Thursday, November 1, 2012

EF Rock Creek: The Rock

all photos by Emile Elliot unless otherwise marked.

  This run has a rave review on Oregonkayaking and I had heard promising things from others who had tried to run the creek.  We had some water this weekend and decided to finally see "The Rock" for ourselves.  Access is pretty easy following the description on Oregonkayaking, the only tricky part for us was locating the take out trail, but Alex saved us from getting skunked (for now) by spotting it on our way out.  We put in at the bridge and dealt with a handful of log portages and a hornets nest that found Alex's neck and Nate's hip.  Alex hiked out at this point, a few more portages later Nate joined him.  Emile and I got to the falls and found a really clean, fun looking drop with some sketchy logs in the outflow.  We decided to wait for the logs to evacuate the pool before returning and running this drop.  We hiked to the road to communicate with Nate and Alex and decided to continue on regardless of the likelihood of a torture fest.  We portaged two parts of Sluice box due to wood, but the parts we ran were fun.

 The sequence of myself running the bottom of Sluice Box. 

 The bedrock drops we ran that lacked wood were fun in a unique kind of way.  They were very low consequence that were run right down the middle.  Just sort of paddle to the top and then enjoy!  Unfortunately, most of the drops had wood and there were times I felt we were just walking along the creek until we saw a drop we could run, running it, then resuming our never-ending trudge along the bank.  By the time we got to Damage Inc we were more than over the creek, but there was still lots of work to be done so we did it.  It was nice to see the take out.

The altered, then altered again Damage Inc.           

 Getting back in below.

This run would be totally worth doing if it lacked wood like back when the Oregonkayaking team was running it, I really liked the style of the drops.  Unfortunately it is unlikely this run will ever return to form without some help.  I wouldn't be surprised if there were over 100 pieces of wood in the stream contributing to a portage with many more on the banks waiting their turn.  As is, the park and huck of the falls is likely all that is left of a past gem.

Ghris Gabrielli launches big off Nutcracker!
photo EJ Etherington


The gauge mentioned on Oregonkayaking has been discontinued.  Thomas is close by though so here is the flows on Thomas on days the EF Rock Creek has been run. Shooting for 1,000 cfs or more in Thomas Creek seems to be a good bet.

 This is the flow we had, on October 28, 2012. I'd go back again at the same level.

These are the flows OregonKayaking had.

Compare below the same days on Rock Creek (from the OK trip report) and Thomas gauges.

The Shafer creek Near Lacomb gauge is also a gauge on note.  It's a little further away, but the size of the stream is similar to EF Rock and has same elevation, even the same drainage shape.  50-100 cfs is probably the medium range to shoot for on that gauge.  The OK guys ran it at 100 cfs dropping to 50 cfs on that gauge and flows were good, then again at 70-60 and had good flows.  We had 90-60 cfs and it was in.



Salmon In The City said...

Hey Jacob:
If you want to paddle some West Slope of the Sierra rivers this spring, you have a place to stay in Grass Valley. Have a great winter.
John & Lowfill from Bluesky.

Jacob said...

Thanks John!