Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fantasy Triple Crown

I was lucky enough this year to grab three separate runs on the Multi Day Fantasy Falls section of the North Fork of the Mokelumne River in California.  Jake Greenbaum and myself hit the flow window pretty perfect and were blessed with two high water runs and a third with regular flows.  Fantasy Falls is arguably the best run in the High Sierra with maybe an exception for Kings or Postpile.  The 24.9 mile run which drops 3,100 vertical feet is quintessential  Cali style whitewater.  The scenery and camping are some of the best with  lush meadows and high granite walls bursting with hanging falls flowing out of high mountain lakes.  High water lines and drift trees perched over head show evidence of the massive flows the river must see in flood.  The water levels rise and lower up to a foot and a half each day as the river breathes and diurnals more so than any other river I have paddled. Every night the flow erupts to a level that makes you happy you are camping, only to wake up to a much lower flow as the headwaters of snow see there daily warming and cooling.  The river as we have been running it has more volume than most in Cali and gives the paddler a chance to be engulfed in flows and sinking deep strokes.  Real kayaking exists in the great waters of the Mokelumne.

Over the course of our three runs we widdled away at the rapids and fired hard leaving only two rapids unrun.(The sieve mank up top and the Mommy Gorge)  We were only able to finish each run with a minimum of three portages as higher and lower flows made different rapids more approachable.  The highlight rapid of the trip was definitely the Untouchables Gorge which just saw it's first descent last year by Sam Sutton with second and third descents by Lars Lammler and Ryan Lucas.  Jake was the first of our crew to fire, claiming the fourth descent, and he ended up running it every trip for three descents.  By our third trip we had a seven person huckfest on the beast and pushed the total amount of descents up to fifteen.  On that same trip Dylan Thompson hiked a loaded boat back up lapped the giant  making for two descents in twenty minutes.  The collective Charge that existed between our teams was next level and just the kind of energy one wants when running huge rapids of this caliber.  The big rapids of the trip were Jedi Mind Melter, The Momma Gorge(didn't run), Untouchables, Island, and Show Me Your Tits.  The Momma Gorge seemed to either have too much or too little water on all our trips and I think the majority of us are eager to fire it at the right flow in the future.

Over the course of the trips we were blessed with some great friends and paddlers.  Like I said the collective Charge was  there and the fire was hot! Thanks to everybody for Seedn Dem Roots- Jake Greenbaum, Mike Crenshaw, Charles King, Will Pruett, Thomas Moore, Dylan Thompson, Chris McTaggart, Kyle Hull, Jared Seiler, Evan Garcia, and Mike Peacher.

Cheers to a great season on Fantasy! Hope you enjoy all the shots!

Thomas Moore lacing up one of the first burlers of the trip!
Yours Truly sending the banker at the end of Jah Gorge!
Jake Greenbaum finds air on the banker!
Kyle Hull boofs the mushroom on his first Cali overnighter!
Mushroom brown from Jake Greenbaum
Dylan Thompson lays the steeze with a crossbow on the Mushroom
Jared Seiler riding high!
This was a sick camp 1 that we dubbed the front porch camp.  It had natural steps to the waters edge that were conducive to an array of different flows.
Kyle Hull launching on a frequently portaged rapid
Jake Greenbaum lit up in the morning light!
Dylan Thompson firing into one of my favorite rapids- The Jedi Mind Melter!
Jake Greenbaum on our first trip into the Mind Melt- We both were slung onto the left wall halfway through the rapid and finished it out backwards- Gnarly!
Jake captured this pic of me staring into Jedi on our first trip- Blessings!
Kyle Hull lines up for the dragons back!
Jared Seiler getn him some wall ride as Kyle Hull watches!
Sick view from Jared from the above pic.  This is the same wall that spun Jake and I out on our first descent.
Jake Greenbaum in Jedi from below
Myself looking into I Want My Mommy Gorge via my sticky 5.10 rubber
Top half of the Momma Gorge- Burl Sauce!
Momma Gorge from below- Gotta get in there!
Mike Crenshaw on a rapid we dubbed the J Hill as in 2011 we witnessed Josh Hill go to far left and get ripped out of his boat by the tree across his chest. Burly Josh was ok but I swear it would of crushed a lesser man. J Hill has a sick lead in and is one of my favorites of the run!
The Untochables Gallery
Dylan Thompson coming in hot on his third round of Untouchables!
Dylan Thompson firing on his first trip into Fantasy
Coming through with sick form!
Dylan giving it his best shot at the macking bottom hole!
Dylan with a warriors fist pump- Victory!
Jake Greenbaum skying a massive surprise boof off the right wall on his third descent of the Untouchables Gorge!
Jake with usual style on his second descent! Pretty stoked on this shot!
Kyle Hull with a crazy head dip that he pulled off!  On his second descent he actually had a similar line. Crazy kid likes that left side.
Diablito - Jared Seiler on his second descent of Untouchables
Jared's first run with some healthier flow! Really stoked on this shot! The Beast in frame!
More Dylan Thompson on one of his many runs. Such an epic little gorge!
Stylie Dylan on his third descent destined to stick it!
Evan Garcia Coming in hot in the top of the Untouchables!
Evan on the gangsta lean moving towards a Kyle left line
Evan on the lean and determined!
Evan keeping the torque in the whiteout!
Evan about to stick the bottom!
Yours truly stepping up and sending the beast!
Rolln in just where I wanted to be!  What a crazy view!
Here I am post a roll and coming in hot for the final two sections!
Myself boofing the big hole in the lead in to Bear Trap!
Chris McTaggart all lit up in the main boof of Bear Trap! Loving this shot!
Absolutely sending the Bear Trap- Senor Long Stroke Murphy!
Dylan getting him a piece
Me launching our new favorite curler off Fantasy Falls Middle!
Me getting some air time on Fantasy Falls
Mike Peacher back in action after breaking his leg in three places on our New Zealnd trip!  Good to have you back!
Professional photographer Mike Peacher slaying the shot as Jared and Dylan double up on Fantasy Falls!
Chris I like your form- You Nice Canadian!
Evan Garcia Chargin into Island.  At the higher flows this thing is horrendous!
The author lining up the pit in the middle of Island
Just lean on it! Amongst it!
Dylan just post the pit with one hole left togo in Island
Kyle Hull finishing Island
Digital Terminator Dylan Thomson!
Evan Garcia layin the style on the Kern Hole!
Myself gutting the glory line on Show Me Your Tits! I made it all the way through for the second time! I think this one will get me someday as our fired up group saw no better than a 50% success rate through the bottom hole!
Kyle Hull stuck the line and came screaming through the bottom hole!
Kyle amongst dem tits!
Evan coming in hot!
Evan will tell you- The bottom hole is one S.OB.
Dylan firing the tits at high flow- the bottom hole destroyed Dylan twice and he loved it!
Jake Greenbaum on Show Me Your Tits under Mokelumne sky!
Dylan bringing fire to the sauce!
Jared Seiler lines up for the thing!
Dylan, Chris, and Myself partaking in our booty beers at the take out! May the Mokelumne River Gods be pleased!
Check out this sweet GoPro edit Will Pruett put together of our first run this year!

---Jah Bless Fantasy Falls---