White Maiden’s Walkaway
About White Maiden’s Rapid
Technically called White Maiden’s Walkaway rapid, this is the first class IV rapid that you’ll come across on the Lower Kern. This rapid was named by Chuck Richards, one of the original outfitters on the Kern. After a calm pool, you’ll come across a steep horizon line. The scout is on the left shore by pulling into one of two small eddies. Carefully tie your raft off and you can rock scramble to a high vantage point showing you the entire rapid.
How to run White Maiden’s Rapid
At all water levels, you will be entering just right of center. The primary feature is a goal post move at the bottom of the rapid. Flows will dictate whether this is a chute between two exposed rocks or a massive lateral. An important feature to note is the right shoreline has vertical granite walls with eddies creating a “room of doom” scenario that can flip boats against the wall or cause boats to get perched on top.
Above 3500 CFS: Enter right of center of the tongue and aim to touch the right side of the first hole that is just left of center. Work hard to get as far river left as possible before lining up to crush the bottom hole. Once through, quickly decide to go left or right of the house rock. The left line is easy if you can make it there in time. The right side has a lateral coming off the house rock that can push you into the room of doom so be sure to thread the channel.
3500 to 2000 CFS: This flow gives you more time to work left to avoid the lateral but as the water drops the rocks could become more exposed requiring threading the rocks. The first rock creating the top hole starts to become exposed and as you pass it you will want to be cutting behind it.
Below 2000 CFS: Avoid both the pour over on river left be sure to thread the goalpost rocks at the bottom. Rocks on river right have become exposed which can perch a boat along with creating a room of doom against the granite walls. There is an alternate route shooting far right of the goal posts as well and then cutting back left.
This video shows White Maidens at ~700 CFS. You can see the clearly exposed goal posts as well as the final boat taking the alternate line.
High flows around 4,300 CFS. You can see the pour over fully covered after the tongue and the massive hit at the bottom
High flows around 4,300 CFS. You can clearly see where to enter and what happens if you hit the lateral off the house rock a little sideways.
High flows around 4,400 CFS with a good view of the bottom hit.