It was time for Upper Cherry, over the years I've heard a lot about this river and seen crazy photos of it from Sam Sutton getting stuck in the pot hole on Cherry Bomb, pics of boys walking in to the put-in in a foot of snow, stories of " kiwi in a pocket ", but I think for us this time the stories of 40 people walking in the day we were going too, and the put-in slide having a metre of water flowing down it has to be 1 of the tallest tales I've heard in a long time!
Getting to Groveland late at night and walking for an hour then camping was always our plan, but we didn't walk that night as the stories put us off... Thankfully for us we had EG the killer who was going in there rain hail or shine, he started packing his gear that night at the trail head and said " I'm waking my arse up at 4am and hiking my tired arse up to the put-in", so we hit the sack.
The hike in is about 12 miles and isn't too bad a walk, until the sun gets over the hill at about 8 30am,
The snow on the trail stays around for a long time and provides for some amazing high country lakes and meadows as the brutal sun hasn't had time to dry it out like the lower elevation
YEA BOY!!!! made it to the last little down hill to the put-in after a good 5 hours walking with about 40kg of boat on my back!! From the lookout is also one of the most amazing views, with all the huge granite domes capped with the last little bit of snow.
most of the 1st day's paddling is all low angle slides in the most amazing wide open granite vally I think most kayakers have ever seen
Cherry Bomb, it's just sick! Huge slabs of granite have fallen into this tight gorge and the water is damed up and flows around the side if it causing this amazing little slide with a ledge at the bottom for a perfect kicker..
We ran Cherry Bomb the 1st day then walked back up the second day and did it again, and as for the stories of it being super high and 40 people... it was low and there were 8 people in there the first night!
Cherry Bomb, just a sick place! Big thanks to the girls who hiked across the sheer granite face to the 'media ledge' to take photos of us running Cherry Bomb!
EG the killa loving life at the end of Cherry Bomb gorge
I don't think I've ever seen any video or photos of Kiwi in a Pocket, but had definately heard a lot about it and most of us on the trip wanted to fire this thing up. Getting there, it looked a lot better then I had imagined, Evan hadn't run it before and he fired it up 1st and cleaned the line, I was already half way to my boat before he got to the bottom of the rapid and fired it of with a stella line. Brendon wanted a piece of the action and headed for his boat and styled it to. No kiwis in the pocket this year!
I splashed out at Walmart one day and got a $12 fishing pole and it paid off with this monster of a fish out of the pool at the camp site, I have to say that this was the biggest fish I saw pulled in and most of the locals would keep fish half this size!
The tea cups after Cherry Bomb Gorge is one of the funnest set of rapids I've ever paddled, and provided our 15 or so kiwis a great place to try and land on each other as we boofed off the drops
We had trains like this going all day, everyone had so much fun and just couldn't stop walking up for another go