Thursday, October 29, 2009

North Fork of the Nookgnar:Video

The north fork of the nooksack river here in bellingham is pretty much our backyard run. It is a fun class four section. Its perfect for after class. I just wish it was a couple miles longer.

North Fork of the Nookgnar from Fred Norquist on Vimeo.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dipper Creek Short Video

This is a short video that I put together from my dipper creek trip. It is a sick little creek in a very cool gorge. Read more about it in the previous post.

Dipper Creek from Fred Norquist on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dipper Creek... The coolest place in the world?

Well since I last posted, I have relocated to the Pacific Northwest and am going to college at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. Have no fear.... This will still allow me to get out there and get on some cool rivers, I already have!! The past two weekends I have made the journey to BC where easily the coolest place that I have ever been does in fact exist. This place is powerful, mystical, wild, beautiful, and dark. This place my friends is Dipper Creek. It was discovered a few years ago by the range life boys who did all the groundwork and scouting on this one. The creek makes its way through a deep and powerful gorge where if one log is in the wrong place, you will either do the sketchiest climb of your life or you will be roped out. Big ups to TRL for taking the time to open this one up because it truly is one of the coolest places in the world. It was Friday. I sat in computer science class listening to my french professor murmur on about html code. I came out of a slight sleep when my phone vibrated in my pocket. I looked at my phone... 1 new txt message from Cody Howard. The text read... picking you up around 7 looking at getting on dipper if flows cooperate. I pulled my computer out of my backpack... the range life was typed into my browser. I spent the rest of class thoroughly reading through their posts of this incredible place. The stoke was on.... as class ended I sprinted to my dorm and organized my kayak gear in anticipation of the weekend to come. We drove to canada,eh!
After a freezing cold night, we motivated, and checked the flow. It was a good flow.

Our friends Steve, Ali, and Scott met us in the freezing cold as we geared up. Putting on kayak gear in the cold could be my least favorite thing to do in the world. After pushing past this.. my drysuit with ample layers of fleece felt nice once we started hiking in.
Cody bushwacking through the BC woods... on the way to our put-in on a small tributary creek.

The tributary we put in on was mostly a mank fest... untill we rolled up to a pretty nice horizon line.
This is what lay below, a perfect 35ishftr. ...Oh man this day is getting good I thought.
Ben Hawthorne with Cody looking on.

Once we reached the confluence of dipper and the small trib we were on, there was a mile or so of some fun boulder-garden style rapids. Then it drops.
Ali running a great double drop dubbed "Double Dip" by the TRL boys.
Ben running it from the top.

Great photo by Ali of Steve on Double Dip.

Then it really drops. Just after Double Dip, comes Big Dipper... it is Big too.
A perfect sliding 70ish ft tall waterfall awaits.

Ben got the First Descent on this guy.
Ben Hawthorne about to go speeding into a somewhat green pool.

Ali then ran it. After hearing that the waterfall went without incident, I decided to run it as well.

Great photo of me by Ali

Cody ran, then Steve.
Steve Arns recovering from a big hit.
This is the cool boof just below the big guy.

We hiked out bushwacking for a couple hours through devil's club... called it a day, and setting our sights on the Vertigo gorge the next day. After another freezing night in BC, we hiked in and put on... dropping ourselves into commitment. Luckily we had Scott, Steve and AJ on the canyon rim with a huge climbing rope in case of wood.
This is looking into the Vertigo Gorge from the Canyon rim.
Ali running a sweet 10 footer above the entrance to Vertigo.
This is the waterfall that drops you into vertigo gorge. It is a sliding 2o footer that lands in a pocket. Directly after that is a sweet double drop that looks like this.
This drop lands you deep in the gorge and a very cool place.

This place.

Ben and Ali chillin in Vertigo.

This is the view looking downstream.
Its such a cool place.... I had to take a self portrait.

Directly below the Vertigo room... a sketchy little crack drop. Watch your elbows here.
Just after the Sketchy crack drop is a sweet 15 footer.
Cody on the sweet 15 footer.
Just below that 15 footer is....Another sweet 15 footer that leads you out of the gorge.

The vertigo gorge, although only 5 drops is the most committed place I have ever been. It gives a nice definition to the word gorge. I have never felt quite so "trapped" by the earth. After the exit to the gorge, the creek then mellows out for a while untill you come to a big horizon line. We portaged this one, although Cody and AJ ran it later that same week. It is a 40ish footer that lands pretty hard on a rock shelf. Cody was able to boof out past it, while AJ took a hit on the rock. Below that drop is a marginal looking 20footer that folds in on itself. I was on the fence on this one untill Ali and Cody both ran it. It runs better than it looks. Just after that is the confluence falls where dipper hits the Squamish.
Sweet photo of me on the confluence falls.

I left dipper with the plan of coming back and completing the run the next weekend. It was a rough week. Cody and AJ stayed and did the other two sections of the creek while I sat in 8am math class...... I was jonesin. Luckily the weekend came fast. I left the dorms on friday night. While all my friends left to party... I left for the coolest place in the world. Ben met up with me in Bellingham, and even though we heard from Cody that dipper had dropped significantly, we were stoked to drop in again, and get the complete descent of dipper creek.

We arrived at the take-out with a beautiful sunset, and camped.

After another freezing cold night in BC we woke, scrambled down to the creek to make sure it wasnt too low. It looked lower.. probably 2/3 the flow we had the previous weekend. After scouting Big Dipper, I decided it still looked good. I ran Double Dip and Big Dipper.

Double dip is easily one of if not the best drop on the run.
My camera has issues sometimes.

Big dipper look close im scouting on river left.

It was a tad low... I would prefer more water... but when in Rome....
Ben and I then continued down the canyon into the section neither of us had done. This is Ben on Little Dipper, a few rapids after Big Dipper.
Little Dipper in the distance... cool gorge!

We continued down stream where we came upon a sweet rapid dubbed rowdy flatwater by TRL.

My photoshop skills arent very good but i put this sequence of Ben together running rowdy flatwater.

We continued downstream more and ran some very cool rapids.
Like this sweet s-turn slide. Just after this rapid we came upon a very tight rapid with an oldgrowth standing vertical in it. This was the most involved portage I have ever done... we roped the boats up a very steep sketchy hill, traversed and lowered the boats to the pool below. We then climbed down back to the boats needing a rope to avoid slipping into the gorge.

Stout portage!

Me roping down to the river after the stout portage.
We continued down the gorge, running some more cool sliding rapids... stay tuned for a little video soon. We hiked out of the gorge deciding not to run the confluence falls due to low water. It was another amazing weekend... If you get the chance to do this creek, do it because it is the full creeking experience, waterfalls, slides, gnarly gorge, portages, but mostly a really cool place.

My subie killin BC.
BC is dope.

River gypsies sleep in their cars when it is cold outside.
Hoosters (half horse half rooster) love BC?

Photos by Ali Marshal, Steve Arns, Fred, and Ben Hawthorne