Sunday, April 09, 2006

Top Tye -- Monkey Cage Mayhem

Mitch lines up on Monkey Cage.

David Chatham, Mike Hoover, Mitch Mcdougall, Mike Novak, and Scott Waidelich met up for a day of Sky drainage fun on Sunday. We headed first for Silver Creek, but decided the levels were just too low to hike for. Next came a scout of Eagle Falls on the South Fork Skykomish before we headed east for the Top Tye. Levels had risen overnight, and we were looking at a low level rather than the minimum level of the previous day.

Video: Monkey Cage and Top Tye

Due to the low water, we began our run at Monkey Cage, one of the signature Top Tye drops. Armed with two video cameras and the still camera, we were looking for footage. After setting safety and multiple camera angles for the drop, I hiked back to my boat to run one my favorite rapids.

Novak styles Monkey Cage.

Mitch runs the middle line.

Mike Hoover subs out on Monkey Cage.

David prefers the right line.

Fish rides a huge brace out the bottom of Monkey Cage.

Novak finds the angle.

The author glad not to take another beatdown.

After dropping over the lip, I became aware of just how thoroughly I had taken a beating the weekend before on the SF Skokomish, where I swam Bobbing for Butler while boat scouting. I quickly opted for the hike back to the car. Nobody else seemed interested in carrying the camera gear, so I hustled and hiked in near Log Choke Falls to shoot video of the boys running Box Drop. Nice lines! Thus, this trip report is Monkey Cage and little else.

After everyone made it down to the takeout, we spent some time scouting Alpine Falls, which lurks immediately below the takeout. After an innocuous III-IV leadin, Alpine drops over an entry ledge of 8 feet. The thinnest of lines leads to the left bedrock high-angle slide, while the majority of water finds its way right into a nasty channel full of headwalls, undercuts, and pinspots. This is a seriously consequential and challenging drop, and though the level looked good, no one was willing to step up for the committment of such a serious rapid.

The crew scouts Alpine Falls. L to R: Chatham, Novak, Fish, Mitch, and Hoover.

Alpine Falls from below.

But the day was far from over! Check back soon for more of our fantastic weekend adventure.