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Rapid Heartrate

Class: IV      GMap
Road end to Beckler River
Trip Date: 6/30/2011
Written on: 6/30/2011
Written by:

A note of warning on this run.  First, we ran it at 10,500 cfs and falling (sky @ Goldbar), and I would call this level medium/medium-high level, there were some green eddies and everything was paddled out, the only rocks I was hitting were the ones I was boofing off of.  

Second, this run should not be taken lightly, it is continuous in nature and missing rolls or swimming would be ugly.  A tentative class IV boater would be a little uncomfortable on this run, it moves fast and there is a lot of information that needs to be processed very quickly.  Perhaps at a lower flow you would be more comfortable, but with less water there would be a lot of rocks to pin and/or piton on.  On this run your should feel comfortable reading-and-running class IV water.  I would call this run a IV+ run, no individual rapid is more that class IV but they all run together.
Third, the character of the run.  At this level there were lots of backed up holes and class IV rapids leading into IV+ rapids.  There were moments of stress punctuated by calmer moments.  Run has a high potential for wood so scout carefully.  If I could do it again I would scout the whole first rapid at the Bennett put in.
If you follow the Bennett put-in directions BE AWARE OF THE FIRST RAPID BELOW THE TRIPLE drop.  The first rapid is a doozie, it's probably 200+ yards long and VERY BUSY I would call this first rapid a class V due to the length, amount of wood, gradient, and the bottom of the rapid ends in a sieved out/undercut rock.  There are several wood issues on the edges of the river as well as several subsurface pieces of wood that you wouldn't see until you were downstream of them or pinned under them.  SCOUT CAREFULLY BEFORE PUTTING IN HERE and decide what you want, this rapid is bigger, faster and more consequential than the rest of the run.  The steep stretch "flattens out" (ie. much less steep and scary than the rest of the run) below a large boulder in the middle of the river (the front of which is undercut/sieved) with a line on the right and wood on the left, there is a last chance eddy on the left where you can ferry above the boulder.  Below boulder eddy out on right, downstream there is a river wide piece of wood that we walked but could have ducked under on the right.  Below wood there is a pyramid rock, on the right side is a SWEET BOOF.
From here it mellows out for a bit through the flat stretch before picking up in gradient.  I remember two distinctly steeper rapids that we got blown in to, both bend around to the left.  There is also a river wide piece of wood in a flatter stretch, portage left (there is also a eddy on the right that is easier to catch but a much harder portage).
As you come into the final bridge and the take-out beware of the sticky hole, on this trip we had a swimmer in this hole which resulted in a lost paddle.  He could have gotten surfed in the myriad of backed up holes on the rest of the run, so take them all seriously.
Good run, glad I ticked it off the list, but due to the panicked nature of the run it'll be a little while before I run it again.

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