Darin McQuoid Blog Reviews Tutorials River Directory

Japan 2012

The confluence

We had no beta at all when we paddled the Upper Nakatsugawa last year. Now we have a pretty good idea what we're getting into, except we have just a small fraction of the water as compared to the previous adventure. On the river everything still goes, with a whole different feel.

Shannamar Dewey and Yoshi Takahashi at the end of the first long rapid.

Today we're able to run some rapids that were just too scary last time. Rapids that were full of big holes and no recovery pools for a swim have turned into technical boulder gardens full of fun boofs.

David Maurier in a fun rapid.

Just a quarter mile into the run the river goes through a deep canyon. High on the banks are marks for an eventual hydroelectric project. It's only a matter of time before this river vanishes for whitewater paddlers. 

Yoshi gets the goods.

Exiting the first canyon the river completely charges character. The river is wide but still steep, and the boulder gardens get much more technical. Eventually the river flows under a bridge and it's raining on us. This is where I took out last time due to a damaged boat. Other team members can continued only a little ways downstream before hiking out due to high water. Today we're able to follow the river down where it drops into another canyon and gets exciting. A blind horizon leaves us no option but to give it our best guess and drop in.

Yoshi in the mandatory blind rapid.

This spot is almost impossible to describe, where I'm standing is one of the strangest features I've seen in a river. Visually the river appeared to go left of a bedrock monolith, but actually went into a large eddy, and under the surface water flowed to the right of the rock spire.

Yoshi boofing though a magical canyon.

Daniel Brasuell in the same.

Soon after the mandatory section the river eases up and we pull up to yesterdays red bridge with huge grins on our faces. Coming back a year later it feels great to connect the dots on this river.

Camping at a trailhead near the Zakogawa.

On to the Zakogawa (coming soon)

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...