Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Meet the CKS Squad Part 2: Evan J Stafford

This is Part 2 of a Series of posts that introduces the members of the 2007 CKS Squad. Included in each section is the squad member's Bio and a brief photographic Trip Report of their Top 3 days on the river during the 2006 season.

Today we are meeting Evan J Stafford and getting a glimpse into his top 3 runs of the 2006 season: Yule Creek, Colorado, The Rio Brazos, New Mexico and The Black Boxes of the San Rafael, Utah.

Evan 'livin the canyon life. Cataract. Photo: Moab Arlo


A beautifully rainy day on Yule Creek was definitely a highlight from 2006. This is drop #3, Oriental Message. It's really fucking big. The idea is to cross from a drop-in at the top on river-right, through a hourglass ridge that tries to hurl you air-born, over to the river left and splash into the pool at least 80 ft. below. I crossed over maybe a little bit too early and ended up cruising right over the lip of the ridge with a minor skip but then drying out on the left side of the slide at about mach 10. About 2/3 of the way down I hit a second lip and disconnected with the rock only to come skipping into the pool 30 ft downhill. Yauser! This creek is steep and it's sweet. It is a serious honor to be a member of the Yule Alumni Association. Photo by Kyle McCutchen.


The Rio Brazos is a wild and wooly, 2-day adventure in Northern New Mexico. Described in CRCII as the Southern Rocky Mountain creek boaters Shangri-la, it really is a spiritual place. Brazos dos Saltos, end of day 1. Photo by Chris Morrison.


The Black Boxes of the San Rafael is the premier slot canyon trip in the southwest. Generally two days of warm muddy water, intimate sandstone canyon walls, and mostly boxed in class IV+ whitewater. If the San Rafael is running over 800 cfs, drop everything and go there. It is one of a kind. This shot is of the paddle out from a long one day mission in June of 2006. The sunset went into a deep pink desert glow that was nothing short of moving. Photo by me.

EVAN'S Profile:
Name: Evan J. Stafford

Birthdate: May 27, 1979
Hometown: Denver, Bronco Country
Currently Resides in: Fort Collins
Work: Play
Years Paddling: Seven
Top 3 Rivers: Big South Cache la Poudre, Christopher Creek AZ, Bull Lake Creek WY
The Perfect Vacation is: a beach with swell, snow capped peaks on the horizon and steep creeks and waterfalls on the to-do list - basically West Coast South Island NZ.
Hobbies other than kayaking: Skateboarding, Snowboarding, Surfing, Climbing, Rapping, Writing, Photo-graphing and Hot Spring-ing.
Favorite website: The Range Life
Recent playlist on my MP3 player: Anthony B, Damian Marley, Dezarie, Midnite, Talib Kweli, De la Soul, Jurassic 5, J Dilla.
Best day of paddling ever: Christopher Creek AZ. The stars aligned. First D. Boofs, waterfalls and more bedrock boofs. What else?
Sponsors: Liquid Logic Kayaks, Lendal Paddles, Guayaki Yerba Mate, CKS.
Words:It is the responsibility of each of us, as paddlers, to protect the watersheds which bring us so much happiness. For many, including myself, kayaking is the fusion of sport and temple. Let's keep our place of worship clean."You'll never miss your water, until you well runs dry…"

Evan Stafford's top 5 Gear Picks:

clickable links

1. LiquidLogic Jefe

2. Snapdragon Armortex Skirt w/implosion bar

3. Waterproof Ipod Case

4. IR Union Suit

5. Whitewater of the Southern Rockies Guidebook

Monday, March 12, 2007

Spring has hit

Spring is in the air. On Saturday march 10th, I met seven Colorado boaters for a run on the Upper Box in New Mexico. It was flowing around 500 cfs and it felt like Spring, the wind was blowing and we were all coming off the couch. Time to shake the rust. It was a great warm up run for start of the season. I took a few shots for ya all. Sorry about the haphazard quality but all I had was my point and shoot and it was cold.
The crew was Evan, Mike, Pete, Leigf?, Trevor, Junior, Randy and myself.

Driving from my casa to the putin


Gonna try out the new Mega Rocker

Rocks at Hell Hole

Scouting Hell Hole

Pete getting the boof on

In the eddy

Leigf? Hell Hole

Pleasure Plunge

Pleasure Plunge

Looking at Big Arsenic

Evan running the hero line, nasty sieves river right if ya mess up

The run out

Dotcom all happy

Randy about to go near the sieves

Got the last chance pull out eddy

Dry land

Leigf running the left side of Big A


Photo taken after having a heart attack during the hike out

It was a awesome day. I will post a review of the Mega Rocker soon.
PS, the hike out is way better than the paddle out.
Adios, Atom...

Friday, March 02, 2007


Well, helicopters are expensive and we were broker than we thought, so the big NZ south island creeking mish became more of a working, hiking, and attempting to get some boating in adventure. My camera broke, so I will spare you fuzzy images of mountains, etc. But, here are a couple of pics kayak related I thought to share with ya'll.

Lawrance putting in below the Fox Glacier on the West Coast where we were stationed cafe working. The river steepened after this, providing some excitement and frozen fingers.

Caught in traffic New Zealand style.

Lawrance & myself running the "crux" rapid on our attempt of running the classic Hollyford River in Fiordland on the lower lower end of good. Actually we are probably the only ones to ever bother running the river this low & tedious, but sometimes you just need to get wet.

Keas!! The only alpine parrot found in the world, keas are fearless and cheeky, scavenging food and tearing about cars and kayaks. We thought it was pretty sweet to have 5 rumaging around our car until I realized one kea was eating the backband for the Huka I am hoping to sell soon.

Even though I have only done less than a dozen rivers, after reading the guidebook in it's entirety and exploring the country for half a year, I would most def reccomend EVERYONE to gather a crew, get some money, and go kayaking in NZ. This place is choice! And word from the wise, If Lawrance says he'll take you kayaking, he makes an excellent guide, but make sure he isn't over $3000 in debt when he tells you this.

Cheers bro
Lawrance & Nicole