Monday, September 10, 2007

First Time on the Tieton.

Hit up the Tieton River this weekend and had a blast. It was WRRR (Washington Recreational River Runners) weekend, and there were people galore. The little old lady on the bridge above the wave said she counted over 500 people in the morning half of the commercial trips on Sunday morning. That means that over the course of the weekend, there were approximately 2000 people on the river. Holy crap! There was no avoiding rafts either, you had to maneuver around them, but hey, good run nonetheless. The main stretch of the Tieton is technically class III+, because of its completely continuous nature, but no single drop is harder than class III. The majority of the stretch is class II/II+, run-it-however-you-want boogie-water. Lots of big waves, lots of catch-on-the-fly surfing, lots of sunshine. Did a run on Saturday right after breakfast with Scott Waidelich and James Amandus, took us about three hours, plus a good long session at the play wave, the pictures are from this part of the day. After the first run, we debated doing a second, but since it was already mid-afternoon, we opted for a pnp at the bridge, and hung out there for a couple hours. During this session we discovered that if the person on the wave looked up and opened their mouth, beer could be consumed via a can on the bridge. Too bad we didn't get pictures of that... I managed to get one awesome surf, and a couple mediocre ones, despite how tired I was from the morning. The next day Scott and I ran the main section again, with a bunch of IKs and rafts. IK vs. hardshell carnage ensued when I was trying to make an eddy, right behind Joe, who un-announced, of course, decided to surf the wave right next to the eddy. I promptly smashed my face into his bow, flipped, and rolled up with a nice fat lip. It actually still hurts a little bit. Made for a good laugh though. Finished the run trouble free, and headed back up to camp. We packed up and attempted to head out, but when we stopped to drop off garbage at the store by the bridge wave, I noticed a group of kayakers surfing, which turned out to be a group of friends that I had not seen in quite some time. After about 10 minutes of watching them surf, I was talked into jumping back into the water, and had a nice little sess right before leaving. I'm still tired. =)

James Amandus tears up the back surf at the bridge wave.

"Ashley! I'm going to pop up! Get a picture when I do!!"

He really meant it when he said he was going to pop up....

James and Scott Waidelich styling the double duty under the bridge.

Paddle Happy!
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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Lower Sky @ 400 something CFS. Not good.

Lately I've been teaching a friend, Nick Weighall, how to paddle. He's been out on the Powerhouse, in the lake twice, and park and practice, (lol) on the Sky. We ran the section from Railroad Bridge, down to Big Eddy, at way too low water, scraped down the entire thing. It was awesome practice though, he stayed upright the entire time, even when I took him through stuff that I thought was going to flip me! Practiced some rolls at Big Eddy, he hit two, swam a couple times, desipite my being next to him. I got a couple bow stalls, half a rotation of a cartwheel, and a couple stern squirts, demoing the '07 Jackson Star. Awesome boat by the way. Gorgeous awesome perfect weather.

Nick Weighall, looking way too dry, smiles below the Railroad Bridge rapid.

Teacher and student, gorgeous weather, allllll smiles!

See that? GORGEOUS day, and everyone was working except for us. Teehee.

We had quite the float down a flat stretch, so we decided to take underwater pictures. I managed to open my eyes, with contacts, and this was the result.

Nick hanging out in the eddy, just about to work on his roll.

Falling over!

Swimming around after missing a couple rolls....

Working on my bow stall, it's almost vertical!

When you swim, you have to empty out your boat, but apparently Nick doesn't mind.

I was just goofing off with the camera while waiting for shuttle, came out with a pretty nice picture, eh?

More goofing off....

Yep, I was bored.

Nick's pile of wet gear.

Paddle Happy!

Labor Day weekend in Idaho!

So the original plan, and apparently also a tradition, was to head up to the Thompson, in BC, for Labor Day weekend, but warm water is always better than cold, so I headed to Idaho instead. The trip consisted of myself, Leif Kirchoff, Jonathan Mastin, Scott Waidelich, Tobin Dailey, his girlfriend Ambre, Adam and Megan Blevins, and Mike Hoover. Leif managed to snag us a spot at a group camp of class V cat boaters, saving us from roadside field camping. Turns out that the Payette is a crazy huge whitewater mecca on LDW, there were cat boaters, rafters, IKers, hardshells, and even Creature Crafts! 100 degree weather, 70 degree water, cool nights and hot springs... we couldn't have asked for a better weekend. Saturday morning the boys, minus Scott (who was making his first cat decent down 15 miles of continuous class V on the North Fork), got up and ran off to hit the Swirly Canyon on the South Fork, which turned out to be flat, with class II eddylines and boils. In the meantime, three of us girls, Megan, Ambre and I, went out to the Gutter, a park and play spot. Spent about four hours down there, goofing off, riverboarding, practicing rolls, surfing, ferries and stern squirts. Due to the apparently boring nature of the Swirly Canyon, the guys decided to continue on downstream to the confluence of the North and South forks of the river, on the class IV Staircase section. Sunday morning, we all got up and drove to the confluence of Deadwood and the South Fork, the put-in for the Canyon section (class III-IV (V)) I managed to make it from the put-in to the Pine Flats campground, but wasn't feeling too ballsy, so pulled out and let the boys tackle the gnar. Tobin smashed his shoulder in one of the rapids right above Little Falls, and ended up pulling out due to pain, and another gal cracked a couple ribs in a raft on the falls. Needless to say, I was pretty glad I called it quits after the upper stretch. After waiting for a couple very long hours in the heat, for shuttle, we made it down to the Main, and ran the class III+ stretch, just making it off the river before twilight. The next morning, we all headed down to the Gutter again, and hung out for about two hours. I managed to look like I knew what I was doing in the hole, caught several spins, and pearled a bit, and successfully dug myself out of the hole upside down. We were all pretty darn tired after the sun filled weekend, and hopped back into the trucks, and napped almost the entire way home. It was an absolutely fantastic weekend. I didn't really get any pictures of the runs, too busy trying to keep myself upright, as the Payette has lots of funky eddylines that like to grab boats. Did get a few throughout the weekend though, enjoy!

Ambre makes her way back up the eddy after playing in the hole at The Gutter.

Megan punches the last hole in the fishladder that forms The Gutter.

Megan smiles for the camera, isn't she cuuuute!?

Getting caught making faces with the stunna shades on.

Waiting for my turn with the boogie board.

I'm almost positive that riverboarding is just as fun as kayaking, but only for freestyle. Rocks = bad.

Mike, Megan, Scott, Leif and Jonathan, just before the takeout on the Main.

The weekend group, at the Pine Flats hot spring, minus Scott. Clockwise left to right, Jonathan, myself, Leif, Ambre, Tobin, Megan, Adam and Mike.

Stern squirt-arific, yeeehaw!

Leif attempting to tackle The Gutter with hand paddles.

Adam learning to stern squirt, he's making good progress, don'tcha think?

You could almost hear Tobin's shoulder screaming, 'NO! I DONT WANT TO PADDLE!" It was a bummer than he couldn't paddle more the last day and a half.

Big Falls, a class V, three tiered waterfall on the Canyon section of the South Fork, definately a crazy portage, I didn't make to the falls this time around, but it's a spectacular sight.

Mr. Hoover shows off some mad skill on the upper stretch of the Canyon.

Paddle Happy,