This spring has been a cold/rainy/snowy one for us all up here in the PNW. It never really warmed up until about a week ago, but that isnt to say that the rivers havent been running. Luckily the rain has kept flows up pretty well, and finally we are getting some snowmelt. The PNW never has disapointed me.. there is something about this climate and the rivers around here that allows for something really good to be in... pretty much all the time. If it isnt local, then its usually only a couple hours away and is probably incredibly high quality. This spring has re-affirmed my thinking that the PNW is easily one of the best places to live as a kayaker. Even during school there is usually class4-5 that is running and possible to rally after classes are
done for the day
A good crew before a fun couple games of bowling.
Early spring is all about runs like Robe Canyon. With so many good class 4/5 rapids in a bigger volume feel, this river is up there with the best.
The Robe Canyon race was a great time and Robe offered some awesome early season entertainment.
Jure Poberaj and myself took 6th, While Tao claimed the title.
Finally my classes ended for the summer, and i couldnt have been more stoked to get some kayaking in. So stoked we motivated to paddle a small rapid right in downtown bham on whatcom creek.
Luckily Bellingham has some incredibly good whitewater just outside of town. The Middle Fork of the Nooksack offers an amazing class 5 run with great boulder garden rapids, then continuing into a beautiful gorge and some great bedrock drops. It is probably one of my top 5 favorite rivers in the world.
Dropping into the first big rapid of the gorge "leap of faith".
Looking back up the rapid.
I then spent a weekend with the local bham crew, Ryan Bradley clued me in to a waterfall (35ft or so) about 2 hours from bham that nobody had run.Leif Embertson, Ryan and myself headed up there and found it to be at perfect flows. Kindey creek is a small trib to Cascade creek(more of a river actually), and is located up the Skagit river drainage.
The falls! BROWTOWN!
Coming into the lip.... treats time. I went first, and good buddy Leif followed right behind with a sick De-la style boof-stomp.
Leif laying some mad treats... kindey creek style.
As spring continued, I made a short trip down to Hood River area to race on the little white and hopefully run a stout on my birthday(june 5th). Yup 22 years old now. I met Up with Evan Garcia, Todd Wells, Sam Friehofer, Erick Johns, Olin and kiwi Ryan Lucas for some good times. Evan and I raced together on the LW race... unfortunately the last couple weeks of school diminished my fitness level and as Evan pulled away from me in the front, i fell behind wheezing and coughing. Any day on the little white is a great day however.
LW race... coming hot into boulder sluice.
Evan in front going quite a bit faster than myself after claiming two titles at the gran prix! He's killing it.
Sam Freihofer gettin steezy on boulder slucie!
Todd Wells showing that the LW is his home river and he isnt afraid to throw some downriver freestyle in there.
Evan doing what he does best.... true treat layin on spirit.
After a fun day on the LW, we proceeded to have a fun little gathering at the beaver lodge. We woke up only slightly hungover on my birthday, and got motivated to go fire off a stout. We drove up to the Lewis river, with one thing on our minds, the Upper Lewis Falls. This thing is a stout 25 footer into about 20... with a tricky scrapy lead-in. Evan and Todd ran it and styled it, followed by Erik, then myself and Ryan and Sam. We all had good lines and it couldnt have been a better birthday present to be stoked at the bottom of a super fun drop with all my friends. Pura vida.
Layin treats on the perfect juicy 15 footer above the stout. this was a super fun little waterfall.
Myself boofing the top drop big! I landed so hard my skirt exploded, and i ended up running the next 20ftr with no sprayskirt. Luckily i was able to hang on and didnt fill up too much.
Flying off the top drop.... weeee! if you look closely you can see Todd and Erik down in the pool below.
My view at the top of the second drop with no skirt attached! Luckily i was able to get a good boof.
The view of myself from the top.
Here is a short teaser from the day.
After a great birthday I headed back up to bellingham to find that one of the local creeks was in at a good flow. Clearwater creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Nooksack and offers some really fun sandstone bedrock boofs.
Dropping into the slot rapid, a fun narrow little slide.
Just another sweet bedrock boof, Clearwater style.
Any rapid named "boofs per minute" is fine in my book.
One of the lower boofs on boofs per minute(BPM?)
Here is a short video of Clearwater, or as we call it... C-DUB.
Then I went to scout a drop that has been on my mind for sometime... Racehorse Creek falls after being first D'd by boomer a couple years ago, i figured it was time we went and checked it out. I scouted it, and found it to be at perfect flows. I sent evan a picture and they flipped a U-turn on their way to MT, and made their way up to Bham.
Ryan and Evan ended up being the ones with the balls to step up to this drop, and trust me... its really stout.
Evan on the top drop, a sweet sliding thing to a good 25 or so footer. Treats!
Evan went first on the big one, a crazy 15-20ft drop onto a slide that ends in a tiny pool. He had a good line turning sideways at the end and "hockey stopping"
Ryan went next and immediatley convinced me that I wasnt going to run it. He entered only about 6inches to a ft to the right of evan and lets just say it didnt end right.
Ryan rag-dolling down this slide. It will be a great carnage of the year shot indeed. Luckily he was fine and we went back to Bham to celebrate everyone being ok.
A photo by local Photographer Rhys Logan. here http://www.rhystomahawk.com/photography-blog/2011/6/10/this-title-sucks.html is a link to his website and check out the amazing shots he got that day!!!
The next day after a fun-filled night we headed to the best that ballingham has to offer.... The middle fork at a perfect flow.Rhys came and shot some awesome photos again... check out the full story here
Gnar-Car and Gypsy-Wagon headed to the put in of the MF.
The Crew gearing up for some Roosting brown MF.
Another sick shot by Rhys... dropping into the MF gorge. Me, Sam, and Evan.
Sam and Eg in the warm-up rapid for the MF gorge. Then it gets real in there. Rhys killing the photos.
And Just around the Corner "leap of faith", the first rapid of the gorge.
Evan made a small day edit from the MF.
As a matter of fact, the MF is running right now and I must go get my boof on. Signing off here, until next time-Fred
Stay tuned.. there will be tons of amazing videos coming to Bomb Flow TV soon. We will be dropping our Chile footage Bomb Flow TV Episode 1- Chile soon as well as all the stuff here in Bomb Flow Episode 2- PNW style.
Now get out there and go kayaking! its summer after all!
2015 JACKSON ZEN REVIEW – BY KYLE SMITH
1 week ago