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Old 07-31-2008   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
California Classics???

I loved watching the videos of upper cherry creek and seeing all those awesome drops and amazing granite. The hike sounds brutal, and I won't be running wilderness totally committed V+.

Got me wondering what the IV/V california classics are. I assume that there are runs that share the same beauty, granite, and clear water that are more accessible and less hardcore.

Anybody got any thoughts on the cali classics that are a bit less hardcore?

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Old 07-31-2008   #2
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 283
California Classics

If you're looking for IV/V pushing toward solid V/V+ without a lot of brutal hiking, here are a few I've done several times over:
Middle Feather, the Devil's Canyon, 2-3 day wilderness IV/V
Middle Feather, Bald Rock Canyon, V/V+ one day
S. Fork Merced, solid V/V+, 2 days without a "tour guide", can be done in 1 with people that know it well and haul ass
Upper and Lower Mill Creek, V, 3 days for the whole thing.
Deer Creek, IV/V, 3 days, could do it in 2, but too beautiful to rush
Generation Gap / Giant Gap on N. Fork American, IV/V, 2-3 days, easy hike down to the put-in
Upper and Lower Clavey, V, 2 days
N. Fork Trinity, V, one LONG day
Burnt Ranch Gorge on the Trinity, IV/V, day trip
the New, IV/V day trip
Cal Salmon, IV+ day trip
Bluff Creek, V/V+ screamer into the Klamath
Clear Creek, IV/V beauty, short
N. Yuba, Sierra City to Downieville IV+
S. Yuba, 49 to Bridgeport, IV/V CLASSIC day run
Hell's Kitchen, N. Fork Mokelumne, V/V+, long hike down to river, 2 days
Lover's Leap, S. Fork American, V/V+ day run
Golden Gate, S. Fork American, V/V+ day run
N. Stanislaus, IV/V day run
Cataracts of the Kern, V/V+ classic giant boulder run
Main Merced coming out of the park, low water
the original Cherry Creek, IV/V, the test piece to see if you're really ready for everything else

Runs on my "to do" list:
Dry Meadow
South Silver
Fantasy Falls
Upper Middle Kings
Devil's Postpile
Upper Kern
maybe Upper Cherry

This is just the "short list" off the top of my head. Sitting at home with a broken wrist, wishing I was boating...........

So many rivers, so little time..........
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Old 07-31-2008   #3
tj@cu's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 983
I would second the middle fork of the feather through devil's canyon run, it is really sick wilderness run that doesn't really have to many big vertical drops but has some of the best boulder gardens.
The generation/giant gap overnighters has a hike in of 4ish miles I think, but if you want to just do giant gap that is a 2 mile down hill hike that isn't to bad.
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Old 07-31-2008   #4
Gary E's Avatar
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 94
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Middle fork of the feather. If you go, call me, I want in on that. Heard it's one of the greatest multi days in the world.
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Old 07-31-2008   #5
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Middle fork feather is on the list! Just dreaming about a trip next year perhaps.

What I really want is the cali experience but without the V+ difficulty. I don't mind walking a handful of V+ and running V, but most the stuff that gets published on the web is all about the V+ stuff.

Middle fork feather sounds like its the ticket.
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Old 07-31-2008   #6
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 393
For every media-hyped V+ run in Cali there are at least 15 super-classic day runs. Wyopadlr's list is a really good start. Middle Feather is high on my list too. I'd add to his list King's Canyon (IV-V), Forks of the Kern (Cali's Upper Animas), Dinkey Creek Superslides (V) and everything in the Kaweah drainage.

My only suggestion if you're planning a trip out there is to try and pick one or two adjacent drainages and stick to them. California is huge, and you can't just hop from one drainage to the next. I've definitely had epic California trips where there was a 6 hour drive after every run for a week.
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Old 07-31-2008   #7
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 283
Forgot one: The Rubicon. Incredibly beautiful, very hard to catch with water spilling from the reservoir. Well worth the effort.
When we drove to the put-in for it, we looked up the N.Fork Middle American, and thought it would get done someday, and now it is.
So many rivers, so little time..........
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Old 07-31-2008   #8
rideon's Avatar
Chico, California
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 148

When Fordyce Creek runs it is a great option for a IV - V runs in Cali, clean granite drops, some slides, some mank, usually runs in late summer/early fall. Not sure of the status this year but if you still want to hit something it MIGHT go on Labor day. Seriously a phenomenal run.

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