Sunday, June 2, 2013

Another Adventure Down The Almighty Little White Salmon!

  So today was a late start lazy paddle day. I woke up around 12 and got picked up by Ryan Young to head out to the L-Dub. On the way there I hit up my boy Hans since he hadn't ran the Dub yet and has been trying to get on it since he moved down here around a month ago from New Mexico. It was a beautiful day and the flow was suppose to be around 3'2" so I was super stoked about this mission. 

  I walked down to put in and checked the gauge and it read 3'4" which was a little higher than i felt comfortable since I just started boating again but I was super fired up and ready to go so I put on anyway. Getting busy was a ride and and so was Boulder Sluice but as i flew off the launch pad of Boulder Sluice i saw Hans upside down just to my left. I landed and my bow shot up and landed on his boat. He ended up pulling his skirt and swimming and swam the next sketchy ledge. I got his boat in an eddy right below the ledge and he self rescued right where I got his boat. 

  We kept on downstream through some more boogie water and made it to Island. Hans got out to scout and Rush Sturges and one of his friends were smashing down and stomped it. Ryan's friend ran it first out of the four of us then Ryan followed. They had a little close moment together in the bottom hole that was a little funny. Hans went next then me. He had a good line but i flipped in the bottom hole and ran the next little pour over upside down and rolled up laughing. 

  Smashing down some more fun named and un named drops we made our way to Wish Bone. Everyone had a good line other than Hans. He tried for the far left boof but got rejected by the diagonals and went right down the middle with the "oregon tuck" technique which is a sick falls to try to go super deep on. After missing a couple rolls he pulled his skirt and had his second swim. He got to the side drained his boat and prepared for the Gorge. 

  Ryan and his buddy Ran it first to set safety at the bottom of Horseshoe. Hans followed me through the Gorge and all went well until I caught a boil above Horseshoe which sent me left and I charged to catch the last eddy above the drop on the left. Hans was left to run it himself and had a good line. Me on the other hand had to climb out of my boat and use it to stand on to climb up the wall to hike back up. I slid back in and ran the drop then eddied out below with the rest of the crew.

  The whole run I was pretty nervous and didn't think I was going to fire up spirit but as I was making the bend before it my adrenaline kicked in and i decided to give'er. Ryan ran it first and disappeared off the lip which looked to me like he was way to far right and when i looked at his friend and Hans they both dropped their boats and ran to the edge so I thought it was bad. After a few seconds they gave me the thumbs up. I blanked my mind except for what i needed to be thinking about which was the falls. As I approached I realized i was way to far left but had no time to do anything about it. I kept charging forward and took a huge boof stroke! I Ran it last weekend but this time i felt like I was falling forever! I landed, smacked my nose with my paddle, flipped, and rolled up as quick as i could cause for some reason I thought i was going into the right side of the falls. When i came up my contacts were blurred but I paddled forward as hard as I could and when they cleared I was paddling through the curtain on the left and struggled but made it out. 

  This video is from last weekend and is of me running Spirit Falls but I didn't post it so here it is now!

  Me and Ryan were at the bottom of  Chaos waiting for the other two to finish their portage and continue down river. They got in and we peeled out of the eddy. I told Hans about to Little White tradition of running a drop backwards and he looked super skeptical. We all lined up and hit it faced the wrong way and he saw it was all good and did it too. It's always funny seeing someone do it for their first time. We bombed through Master Blaster and the next couple dams and ledges leading tom the lake paddle out. The wind picked up as soon as we hit the lake but it felt good cause my stinky dry suite was a hot mess. No one had a beer for Hans so he could drink a booty beer so he will have to make up for it another time. In the end the run was amazing and I got to share my favorite river with an L-Dub virgin! 

Sincerely, The Wonder Midget!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Canyon Creek Surprise

So Monday morning I got picked up by my boy Hans and we went out to Canyon Creek for his first time down it. We met Robby and Paul on the way there. Robby said the level was about 600cfs when he checked the gauge the previous day. When we get there and put on I new it was way higher than that. In fact it was actually around 1,100cfs which made for the highest any of the four of us had ever been down it at. Swizzle Sticks cleaned up a lot and there was a tongue on the right around the hole. Terminator was the same airplane move on the left with a flare boof and was super fluffy.  Prelude was super easy at this flow cause you don't get hung dry on the right side boof. Thrasher on the other hand got a little beefy though no one got held up in it. The new boulder garden above Big Kahuna was way sick and feels like a roller coaster now. The last time I ran this section of water was before the log jam so the new boulder garden through me off for a second but I like this new drop more. Big Kahuna through everyone hard into the left wall and after watching this happen to everyone when I dropped it I took the hardest left boof stroke I could and cleaned the drop. Champagne was a super savage flare boof and Hammering Spot had the clean left hump to launch off of. Hammering Spot definitely lives up to its name by engulfing Robby and demonstrating some pretty brutal window shades. It ripped his elbow pad off as well as his paddle from his hand and claimed it for about 10 minutes before finally it surfaced. I was hanging out just above Toby's Drop with my helmet off drinking a beer waiting for Robby to walk down to the pool we were in and I hear "PADDLE!!!" So I set the beer down and with no helmet charged into the current, grabbed his paddle and made it into the last eddy literally 2feet above Toby's where I clipped the paddle to my tow line and pulled it back up to Robby. Definitely a little scary eddy hopping back in forth across the river without a helmet to get back up to the eddy Robby was in. All was well though. We hit up the last drop and paddled out the lake. The level made for a fun and great experience with good friends. Till next time. 

Sincerely, The Wonder Midget!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Back in the kayak game!

It's been a while since I've posted on this so I'm just gonna start with it feels great to be back in the kayak game! I've boated a whole of four times in the past four years until last weekend. I felt like seeing if I still had what it takes and hit up the Little White Salmon after the race and ate a lot of crap. Nothing that wasn't expected with the lack of paddling though. Over all the run was amazing! I ran Spirit Falls for the first time which made for my first no portage run down the L-Dub! Super stoked about that. Afterwards I saw a lot of people I haven't seen in years and it was really cool. Most didn't recognize me at first since the last time I saw them was when I was 14. I'm back boating almost everyday and next week ill have a job so ill only be boating weekends and off days but I'm definitely stoked to be back doing the thing I love more than anything else in the world! Stick around for more posts! 

Sincerely, The Wonder Midget!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our goal reached!

While Michael is still up for pushing the teams vertical miles in the Eddyflower Vertical Challenge this weekend with Devin as they plan on a weekend of lap after lap on the Little White. Well, OK. 5 laps since that's the limit that can be logged in.

But our goal of $2000.00 has been blown away with currently $2240.00 and a few days to go for anyone that wants to give.

It is gonna be awesome to help out with the First Descents Camp in Washington this year knowing we helped fund one of the campers trip their!!!

Well done Team Midget Torture

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Update for the Eddyflower Challenge

We are within five dollars of our being halfway to our $2000.00 goal for First Descents! As for our vertical mileage we are sitting around 19,000 feet total which is currently over twice that of the others in the Weekend Warrior class. Not too shabby....

The past weekend, we found outselves with the Williams clan up on Icicle Creek campground "8 Mile". we spent the first day on Ingles and Peshastin Creek. Devin and Michael got two laps in on Ingals. Sunday was my birthday and we attempted to access Little Wenatchee but after a few hours tring to get the Dodge truck through snow drifts and having a few miles to hike in on a run no one had done. We opted to through in the towell and drive all the way back to Ingals and Peshastin for a lap. Gotta love when you break camp at 930am to make it to a run by 4pm? Ouch..... it wsa still fun as the levels had risen a few inches and the entrance rapids were much more stout. With some 8 or so paddlers on a creek only 30 feet wide you can imagine the excitement that got created around every corner.

Monday was our last day and with levels still rising on Icicle Creek, EJ took a group down lower Icicle and we all did the play run on the Wenatchee from the dam to Cashmere. At just over 9000cfs almost all the waves were good to go. For the first time Trinity was in and we had a blast catching several surfs in the crowded eddy line that is the Wenatchee on Memorial Weekend...

I've got some good pics and vid I'll get though soon and post...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Team Midget Torture off to a good start

While the midget opted to not boat this weekend. Midget Torture logged in some quality mileage! Michael Williams put in three laps on the West Fork of the Hood, One lap on Dee to Tucker while instructing his OKCC class and a lap on the Upper East Fork of the Hood. Shannon Williams did three laps on the WF Hood and the Dee to Tucker run. Myself did three laps on the WF Hood and EJ Etherington boated up in Washington somewhere and we'll see what he adds to the 8850 vertical feet already logged in to Eddyflower...

Things are going well with great weather and with the upcoming three day weekend  where all but EJ will be up on the Wenatchee drainage. We'll see what gets logged in!

The mileage doesn't mean anything without sponsors donating money to the challenge! Our goal is to raise $2000.00 to bring one teen to the White Salmon's first First Descent camp!!! You can help make that happen by pledging anything you can spare to a great cause and a good tax deduction as well.....

donate at:

Thx, Corey

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MIchael's Time was Due!!

Last Sunday, May 10th myself, Devin, Shannon and Michael Williams went out to the Tilton River to run the Gorge section. A fun class IV run that we all enjoy for several reasons. It's got several quality drops spread out through the gorge. The river is usually ours alone as few from the PDX area trek the 1.5 hours to get there. It's one of those runs that you can take your playboat if your adventurous at normal flows to catch the many quality waves and holes along your way or you can bring your creeker so a safer passage downstream. We tend to find ourselves on the run in the Winter with low 30 degree air and cold water so the creekboats come out.

This trip was in the Spring which is a rarity for us so all four of us were in our playboats. The lead in to the run is a few miles of class I+/II till you reach the gauge and the gorge and the action begins! Flows were around 1100 to 1200 cfs. I little lower than we tend to find ourselves there but that brings some of the play in with good eddy service. I don't know any of the names but the main play hole we usually stop at. It's a near riverwide hole was the best I'd seen it. It was retentive enough for Michael and Devin to throw down in but exiting it on either side or simply flipping and you were free. It was my first time dropping into it and after being away from my boats for a few I really found myself enjoying the rivers again.

We made our way down river to what we joke as the "last rapid" on the run. It's an inside joke from when Michael took me and Devin down it for the first time a couple of years ago. We ran the drop and he looked back at us and said, "well guys, that was the Tilton! What did you think?" We were all excited and were kinda bummed it was over. OK, except the fact that is was 20 degrees out and the water was freezing on our gear. The run was amazing!!

We float around the 90 degree corner to all see the biggest boulder garden that is longer than the eye can see as it drops down some 100 yards of hole/boulder dodging goodness. Michael then looks back and says, "OK, I think that was the end of the whitewater!" We all laughed and paddled the 1/2 mile of flatwater across the lake to the take-out at the day use park. A memorable trip that has kept us coming back every since. :)

OK, so back to the day at hand and we're all at the top of the "last rapid". Michael as normal heads towards the river center towards a island boulder that we run just off the right side of the rock with a right flair boof. Michael drives at the rock and what happens next I can only tell from my perspective, the next few seconds. He drove up, running dry onto the rock and launching his playboat vertical in dropped out of my side, off the ledge in a inverted burningman! We all laughed as he'd ate s**t on it. We watched and waited for him to come into view downstream. The rapid drops some 8' at a near vertical drop where we run it at. The right side goes but the right gorge wall is badly undercut so this line is fun and deemed safe.

It usually is, but what happened next is told to me via Michael Williams and Devin. When Michael did his "inverted burningman" off the drop it placed him into a low head style horseshoe pocket hole. We quickly found the pourover ripping the paddle out of one hand and then both. He tried handrolling but that didn't work and we soon was out of his kayak. His kayak, paddle and himself got to go for a proper cleansing cycle. He'd ball up and try to go deep but kept finding his shins slamming into a rock underwater. Resurface for a quick breather and repeat the cycle. Anyone who has spent a time in Bob's Falls knows the feeling! Been there! :( It's a bad place to swim and with everything Michael said he was doing right. Nothing was working and we were all out of sight above the drop that you can't set safety on, scout or portage! We assumed we would pop out in a sec or so we all hoped but nothing changed for the duration of maybe 30-40 seconds in real world time.

Devin was close to the drop and had been ferrying upstream waiting for the "all clear". After some time he decided to go ahead and run the drop. Michael missed the line so I think he was confident in making it so off he went. Me and Shannon sat on river right in a eddy waiting to see Michael. Devin hit the flake off the right side of the island and he was too out of our sights! Eek!!

According to Devin, as he approached the flake and was digging in to take his boof stroke his saw Michael's black Sweet helmet starting to surface right where he was about to boof to. I quick adjustment and next to no boof and he landed just off of Michael. Michael hesitated to grab the shiny new Biscuit playboat Devin was in to not pull him in with him. Once Devin was out enough Michael grabbed onto the stern grabloop and Devin pulled him free of the nasty hydraulic. Best even was at the same time Michael playboat and paddle came free. Weird!

Me and Shannon then ran the drop in the same spot as the others had and joined the two recovering the boat to run the "real last rapid"

It was Michael Williams first swim in 15 years in which we wasn't able to self resue himself and he got rescued by a 14 yr old who thinks of him as a big brother and mentor to all that is kayaking. Michael said he knew that day would come but he hoped it would be a few more years down the road.

I'm just happy everyone was ok and our Eddyflower Vertical Challenge team is still complete. Go Team Midget Torture!! Oh a quick vid of Michael booty drink out of Devin's shoe which was filled with Rum and fruitjuice! :)