Monday, July 27, 2009

A Video Guide to Crystal Gorge

Crystal Gorge is easily on of the best runs in colorado. I thought it deserved some documentation as to what it looks like down in that gorge. It is most definetly one of the coolest places I have ever been. I put together a helmet cam vid of every significant rapid in both gorges. Big thanks to Jonny Meyers for taking us down there. We had a great run, and it should be running for the next week or so, so come get on it before its too late!!!

A Guide to the Crystal Gorge from Fred Norquist on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wicked Wed. 3 Removing Wood From Crystal Gorge

We had no idea today was going to be so long. Sometimes you gotta put some work in before you can run the shit. Today was one of those days. We hiked up to the bottom of the upper gorge just above zute chute. There was a huge log blocking the entrance to the inner gorge. It looked something like this.
Jake paddled to the far left of the log, climbed onto it and i pulled his boat back on a throwrope.
He then attached webbing to the log, walked back across the log, and I roped him back up the eddy.

We first tried to pull the upstream side towards us using come-alongs.

Jake in a bit of a sketchy spot just above Zute.

We couldnt get enough pull on the log to make it move like that. So Jake went back to the log, and re-attached the webbing to the other end. And got the adrenaline of swimming above a log jam with a body-recirculating hole below it, above a 40 footer and the gnarliest gorge in colorado.

We finally moved the log a bit, but it was still blocking the entrance. Fred went in baited swimmer style with a chainsaw and had the pleasure of sitting in a tiny cave chainsawing a partially submerged log for 45 mins.

Once the log finally was cut through, it dropped several inches in the water, and was almost runnable. After we released tension from the come-alongs, the log dropped into a runnable position that looks like this.

It was an epic day, took about 8 hours in total, and we were glad no one got swept into the gorge w/out a kayak. The gates to the Inner are open, Happy stout runnings.

Jake in the cool old mining tunnel.
The lip of Zute Chute.
Millers falls...Jake thinks it might go....
I kind of think so too.
The last rapid of the inner, a very nice hole at this flow.
Looking up the gorge from the takeout eddy.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wicked Wednesday 2

Well our wicked wednesdays have truly been wicked. This wednesday was super fun. We Left C-dale tuesday night to drive up to the north fork of the crystal. We camped in probably one of the most beautiful valleys in colorado, right next to the north fork. We woke, ate cheese mac and beans(its all we brought), did 5 laps on the upper 4 of the north fork which are really classic rapids. The nf gorge had some wood in it, and it was pretty low water (crystal at 500)so we didnt run it, hopefully sometime ill get in there. We then headed to devil's Punchbowls or the south fork of the crystal. We did 3 laps on it, then headed to glenwood where we met a bunch of friends and rafted shoshone. It was awesome. Here is a little video I put together from our adventures.

Wicked Wednesday 2 from Fred Norquist on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wicked Wednesday! A day of fun.

Well lately I have been working a bunch teaching kayaking at crms to a mix of inner city kids, and kids from Andover academy. It has been really fun to teach people to do what I love. On my day off (Wednesday) Jake and I have been charging to do as much as we can in one day. This is a video from our first Wicked Wednesday. We skied on independence, cliff jumped on the way down, kayaked slaughterhouse, then took our mini-me down Shoshone at 8,500 cfs to Jazz in the park at 2 rivers park in glenwood. It has become somewhat of a ritual. Anyways, here is a little video from the day, it was one to remember.

Wicked Wednesday from Fred Norquist on Vimeo.