Edward’s to Purdon’s – South Yuba (IV)
The stretch of the South Yuba between Edward’s Crossing and Purdon’s Crossing is as good as class IV whitewater gets. I’ve tried to narrow down exactly what makes it so great but all I know is that every time I run this stretch I spend the whole time whooping and hollering with excitement. It’s continuous yet non-intimidating (so long as you are comfortable on solid class IV). The rock is smooth – making for perfect boofs throughout the run – and sieves are fairly rare. It’s less than 5 miles long so laps can be run. I think what I like best is the playful, explorative nature of the run. For most rapids, there are a variety of lines that can be taken that all go smoothly meaning that every time down E to P offers something new to try. Because of this nature, I don’t like taking people down the South Yuba until they are very proficient at class IV; otherwise they miss the playfulness of the run while being too gripped about being in continuous class IV.
Justin and I showed up at the put in with ~500cfs flowing. We were unable to convince other friends to come out for the low-flow run so we were relying on finding another group to tag along with so that we could catch a ride back (we also enjoy the added safety of larger groups). Within 10 minutes of waiting at the put in, a group of IK-ers and 2 hardshell boaters arrived and we jumped in with them. They were a great group to paddle with and hope we see them on the river more often.
As usual, I don’t know that I can add much to the rapid descriptions so I will direct people to Daniel Brasuell’s write-up on E to P. The only advice I’ll give is that if it’s you’re first time down, it’s worth scouting Easy/Ugly. See Daniel’s write-up for more info.