Chicago Whitewater Association is a 501(c) non-profit organization. Chicago, Illinois
Northern Wisconsin and the UP got a lot of water dumped on them so five of us decided to head north and take advantage the water. Someone got the crazy idea to run the full Presque Isle and make it an over nighter. We all met up on saturday morning and went out to find the put in but unfortunately there was a bridge out. We tried to find another way and thankfully some drunk Yuppers noticed we were lost and gave us directions but the deteur took took an hour. We found the put in and did not look like it has been used much and we had a short hike to the river. We couldn’t find much info on AW for the upper part the Presque but we knew where some of the bigger falls were. Once on the river I realized I probably didn’t pack my camping gear in my boat right. It was very slow to control and always wanted to spin. The beginning of the river was very beautiful and smaller rapids some we had to duck under logs to get through. The first big drop we came upon was Minnewawa Falls and the rivers splits in two. We chose to run the right side since the left had a large tree and a sticky hole. Just about everyone made it through but we had one swim. We continued through some smaller rapids then came up on Nimikon Falls which we ran middle and river left and everyone made through clean. It started getting late and we already paddled 9 miles so we decided to camp at the start of the canyon section. Beautiful spot next to two nice surfing holes. First rapid of the second day was triple drop then we moved on to Nakimos falls. After scouting we deciding the left line was the best and safest. I ran the line perfect but on the runout I dropped an edge and my roll failed and I swam. I lost my paddle but luckily we found it an hour later about a mile downstream. We got back on the river and ran a couple more smaller falls then the river slowed down until we got to the bottom Presque.
The bridge marks the beginning of the bottom section and we were getting excited and nervous. First up was Nawadaha falls which is a 15 foot drop with lots of options. We call went river right where there is an autoboof. Manido falls is next and is a series of ledges and we ran the left line. I started left then ended up in the middle when seemed to work a little better than the other lines. Next up was the one everyone came to run Manabezho falls, which is a 25 foot waterfall. Everyone came out upright even though we had some pitons. I recommend boofing it to avoid and chance of hitting rocks. Zoom Flume is the last rapid and is a long rapid. Things didn’t go so well for this one. We had two swims and one had a foot entrapment in one of the holes. Luckily the boater behind him came through and ran into him and knocked him free. At first we thought he broke his ankle so we got him to shore and started first aid. We got him out of all the wet gear and got a space blanket on him while we figure out a plan. A nice family was there watching us and offered to help. Three of the guys left to go start shuttle and I stayed. I determined the ankle wasn’t as bad as first thought but he did have broken ribs. Two of the guys helped carry the injured paddler up to the parking lot and offered a warm car and I got the rest of the gear up to the parking lot.
This was a great trip and everyone can’t wait to do it again. We learned many lessons. I need to improve my first aid kit and make sure I have a sam splint and an ace bandage. I need to get a breakdown paddle. Before a trip everyone should have each others emergency contact info. It also convinced me to invest in a spot tracker so I can reach on in a deadzone. We didn’t get back in a service area until several hours after we were supposed to check in so people were worried.
video of trip