Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Yule Creek

Wow...............Never have I gone so fast so out of controll and so excited while doing it. Yule Creek is about an hours drive outside Carbondale CO right next to a small town called Marble. Due to being a snowmelt drainage it has a short window when it's running, typicaly early summer. It runs through a few hundred foot deep slate gorge and in total is no more than a mile long, but that mile is jammed packed with some of Colorados biggest slides and exciting white water.
Jake Saxon called me up one Sunday night about three weeks ago and asked me "you ready to get scared?", I knew exactly what he was refering to and was stoked to finally have the opportunity. The next day around 12:00pm we were in the car and on our way to the Yule. Driving down a terrible little dirt road to the bottom of the drainage, we jump out of the car, quickly throw our gear on, and start hiking up. We hike up to the top veiw of Oriental Massage and Happy Ending and looking down it looks great, but from about 700 feet away its hard to tell. We keep hiking up, until we hit Ball Check and Wall Check where we walk down to the lip to check it out. They were at a great level so we didn't spend to much time scouting. After finishing the hike up past the warm up rapids and setting down my boat, I piss about three times before I get in my boat.

Next thing I know were on the river paddling down to the main drops, but the warm up rapids end up being just as difficult. The warm up is made up of ledge and pourover boofs with stick holes at the bottom of every one with no real breaks between them. They went great though with both of us having great lines and then eddying out right above Ball Check and Wall Check. I walk up to the lip and chose my line which I had seen others take, right off Ball Check then quickly shoot right to ride out Wall Check on the left. After a few deep breaths and second thoughs, I seal my self into my boat and see Jake dissapear over the horizon, I eddy out. Thanks to the river gods, we both had stomped our lines.

Next up was Oriental Massage quickly followed by Happy Ending. Standing 2 feet from the lip to scout was way differernt than looking at it from a few hundred feet away. Looking down the 80-100 foot slide with water flying off the kicker and the ledge shooting water right into a seem made it by far the most intimidating rapid I had ever scouted to run. Once again, deep breaths, second thoughts, and before I knew it Jake vanished over the horizon and I eddied out. I took the slide straight, entering far left right on the wall and going straight from there. The air time off the kicker was by far the most exciting thing on the run. I landed in the eddy on the left and decided just to jump out of my boat and seal slide into happy ending due to the eddy being really difficult to get out of. After that though I was looking back up and couldn't believe I had just made it down with great lines, and padled down to the car.

Unfortunatley that day Jake and I took no media so we don't have any pictures. We went back about a week after though to run it again and Fred Norquist came to take some video. For me though that day ended up with me hiking out after wall check with a slight lower back enjury and no kayaking for a week after. Ill post up that footage once I get it from Fred. You should check out his Blog though and see some cool shots and video of when he ran it with the CKS team! Check it out at !

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