The window for catching Beaver Creek with floatable water in it is pretty small, but with the big snow storm that AZ this past week and subsequent warm up the curtains were flapping in the wind.
My big sister was in town, and she wasn’t an experienced paddler and I wasn’t experienced with this river – bad combination.
I met up with the Flagstaff crew (plus a few other from PHX) here at the Mcquireville exit at 9:00. I had rented inflatable kayak for my sister. We did the quick 15 minute shuttle down the river – prolly the shortest shuttle you find for the 10 mile stretch of river you will find in AZ. We parked here.
The river was flowing at about 800 or 900 cfs when we got on it, but I had no reference to how fast this thing was moving and how many obstacles that needed to be dodged. It didn’t take long before I realized that my sister was going to struggle all day, and she did. About an hour into the float, she ran into a tree, dumping her out and wrapping her boat around the tree. Bad things. She was alright, and she was alright on the two other times she went over. Each time she ate it, I did stoopid things too and ended up doing wet exits myself.
Anycow, despite my sisters struggles, I had an absolute blast rawking the river. The rapids were bigger than anything I had been on, and the carving around the trees was wicked fun.
I believe by the time we were off the river, the flow was down a to about 4 or 5 hunderd cfs. Still pretty fast for this tiny space to go down.
The scariest thing I was after we pulled out, a group landed about 15 minutes behind us and one of the lady’s had stepped walked backward into a submerged drainage pipe. It sucked her in, dragging inside the completely filled pipe, and spitting her out on the other end – about 25 feet. Terrifying. I don’t believe she was injured, but I can only image the terror. Shoot, she is one very lucky lady; that pipe could have been obstructed with a tree of something else.
Here is a graph of how the waterflow spiked:
Here is the vid of the day: