Wednesday, March 01, 2017

You boys like Mexico?

After a busy first two semesters of nurse practitioner school I was ready for a break and luckily my brother and two friends were looking for a reprieve from the drought stricken southeast.  We threw around different ideas but settled on Veracruz, Mexico; Kirk did some pre planning and got us all set up in  sweet cabana at Aventurec in Tlapacoyan.

The choice shuttle rig

Kirk Boofing on the Jalacingo

More Jalacingo 

The logistics couldn't be any easier, the biggest hassle is getting to aventurec (which is pretty easy), once there they shuttle you around to all the great rivers in the area for very reasonable prices.

Hands down my favorite run of the trip "big banana"

Kirk on the 20 footer

We were lucky enough to boat everyday of our trip, which says something when you are traveling to a foreign country, there are so many amazing waterfalls in the area and just stunning scenery

Jim hiking in for more waterfalls

Kirk about to tuck it up

More Kirk

We were able to meet up with Nate and Heather at Aventurec and got to paddle a few days with them but enjoyed chatting around the table at meal times everyday!

The crew on the 7 sisters

Nate with some cool lighting

Jim boofing

One of the great sections we got to do was the seven sisters that starts right below the tomato 2 waterfall and requires as sweet 100+ foot repel

Steve on the 7th sister

Heather on the 6th

Kirk on the 1st

The start of the run is pretty impressive

Although it was pretty low the roadside section was super classic and a great "rest day"

Heather dropping in

Steve blasting through a cool drop

We returned to do the lower jalacingo with Heather and Nate and hike in above twisted pleasure to get two more fun 20-30 ft waterfalls

Nate on the second

Steve on the same
We did the big banana section the most and with good reason, it is truly world class whitewater in an amazing setting

Kirk taking in the falls at the putin

Steve on my one of my favorites, an awesome cross grain boof

Jim on the same

Jim dropping into mordor on the upper canyon

This trip was a great way to break up the winter between ski trips and to refresh me before spring semester started up, and I can't wait to go back.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Spring in Cali

My good friend Jason Stingl was nice enough to join me for a great "spring break" before I get back to the real world with working and school in Denver.  We drove through a snowstorm along I-70 and drove through the night to make it to the kaweah the next day for a quick hospital rock lap.

Jason going zero to sixty

Dave on the tabletop boof

Jason on Little Niagara 

From there we were able to squeeze in a great overnighter on the south merced with our colorado friend Dave Farkas, which flows through Yosemite and has some amazing whitewater and great camping.   We had a great trip and finished at the perfect window with it starting to snow on us on the paddle out and we got to see the park with a fresh blanket of snow.

Dave on one of my favorites

Jason plugging and boofing

Jason and Dave enjoying the evening sun coming out of a gorge day 1

Jason finishing up the gorge

Jason on a fun slide


We kept our northern movement going and got a great lap on 49-B on the south yuba, but bombed most of it so I didn't get any pictures.  We had a relaxing afternoon after the run and made our way to Orville to meet up with Darin and get ready for the finally of our trip down the devils canyon of the middle feather.

Darin on Franklin falls, it gets a bit pushy at these levels and can be hard to get right if your not online up top, Darin worked it out with ease

Morgan dropping in with a beautiful line

Jason in the pushy lead-in
And following Darin's meat line, unfortunately this didn't work out as smoothly as Darin's

I hadn't gotten to do this run in a few years and it is one of my favorite runs around, Jason had been excited for years as he somehow had always missed out on our crews trip over the years.  The devils canyon has an amazing amount of quality rapids stuffed into its 35 mile length along with such unique geology and beautiful camping.  We had yet another amazing run down the canyon and it was a perfect icing on the cake run to finish our great trip.

I've done this run about a half dozen times and had never camped here, it was a sweet big camp

It had a nice clear creek coming coming in that was a perfect spot to chill our beverages of choice

This view didn't get old

Morgan coming through a fun one early on day two

Darin on the same

Hope you enjoyed the pics!

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Peak at Deer Creek

These days there is a very cool phenomenon that happens around the kayaking scene every weekend.  You get a text from one or two of your paddling bros, you make plans, show up at the put in, and without fail there will be 6-10 other bros that just happen to be there at the same time as you.   It happens every time regardless of where you decide to go and its awesome!

So a few Saturdays ago, we drove past Arlington, WA at the town of Oso. Myself, Mike Nash and Nick Hinds sat and waited for the fashionably late to arrive.  We were soon met by Brock Gavery,  followed by Brett Barton, Chipper Maney, Ben Hawthorne, Rob McKibbon, Christian Knight and Joe Howard.  Somewhere along the way Dan Patrinellis and Adrian Wigston showed up. 

This was my first time on Deer Creek and from what I understood about it (and with a group of this size) the odds were in favor of carnage.  The locals often refer to Deer Creek as Robe's big brother.  As in the big brother that doesn't think twice about knocking the snot out of your for not sharing your favorite toy.

Good beta on this run is hard to come by as it can be hard to access and only runs when Robe is in the 7-8ft + range.  We drove toward the put-in hoping the loggers kindly left the gate open for the remaining 3 miles of road past Lake Cavanaugh.  Not so much. Once we realized that we were in for a 3+ mile  long hike, a couple of the bros opted to run our shuttle and drink some brewskies.

McKibbon and Adrian Wigston hiking in

some of the group taking a snack break before starting the bushwack decent to the river

Deer Creek starts off with some pushy class III+ for the first mile or so.  The ominous feel of the canyon, the relentless nature of the whitewater and not knowing the wood situation keeps you on edge.  After a short paddle you come to the first big rapid which can be scouted from the river left.  The following shots are all from the 1st major rapid.

Ben running the right line  
Ben a little further down
Joe Howard on the sam rapid running left
Mike Nash driving hard and boofing to avoid a big hole
Adrian boofing the left entrance

Some continuous class IV and V read and run led the group to an eddy on the river left.  We got some vague beta above a horizon line and ended up blue angling into a pretty big set with some really nice features.  I vividly recall, "there is a big wave hole in the entrance, punch that and the rest is mellow."  So as we approached the rapid the wave hole was pretty obvious and I gathered some speed, took a big stroke, threw my weight forward and popped through.  Whew!  Glad that was out of the way.  What he failed to mention was that immediately behind the wave hole lurked a 6ft pour over with a massive hydraulic that required a crucially timed boof.  I didn't have the angle I needed and did a bit of old school playboating, flushed out and scrambled for a micro eddy on the river right.   

Super Joe from the correct eddy for the 2nd big rapid

Luckily everyone made it through and we ended up catching an eddy on the right above one of the longer rapids on the river.  I grabbed this shot of McKibbon making the ferry to line up for the rest.

Rob McKibbon

More class IV read and run lead to the 3rd big rapid.  Scout from the river right.

McKibbon maybe a little further left than he wanted

and resurfacing....

Kiwi Mike crushing it

and finishing it off...

From here the action continues for another couple miles.  I would grade the run out of Deer Creek as quality class V read and run at its best.  We had some flips and surfs and spins and funky lines but everyone made it through without a hitch.  When in doubt, its down the middle and boof!  This is an outstanding run with breathtaking scenery and solid rapids.  I would recommend it for anyone that wants a little day trip adventure.  

Here is a shot of the bridge at the takeout.  We were thinking this was probably a medium flow at about 1500 cfs.