I spent the last two days on the Kaweah. The goal was to get on the Hospital Rock section, something my buddy Matt has been dying to do all year. So the two of us headed down to Three Rivers and met up with Tyler to make it happen. The first day we arrived in the afternoon and didn't want to try Hospital with a late start so we decided to do the stretch below which is suppose to be easier. But we decided to put in a little higher than normal to see if we could get some bigger rapids. And boy did we! Turns out we ran the lower two miles of the Ash Mountain section which was every bit as hard (and slow) as Hospital Rock. But everything went fine and we managed to paddle into the campground as the sun was setting.
The next day we got an earlier start and put on Hospital Rock the same time as another large group. They knew the run and we did not so we managed to get some good beta for the first few drops before they left us in the dust. We got overtaken by another group just as we reached the first serious gorge and managed to follow them down the entrance line which saved us some painful scouting. Otherwise we were getting out of our boats every 100 yards to figure out what was over the horizon or around the corner. It made for slow going but actually a lower stress level as everything went smoothly with only a few portages. It was a great couple days of boating and I'm looking forward to a rest day before getting in some more time on the Kern with old friends.
The video will take a while to edit down but I should have it up next week. Pictures are here.
UPDATE: short video below and full videos of Hospital Rock and Ash Mountain