Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Cabin Creek deals a lousy hand

As we were awaiting Shane's arrival, E-Rock & I were determined to sort out access to Cabin Cr. upstream of the falls. There is no trail whatsoever. From the airplane it appeared as though you could bang up into the timber & traverse along a steep wooded canyon wall to get to the gorge upstream. Our in-person recon revealed otherwise. This canyon is totally impenetrable. There are trails literally everywhere in the most remote & rugged parts of the Lower 48, & yet no one has successfully found a way into Cabin Cr. Game-trails end at cliffs & gorge walls, or else traverse super-sketchy shale scree slopes that angle steeply & perilously back into the swollen creek.

We got shut down on upstream access, but we still had a beautiful 25-30 foot waterfall to run. I was to drop first & then set up a shot (and safety) on river-left. Right outta the eddy I was screwed -- blew my line & landed with my left hip into the massive boil coming up off the riverbed. I felt a "collapsing" feeling in my left ribcage & raced over to the bank & hugged a rock. Needless to say, I didn't set up the shot for Evan's run ...

View of Cabin Cr. Falls keyhole slot from just upstream

Photo:TG/Range Life

Thus began my 3rd "grace under pressure" situation of 05. The logistics of accessing Cabin Cr. were difficult enough under normal circumstances. Now I had to get outta there without being able to draw a real breath of air, without being able to stand straight-up, & without really being able to paddle. With E-Ross's help, we were able to make quick time outta the gorge & got back to the truck, my dog, & a bottle of Vicodin, with plenty of daylight left.

I'll be sitting the next couple days out & Shane will be a little disappointed when he gets here, after having driven from Seattle to film us this week. Grrrr...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great story, even greater pics. Keep it up.