Sunday, April 27, 2008

Robe Canyon, Stillaguamish River, WA

This weekend was the first annual Robe Canyon Race. Thanks to Todd Gillman for putting this little event together, they had a pretty good turn out of about 20 racers-10 teams of two. Jason Schroeder EJ Etherington and I opted to run down with the safety boaters and give them a hand, none of us had ever done the run before. The flow was on the low side of good, but still had plenty of water to run every rapid in the gorge fairly clean. This run consists of class 4 and 5 drops that are pretty stacked on top of each in the first couple of miles of the run, and starts to spread out a little more after the mandatory landslide portage, which is a fairly easy one at that! This is one of the most scenic and most fun creeks I have ever been on and I will definitely be back up in the Seattle area to run it again at higher flows! Sunday we borrowed some playboats and hit up the Skykomish for another run that we hadn't been on. The scenery was amazing!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Canyon Creek Race/ Copper Creek

This weekend was the infamous Canyon Creek Race. The beautiful weather accompanied by great flows made for a record turn out and loads of fun with great friends! Everyone I have met and paddled with in the last 8 months of living in the Pacific Northwest was there to throw down. The race was followed by a huge bash at Olie's place on the East Fork of the Lewis. The next day was a Freestyle Huckfest on Sunshine Falls on the Lewis, just up the road from where everyone had camped the night before. A few of us then hit up Copper Creek, flowing at a medium/high flow, that afternoon where I proceeded to get beat down and had my first NW swim. Jason Schroeder had gone through the rapid known as "The Final Five" first with me following, we had arranged to eddy out half way through the mini gorge and colloct out thoughts on the final drop-which was a steep 10 vertical slide into a nasty hole, with a hole to punch a the top entrance. Jason went, and I was given the signal to hold-up, waited about 10 minutes for him, and his boat to flush after a nice little thrashing. I was still pretty confident that I could nail the line, so I peeled out and skipped over the first hole on the right, driving left of center and unable to see from the top hole, I was where I though I was lined up and pulled a boof stroke, got my nose up but back endered into the hole where I did some goofy stern and bow stall, mainly keeping my head out of the water, but knowing that there was no way out I bailed out and caught the rope while I still had plenty of energy, and It was an easy swim to shore. My boat on the other hand stayed in the hole for another 35 minutes until John Kiffmeyer live baited my boat with a flying spider monkey move that was pretty funny to watch-thanks John!