Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dinkey Creek - one of the greats!

We often talk about what the best runs in California are with a mixed bag of single day and multi day runs making the list but never really coming up with the actual best run.  Partially because we havent done them all yet and partially because there are so many great runs to choose from.  On Monday Lou and I landed in San Francisco and headed back inland to Coloma with Tyler and Chaundra to catch up with some friends before Tyler announced that we needed to leave for Dinky Creek the next day.  I had always wanted to do this one but had missed it on many occasion.  With Lou needing to do school work Tyler and I met up with Daan and Jess for a little mission south.  By 10pm we had driven all the way to the Kings river and decided to park up in a dusty side road for the night and plan to set shuttle early in the morning.  At 8am we rose and drove up the river to see if any raft guides had no work and wanted to drive the 2hrs in and then 2 hrs back out for us and it didn't take much convincing before we had John onboard and on the road into Dinkey Creek.

- Jess checking that we are in the right place - Photo Daan Jimmink
With a range of maps and directions we made good time to the trail head.  What was in front of us was 2hrs hiking down hill and then 2 days of spectacular kayaking.

Jess, Tyler and I looking into the first day from the hike - Photo Daan Jimmink
The hike near wiped us all out with heavy boats and a severe lack of fitness but we had to hold it together because it was non stop action from here on out! Slide 1 woke us up and set the pace for the day!

Me on the first drop of Day 1 - Photo Daan Jimmink

Daan dropping into drop 1 - Photo Josh Neilson

- Jess getting warmed up - Photo Josh Neilson

-One of many stacked drops and sick boofs - Photo Daan Jimmink

We knew we only had to make about 1 mile down stream but it was going to take us all afternoon to do that! Steep!!!
By mid afternoon we made it to the main drop for the day. Willies slide is a 2 part boof to slide into sloping 30footer.  We all had good lines and then it was off to the next horizon line for more vertical action.  

- Entry to Willies drop! - Photo Daan Jimmink

-Dropping into the bottom of Willies - Photo Daan Jimmink

-Bottom of Willies  - Photo Tyler Fox

-Tyler showing us the line! - Photo Josh Neilson

- Bottom of Willies, ALL GOOD! - Photo Josh Neilson

-Daan on Willies from below - Photo Josh Neilson

- End of day 1 but called Morning slide - Photo Tyler Fox

- Me on the afternoon 'Morning slide' - Photo Tyler Fox

By late afternoon we made it to camp where we set up on a nice beach to watch the sun go down  only to be replaced by the roar of the fire.  Over night the river rose up the beach over a foot and we were soon in our sleeping bags for what could be described as a very very poor nights sleep due to over stimulation and a sever case of jetlag!

- Camp set up with the water rising into the fire - Photo Daan Jimmink

Morning 2 was a early start to get the remaining 6 miles to the take out over before night.  The gradient did not let up all day and we slowly made our way off hundreds of sweet drops.  We stopped for a bit of lunch below the cleanest drop on the river and laughed at how many rapids there were and how many we still had to go! This place is priceless!

- Daan on a nameless amazing drop - Photo Josh Neilson

- Daan getting a boof in before the portage - Photo Josh Neilson

- Tyler Fox -  boof, stomp, repeat -Photo Daan Jimmink

- Clean Boof again - Photo Daan Jimmink

- Jess on the cleanest drop on the run! - Photo Josh Neilson

- Me getting some creative Gopro shots off the back - Photo Jess Matheson

- Daan going right - Photo Tyler Fox

- Tyler on the clean one - Photo Daan Jimmink

Daan running Nikki's drop - Staunch - Photo Josh Neilson

By mid afternoon we pulled into the take out with the car waiting for us!(THANKS JOHN) We quickly threw a few beers in the river to cool down and packed up the car.  The atmosphere was second to none at this point! Everyone had stories to tell about a number of rapids they remembered and after a trip of freeze dried food and protein bars we were all fired up for some fast food! I am hesitant to say that this is the best run in Cali for me because there are so many sweet runs but I think if I had to choose one river that stood out this would be it! 7 miles and non stop overnight granite boofs slides  warm days amazing kayaking with good friends! Its good to be back!


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