Thursday, July 28, 2011

Running Gorilla for the first time on the Green River Narrows

Green Narrows Gorilla from TheKayakerFSM on Vimeo.

After running the Green Narrows several times, and working on dialing in my boof with Pat Keller for two weekends. I felt up to running Gorilla. So I decided I wanted July 24th to be that day.

After having a few hungry runs on the Green I decided the night before to prepare myself with a good breakfast. This included my signature omelet that I decided (for that day any way) to call the Green Omelet. This was based on it being full of spinach, and the fact that I was running the Green, and possibly Gorilla just a few hours after eating it.

The whole drive up I tried to get in the groove thinking about what I planned on doing without fully committing my self to running it. The fact is the night before Pat Keller told me that I should hold off, and not get in a rush to run it.

The day started good hooking up with the guys at the take out loading the boats, and driving to the put in. Just a 0.6 mile hike, and some class 2/3 boogie water stood in our way of hitting the goods.

When we hit Bride of Frankenstein I styled it, and my line was even better through Frankenstein. The next notable rapid was Boof or Consequences followed by Go Left, and Die. I ran the meat on both dialing in my self for Gorilla. Having good line through Boof or Consequences, and one of my best lines through Go Left  I was feeling more than ready.

The only thing standing between me, and the Monkey was Reverse Seven Foot, Zwicks, and Chiefs which all blend together. I cleaned those, and found myself in the river right eddy below Chiefs listening to Pat talk the other guy through Gorilla. Then he looks at me, and says "How do you feel?" I responded by saying I felt good, and thought I was ready. He agreed, and ask if I wanted to scout it first. Having seen it many times I felt like I had the line dialed, but a quick look could not hurt.

We decided the best thing to do was me to portage it launching back in just above Scream Machine, while they ran it. We would then run down to Rapid Transit, and hike back up. I started my portage, launched back in, and met them at the bottom of Rapid Transit.

We then started our hike above Chiefs to put in, and run Gorilla down. I felt good putting in, and although Chiefs gets me nervous quite a bit it was the least of my worries this time. After a quick talk with Pat we ran the sneak on Pencil Sharpener, and he walked me through the line. He dropped in, and hit the eddy just above Gorilla. I ferried over, and caught the set up eddy, and looked at the notch for what felt like a few minutes. (Looking at the footage is was more like 45 seconds.)

My goal was to run direct, Notch, Gorilla, and Speed Trap all at once. I felt by doing this I was not risking screwing up trying to catch an eddy to break up the rapid. Dropping through the Notch you can hear screams of people, and I could see Pat in the corner of my eye sitting in the eddy. Everything went well I got slightly sterned, but recovered, and hit a pretty clean line for my first time down.

It was great to have so many people there for support, and safety my first time Spanking the Monkey. It revitalized my love for the Green Narrows, and I can't wait to head back up to run it again. When I leave the South East my best boating memory so far will be running Gorilla for the first time, and how it felt to sit safely at the bottom thinking "Man I can't wait to do that again!"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fun on the Ogden River

The First video is the river at is peak 1530 cfs. It has not been that high in 24 years.

Playboating the Ogden Narrows at 606cfs

Monday, May 16, 2011

Murtaugh Canyon of the Snake River, Idaho. 18,000 cfs

This is a beautiful canyon tun that is full of big wave, and tons of fun. Next time I plan to bring my play boat.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

South East Boating Trip

This is my video from my South East Trip. Please watch in HD.
When I decide to head back to South Carolina to visit family, and boat my dates were chosen because of Tallulah Gorge, and Cheoah Release dates. One week before my trip I found out they cancelled Tallulah once again, and two of the solid boaters that I had contacted to boat with had gotten hurt just before my trip.
The first several days consisted being sick with a sinus infection, then trying to find boaters willing to take a chance on my word that I could handle most things thrown at me. Luckily a guy from my home town, got me on the water. Then a friend of mine from Utah pulled through, hooking me up with a crazy open boater from Tennessee. So I drove from South Carolina stopping a non-boating friends house in Polk County. That next morning a met up with Shawn. An open boater with a strong character that does head stands, and flips on the top of his boat in between rapids. That day we ran the Tellico, and Bald River Falls. After a redemption run on Baby Falls, and a hand paddle run down Bald River I was ready for the next day to start.
Luckily I was able to hook up with a solid boater. I met up with Jay from North Carolina with the intentions of running the Cheoah. When I met him close to the NOC, he suggested we run the Nantahala Cascades. Not wanting to miss the Cheoah release I was not real happy about the suggestion, but after seeing, and running it once I knew I had to do it again. After the second run it was off to the Cheoah.
At the Cheoah we met up with some guys from Atlanta that were just at the Nantahala Cascades, and we ask to hook up with them. To me the most impressive thing about that day was a red headed Atlanta boater hand paddling everything, making me want to step up my hand paddling game.
So I headed back to South Carolina, hoping to run the Green Narrows the next day only for them to shut the water off. So oh well maybe next time.
Every trips has it ups, and downs, but I will focus on the highlights.
To me to major highlight was being able to hook up with an old friend at his cabin, and have the opportunity to wake up overlooking a beautiful pond, and Tennessee forest. And visiting with family that I have not seen in a few years.
The boating highlight was running the Natahala Cascades( A run I almost skipped, but luckily was talked into it.)
Last, but not least the food highlight. Being from the South there are things I miss. Like boiled peanuts, Cheerwine in a glass bottle, Fried Chicken from the Steak House in Walhalla, South Carolina, Ice Cream from Sweet Treats in Seneca, South Carolina, and Zaxby's Chicken found in most places in the South.
Overall my trip went well, and it is nice going home for a little while to visit, and do what you love.