Sunday, December 30, 2007

Upper EF Lewis "way too low"

Devin leading into Double Drop

Running Double Drop
Devin scouted boated both drops and felt they were both good to go and was the first to fire both of them up. None of that,"I want to see someone else run it first" stuff. Devin and Alex were the only two out of 8 of us that ran Double Drop and only myself, Devin and Alex ran Tombstone.


All photo's are thanks to Kate Wagner

A group of us headed up to the Upper EF Lewis River for a fun do what we hoped had enough water part due to the 1400cfs on the gauge and report from another ground that ran it the day before at 1300 that it was low but good to go. I don't think you'd find anyone in our group that felt it was the best choice for the day but we made the best of it and enjoyed running the big drops usually not run when there is actually water in the run. The drive up the road had Hugh's slipping around in the snow pretty good and I was quite happy the my Subaru even without the snow tires on on 8-10" of snow.

To quote a line out of "Liquid Insanity". "Ya want to see just how not in it was?"

To make the worse Devin's Jackson Punk Rocker cracked sometime during the run but wasn't bad enough that we had to repair it on the river and it must of happened near the end since that was the only time he needed to drain his boat.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Farmlands @ 2.0

Devin on Offramp from a previous run. Photo by Ej Arlington

Shots taken from both sides of the Truss Bridge

Saturday we headed up to the White Salmon River for a run down the Farmlands run. The level was 2.0' on the Husum gauge. Why that is really low for Spring flows when the springs that come in on the Truss raise the levels to around double of what comes off the top and through the farmies. The flows are I'd consider medium-low in my opinion. All the drops were clean and runnable. Barbell had it unpleasant rock waiting at the bottom for ya fully exposed just wanting to take a bite out of your boats nose.

It was nice for me to get back into the canyon run after my last time down it when I got a beating on the ledge hole below Little Lava. On the day I had to climb up and out without any rope or safety it wasn't my idea of a good time. This time I got to complete the whole run. While in all the run is easier than the Truss. Alot of the holes seem to claim boats on the Farmlands though and if ya swim hiking out my not be pleasant.

The climb up and out is never enjoyable anytime of the year but 5-6 inches of snow on the cliff you've gotta get you and your boat up is not the everyday ordeal for kayaking in the NW. If we'd gotten a ealier start me and Devin would have loved to hit up a Farmlands/ Truss combo which is totally doable at winter 2.0'. We were on the Truss last weekend at the same levels.

Upper Wind River Movie

Footage from last weekends run down the Upper Wind. The level was medium-low with just a wee bit of water splashing through the horns on the gauge rock. It was myself, Devin and Kris Litz.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I just found out that Devin received his first manufacture sponsor today from AT Paddles in Hood River.

Devin has been paddling a AT4 every since he outgrew his tiny Jackson paddle that he started out with.

Congrat, Devin. Your earned it!!

Toxic Waters Premier Feb 16, 2008

Make sure you clear your calendar for Nate's new movie premier and party in Hood River at the River City Saloon.

February 16, 2008

The Movie is suppose to start at 8pm

Just be there!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Weekend in HR

Devin and myself headed out for a weekend in HR on Saturday to meet up with Kris Litz for a run down the Upper Wind. The level was med-low, just a little water splashing through the horns. The was a small amount of snow on the banks but in all the weather was 38-40 degrees that made for a very comfortable day on the water. I got lots of footage via the helmet camera that I will get up on here in the next week.

We staying the night our at Kris' place that gave us a great oportunity to check out the town and grab some dinner at the Trillium before crashing on Kris' floor.

Sunday we woke to find that our 9am meet time at BZ had changed to 11ish. When we met up the small crew had grown with the Corvallis crew of James, Ej, Meggie. Dave Gridley from Pdx, his little sidekick from Bend (sorry I forgot her name), Kris Litz from HR and Chris that's from the Couv. The level was 2.0, but far higher than the summer 2.0 that I had been on before. Every drop of water was coming from the top that made for some really amazing drops.

Well, maybe other than Bob's Falls were I popped my cherry and joined the "Truss Swimteam". We all ran the far left that's normally the sneak line at lower flows. At todays flow it was drive from the eddie on river right to far left with a left boof. All went as planned till my bow caught some of the swirly water near the lip and instead of having a 20-30 degree left angle I dropped in straight about 6-10 inches right of the happy area. The result was getting tractor beamed back in the hole, flipping, hitting a roll, tossed back over, trowing a few enders and then getting pushed deep. After hanging a few and not going anywhere I opted for the swim of shame. Bob just isn't one of those drops that gives ya a hug and says good by. Nope.

Me, my boat and paddle were in there. I started out on the left side of the hole and by my swim. I was swimming out of the right side it. I aswam as hard as I could to get out and was nearly clear when according to Devin and others a boil exploded in front of me and got reeled back into the beast.

Now at the beginning we had safety on both sides, Chris and James Bagley on the left. James was below the drop on a shelf and Gridly was river right. When it came my turn it was only James below and Gridley was getting back into his boat as I was. Not my ideal situation, so I knew I didn't want to miss my line. Oops! With Gridley seeing my beatdown e was back out of his boat coming back over to help but the first hope that got thrown and I luckily heard it was coming during a cycle I felt for it as I headed back down. Great, I've got a anchor to shore. Hold on for a few and it'll all be over soon enough. The only setback was the rope thrown was from James on river left parallel to the hole and I was on the other side of the hole. OK, hold on, relax and I'll feel myself getting pulled over. I'm not sure how much James was able to pull but the line seemed to just be tight and I wasn't moving. Wanting a change of scenery, I started pulling hand after hand on the rope that was gonna either getting me closer to breathing again or I'd lose grip and my lifeline. The second never crossed my mind probably due to how hard I was gripping the rose.
James was able to provide enough of a anchor for me to pull myself through the hole and to safety in the eddie. My boat finally came out, ran the next ledge and was rescued. My paddle was fished out in the eddie on river right at Bob's. I was soon back in my boat and very humbled and happy to be with great company.

Random shots taken Sunday morning prior to the run

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Opal Creek

With the snow levels coming down and the Little North Fork of the Santiam finally in on a weekend we could take advantage of it, me and Devin headed out for Devin's first run down such a classic and beautiful run called Opal Creek. Although there was close to 20 some boaters on the small drainage at the same time we were all able to separate enough to enjoy the scenery and eddies that are readily available. The crew we were with was Hugh Boyd, Jason Boyok, Alex Dey, Allen Sacher, Mike Elston, Laura Sol, Jim Busse.

One of the things that Devin loved with the run is that all the rapids with the exception of a few drops he ran them without much if any input from others. Granted, he saw other peoples line down through the rapids prior to dropping into them but they are fun and straight forward.

I was able to get some good footage with my helmet camera that has proven fun for us to watch over and over. It's was fun to watch a video that you're in and made as the norm is to watch someone else's footage. We hope to get many more videos put together of an entire run or rapids at least and the great scenery that comes with this awesome sport of whitewater kayaking.

Bonus: 22 Days till we head off to Xalapa Mexico for a week of kayaking. Though we'll be playboating and not creeking like the Herbecks did over Thanksgiving. Althought I'll pass on getting sick as Nate did.

Sunday, December 9, 2007