John and I stopped by Susitna Sled and Kayak, got James, and headed to Montana Creek which has some great class III+-IV+ boating. We hiked a couple of miles up South Fork Road carrying two packrafts and a Bandit IK. All of us had been there before, but like idiots we put in on the wrong trail, had to hike out, and then had to hike back in.
The creek looked good as we gazed over, our warm up, "Big Sky Falls,"(IV+) a 7 foot riverwide falls with a three step entry;two small ledges, and a ninty degree tight turn. James and I choked with both of us hittting the same rock above the falls, lost momentum and swam. I tried to roll but the current was grabbing my paddle making it hard to posistion for a roll. I finally came out of my thigh straps and was forced to swim. (wah) Not as smooth as my other run.
The creek flows into a narrow canyon with some exciting technical drops, with the crux being Paddlechock, the third drop, which is a very steep, nasty looking, boulder garden drop (IV+) . After that there are two more stout class III+ drops which pasted grins on our faces.
Five big drops, in a mile, with all sorts of interesting filler, makes this one a valley classic for a capable team. Not a good creek to take a dip in, it has undercuts, sieves, sharp rock, and ckimbing out would be suffering. It does have good eddy service, and they should be taken advantage of.
Here is a pic of James grinning ear to ear, and I will share some good clips soon for those interested