Class V (P), 200fpm, ~500cfs (2800cfs Cispus at Randle)
March 23, 2003
Ben, Travis, Tom
Feeling cocky after a high-flow run down Johnson Creek the previous day, I convinced Travis to join me for a "real" run down McCoy. I camped out in continued rain while Travis carpooled in comfort with an equally ambitious Tom. We met up in Randle for an early start and plenty of options. The nearby Class V Silver Creek was running but McCoy topped our list and North Fork Cispus was put aside as an alternative. We arrived at the take-out full of questions and concerns. I don't know if it's just me, but I have an incredibly difficult time judging the gravelly flow of Yellowjacket Creek. It was much higher than our previous trip but nowhere near the murky thousands of our recent fiasco. We estimated an even thousand and agreed to get dressed and check out the put-in.
My previous trip was embarrassingly low. I knew the mind and body hazards would still be present but a short hike down the jeep roads revealed a different kind of embarrassment -- fear.
Tom and Travis wetting their drysuits at the put-in.
The put-in was bank-full and beyond. We paddled the first 1/4-mile to get a feel for it but when the call for concern came, I was in no mood to argue. "If this is Class II and III, what would the Class IV and V be like?" I longed for an answer but my scrapeboat memory was fuzzy at best. I knew there would be many hydraulics to deal with but was unclear of the scouting and portaging options. We agreed to bail before it was too late. A short hike and ferry led to the jeep road that I had second thoughts about driving. The final 1/2-mile was a steep lug that I assume most people don't drive. We had no second thoughts on the drive back while gazing into the deep valley and a mid-day run down the North Fork Cispus kept us content.