Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Middle Kings 2013 - Transformative Journey #4

Bishop Pass - An iconic reminder of the scale of such a journey!
I first visited California in 2009 and was instantly hooked on the the clean granite and heavy flows of the Sierra Nevada whitewater. The Middle Kings had been talked up to me as the "Trip of a Lifetime" with epic proportions and the hardest whitewater one could find in the lower 48.  I was forever changed after my first trip to the river in 2009 and 2013 would stand as my 4th visit to the sacred waters of the Middle Kings!

Taking a break from the hike and cruising one of the early lakes! 4th trip - Stoked!
A little older, wiser, and more experienced I set out into this 4th trip with Will Pruett and Jake Greenbaum. This would be Will's 4th trip as well and and a 1st for Jake.  Just the three of us out there- too cool! With damn good beta from Will and Myself to Jake we were able to really flow down the river with minimal portaging and scouting! I could talk statistics on how long, big, far out, and difficult this particular river is but when it comes down to it the Kings just has a personality unlike any other river I have visited! If you have the skills to get in there, then I think you need to get it! Its majestic and will leave you tired of taking class 5 strokes!

We had a great trip with a steady 1500 cfs through out the run! Highlights of the trip for me were: getting to show my buddy Jake down a river that was on the top of his to do list, crushing the hike with way more ease than usual (on my 2009 trip - the hike-in alone was the hardest thing I had ever done mentally or physically), every moment I looked up and acknowledged my epic surroundings, on the negative side - a sprained ankle in the bottom 9, traveling in my kayak, too many quality strokes, and a celebratory 3 hour frolic in the water with my two buddies while we waited on our shuttle ride!  I love the Kings because it is never easy and always provides transformation - A True Journey!

Links to my 3 previous expeditions to the Kings:

A short break on the hike - wandering if Jake was gonna make it! He got mad sick day of the hike!
Will making his way up the infamous switch backs on Bishop Pass
Jake feeling the rigors of a hard hike!
Yay we are half way - up on the top of Bishop Pass
Safety meeting on the top!
Checking out our last views of the Eastern Sierra
Jake pretending to be a happy hiker!
Epicness - Love it!
Will cruising into Dusy Basin
Jake firing mank in shortly after the put-in!
The first meadow you come to is the only flat water on the entire run but man it is one of the most beautiful sights I have ever been blessed with!
Jah Meadow!
Way Out!
Firing into some of the first goods!
Jake doing the same!
Will dropping in on the Pallisade Slide
Skimming through!
Jake at Pallisade
We camped at this drop and had multiple runs on it!
Lifestyle shot - Pretty!
Looking down stream proves to be epic every time!
Will on the Money Drop!
Running the brekfast slide, both Jake and Myself spun out on the left wall and finished out backwards1
Exiting the breakfast slide
Jake on the impressive Breakfast Slide!
Leading Jake down the Waterfall Gorge!
Jake happy to be at Tehipite after we paddled 18 miles in one day from our Pallisade camp!
Tehipite is the best camping on the river and a great place to take a lay over day!
Running some typical continuous boulder garden in the Bottom 9!
Heavy flow in the Garlic Falls section!
Jake getting some Garlic Falls!
Will provided Jake and I with hilarious entertainment at the take-out while we waited on our shuttle to arrive! the sleeping pad is a rather nice whitewater craft!
Back to reality I found myself a bit crippled from my ankle sprain in the Bottom  9!  Hoping for this injury to heal up as it has been a much longer recovery than I originally expected!

Stoked on this 4th trip, I wander how many Kings trips I have left in me! We shall see as I plan to go back as much as possible! 

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