November 02, 2005

Main Fork of the Tule

Level: 400 cfs at Springville
Paddlers: Brian Mills, John Webb, Adam Griffin, Nick Barron

Nick boofing downstream in one of the many great boulder garden rapids

Photo Adam Griffin

The Main Fork of the Tule has to be one of my most favorite runs anywhere in the country. It has some of the most fun slides, awesome boulder gardens, and incredible California quality. I think the best description of the run can be summed up with one word: Quality

Simply an awesome run with some great stuff on it, we found the water level on it perfect, and our only complaint was our mistake of leaving the area too quickly. We should have just hung around that area for the next week and ran it everyday, but that's of course my hindsight 20-20.

John holding rope for me on one of the lower slides

Photo Adam Griffin

The run started off with a pretty good bang. A slide with a tight notch at the bottom gave John a good ride and woke him up for the run.

The next mile or so was mostly comprised of incredible boogie with some great boofs. We made our way down to the first big slide on the run, which we couldn't decide if it was good to go or not. It seemed like a fun slide, but there were many exploding roostertails and seemed overall chunky, plus we all thought it would really suck to piton somewhere in the slide, so we chose to walk along the granite sidewalk and put on below.

Just downstream was one of the bigger slides on the run and was one of the bigger thrills, too. The slides continued from there and were broken up by only by more boulder gardens. One more rapid in particular I remember, and so does John, as the worst boof followed by the best. The first drop was about 10-12 ft tall and clapped down on some rocks, providing a rather unpleasent hit. Just downstream was an awesome boof, that in the video you can see Adam hit square on. John and I boofed out too much on the first drop, and our backs felt it for the next day or so.

Nick hitting the bad boof

Photo Adam Griffin

John hitting the good boof

Photo Adam Griffin

A few slides later and we were in the junk just before the takeout at lower Coffee picnic area. The run's characteristic changes drastically and switches from quality to crap pretty quickly. We made it thru some of the crap and decided to hike out at Upper Coffee picnic area, finding the trail rather elusive. But we made it all back to the car and headed to some poached campsites and drank beer for the remainder of the day

Nick on one of the lower slides

Photo Adam Griffin

Here's another link to a short video from the day


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At 11:09 PM, Blogger Evan Lloyd said...

Nice video. I live in Fresno and we've been eyeing this run all winter. Did you hit any of the big waterfalls up stream? How many portages did you have? I'd love to hear more about it.

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