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Gihon River, upper and lower

Sunday Apr 4, 2004
Kayak: David Diederich Scott Cummings Ryan Young Scott ?
Organizer: James Raboin (K1)
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: medium
Author: James Raboin

An uneasy feeling driving to the river anticipating high water was quickly turned to joy when driving up 100C and seeing the last drop, Sunset. It looked beautiful from the road, a perfect medium level was seen on the flat rock gauge we use looking up powerhouse rapid from the covered bridge. After some good info from local resident boater Jim Andrus, we got to know the names of all the lower rapids and where to avoid trees. Everyone agreed to the idea of snow trudging while scouting and portaging, and we loaded up. The upper proved to be very challenging, the first drop with a six foot boof drop is my favorite drop on the river. The second is a solid 15 - 20 foot total drop with conseqences when hitting the fold, as Dave found out and went over head first. After seeing 3 other sucessfull runs of it I braved it for the first time and it went perfectly, unlike the rest of my day. We all portaged the big one on the upper, Mustang, it could be in a video.

On the lower, 3 tried the first drop, Bedhead, all 3 doing mystery moves and showing up at the bottom upside down. After scouting the second drop myself I tried to show the line, missed it and hit the hole of Eldorado, flipped and proceeded to poorly try to roll, and swam. I got to shore and watched my boat go over the next double drop, luckily it caught the eddy next to the old power house. We all reunited and went down to pin cushion, where Dave found his boat had broken and his day was over. The four of us continued down powerhouse rapid, where Scott C. said that was one of his favorite rapids. The Sunset drop gave me a vertical stern squirt, a fun way to end the day.

The Gihon offers a lot of action in doing both upper and lower. A good time was had by all.

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