Cosumnes, Upper run
|Stretch:||Highway 49 to Latrobe|
|Difficulty:||Class IV (1 Portage)|
|Flows:||500- ? (~2500?). Current Dreamflows gauge|
|Gradient:||100 fpm first 2 miles, 25 fpm after|
|Put-in:||Highway 49 bridge|
|Take-out:||Latrobe Rd bridge|
|Shuttle:||15 miles, paved 20 minutes 1 way|
|Featured in Video Four.|
Diane, Aleece and I ran this on a beautiful 70 degree day in February. We couldn't have asked for better weather. We had all been so used to the past three months of boating that we all wore layers upon layers, into our first scout we all realized the error of our ways. Winter boating my ass.
So this run has two miles of excellent water, followed by eight of class II action which makes for a long day. By the end of the paddle you are doubting that there were rapids at the beginning and swearing that you will never do it again (we will see if I prove myself wrong). The most amazing part of the run is the scene at the 45 foot triple cascade. I can say with no doubt in my mind that this is the one of the most beautiful places I have ever sat down in my life. With that said, the portage around it took a little while as it was about a quarter mile hike up then down a near cliff. Not as difficult as it sounds though.
For the rapid description, the first five or so blend together, swimming is not an option. I only separate them because we eddied out in between and scouted. Some had swift water pools of less than one hundred feet between them, some just blended together completely. Because of this some of the rapids ratings are inflated over actually technical difficulty.
- One (III-). Don't really remember this one, it was blind so we hoped out quickly
on the right to take a look at it. It was straightforward, just too steep to see
over the horizon.
Two (IV). (Scouted on right) At our flows the moves weren't difficult, however at the end there is a nasty sieve which the water piles into, hence the IV rating. I ran down the right shore, into a hole on the wall, then aimed right into the hole above the sieve, we all moved right around the sieve and eddied out on the left. The next rapid is immediately below.
Three (IV). (Scouted on left) This rapid consisted of three features. There was a weird boil wave at the end of the "V," followed by a large hole, followed by a pyramid rock with a lot of current going into it. We ran just off the left edge of the meet of the boil, into the second hole, and then got high on the pillow off the side of the rock. I eddied right at the bottom, at high water this eddy may not happen. The next rapid is immediately below.
Four (III). (Scouted on the left and right) A large hole with a window on the center/right of the river. Eddy out on the left. The next rapid is just around the corner.
Five (IV). (Scouted on the left) A right to left entrance is easy. There is a small calm then the rapid drops into a wave followed directly by a large hole that was plenty flushy. I pitoned in between the wave and the hole (in the 5 feet between) so don't flip, seems shallow.
- Six (III-). Don't know if I should even give it a III-, but it could be harder if you
choose different lines. Easy line is down center right.
Seven (III+). A long bolder garden, best run on the right, leads into a bit of a steaper cascade, there is a rock at the end which we all exited to the right of. Immediately below is the falls, get out on the right just downstream of the rapid.
FALLS (VI). Three cascades drop 45 feet of maybe 100 yards. The first is nasty looking, the second is straight forward but sticky at the bottom, the third is rocky and one side of which goes into a death eddy (literally, a girl died there swimming with summer flows).
Eight (IV-). The next rapid below the falls, the river drops over some boulders. Best line is against the right wall. Eddy out on left or right to scout the next drop which is immediately below.
Nine (III+). We ran down the left, either sneak or off shore by a channel or two. The channel then splits into two. We went left, this channel then splits into three, all channels exited fine at the end.
Ten (IV). A steep drop which consists of a large pour over is best run right to left, into a top smaller hole in order to avoid getting swept into the just downstream large hole.
- Eleven (III-). As the flat water begins there is one last rapid where fun can be had.
The rapid has a very large hump seen from upstream which is a very large hole. We ran
easily to the right of it.
From here on out is class II or flat. For eight amazing miles.
Take out: Taking 16 from Sacramento, drive 11 miles past the Cosumnes River Bridge. Turn left on Latrobe Road. Follow for 10 minutes or so through a stop sign. After the bridge over the Cosumnes find parking, you can get tickets all along here. It is hitch-hikable. We parked about a quarter-mile up the road on the right, at the entrance to a fancy community and didn't get a ticket.
Put in: Go back to 16 and follow it until it meets 49. Take 49 towards Placerville. Park about a quarter-mile after the bridge over the Cosumnes on the right or left and carry down to the river.
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...