Copyright © 2006, Darin McQuoid. All rights reserved.
Nice Darin. That was a great run. No mention of my stupidity. It is running at almost twice that flow right now. I would be super sweet. Good pictures, great run.
So sunday I ran the north fork smith with some big water and some of the best boaters I've ever seen. When we arrived at the put-in the first words out of the shuttle drivers mouth were "wow... thats high" Followed by someone saying "I wish we had that on video" The gage at the north fork confluence was reading just over 15 ft and the nf seemed to have about 3 times as much volume as the mf at the confluence. This was because most the rain had been to the the north in Oregon. So off we went and in what seemed like just a few minuets of never ending waves we were passing diamond creek. Now we were really moving! As we approached the red rock gorge I got out to take a look at the first class 4 rapid and discovered their was no one rapid. I walked to the bend to just see more huge waves and holes. After a quick chat with a few guys eddied out down stream I decided to sneak right. This was harder than it looked the river was always pulling hard to the center and I really had to fight to get off to the side to get a look at the second big drop I think it was scout. Well I didn't scout good enough, as I went over one of the first waves a huge currler crash over me from the right. I attempted several rolls usualy coming up on top a wave but with nothing to brace on I would just roll right on over to the other side. After making a few good rolls and just getting knocked back down I started to tier and soon found myself swimming toward the ledge wishing I was still in my boat and wondering how I lost my paddle. Every time I would get close to shore the water pushed me from the bank and back to the center. Just before I went over the last drop I managed to swim into a small hole on the right where one of the guys on the shore were able to toss me a rope. It took a solid class 5 pro to catch up to my boat and get it to shore some 4 miles down river. After watching my swim 3 other class 3-4 boaters left there boats and joined me for what would turn out to be as epic of a hike out as it was on the way in. With the river this swollen we where seldom able to walk at the rivers edge. Most of our hiking was high above the river on steep loose boulders and dense brush. And at times we were forced to skirt are way along the cliffs at river level. It was pitch black when we got back to the put-in. What had taken us an hour or so to boat took us over four to walk.
Glad to hear you guys made it out safe...Thanks Darin for the trip down Pat's Creek and the high N. Fork, epic..
Hey is that luke? Anyways funny running into you at the store the other day james. It's great to hear the hike went OK. Im not sure if i told you but I stashed you paddle at one of the last creeks on the river right at the end of the first gorge.Don't know if darin grabbed it on his way down or not. Man what a day ha?Darin, also wanted to say thanks for leading the way down pat's crk. and the North Fork. Good times!Orion
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