*Update – I was able to get on the Forks with Will Stubblefield, David Clark, Andrew Matthews and Knox Vansandt during the high water of 2011. The water was absolutely pumping that day. The gauge said around 4,000. Could not have asked for a better crew, as we were able to negotiate the run in record time. It took us about 4 hours with two portages, vortex and carsons. As well as one swim. We decided to run westwall a large/long class V rapid. I was leading towards the end of the rapid crossed over towards river right and dropped into a pour over sideways surfing out and then swimming. My boat floated away as I climbed up onto some rocks on river right, I decided to jump in and swim after my boat as the rapid was basically over. I was able to reconnect with my kayak shortly downstream. On my entry I cracked my shin on a rock splitting it open to the bone. Keeping a cool head I was able help keep downstream progress and we still finished in just 4 hours. Please enjoy the video edit I was able to make from that trip.
A beautiful place in which I hope to return. Many times.
Below: Vortex Rapid, Forks of the Kern, Class V, Close to 3,000cfs
Dumping James and Casey out of the raft again.
Four Mile Rapid, Forks of the Kern
Thanks to Ryan Copenhagen for the photos.
This was the first trip down the forks for the 2010 season. On my second trip down I had the thrill of flipping off of the Dice Rock located at the bottom of Westwall, aka Confusion. However, I was able to jump on to the rock as the raft was flipping and jump back on the raft avoiding the water. Dry Flip! This was not the case for a customer and fellow raft guide Brandon Sweet. They were retrieved quickly, and I continued down stream on the up side down raft till about 1/4 -1/2 mile above Carson Falls.
Tex and Dave Krog shred Carson Falls, Upper Kern, Class V
Austin Nickell Vortex Rapid, Forks of the Kern, Class V