Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Clavey Mission- High Water

I made the travel to the Clavey River outside of Groveland and in the same area as the Cherry and Tuolumne runs on two separate occasions. The Clavey actually dumps onto the Tuolumne at Clavey Falls and you finish the run on the last 13 miles of the T. The first time I made the trip to this gem my group decided not to put on due to high water. A week later I returned to find higher water and put on the river. My group consisted of myself, Jake Greenbaum, and Kurt Lamberth. With flows of 1500 cfs on the gauge we set out to do the whole Clavey in a day with no beta, all first timers to the run, and 2o miles to cover with no overnight gear. The Clavey ended up being one my best days of paddling ever! The run obviously had plenty of water and the group dynamic was that of pure CHARGE! There was hardly a chance to scout and I found myself in the lead the majority of the time . The river had what we came to call stacks of class 5 . Super continuous with big wholes, S-turny high flow boulder gardens, and most of the time no sign of slowing down or coming to an end. I was really able to get stoked after this run and become very comfortable finding my way down the hard, continuous, and pushy style of whitewater, that is quintessential Cali, just relying on my skill and judgment to attack foreign horizon lines. I felt alive and realized that the summer ahead of me had more potential than I had previously believed. I was finally in Cali for the whole season and I now knew that if my friends and I wanted to go big, it was gonna be fine, as my buddy Jonas Grunewald would say, "It is what we have come for" . I highly recommend the Clavey as it falls into an amazing category of rivers that are not so talked about in Cali. The Clavey, along side the South Merced, Purdon to Bridgeport, Rubicon, and Goldengate all offer what my friend Rok Sribar calls, "Real Kayaking"! These higher volume and less steep rivers in comparison to the more notable slidey creeks of Cali are in someways harder and much more aerobic. It is an amazing feeling to be immersed in these rivers and the chance to travel long distances of hard whitewater with minimal portaging brings a since of combat and survival that, I feel, sculpts and defines a paddler more so than the stunty steep drops of the creek. If planning a trip to Cali, I would highly recommend these rivers as they are as quality as any I have found. REAL KAYAKING!

When charging, even if charging in the wrong direction, continue to charge!!!

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