When winter came to a close in California there was a lot of talk about how dreary the snowpack looked. However, the Northern Sierras seem to get a good amount of precipitation through spring most years, and this year was no different. A couple solid storms rolled through bringing the snow pack up and a few of the day runs in.
The South Yuba (I love the South Yuba), Bear, Upper Middle Cosumnes, Canyon Creek, Deer Creek above Wildwood, Deer Creek Overnighter called the Ponderosa run and North Fork American all came up to great runnable flows for the tail end of March and into April. A few hike and huck waterfalls have also come in. Feel free to check out the video below for a little look into this spring boating!
We took the quick hike to Bear Falls a couple times, once with kayaks, and another time with a raft. Andrew Mathews and I were the first to attempt the bottom drop in a raft, closely followed by Tyler Soule and friends a few days later. Both attempts ended with people on the outside of the raft The other waterfall we ventured to was Deadwood Creek falls. Good friends and incredibly talented paddlers Will Pruett and Cody Howard scouted this drop online, and then Will was able to scout in person. Cody Howard, Brandy Suppi, Will Pruett, Darin McQuoid, Sasha Coben, Timber, Jah and I all piled into the 4Runner and proceeded to drive down the snowy, narrow, 4W drive road.
Deadwood has really great series of runnable drops with the last one being over 50ft (though we are not sure the exact height). There are three drops above the big water fall, the first one being an ugly crack drop of about 8 feet in height. The second and third drops are connected, a 10 footer another 10 foot waterfall that has a rock in the landing. Darin McQuoid lead the charge getting the first descent on the top drops. We all stared at the large waterfall from the pool below, hiked around and examined the top and threw logs into the water to gauge direction of travel. The general consensus was that more water would be nice but it would definitely go. We sent an empty boat over the falls and it had a pretty good line. Confident in my ability and the line I had in my mind, I got in my boat. With a little coaching at the lip from Will, I was prepared. There is a 10-15 foot slide before the 50 foot plummet. I virtually replicated the empty boat’s line, proceeded to go over the bars, and upon impact was ripped from my kayak. This being the first attempted decent of the falls I am happy to have done it and excited to get back in there with more water.