well, here's what we found out on Sunday:
EF said flows were about 1000 around noon sunday and we decided to go and fire up Crystal Mill Falls and run down to just above Crystal Gorge....
When we arrived water seemed to be a bit higher that EF reported, and rising steadily.... we took a while scouting the falls, thinking about safety, etc and also took note of the debris floating down from above... in the end we decided not to run the falls, just didn't feel it-- and put in just below.
Things got going quick... hearing the rocks rumbling and tumbling down the river as fast as we were was a bit unnerving as well as having a tree creep up from behind trying to separate the group.... a quick eddy out and the general consensus among the group was ... a touch nervous, but nothing worth stopping for "lets just run this and get to the take-out asap attitude"
shortly after we let the tree pass, it was apparent levels were still on the rise and fast! things were getting bigger and bigger, and we were FLYING down the river... much to our surprise we came upon the second drop in the run and the first two were forced to take the much dreaded left line into the hydraulic and got worked. i was able to get right, but landed poorly and was sucked back into the hole and proceeded to get tossed around like a ragdoll... all 3 of us ended up swimming and taking a fairly good beatings.....
as it turns out, by the time we got off the river flows were up to 1800 or so, and still cranking... we shoulda paid a bit more attention and thought about run-off patterns
all 3 boats and paddles were lost during the swims, one Red Pyranha M3 is still missing and all 3 paddles, (1at w/yellow blades, 1 at w/ red blades, and 1 black carbon perception paddle).
all said the 3 of us ended up fine, and were glad to not have gone into the gorge... that would have been VERY ugly....
-be wary of afternoon put-ins when temps are hot and rivers and debris are on the rise... things can happen, and probably will.
-communication is very important, we should have been a bit more vocal with eachother on the water, and maybe things would have turned out different
-pay a bit closer attention to what's goin' down in front of you, and anticipate every move needed to hit your lines... we did pretty good, but obviously not good enough
-gear can always be replaced
my 2 cents, im sure we'll get our share of grief, but i feel we were all boating within our abilities, shit just happened to go wrong all at the same time and place.... (besides it's not an adventure unless everything goes wrong...right???)
"Only the boring get bored...."