Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Devils Track River Lines...

The rapids and lines on the Devils Track river are so often forgot year after year it seems. Mostly because people only paddle it once a year, and sometimes it doesn't flow every year.   

Devil’s Track River Lines.

The run starts off with class II boogie water. You go through 2 narrow cliff walled canyons with class III drops. Next the canyon opens up and makes a large sweeping right hand curve and a horizon line with mist spraying up. Triple Drop rapid. You can take out on river left or river right. River left is to scout both drops and pick your line. River right take out is where you portage the rapid.

More walled in meandering class II following the portage Admiral falls. The river picks up pace and there is a distinct green water hump in the middle of the river signaling serpent slide rapid. Follow the flow and enjoy the ride.

The canyon walls open up with some long straight sections and easy paddling. After one of these long straight sections the river makes a left turn. This signals the 10 foot drop. The line is right of center down the green tongue.

Then you go under the superior hiking trail bridge. There is one more 10 foot drop. Run down the center. Be prepared to get sent towards the river right wall.

The river meanders through tall canyon walls until you come to the next horizon line. Portage down the middle. Eddy service is on river left or right. PDM is best scouted on river left. The line is to run 5 feet off the river right shore. Take a strong boof stroke and point the nose a little right. Land. Then take another boof stroke if you need too.

The easier take out which is starting to become the norm, is 100 yards downstream of PDM on river left before the canyon narrows up again. Hike straight up until you hit the superior hiking trail. Hike downstream maybe ½ mile until you see the walking bridge. Do not cross this bridge. The easy route down to the river is hike down through the woods on trail right before the bridge on trail right. Hike down and go towards that creek bed. Climb down onto the creek bed and follow to river. Very slippery and sharp on creek bed. Sometimes it’s best to just walk down the creek bed in water to get the most grip if it's icy on the sides of the creek.

After the Pitchfork portage, the river canyons up and meanders quite a bit until you see a big notch in the canyon and distinct horizon line. On a sunny day, It's probably the darkest spot on the river from lack of sunlight into the narrow gorge. There is a small eddy on river right if you want to scout Ski Jump and Up Against the Wall.  Run ski jump right down the center. Bank right on the pillow. Try and get river right as much as possible for the most water under your boat. Left is ok too but scrappy. Ride into the big curler off river right wall at UAW. After Up Against the Wall, Get river left and run this drop river left into the hole at the bottom. And that's it for the big stuff. Enjoy the class II into Lake Superior.