Vertical Challenge - Middle Feather Overnighter
From May 15th - June 15th, the Gueras de CKS are competing in the Eddyflower Vertical Challenge. Foremost, the Vertical Challenge is a fundraiser for First Descents, which is a kayaking camp for young adults with cancer. During 32 days the event encourages teams of 5 to log the most vertical feet on the river while trying to raise money for First Descents.

I encourage you to check out more at
If you have a spare dollar or so, you should donate. If you have a spare $20, you should donate even more. We might be lagging in vertical feet at the moment, but the Gueras de CKS and First Descents would love your support!

Starting on the first day of the competition, some friends and I put-in on a 3-day overnighter on the Middle Feather in California. Never hearing much of this run, but not feeling like waiting for other rivers to drop in to acceptable level, we decided to pack up the boats and go camping. Covering 30 miles, 3 canyons, and over 100 rapids, the Middle Feather ended up being well worth it. With beautiful scenery and quality whitewater, I would recommend this run to anyone and in the first 3 days of this competition I posted 1/4 of my total vertical feet.

Beautiful California scenery on the first day.

Dave Fusilli running the 1st of 100 significant rapids.
Counting each rapid to gauge our progression on the river, we realized that our idea of rapids we slightly different than someone else's because already on day #2 we were on rapid 117.

Dave paddling towards the sieve... right on line

Our first camp spot

Second day scenery - the river is starting to run through one of the three gorges

Jared Seiler avoiding a stout hole


Scouting the stout rapid of sieves, holes, caves, and other bad spots that we all portaged.

J Dog near the end of Devil's Canyon

Anna charging yet another stout hole.
We thought we were out of the canyon and the river was over. But, apparently not.

Now I am back in Colorado, which is awesome, except lots of playboating does not really help increase vertical feet. So, after an afternoon of looping and windowshading in the Salida hole, I convinced Jared and Dave to run my shuttle, so I could speeder and atleast acquire a couple of feet for the day.

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