Well the past couple weeks have been really fun, there are a lot of boaters in CO so it has been good to meet new people, and paddle with new homies. Team Trials were a good time, being so close to my home, and Teva is a really fun event. I compiled a little video from both of these events. Hope you like it.
I woke up early, knowing that I was going to run some big stuff. The anticipation of the day is enough to make one not sleep. While still laying in bed, I called Nic to make sure that he and Rush were coming. I then called Anson, who owns motion forge, a production company out of the valley. Check some of their other videos out here-Motion Forge He wanted to come film with his super fancy red camera. I met up with Anson, and scouted. It was a medium-high level, great for ball check and wall check. However, not the ideal level for Oriental Massage. Oriental was it's usual self, although all the water at the bottom was pushing into the ledge just to the left of the last drop. This not only made getting pushed into the ledge an issue, but also formed a very strong eddy on river left just below oriental. Despite this It still goes you just have to be on it. Nic, Rush, Brian, Sam, Bradley, and Jacob rolled in fashionably late in true kayaker style. They Scouted, and decided it looked good to go. We geared up, and hiked to the put-in.
As Sam pointed out on our hike up in true kiwi fashion "fuck mate its crazy we feel so good doing this shit when we could just sit at home and drink beer". Which in my mind translates to the fact that we feel so alive when we are dropping into something that could end our lives. This feeling that we feel when we are about to drop in is one of the best feelings in the world. That feeling when you are uncertain about what will happen. This is what drives me. I search for this feeling. It is certainly one of the reasons I kayak, I have never felt it as strongly in any other sport.
We dropped into the upper drops. At this level, the upper drops have some very sticky holes, so be forewarned, hit your boof.
Rush checkin out Wall Check.
We decided we needed to space out due to the fact that there are very few eddies in the upper section. Brian and I dropped in quite a bit later than the rest. On one of the first rapids, I did a half-ass boof, and got surfed in a small hole, however was able to get out easily. Little did I Know that just down stream, shit had hit the fan. New Zealander Sam Sutton out there gettin er done on one of the upper drops. Rush Sturges on a fun upper slide.
Jacob on one of the upper drops.
Then it went down. Nic missed his boof and got very beatdown in a gnarly hole in a double drop. It was a serious swim, a lot of body recirculation, and not much time to get air. Just after he pulled his skirt. After being body circed for a while... he grabbed the railroad rail in the drop. Rush utilizing his excellent rope skills, getting nic out before a bouncy slide that would have hurt. A very telling facial expression of the experience. When Brian and I rolled through Nic was safe on the bank, and we proceeded to chase his boat down. We were unable to rescue it before it ran the first couple big drops, wall check, but it pinned just above oriental massage, and was only a little bit dented.
We then arrived at the big drops.
Sam Sutton ran first, this guy is not afraid to run anything first. Rush on ball check.(we all ran the far right line) Rush entering wall check. Another crazy kiwi, Bradley entering wall check. Bradley hitting the wall, creating what made a cool photo, lots of froth. The far right line is really good, it set me up perfectly for wall check. Entering wall Check. I had a really fun line, getting the classic wall ride. Brian Kirk entering wall check. We then got to the Big boy. We scouted, and as always it looked out of control, but good.
Here is a perspective of it that shows just how long and tall this beast really is.
Sam gave er first as usual, this guy is crazy. Immersed in speed and frothy white brine. Sam on the last drop cleaning it up. Rush entering Oriental. Rush got pushed onto the rock shelf at the bottom of oriental, where I would later have some carnage.
Here is Bradley about to run the last drop, if you look closely, you can see rush running it backwards down river left channel.
Jacob had a sick line, cleaning it up nicely, i guess that is what they do in czech.
Brian "brine" Kirk entering the huge frothing stout. Brian had a similar line to rush, drying out on the rocks, then getting pushed down backwards.
I entered in a good place, and had a great line down oriental.
I landed a bit on my edge.. and was rolling up until i was pushed into the same ledge that rush and brian had dried out on. It flipped me, and...
I went off the last drop upside down.
But I pulled a roll out of my ass mid-waterfall.
I hit the big flake upright, and stoked to be upright, because it would have been bad had i not been. I landed flat off the waterfall, and was stoked to be upright and not injured.
Me, Rush, Brian and Bradley discussing exactly what just went down.
I was thankful to the river gods to let me pass safely on another day of shit running.
We paddled down.
At the takeout.
Here is a little helmet cam footage. sorry about the bad quality, I exported it wrong.
The Clavey brought our California tour to an end. This was also my first real overnighter. We met up with Evan Garcia, Michael Shields, Max Blackburn, and Charlie Center. We were surfed out for a few days while levels were raging, and it didnt look like anything was going to come down, so we headed to the Clavey which had a good level, and is a very fun creek with cool rapids in little mini gorges. The First day, we put on around 3 I believe, and paddled the upper section. We then camped in a very cool place right next to a sweet rapid. Being on an overnighter is really cool, something about the whole fact that you carry everything you need in your boat is really cool when you arrive at camp, take out your things, and cook a delicious meal, and then fall asleep under California stars. This is what kayaking originated as, using kayaks as transportation, so doing this gives you a feeling of the roots of what we do. We had a delicious meal of mac and cheese, and cheddar wursts, which could be one of the most tasty things after a long day of paddling. Shortly after arriving at our lovely campsite on day one. A very nice Crew of Jefe's. River gypsies put gear all over the place. The Crew after stuffing ourselves with cheese mac, and cheddar wursts.
The next day we woke up, ate plenty of instant oatmeal to keep ourselves running, and then ran the sweet rapid right by our campground. Charlie Running our campground rapid.
I thought this was a real cool photo. We portaged some very nasty holes. EG Filmin on a crazy rapid on the lower section. Max running the same rapid. EG throwing up the brown like it aint no thang.
He than ran the brown like it aint no thang. Charlie, quite excited to run a sweet rapid. Charlie running said sweet rapid. Miguel Shields always makes big drops look so easy. Charlie stoked to almost be at the confluence with the Toulomne. Evan decided to Give er on this one, which ended up in a hard piton, and a near surf of a bad hole. We then met up with the toulomne river, and paddled I think 10 miles of huge, fun wavetrains. On day 2, I got stuck in a gnarly eddy/hole and took a nice swim, one I deserved after blowing a couple lines and getting away with it. Evan cookin up some good old dirt taters. delicious.
Overall, the day was a success, everyone made it down alive, and we made killer time. I have been in colorado for a few weeks now, so check back soon for good posts, such as yule, which we did today and it was awesome