El Rio Shangri-La

El Rio Shangri-La

Matt Wilson

To el rio Shangri-la I go. In all honesty I never thought I would make it to the Kings with my bad habit of buying raft companies and kayak schools, which have kept my summers fully tapped. Fortunately I have enough sense to throw responsibility to the wind from time to time and I soon found my self driving up the windy -ass road to the take out of the Middle Kings.

Middle Kings hike

“How many Beers are you bringing?” Ryguy said to me as he launched a few oil cans of fosters into the abyss of his Remix. "I don't want to talk about it". I knew deep inside he would share.

Team Beer on Bishop Pass
Team Beer members at the top of Bishop Pass: Ben Luck, Matt Wilson, Xavier Engle, Ryan Casey

Backpacker season was in full swing on Bishop Pass and everyone of them had something intelligible to say.

“Duuuude …do you realize you have a kayak on your back”?

Middle Kings scenery

Granitic Wonderland.. Just like the brochure.

Middle Kings

Welcome to Cali. Xavy gets some faceshots.


“Dropping in... Geronimo”.

Money Drop

Back strokes work… right? Yours truly getting spun out on Money Drop.

Crushed Ass

Can of Crushed Ass .. no takers.

Glamor Boating

Aaaahhh… Glamour Boating. Xavy must practice this pose in front of the mirror.

Ben Luck

More cali glamour... Benny boy takes a nice ride.

Waterfall gorge

And you don’t stop... Dropping into Waterfall gorge.

Melt Down

Willie Kern- melt- down lived up to it’s name.

With our low side a medium flow we were able to drop into Black Rock Gorge end of day 2.

Raw Dog

Xavy and Ben Fired up Raw Dog...

Da Beaver

Day 3 is pretty chill.. Except for this one… Da Beaver. Our beavers were filled with sand… no glory forus.

Tehipite Dome

Tehipite Dome is reportedly the largest intact granite dome in the Sierra, towering 3600 feet above the Valley floor. Camp 3.

Bottom 9

The Bottom 9. Time to put away the glamour poses and get down and dirty. From all the whohaa of the Middle Kings, I guess I never heard much talk about what sustained piece of whitewater the Bottom 9 is. 9 miles of exactly this!

Portage on Bottom 9

Portage action bottom 9.

Garlic Falls

Glory boof to finish her off ..Garlic Falls section. Day 5

Middle Kings California
Middle Kings, California

What an awesome run. I can’t think of a better river I have had the pleasure to be with. Ryguy, Xavy and Ben went to the Devils Postpile.. Wasn’t in the cards for me…. maybe next year. Oh yeah all these photos were taking by Ryan Casey…thanks buddy.

by Matt Wilson

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