|Stretch:||Autobahn to the Lake|
|Flows:||50-90 cfs (no guage). New (2016) Dreamflows gauge! Preliminary reports say 65 csf is a medium flow|
|Take-out:||Just before the lake|
|Shuttle:||5 miles, 10 minutes (some dirt road)|
|Season:||Spring into early summer|
|Written:||© 2006 & 2009|
|Featured in A Wet State #13 , A Wet State: #21 , A Wet State: #76 , A Wet State: #84 and in A Wet State's contribution to World Kayak's Video Guide|
This run had been a dream of mine for as long as I have been kayaking. I remember watching the rapids on the various videos that I have thinking, not only does that not look all too difficult, but it looks like a blast as well. So with this creek in mind I bought myself a creek boat. The first year of owning my creek boat I was unable to boat as much as I would have liked due to my school load. The second year (2006) though was everything I had hoped for, so when the South Silver came in, I felt prepared enough to tackle it. Due to pitoning on the second tea cup, I walked (limped) Skyscraper, and then my buddy breaking his leg on Nose Job, we all walked out from there to get him to help. With that said, this run was a blast and I eagerly look forward to getting back on it to finish the rapids which I have not gotten a chance to run. Next spring can not come quick enough…
I have since run it a few times… what a great run, I will let the pictures talk for themselves.
Note: Thanks to Kevin Smith, Ryan Krammer, Dan Kanner, Mike Ward and Ian Buckley for their contribution of photos.
- Autobahn (V-). This rapid is straight forward, you boof the top on the right, then
begin the slide which last for 350 feet. Halfway down there is a small pool to
recollect. The very last part of it is the steepest and also has to one part where
you have to be in a specific place, that place is on the right or center. The left
side slams into a rock, which if you are there you will hit it hard and be hurt for
Single Drop (IV). A fun five foot boof needs to be taken on the left to avoid a rock at the bottom. Then pinch between the undercut wall and the rocks on the right to exit.
Mank (IV). A short manky section separates you from the next drop. Below Single Drop, head right. Boof next to the midstream bolder pointing left to avoid the rock below. Then head left around the large midstream bolder and boof a few rocks, at the small horizon boof the right channel, then get out on the left to scout or portage Double Drop.
Double Drop (IV+). A continuation of the manky section, this rapid needs a little water to look doable, on our day it was too low for our taste. There is a rocky lead in to a double boof. With low water the first boof is shallow and looks like it may kick you left into a decapitator rock, not a hard portage on the left.
Triple Slide (IV+). The key to this one is enter correctly, if that is done the rest is cake. Enter in the very small main channel on the right bank. The rest is done for you. You take the first slide, the best option is to boof to the right, then move more to the right in the deeper section of water so you can slide down the right side of the section part. The center would be fine too but brings in a piton danger off the second tier. The third section is a straightforward slide that can be taken anywhere.
Boof Boof Slide (V-). Best scouted/portaged on the left, this rapid lies directly below Triple Slide. The idea is to power right on the first boof, this will make moving right of the center rock easier. Whatever you do don’t go left of rock just below the first boof, this constricts off and would be horrible, I know of a girl who got a body entrapment there but eventually came out. Once you are right of the rock, you “boof” again onto a slide which drops you into a hole. The second boof isn’t really needed, many people just slide down the whole thing with out the second boof.
Single Slide (III). After a very short pool, this rapid comes on a left turn, the best line is down the right side, it is straightforward.
Turn Slide (IV). Again, just below, the river cuts back right. On the cut is another slide, you enter center with some left angle to negotiate the 90 degree left turn part way down, the straight out.
Tea Cups (V). These drops have no more that 20 feet between them making them collectively challenging, I will rate each drop on its own however for a more accurate idea of each drop.
Tea Cup #1 (IV-). The easiest of the Tea Cups is the first one, it has the best pool below it, and the best recovery points. The best line is to boof all the way right, it is shallow so don’t expect the best boof, then eddy out in the big pothole on the right. (8 feet tall)
Tea Cup #2 (V-). The hardest of the Tea Cups lands in a 90 left turn. You must power left across the top, making sure you are all the way left before the slide at the lip starts as it is shallow and corrections will be impossible. Slide down the lip with a lot of left angle so once you are kicked off the lip you will land 90 degrees or so left in the crack that is the landing, if you are too straight on the landing you piton and bust an ankle… whoops.
Tea Cup #3 (IV+). A taller, and straighter version of the drop above it, this drop has a very rocky slide which kicks you over a drop. You want to be far left where there is a nice auto-boof kicker.
Tea Cup #4 and #5 (III+). A three footer which has a sticky hole at the bottom needs to be taken on the far right, this then leads into a two footer which has a pot hole just off the right shore, either go right of it or left of it.
Tea Cup #6 (IV). A fun auto-boof is taken on the right side off the jutting lip. The left side lands onto some rocks, be careful on this drop as the current goes straight into Skyscraper 20 feet below, set safety and eddy out on the right in the boat sized eddy, or on the lip of Skyscraper on the left.
Skyscraper (V+). The toughest rapid on the run, Skyscraper can be scouted or portaged on either side, I would recommend the right side to portage because the portage includes in it the mandatory portage around the log/sieve pile. The rapid has a slide which ends in a boof, either boof left to go around the large pot hole (but has small pot holes of its own) or boof right and then boof into the large pot hole. Either way, continue down into the hole below and then off the twelve footer which has a bad hole at the bottom. This immediately drops into Off Ramp.
Off Ramp (V+). A small slide should be taken center left, this then leads into a very large slide which has two rocks at the exit, which you must end center left in. End with left angle as the current then slams into a sieve easily taking you with it, get out on the left to portage the next section.
Portage (Unrunnable). Portage on the left then cross to the right if you ran Off ramp. This is a rock pile full of sieves and log, completely unrunnable.
Nose Job (V-). A ten foot drop lands in turbulent water, then exits through a lateral tube. Get as far left on the boof as possible, do not pencil in as the landing has rocks and Corey snapped a leg.
Some Mank. Avoid the pin rock, or walk on the walk
Dorsal Fin (IV). A ledge with a log on the right. you run just next to the log.
Funk Falls (IV+). A slide into a 90 degree turn then drops 8 feet.
Plastic Surgery (V+). Several slides, one of which has a very large hole leads to a pour over just above a large slide. You want to power and cut behind the midstream rock and go straight down the falls behind it.
Quadruple Bypass (IV+). Four slides or drops, none to tall, the first we went right, then left, then left and left. Not sure if that is always line, you can scout these from take-out with a short walk. Most people take out below here and hike out to avoid the gorilla boating that is left.
Take out: From highway 50 take Ice House Road (at the Kyburz take out), follow signs to Ice House Reservoir, after 11 miles turn right towards Wright’s Lake. After another mile, turn left to Wright’s Lake. After 1.6 miles turn towards Strawberry Campground and continue past, drive 1.8 miles on dirt to take out at creek/lake.
Put in: From take-out, go back out 1.8 miles and turn right on Road 32. Continue for 3.5 miles. Turn right on the road that sneaks up on you FS 12N25. Continue for 1.1 miles. There is now no motor vehicles allowed on the last quarter mile. So park here and walk down to the open area where the trail starts.
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