Sierra Nevada College students dive into Rock Creek Canyon

Over Labor Day weekend, eight students traveled to the North Fork of the Feather River and descended into Rock Creek Canyon for a Canyoneering course.

Students repelling in Rock Creek Canyon

Ranging from 1,800 feet to 7,500 feet above sea level, these students were guided by 36-season guide Mike Selby. Selby teaches two courses at Sierra Nevada College and is in charge of Project Discovery.

“Smaller groups work best because it is easier to move around the canyon,” said Selby. The group consisted of eight students and guides Selby and Senior Camilla Rinman.

Sophomore Jake Bricklin said the environment in the High Sierras is a big change from Tahoe.

“Granite boulders, waterfalls, and a few pines,” said Bricklin, listing the features within the canyon.

This season, Selby experienced several firsts. The group was able to go farther into the canyon than any other group in past seasons.

“We got to explore a new part of the canyon that I hadn’t been to before,” said Selby. “The water was crystal clear, emerald colored. Probably see 40 to 50 feet down.”

The students were also excited about exploring a new area of the canyon.

“Going to a new area with Mike under a waterfall and seeing his excitement made the experience even better,” said Senior Tyler Arthur.

Another first the group accomplished was climbing up the waterfall.

“Climbing up the waterfall with water blasting in your face was amazing,” said Bricklin.

A picture of a flower in Rock Creek Canyon

Arthur said they were the first group to all make it up without using the rope in all of Selby’s seasons being out there.

Participants on the trip struggled to identify a favorite moment.

“The whole thing was a new experience, hard to pick a favorite part,” said Arthur. “Go out there with no expectations and you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.”

Even though Freshman Madison Johnson got sick, she did not let it ruin her experience.

“It was a cool experience, even though I got sick on the first night,” said Johnson.

As one of the only women on the trip, Johnson encourages more women to participate in the class.

“If you’re offered help, take it, especially if it’s out of your comfort zone,” said Johnson.

Selby said, you’ll learn anchoring, repelling, and belaying techniques.

Senior Tyler Arthur jumping into one of the many pools on the trip.
“If you want to push your limits and love adventure, this is a class for you,” said Selby.
*Originally published in Eagle’s Eye.
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