Sunday, August 24, 2008

North and South Fork of the Crystal

The upper crystal trip is always a good time, you get a crew of friends, load up in the best high clearance vehicle you can get, and venture high into the mountains for some sik kayaking. The north fork is a super fun run with 4 fun little drops. The south fork has a whole bunch of gnarly 5+'s above and below the punchbowls, while the punchbowls are some quality vertical drops in a row. We started our trip running late as usual, on the way up of course our fearless leader Nightrain (Alex's 1980 toyota land cruiser) decided to take a little break, meaning a 2 hour break, so we hung out, set up the slack line while periodically trying to start Nightrain. Once we got 'er started, of course it was pouring rain, so we charged up the lead king basin road, sliding all over the place, and reached a super cool little campsite right next to the upper four drops of the north fork. We camped there, and woke for a day of lapping the upper four.

A beautiful n/s fork sunset thanks to a flat tire on the way to the punchbowls.

Jake taking it to town on the 4th drop of the nf.

Jake and I after lap 1.

Sik photo.

Im str8 out the ghetto of c-dale, watch yoself!

Jake running drop 3 like a boneified thugg.

And again...

What a slayer!!

Awwww rastafari!

Me runnin drop 3.

You gotta watch out for that undercut wall..... Alex's paddle took a swim last year and never came out.

Lining up for the fade-boof.

I like this line, it is super fun!!

A super sik photo of Jake putting Icing all over the cake.

Me on Icing.

A nice lofty boof.

After our super fun north fork session, we loaded up Nightrain, and headed to the Punchbowls. In true Nightrain fashion, we got a flat about halfways there, and ended up going to explore the South fork where it drops away from the road. we found a few manky rapids, a death 20 foot slide into a wall, and a decently sik 25ftr. The problem in here is wood, there is a lot of it, and it is a mission to try to get in there by hiking (with a boat it would be hell). We ended up camping on the road there, and woke early to put our rediculously low spare tire on, and drove the car down to the fork where lead king basin road comes in, we then hiked to the punchbowls, had a super fun huck sess(each of us ran them twice). We then drove down very carefully, What a good trip!!


The Crew after a fun punchbowls huckfest.

A cool photo of jake in between the drops.

This Photo is SIK!! Jake huckin and stompin.

Jake again with a cool line.

Alex taking the auto-boof to the next level.

A nice 45 on the top one.

A nice sequence of me on the bottom drop.

ALex takin her to town.

Pretty sunset!!!!!

GCK is have their labor day sale this coming weekend through the end of the season, store wide discounts. Check it out. Everything except pfd's and skirts 20% or more off.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Yule Creek

So after the Rock Creek 50'ftr our whole Crew was fired up to go run the shit. We got back home from Crested Butte, put in a few days of work, and woke with the common goal of reaching top speed in a kayak down some steep ass shit. Yule creek has always been on my mind after scouting it last year. It is located only an hour form C-Dale but it isn't one of those after-work runs, unless you eat lots of wheaties!!! It is a famous CO creek with large waterfalls, and HUGE, steep slides. This creek is stout. After watching numerous videos of the Pyranha boys "demshitz" running it, I knew i had to do two things: make sure to cross the ridge on Wall Check early as to avoid shattering my ankles on the nasty rocks on the right, and stay upright on oriental massage as to avoid going over the last 25ftr upside down. It turned out well, we all must have eaten our wheaties because we all had good lines except for Alex, he must have had low-carb granola or something because well he didnt stomp the lines, and was quite lucky with avoiding consequences. We hiked up, ran the upper drops all together, and then set safety for each other on the bottom four. Our crew consisted of me, Jake Sakson, Alex King, NIc Vanderhoof, and Don"Stridah" Smith.
Also a huge thanks to Joan Sundeen, James Spicer and Luke Lbchenko for comin and filming/shootin photos.

Don Smith takin his PA steez to the CO stout.
This is the guy who took his stride down OBJ, and stomped the 25ftr...
Check out Chris Gragtman's CO video from last season

Don again with a funky ride up the wall sideways.... sweet line though.

I know you are thinking.. nice boof right?... wrong, what this photo doesnt tell you is that I am about to be kicked onto my face by a mysterious flake under there... Don't boof the left side, go for the plug and the flake that kicked me will give you a nice auto-boof.

Me making sure to get across that rock ledge... awww rastafari!

I had a pretty good line, except for the impact I took on the wall, The same line Kyle McCutchen compressed his vertabrae on(I think).
I am sure glad I didnt get hurt, I was sore for a few days though!!

Jake taking ball check to town!(somehow he missed the flake)

Jake had a solid line down Wall Check, taking a huge hit like me. The video of his line is classic, you can see his head get some nice whiplash right when he hits.

Nic Vanderhoof with a sik line down wall check.. Sorry we missed ya on the top one bro.

Nic taking a nice little ride on the wall... This is THE line to have on this one, no hit, a little wall ride, and a nice smooth outrun.
Nic hucked, and then stomped.

Alex on the top one, taking a similar line to mine with a pitch-pole due to THE MYSTERIOUS FLAKE.

Ok so this is where it gets scary, after ball check, Alex had the worst lines you pretty much can have on Yule. He was not able to get across the ridge at the top of wall check, and rode down the ridge headed straight for the pile of rocks at the bottom. Just before the rocks as you will see in the picture below, his boat turned a bit, so that when he hit the rocks, they just spun him around, rather than breaking his ankles or possibly even worse. He was super lucky to have not been injured. We were scared.

The River Gods played in Alex's favor, Thank you river gods.

Alex running the bottom backwards.

Oriental Massage!!! A good view of the last two from the top of the canyon, 'tis a big one!!!

I ran first and had a great line starting center, popping up over the ridge that goes off to the right, and running it straight and upright. The speed you have here is crazy, it was super fun, I was stoked for sure.

Jake ran next, having a good line riding the ridge to the right, a bit sideways, but good to go!!! But jake always stomps his lines, everyone knows that.

Alex looking pretty on-line right?

WRONG!!! He had a great set-up, but caught a flake weird, which flipped him to the left.

What happened next was truly a godsend from the almighty River God.

Alex ran this on his head, lost his paddle, pulled a quick hand-roll out of his ass, and ran the last 25ftr w/out a paddle, and ended up swimming before we could get there for the t-rescue. He was unscathed, besides some cut up knuckles, and some blood blisters on the fingers. For those of you that have seen the yule video with Lawrance Simpson, it was very similar.

Nic also had a super sik line down oriental, unfortuanetly our photographer was on a bathroom break while he stomped it. We have it on video though!!

Well that is it for now, Check back soon for Punchbowls Falls, and North Fork of the Crystal Fo SHO....