Chaco Ambassador Chris Gragtmans on Upper Cherry Creek
Posted On: Monday, August 05, 2013 - Chaconians
Upper Cherry Creek has my vote for the best river on the planet.
This river’s stats paint the picture of a great adventure:
11 mile hike in over 9,600 foot Styx Pass (with loaded 80 lb kayak)
9 mile river run
Two nights out in the granite wonderland of the Emigrant Wilderness
6 epic gorges
2000+ vertical feet of elevation drop
I’ve now done Upper Cherry four times in my life, and I hope it’s a place that I can return to again and again in the future. It is a fantastic and very challenging undertaking. Here are a few photos to bring you into this peak experience:
The 11 mile hike in is dusty and full of musquitos. It’s painful, but it is the entry fee to visit Shangri-La.
Camp 1 Sunset. Words cannot describe how good it feels to sit by the fire and chow down on good food after the brutal hike.
Day 1 on the river- the lunar landscape unfolds before you…
Cherrybomb Gorge! This is the marquee drop of Upper Cherry. It is a class V+ rapid with 7 consecutive drops between inescapable granite walls. It makes you feel very small.
Here’s my self-support setup. This includes paddling gear, food, water filter, sleeping bag, bivy, first aid, spare paddle, etc. Traveling self-support is the best feeling on Earth.
The “teacups” are right above Camp 2 and are perfect for sessioning until your legs can’t take anymore!
Flip EcoTreads rocking out as camp shoes…
Welcome to the good life. Paddler- Andrew Holcombe.
Andrew styling “Groove Tube.” This one does not look good to go at first glance!
One final roll in the crystal clear waters of Upper Cherry, and it’s back to the real world…
The 2013 whirlwind tour is continuing, but three days in this majestic river has allowed me to hit the “reset” button and come at stresses from before the trip in a different way…