TR: Rafting Gore at 2500
First, a micro-rant: I am basically posting a trip report to the rafters forum because I am so tired of reading asinine threads about poverty rafters, drinking water quality on pristine wilderness runs and what folks do to sanitize their water jugs. I am often left wondering, 'Do any of the rafters on here boat the shit?' I know the kayakers do and they are super supportive of the newest transgender member of the community. The folks that are both solid and compassionate know who they are. Thank you!
I have never posted a TR, but here goes:
Gore at 2500 is some really quality rafting. Dave and I had an awesome time Sunday. Applesauce cleans up nice as you would expect and you melt through the hole at the bottom since you hit it with so much speed. The little class II riffles between Applesauce and Gore Falls disappear completely and so do the little beaches on the left side. You are left with big eddy pools all the way down to Gore. Gore is a MONSTER rapid with tons of big features, but overall it cleans up. The entrance is clean enough to come in the left side eliminating the need for the right to left pull. We ran the standard raft/meat line. The race line would have gone too and may be worth future consideration. Gilligan's Island is completely buried under a largish breaking wave and the hole behind (Ginger) is stompier further right.
I got my salad tossed, but didn't swim. Ran the falls clean, but subbed out and watermelon seeded to the right, just to the part of Gilligan's/Ginger that is the worst. Went for the highside as I dropped into Ginger off angle and backward and got tossed down into the cockpit. Stayed with it as the boat flushed, but got to the seat to find the right oar gone. Had the oar back but not in the lock when I hit Scissors. Grabbed a micro-eddy and got re-situated. Styled everything else.
Dave did awesome in Gore. Cleaned that shit up! He had a brief swim in the pool below Pyrite. The hole at the bottom of that slide is a real boat stopper and he just catapulted forward. Swim couldn't have come in a more benign spot.
The rest of the run: The two holes of scissors are as big as you would expect, but there is still a seam between them. Put either tube on this seam and you are going right through. Both the slides right and left of the rockpile are open in Pyrite. I ran the right slide where the hole at the bottom seemed to flush better, but in was a really hard pull to get over there since the entrance is protected by three huge boils coming off the right bank. I was still pulling right as I was going down the slide. Dave quickly saw he wasn't going to make the pull and ran the left slide. Swimming as mentioned above in the meaty hole at the bottom. Running center over the rock pile would suck. The rock pile would f*** you up and the hole at the bottom would certainly finish the job.
All of the class IV down to Tunnel was AWESOME! As fun a couple of miles of boating as you can find anywhere. The rapids just keep coming.
Tunnel is easy. The ramp on the left opens up. You pull back to line it up until you are right at the lip, then a big 90deg airplane turn right at the lip and off the 15 footer you go! So fun! We melted through the hole at Toilet Bowl no prob and Kirsh is a wild ride, but totally manageable. Dave ran over a huge pour-over feature that looked like a hoot. Drank beer like good rafters and ran the class III out past the incredulous fishermen.
All in all, I would say Big Steep Class IV+ (V-,V/V+). Kirshbaum is the V-. It is just longer and bigger than the rest. Yep, Tunnel gets easier, It is one of the IV's along with everything else. Make sure you know where it is though because the scout eddy is largely gone and once you pass it you are running it. Gore is obviously the V/V+. I would say the difficulty of Gore Falls and Ginger together definitely merit the V, but the fact that you are above 1/2 mile of super continuous hugeness (the runout of Gore, Scissors and Pyrite) with 150' of vertical elevates that move to V+ status. Gore Falls at this flow is definitely more difficult than Nutcracker or Jacob's at the moderate flows I have run both of those drops.