Saturday, June 06, 2009

California Trip Report: The South Merced

Doing the touristy thing in Yosemite National Park

From the Kaweah drainage we headed North to Yosemite National Park and the South Merced river. The South Merced was a river that we thought had dropped out on us, but a few thunderstorms put a little extra water back in it so we decided to go for it.

The South Merced is a 23 mile run, with over 15 miles of those being class five. We put on Tuesday afternoon in Yosemite National Park and began our two day trip down the river. The water turned out to be a bit low, but for those of us from the Southeast used to paddling in low water conditions, it seemed like a fine amount of water. Day one involved paddling for only about six miles but it seemed to take a lot longer than expected. There were lots of great rapids, some manky ones and a few sieves to keep us on our toes. We camped just below super slide, the biggest rapid on the river, which was a series of slides culminating in a big 30 foot slide to finish off the day.

Gareth packing his boat for the trip

Me at the beginning of Super Slide

Me in the middle of Super Slide

The final big drop of Super Slide

Dinnertime on the river

Hanging out by the fire

We decided to get an early start on day two because we had 18 miles left to paddle, half of those being class five. We were a bit worried about how long the day was going to take, so we all made an effort to keep moving downstream and not waste too much unnecessary time. That said, there were unfortunately really no pictures taken from this day. It actually worked out to not take as long as we had expected, and the day was filled with lots of amazing rapids and even a bear sighting. We were off the river by 4:30pm and celebrated with some cold beers at the takeout.

Gareth at a random South Merced rapid

No comments:

Subscribe in a reader