Yeah, so I guess I should have kept my mouth shut. At least I won't be held in suspense as to whether or not I'll make it through a year without swimming.
So there I was. Bear Creek. Empty parking except for Brian, of course. My partner bails after the scout so I jump on with Brian and Lucas. I did the the run with roughly the same cfs on the gauge from my previous run after the floods, but the calibration has obviously changed as there's clearly quite a bit more water in the creek than when I ran it before.
We do a couple sketchy log portages, but we cruise through No Fun Falls without incident (it was fun once I was through it). We eddy out above the lower slide into the double ledge holes. We commit.
I've scouted my line and know where I want to be at the crux, the first of the ledge holes. As I enter, I'm so focused on the overhanging branch at the horizon, my position at the horizon line, and the boater in front me making it through that I fail to notice the branch right above my head grabbing my paddle. It almost causes me to flip as I pull my paddle free but by the time I'm straightened out I'm already at the lip. I throw a boof stroke with no speed, but there's a big boil and you need speed and a boof to clear it.
I'm surfing, kind of hoping that Brian might slam into me from behind. Every time I flip my paddle drags across some boulders and almost gets torn out of my hand, but every time I roll up I'm locked into a side surf.
It felt like I was surfing it a long time. I managed to work my way back to river right a little bit where the surf wasn't quite as violent, but every time I thought I could move a little and I'd try to twist my stern back into the pour over, I just went back into a side surf.
During all this Brian got out of his boat and walked back upstream to try to grab my bow. I tried surfing back towards him, but he couldn't quite reach. I dug a couple more times towards him, but I got put in a funny spot where I was having trouble holding a brace and kept getting dumped underwater.
I probably should have just gone with it at that point and tried to roll again on the other side, and hope I could get another shot a Brian rescuing me. Unfortunately, I was getting tired and stopped making optimal decisions, so I punched out. It actually took me a few tries to get my grab loop, which was an unpleasant feeling.
Swimming sucks, but all my gear was immediately recovered, woohoo! And somehow we survived another sketchy log portage and the rest of the run.
The real Bear Creek is back and angrier than ever.