Wesley's Wild World of Kayaking & the Jackson Action Wagon (JAW)

News, Info, & Events from my kayaking life

A Long and Bumpy Ride Down the Noli Gorge

My best paddling buddy Dan and I were desperate to get out on the river yesterday (7-22-07).  We managed to put a group of 8 kayakers together to make a run down the Noli Gorge at a thunder 360 cfs flow.  The group was comprised of Chester Sink, Steve Price, Dan Thomas, Shane (owner of Rushing Water Outfitters), Bill, Dustin, Bill’s brother (can’t remember his name,,, sorry) and me.

This trip was Dustin’s, Bill’s and his brother’s first run of the gorge.  They all did great!  None of them had any swims and they only had a few combat rolls between the three of them.  They loved surfing at Jaws!

This trip was Chester’s second run of the gorge in a kayak.  His first trip did not go so good for him last year… he took a hard hit at On the Rocks and bruised up his ribs and the rest of the day was just trying to survive.  This trip was much better for him!  Although he had two swims (one at Snappy and the other in Quarter Mile after Hungry Jack (KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN WHEN YOU ROLL!!!)), he had some very good lines in the other big rapids.  He even started to learn how to do some rock spins.  Way to go Chester!

Steve finally aced Rooster Tail without getting flipped (Good Job!).  Steve did get flipped at Snappy and Twin Eddies, but both resulted in good combat rolls.  Dan & I had a blast as always and a nice no major event day.  It was also really great to finally get to paddle with Shane.  He closed up his shop early to go paddling with us.  He made the trip a lot of fun and he help show the new guys the lines.  We all were really tired at the end of the day from all the flat water paddling and slow flows.  We were on the river for a little over 4 hours.

All the major rapids still had their standard lines, with the exception of Murphy’s Ledge at the bottom of Quarter Mile.  We elected to portage this drop because their was no boof line that did not land on a rock and the right sneak line did not have enough water in it to get down without broaching on three to four different rocks.  I have a whole new respect for Murphy’s now that I have seen it with very little flow.  There are several places in the drop that would easily vertically pin a boat at normal flows if you missed your boof.  The sneak line has some gnarly looking rocks too… I can see why a lot of people get in trouble in that line also.

Overall, I don’t know if I’ll paddle the gorge this low again, but it was still fun because of the great company on the river.  A long slow bumpy day on the river is better than not getting on the river at all.

Have a nice day and I hope to see you on the river!

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