Friday, January 10, 2014

Middle Norrish

I wasn't originally going to put anything up on this with such incomplete information, but with the lack of information out there and how amazingly photogenic the place is I decided to write something up.

I had heard of two groups running middle Norrish previously, the only info I had on levels or what was run was spotty. I'd seen a picture of someone running the entrance to a canyon and some different kayakers scouting a waterfall and heard one of the runs had been done with levels between 1.5-1.8. An entry level flow for the lower usual run is 2.7 at this time, and that is very low and bony even.

A few of us spent a couple days with nothing else really running and a bit of a drought this winter checking things out and doing a little bit of kayaking. All of the pictures you'll see here are with the level at 2.1.

The run consists of 6 distinct rapids and two seperate canyons which seal you in pretty well separated by class III where it is easily accessed by the road. All of the rapids except number 5 where the river subs out under a rock ledge enclave have lines, but they aren't all straight forward and I'm not sure what levels would be best. Levels that are good for some rapids seem like they might be worse for others, and running the class III section below a level of 2 might render it unnavigable, while above 3 for the class III would be preferable.

I'd like to get back in there and check it out some more, but it's definitely not at the top of my list. Parts of it might be a good alternative in the dog days of summer when local water is in short supply though.

You could start the run at the 7 km mark where Rose Creek confluences right beside the road, or start off with Rose Garden on Rose Creek if the level was high enough. Another option would be to start at the dam if there's enough water, this would add a great class V rapid just below the dam (pictures in my previous post) and a good stretch of class III. You could finish at the regular Norrish put in or the class III gravel bar after the first canyon. Either way it would be a 1-2 km run. If done at or above 2.7 on the gauge you could combine it with the classic Norrish run as well.

Mason on a Rose Creek warmup lap.
Mason and Simon enjoying the bottom drop of Rose Creek.
Mason checks out #1, the waterfall with a number of issues including a messy entrance, cave and undercut right wall below. This looked better at 2.5, I'm interested to see how it looks both with more or less water.
The runout of #1.
#2, a straightforward constricted slide into a pool.
The emerald green water and varied geology of Norrish Creek is a treat.
The boys scouting #3, a short but sweet canyon pinch the would get rowdy with more water.
Upstream view of #3 from the side.
The slide to boof exit of #3.
The action relaxes after #3, but the scenery stays classy as always, watch for rednecks shooting their guns near the river. With levels below 3 this part will be bony, below 2 or a touch lower possibly unnavigable.
#5 in the foreground looking horrible, with #4 barely visible in the background, 4 is a clean 7-8 foot ledge, but don't go into 5!
#6 is the rapid you see just upstream of the classic Norrish putin. It seems to want a bit more water for the last part.

Looking down at the classic Norrish putin, a beauty spot.