Last year I didn't get to paddle in california for the first time in a few years so I was very excited to get to go out twice this season, in late april and in june.
The trip in april was supposed to be a fun warm up for the season but when we got there all that was running was the south merced and dinkey creek. My durango nurse lifestyle coach Eric Parker and I drove out from colorado to meet the boys flying in. The South Merced was a great warm up with Rolf and I knowing the run pretty well and bombing hard to get in the groove. Our next stop was Dinkey creek, we got a late start on the day and yet again Rolf and I were leading a bombs away day, everyone had great lines and we had an amazing night under a full moon next to a huge slide. The following day everyone was on fire, we were running every rapid with great lines. The last big drop is Nicky Kelly's slide, named after an amazing NZ kayaker that ran the drop on her head. Like little lemmings all 6 of us routed the drop, when I got to the bottom of the drop Eric did not look good and said that he was upside down the whole way. Eric and I are both nurses but he has lots more trauma experience than I do, I felt very inept at trying to assess his injuries which is never a good thing. He had numbness going down his right arm and pain in his neck. We determined that he didn't have a C spine fracture and pulled together as a team and got Eric the next 2 miles to the takeout just before dark. It was a bummer end to our trip but it was a reminder of how close we are to the edge, and I'm glad that he didn't get hurt worse and hope he gets back to full strength this next year. I deleted some pictures from the trip on accident, so I only have a few that I was able to recover, but there is a short video at the end to enjoy.
Eric on the South Merced
After a short but sweet Durango season I was headed back to Cali with a strong Durango contingent (Professor Fullmer, Brad higinbotham, Joel Cameron) we met up with my brother Jim and Ben from the SE. The hike in was awful I had a mix of migraine headache and flu for the entire trip and hiking 12 miles in 100 degree temps is not way to feel better. The Kings was amazing once again but the level was high side of good meaning that we walked more than we had wanted to, but we made it through the run with only one swim.
After the kings Jim, Ben and I decided to keep going and went to Upper Cherry to get some fun whitewater in, the level was low but the trip was great. Again I felt horrible and had trouble eating anything, the hike in was way easier than the kings but I still suffered bad with my illness. The trip was a great culmination to our mini high sierra tour. Jim has a great write up on our trip: http://thenexthorizonline.blogspot.com/2013/07/drinking-from-fire-h...
Here are a few pics:
Me Dropping perfect 20
Jim on cali grove tube
Me on double pothole
Here is a video of my spring cali trip: