Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
After two months of creeks in California, Oregon, and Washington, I almost forgot what it feels like to get on a river. But the North Fork of the Payette made me remember, quickly, what its like to get on some big water! We paddled two sections of river while we were at the Payette’s. The first being the Staircase section, a 30 minute class III play-boating stretch. And the second being the Lower 5. We got the whole group down the first 3 miles of the Lower 5 stretch, which was around class IV- minus at higher water. But after that the big rapids start coming in and you get into some good old class V big water creeking.
The first rapid you come up to is Otters Slide, which is after the first couple miles of continuous boogie water. This rapid’s line is dependant on the level, but for us we had medium flows and the Slide was in! You head straight down the middle of the river and will see a giant pillow up on a rock, head for it. Be a little bit to the left side of the rock and it will shoot you straight across the river towards a big eddy which you want to catch. From here ferry straight across on the death ferry for fun or go straight down, it really doesn’t matter. Next up you got Juicer, my favorite. It’s 200 yards of big waves and bigger holes. You want to ride it out right of center the whole time, but don’t get to far right because there is a nasty pin rock!
With out a break in the rapids you’ll go through some boogie water and come up on Cruncher, where you want to head left and sail a hole boof. Stay left after the boof or you’ll get crunched in a massive hole! After that though just dodge some hole and enjoy the boogie water till the end! (make sure to split left at the fork in the river!) What is so unique and amazing about these five miles is that it only stops twice! This being one of the main it is considered a class V, because if you swim…….just don’t.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Ben Hurd running Bobs Falls on the Green Truss
The first day we got here we got the whole group to fire up the Farmlands. Its about a 6 mile class IV creek run with a good chunk of it being down in a narrow gorge with green moss walls. The first mile or so is just a bunch of easy boogie water until you get to the first main rapid. It’s a good one to portage if your not feeling to strong due to a nasty undercut/pin rock on the left. At high water there is just a green tongue through it but a couple of us fired it up at lower water and had some sketchy lines. After that though is just some good continuous white water down to Lava falls! Lava is a 10-12 foot boof that you don’t want to miss your stroke on! We had a couple swims the first few days but everyone finally got the hang of it, make sure you set safety on it! After that just keep paddling it out and the gorge will open up. There is one last main rapid that’s a good one to scout near the end, but nothing to worry about. The line is to enter and push hard right to a eddy where you then boof a small drop to the bottom. A mile after that is the take out which you can spot by it being right under a bridge, this is also the put in for the Green Truss! Unfortunately we didn’t get any pictures of this run.
A shot of my line at the lip of Punchbowl- photo by LJ Groth
While staying up in the hood we decided to take a day off and head over to the Punchbowl waterfall on Eagle creek. It could easily be one of the cleanest/ most non-consequential waterfalls in the world. A 30 foot drop into a massive blue pool. The whole group fired it off. On the hike up there is a good view of Metloko falls, a 90 foot waterfall, which was pretty sweet to see.
My line off Punchbowl- photo by Paul Twist
The Green Truss
Evan Garcia boofing the right side off Big Brother
It’s a 22 foot waterfall that goes straight into Little Brother, a 8 foot hole boof. The main danger on Big Brother is a cave in the right wall that if you were pushed into would be very difficult to get out, and on Little Brother the hole can get a massive boil that’s really hard to boof over. Besides that it’s a super fun line on the center left or right at lower water.
Quinn Connell going down Double Drop
The next main drop is Double Drop, a whole boof that is stacked right on top of another hole. Its really flushy and will just flip you around if you get caught in it, but go a little left of center and take a SUPER late boof stroke. Next come the most fun two drops of the run, Upper and Lower Zig-Zag. The name gives it away, its exactly what you think it is.
Dave Meyers and Me cutting it close on Zig Zag
You wind right to left back to right and back to left again in a narrow canyon avoiding some munchy holes and it feels like a roller coaster. After that, Lower Zig-Zag comes up, a bit shorter but just as fun. You boof a river wide hole on the right and then book it hard left to duck under a giant log that’s pinned up against the wall. Right after ducking the log though head hard right again to dodge another hole and go over a fallen tree, then your good.
After that the run is pretty mellow with no main rapids until the very end at BZ falls! Falls I think is an inappropriate name for it, it should just be called BZ hole. About a 6 foot ledge pour over makes one of the mankiest holes I have seen, you can boof on the right but its super difficult. I plugged it on the left and somehow got lucky and came through.
Me pluggin BZ Falls
Most people portage it on the right. That’s the last rapid though, after it you paddle down a quarter mile or so and take out on the river left which was conveniently our camp!
The Little White
The one run I had been waiting for since the end of last summer when I first arrived at world class. The Little White was by far the most difficult run I had ever been on, and it made it the most fun and exciting time I had ever had in a kayak.
My coach gave me one piece of advise before we put on, “don’t stop boofing”. I would try to describe the run drop by drop, but it was to continuous for me to be able to divide the rapids up. The best way I could describe it is like this.
Erik Johnson on Island Drop
For the first part of the run, Getting Busy, think of every boulder garden drop you have ever been on or seen, and every move you had to make to get down it.
LJ Groth on Boulder Sluice
Then take that image and compress it into one mile with no eddy’s to catch and countless pins and sivs to miss, just a epic game of keeping on the tail of the boater in front of you through one of the Pacific North West’s famous kayaking runs.
Jesse and me running Double Drop
Me "Getting Busy"
Jesse Shimrock flying off Wishbone
And the take out for the section could not be more beautiful. After bombing down 6 miles of non-stop full on class V+ whitewater for two hours, the river drains out into a glassy lake in the middle of a small canyon, quiet enough to hear the ripples from your paddle.
Erik John on the last rapid, Master Blaster
After a sad parting with Hood River, we drove over to Palouse falls to stay the night. The new world record water fall drop was set here by Tyler Bradt while we were in Hood, with it being a 186 foot water fall it shatters Pedro Olivias old record head dive.
A shot I took of Palouse around 11pm
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Definitely a must do run if you are anywhere near the area. The rapids mostly consist of boulder gardens with countless little ledge and hole boofs. Its a steep incline to so the mile is over in about 5 minutes. We got there later in the day and did two laps, but you definitely could get there early and run it till your arms say no more.
Its super continuous so it would be a pain to scout any of the lines, you really wouldn't need to though unless your nervous about some pin spots and holes. Luckily for us Todd Baker and some friends met up with us and showed us down.
The last day we held a adventure race down it and everyone got out there an d stomped the line. First place finished with 1 min 10 sec.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
It’s about a three mile run and takes 30 minutes if your taking your time. A completely road side stretch which is great if any one gets hurt or your just not feeling it, but even if you weren’t feeling good id stick it out for this run.
Me trying out the River Board
After hitting up the Kaweah to we drove into Sequoia national park and saw the worlds largest tree, General Sherman! It was fenced off but.......we had to get up close.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Great Bend of the Yangtze
Taken by Sebastian Scholl
Photo by Adam Elliot