Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Kaweah River, CA - USA

Scott Feindel back in Cali for 2004 - Kaweah River, CA. Posted by Hello

The Hospital Rock Section of the Kaweah River would serve as my introduction to creeking in California. Little did I know while winding up the steep road in Andrew Bell's old VW beetle that within the hour I would have already ran a 30 foot slide and then have my ass handed to me on a waterfall downstream.

The Kaweah River flows down from an area in the Southern Sierras which is represented as Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Head East from the city of Visalia on route 198 and you will soon pass Lake Kaweah and enter Sequoia Nat'l Park. The takeout (which also includes "Brownstar Canyon" is only a mile up from the Park entrance and you can put in at Potwisha Campground. I met up with Scott, Jayson and Andrew B. in the town of Three Rivers just before the Park entrance.

Andrew Bell close to home - C1 on the Kaweah. Posted by Hello

There are numerous class V slides and drops on this section including the opening Hostpital Rock Slide and the rapid just below that constricts tighly as it drops into a boiling pool. As I came over the drop, I misjudged the line as my attention turned to Andrew who was still near the landing zone and immediatley after, "Welcome to California" would become my new name for that rapid. After this the river opens up and provides easy scouting so long as you watch out for the Poison Oak bushes and an exciting entry slide that ends with a fall facing towards the right wall. There is a higher takeout that we did not take which avoids the last canyon supposedly named "Brownstar Canyon" by one of Jayson's friends. What it really is are some more beauty drops before you reach a mini box canyon with some intimidating horizon lines. However a high climb up the right wall will put you on a ledge which reveals the goods. The Kaweah is a classic creek in California with dependble access and flows in the Spring. For flow information for the Kaweah and other Cali rivers check out: Dreamflows