Thursday, May 21, 2009

South Branch of the Feather

Well I would have to say that the South Branch of the Feather is now one of my favorite runs, not because of how gnarly it is, or how hard the drops are, but simply because it is incredibly fun. This style whitewater is so cool because it is fairly relaxed. You drop a very fun, clean waterfall into a pool, and do it again... and again. While there are consequences on this run, and it should not be taken lightly (class5 is still class5). It could be one of the most fun river running runs out there. After paddling Kimshew, we cruised over to the takeout of the South Branch with Demshitz. We packed as many people in the van as we could and went for a good day on the river.

Its always fun paddling with a big crew taking your time.(although i still think jared should route the speeder down some big stuff.

The crystal clear waters of the S.B of the Feather.

The creek starts out with less clean waterfalls, and more slide-type rapids with fun boofs and some cruisey boogey water.

Fusilli in one of the top rapids.

The crew in some of the top rapids, this creek is beautiful!

It then drops signifigantly in gradient all of the sudden when you come to a triple tiered drop that you boof far right, run left, then center left. We had a crew of 10 people, so we moved pretty slow which gave us plenty of time to take in the beauty of the run. Then the waterfalls start, perfect 20 footer, another perfect 20 footer... and so on.

I botched the line at the first 20 footer by getting surfed by a tiny hole to the the far left side. It ended up being fine as i just bounced down.

Jake went for the plug, but got kicked a little forward and did a bit of a pitch-pole.
Jared boofing a sweet slide to 20 footer directly below another perfect 20 footer.

Jake on the same drop.
The Crew kicking it.
Jared and I on a fun in-between rapid.

Me on double drop, good stuff.

This is what Kayaking is about for me, going out in the woods, basking in the sun with good friends, and navigating a river successfully. Fun stuff.
Dave on a killer drop.
Shannon Carroll stoked to be on the river.
Jared running another sweet 20 footer.
California is a beautiful place with great whitewater, clean rapids, and plenty of gradient.
This is the first portage of the run, a 100ish footer with a huge boof flake. It goes... not.

South Branch will go down in the books as an amazing creek.

Here is a little video I made.

South Branch of the Feather Creekin from Fred Norquist on Vimeo.

Go kayaking. Its fun.

South Branch of the Feather Video

Here is a sweet little video from the south branch of the feather. Check back soon for a trip report and photos.

South Branch of the Feather Creekin from Fred Norquist on Vimeo.

Boof Dems

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kimshew Creek: California Lovin

Well it is no secret that Kimshew creek is one of the best creeks around, with clean drops everywhere and perfect waterfalls it is truly one of the best runs in the country. Jake and I left Carbondale early Sunday morning and drove the whole day, where we met up with Demshitz in Reno. We woke early and headed out to meet up with Shannon Carroll to go route it. We Put on late at around 3. The water was low, but this creek is so quality it really doesnt matter, it is still super fun. It is probably the most quality creek that I have ever paddled, two 40footers, tons of perfect waterfalls and slides, a great run fa sho.

At the put-in in the Demshitz van.

We had a sweet crew, Me, Jake, Shannon Carrol, Jared Seiler, Dave Fusilli, Chris Korbulic, Brian Kirk, and Jeremy Laucks.

Chris dropping in on Kimshew falls, a sweet bouncy 40ish footer.

Jared on Kimshew falls bouncin down the brown.

Fusilli went a bit too far right...

And boofed it huge but he was fine so it was all good.

Fusilli looking at triple drop, the stoutest of the Run.

Jared and Chris decided to Give 'er.
Jared launched a boof landing on a rock shelf, and then proceeded to pan am off the bottom drop.

The bottom hole of the stout.

Korbulic came in hot, caughta flake wrong... and
Pitoned incredibly hard. Luckily he and his boat were ok although his kayak does have a huge dent in it now.

He then had the backwards boof through the bottom hole.

The next best rapid of the run is frenchman's Curve, a sweet sliding 40ish footer.
Jared routing them stouts brrrrroooowwwwnnnn.

Chris givin 'er.

Brian Kirk lining it up very nicely.

Jeremy Laucks runnin it with style

All photos by Jeremy Laucks

Top 5 Reasons to come to Paddle Fest

Double click it to view it bigger.

Come to Paddle Fest!!!! It will be a good time for sure.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Barrel Springs Binge

Well the past two days Barrel has been at the hardest level you can run it at in my opinion. From 5,500 to at least 6,000 cfs, it is not only huge waves, but huge breaking waves that have no problem pushing you around. Yesterday Jake and I ran putting in at the bottom of upper death, paddling life-after death, barrel and shoshone. Life-after death was pretty technical at 5,500, but we were able to scout and everything went well. Because we had run barrel the previous day, we opted not to scout barrel, even though we had the suspicion that it was much higher because when we heard the dam release sirens as we hiked by. We dropped in. Immediately after the first couple waves I knew it was a different beast. I was pushed left savagely hard and had to brace very hard to avoid flipping. It was survival boating time. I turned on CHARGE mode, and from there on only had slight troubles such as getting turned around. Jake had also a very interesting run down with it being so pushy. We were stoked to make it down. We then went to the 5 point filmfest where our film "Life of a Non-collegiate: Living the dream" premiered. We met Tyler Bradt and Brad Ludden there. We set the plan to rally in the morning and get another run down barrel. It was around 6,000 cfs today and VERY pushy. Everyone got a little pushed around including Brad and Tyler, but we made it to the bottom safely. We were stoked. Another great day on the river and certainly not to be forgotten. It was a great couple days and it was great to paddle with Tyler and Brad, they are super cool dudes. Props to Rush's and Tyler's new film Africa Revolutions Tour, its really good and I suggest you check it out. Well anyway here are some photos from our first day of barrel running.

If you double click the photos, you can see just how much brine is around.Jake and I dropping into the Brine that is Life After Death.
Thats my head amidst some quite large holes in life after death.
The entrance to barrel, I was already pushed left.
Me pulling some very entertaining bracing techniques.

Running Barrel Backwards usually isn't ideal, but when in rome....
I turned around so that is good.
Jake about to crest another huge wave.
And jake cresting.
Sick photo of me running into the crux where avoiding the hole on river left is the main concern.
Jake and I running down, my that is some briney water!!!

And again, good stuff, I love that rapid, so much fun!
Jake running past a quite large hole at the bottom of barrel.
Yes we like BROWN.
Jake is killer at wavewheeling the jefe.
The brine from the drive.

The last few days have been a blast, I think we ran barrel 4 times in 5 days. It was good times for sure. Here is a lil helmet cam video I made of it at 4,000cfs (much easier level)

Barrel Springs/Shoshone 4000cfs from Fred Norquist on Vimeo.