Topic: Hospital Rock (Kaweah) -- New Sieve
|Posted: Jun 19, 2007Post Subject: Hospital Rock (Kaweah) -- New Sieve
|Heads up on a dangerous new sieve.|
Below 420 gorge. First small (3-4') drop past the common portage rapid, where you typically seal launch down a 10 foot dry slab on river left. The common line has historically been along the right wall. This is a very inconspicuous drop and the danger only becomes obvious from the bottom of the rapid, where you see the majority of the river flowing from beneath a huge rock.
At low to medium levels (~4.6 on the 0-60 guage, ~700 on the 3 rivers gauge) 75% of the river flows under a huge boulder in the middle of the river. 20% flows down a seemingly boatable right channel. 5% trickles over some wet rocks on the unboatable left channel.
Recounting a BAD situation
5/27/07 -- I was boat scouting the rapid, got a visual and was paddling right to boof the right wall, as I’d done a week earlier. This time, the water was a bit lower and there was a rock just under the surface in the right channel that I drove up on (not far enough right) lost momentum and slid back upstream and toward the center of the river ~4 feet. At this point, my stern subbed out and my whole boat went under quickly. I was facing downstream toward the main dry boulder dividing the channel, which sticks up a foot or so out of the water. The bow quickly submerged and my boat started going down vertically and under the rock. Slowly but steadily sinking, I looked back to see only 3-6 inches of the stern above water so I reached for the skirt planning to step up on the cockpit and up on to the rock. As soon as i pulled the skirt, the 74 gallons of Jefe lost it's buoyant force and immediately flushed right under the rock. I went tumbling in the vacuum following it feet first knowing that this was not pretty. I shot under the rock and bounced out the back side just behind the boat. Seems the cave is pretty sizable and I nor the Jefe got hung up at all. The paddle never turned up.... very small price to pay but look out as it or lots of other debris could easily become lodged in here creating a really nasty situation.
I think at flows above 800 there is plenty of water covering the cave if you are driving hard right. At lower levels, I think a portage is advisable.
I'll go back in at low flow and search for the paddle and will take a camera so a picture can be posted.
Edited once. Last edited by tulley Sep 4, 2007.