liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Trip Report: the Priest and the Yaak

On Saturday T and I ran the Priest river in Idaho, a nice class II run that he often runs solo to clear his head. Yesterday we met up with four other local boaters to run the Yaak river in Montana, which was more class III-IV in flavor. We put in below the Falls at the putin, as it was perhaps a bit high water for a first time run on that series of drops, even though the rest of the run was at a good or even low flow.

I think it was 4.9 on the gage, or something like that. The first few miles were class II and III, and in the mid section of the run there are a series of drops that push the upper limit of class III. The biggest rapid is a solid IV called Stone Chest. It has significant gradient with the river gorged into a narrow rock chasm. It was something to look at, especially from below after having run it. But it was not nearly as difficult as it was impressive. Below the midsection the river chills out to a long shoaly class I-II section which is the obvious reason why people like to have more water. At the very end there is one last boulder garden called Good To The Last Drop (GTTLD) which is the most fun of all.

I am paddling a borrowed bliss stick kayak, and I feel fairly invincible in it. It punches holes well, eddies and boofs well, and is comfortable. It's not the best surfer and is a little slow, but for the comfort and reliability it's a good tradeoff.
Tags: boats, idaho, kayak, montana, river, whitewater

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