South Silver Creek

South Silver is known to paddlers all over the country. It drops about 680 vertical feet over the 1 mile runnable section of the creek. The creek is packed full of clean bed rock drops, the highest of which is about 70 feet tall. For me personally this creek represents both the ultimate mental challenge and training ground. People often don’t believe me when I say that my two biggest fears in the world are heights and water, but it is true. Separately I can usually manage them pretty well, but both at the same time can be very demanding on my ability to stay present and focused. I guess that’s why I like going kayaking so much. There are few things in life as exhilarating as staring down that which scares the hell out of you and breaking through that fear to do what must be done. Everything goes into a sort of tunnel vision and you experience a level of awareness that most people never know. I didn’t get to get on south silver last year and with the low snow pack in the Sierras I had figured this year wasn’t going to happen either. I was stoked when Cyrus said he wanted to go up and he had a good feeling it would be in. I half expected to get skunked but we got there to find a great water level and fair weather, all the makings of an awesome weekend. Flows were medium high ish. I think this was the highest I’ve ever had although it’s been so long since my last visit it’s a little hard to compare. The day after we left it snowed up there so I’m hopeful I will be able to get another run or two in after the Reno River Festival this weekend.


We had a sweet sunset at camp on Saturday night. I really liked the evening light shining on the trees and clouds.


I know what you’re thinking…”why am I looking at a picture of shoes?” Well I don’t really know the answer. I just needed a subject to photograph with the fire in the background.


Here is that rad sunset I told you about.


Man the California scenery is ugly. Don’t go. It’s awful.


As some of you may know, we recently lost a friend and fellow kayaker, Dirk Bradford, to the river. Dirk was one of the most confident paddlers I ever knew. He would run skyscraper, the 70 foot cascade on South Silver, in a play boat. Here Cyrus is preparing to spread some of Dirk’s ashes into Skyscraper. Cyrus plans to spread some of Dirk’s ashes in as many rivers as possible this year. This was the first.


Dirk drops into skyscraper one last time.

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