead and my initial attempt to scout on the left was fruitless.  I relocated to river right and spent the next hour meticulously scouting the gorge, groveling up and down cliff walls, traversing animal paths, and wading through the stream.  The gorge was all good to go and classy aside from 3 logs which required attention.

 The first was in a narrow rapid that I portaged on the right (not without struggle), just below here was a fun and unique 10' broken ledge/slide.  This needed to be run in control as the outlet of this ran into a small rapid with a log which needed to be portaged.  Luckily the features lined up below the ledge/slide for me to be able to broach myself between a rock and the wall and exit onto the boulder bar in the center of the river.  From this point I was able to walk across the log to shore.

The next move was to get in my boat, paddle around the corner and boof over an exposed rock onto shore, from here I carried down to a pinch where two more logs blocked downstream progress.  These were also located in such a way I could utilize them in the portage, doing an airplane seal launch into a small, but boxed in hole off of one of the logs.

There was one more class III to exit the gorge and a log across flat water I had missed during my scout many feet above.  I was able to do an iguana move over the log and I was home free!  Below here were two more log portages and a quarter mile of class III slides leading to the take out bridge.  I jogged the shuttle and headed home, glad to have seen a new section of river with a neat gorge.

If seeing the gorge calls to you, I ran this when Upper Quartzville was at a good medium flow, and this section felt low but safe.  I would suggest shooting for 3000 cfs on the Quartzville gauge (for a winter run).

The name is a play on the Iceland/Greenland conundrum.  We found the Pure Hate Gorge downstream to be totally fun and an enjoyable place (at the right flow) while this Pure Joy Gorge is less than stellar.

Click on photo to enlarge


No comments: