July 18, 2011
There is a terrible pin spot on OBJ. One of our team was pinned under water for almost 30 minutes last night as we tried many ways to extract him. He is alive and well. If he's down with it, I plan on posting an incident report. Many lessons learned and much previous knowledge utilized to get our friend out alive.
We were on the river at about 7pm for maximum flow. It was medium low (you could barely go left on the put-in drop) definitely not bone zone.
The PIN HAZARD is on the river right side of what I've always called the 'Old Growth' drop. This drop is 3 up from the big waterfall. Or, put another way, the sequence goes goes meadows, 8-foot boof, S-Turn Slide, Old Growth Drop
, two drops to the left eddy, 25-foot waterfall.
So, hopefully you understand which drop this is. It is TYPICALLY run on the LEFT side - which the way to go. There, it is a nice little slide. The middle is a boof over a hole and is fine. The right side is where the bad pin potential is. Do not run this drop on the right if possible. If you do get pushed that way, do everything you can to keep your bow up (boof).
The 'old growth' drop can be seen here (3rd drop up): http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_jBsBv1kbLh...0/DSC_0157.jpg
. NOTE: this image is several years old and at lower water than last night. You can see the wood in the drop in question, which is no longer there. The pin spot is river right of the downstream midriver log (again that log is gone). I will look for a more recent photo but this will have to do for now.
There used to be an old growth tree in the middle of the drop and wood blocking the right, forming an eddy river right and making the only real line down the left. All of that wood was flushed out last year due to super high flows brought on by dust-on-snow and some hot days. Now, its just a riverwide drop with the three distinct characteristics: left: good slide, middle: boof over hole, right: junky chunk with pin potential.
We almost lost a highly experienced class 5 paddler with likely 100's of OBJ runs last night. His semi-vertical, fully submerged pin was almost impossible to access. I had 3 ropes on me from 3 different directions when we got him out. Without a good crew in adequate #'s it could have turned out much worse.
Please take a look at this spot when you go up next year, and stay out of this potentially fatal pin zone. Treat the run with respect and carry your rescue kit whether you consider the run 'roadside plop and drop' or 'full on creeking'.
Rescue report and insights potentially coming soon. SOO grateful my good friend went home to his woman and 1-year old. No fucking way were we going to allow any other option.