Big Water Fun in Idaho

(Don seeing how the new Superhero does in big water.  The verdict?  Pretty damn good it seems)

Don and I just finished an amazing week of kayaking here in Idaho.  I never knew how awesome the paddling is in this state—especially at high water!

We rolled into McCall and were immediately hooked up by the great crew of locals with beta, a place to stay, and paddling buddies.  They gave us an incredible 6-day tour of the finest whitewater within a hour drive of McCall.
(Fall Creek Rapid on the South Salmon.  This was an awesome rapid with huge holes to dodge.  There was a good line though, you just had to punch through some big waves to be on it)
Day 1:  peak flow on the Little Salmon.  Big fun waves, a few holes to dodge, and a bit of floating debris to watch out for.  A great warm up for the stuff to come.
Day 2:  North Fork Payette at 4100.  Crazy big stuff!  Thank goodness we had Ryan to follow.  Screaming Left, Jaws, and Cruncher were some of the biggest rapids I’ve run.

(Freddy styling the line at Devils Creek Rapid)

Day 3:  Setting shuttle for a South Salmon into Main, and paddled Little Salmon again on the way back from Riggins.
Day 4:  High water East Fork South Fork.  Flight Simulator was a hell of a way to start our day!   After a couple hours of paddling on this river and a long, lazy lunch in the sun, we loaded our boats with overnight gear and put in on the South Salmon.  We ran through Devil Creek rapids and then set up camp for the night.

(Ryan, our incredible North Fork and Secesh guide, showing us what smooth paddling is all about)
Day 5:  Mule Kick and Elk Creek Rapids for breakfast.  Then Fall Creek for lunch.  Then a 20-mile paddle out on the Main Salmon.  I think the river was around 7.2 on the gauge, and was just pure big water fun.  As Freddy said, “it’s about as much fun as you can possibly have in a kayak.”
Day 6:  Secesh at 57 on the gauge to float back to our van which was parked at the put in for the South Salmon.  I’ve never done a run with such continuous HARD whitewater.  I guess this river is more chill at lower levels, but it was pretty full on for us.  It was a great cardio work out to paddle Class V for miles without an eddy!  Sorry, no photos of this one—I was too busy staying out of holes.
(The gang at camp.  We had a big crew of 11 boaters, all great characters, which made for lots of fun around the campfire)

Now we are in Boise visiting my Grandpa and resting up for the infamous 4th of July festivities that are rumored to take place in Crouch, ID…

One Response to Big Water Fun in Idaho

  1. Sonia June 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Crouch is THE best 4th of July festival of all time. Be sure to keep a keen eye out! The locals bring in the big guns for this spectacle.

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