Monday, November 29, 2010

2010 Season Recap

Well, its official those little white flakes are falling in most parts of the country that begin the savings account that will lead to next year’s runoff. This means one of few things depending on your persuasion 1. You are bitter about the end of the season in North America and spend your work hours endlessing searching the internet for news and blog reports of all things kayaking, 2. You have embraced the end of the season and have taken up winter activities that involve sliding on snow, 3. You are somewhere in the southern hemisphere (aka Chile) still kayaking and living off of whatever pittance you were able to save from going towards the beer fund. For me, I’m entering door number 2 but wishing, so wishing I could be going through door number 3. But alas this year was good in so many ways here are just a few of my favorites;

1. Multi-day trip on the Selway with a good crew and raft support. Can you say bocchi ball?

2. Grand Canyon of the Elwa. Hiking a kayak and gear for nine miles isn’t easy but earning your boof strokes is rewarding.

3. Many a Robe lap in my backyard. So good…in so many ways.

4. The Whistler Triple Crown. Callaghan, Cheak, and Soo. Waterfall, boofs, and big water mahiem what more could a person ask for.

5. A single day high high water run on the South Salmon that still gives me mile symptoms of PTSD.

6. Birthday run on the Canyon Creek of the Nooksack. It wasn’t Big South caliber but still pretty darn fun. Think NSV Cascade 2 and 3 for miles and then a sweet little bedrock gorge to finish it off.

Peering down into gnarnia. South Salmon at 12+ft

In general this season for me was all about getting back to the basics of having fun on the river with good friends and experiencing quality whitewater. I had some big goals that went unfinished, hello 2011, but in the end that what keeps you hungry I suppose. Here’s to 2010 and an even better 2011. I hope your season was just as good or better yet, you are entering door number 3 in which case it hasn’t even ended…

How many kayaks can you count? Bus eater South Salmon 12+ft

CKS Squad members Evan Ross and Nate Klema, along with others, recently scored a first descent on the Great Bend of the Rio Huallaga in Peru!

CKS Squad members Evan Ross and Nate Klema, along with others, recently scored a first descent on the Great Bend of the Rio Huallaga in Peru. Until this trip the Haullaga was the last major tributary of the Amazon left to be run. Here's a short video teaser put together by Matt Wilson (also on the first d crew). Full trip report coming soon to the CKS Squad Blog!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

2nd annual Budo fest racers video 2010

I finally got a new computer and just finished a simple edit of the 2010 Embudo race. Thanks to everyone that participated, it was a huge success. Big shout out to Colorado Kayak Supply, Shred Ready, Keen , WRSI , River Gypsies and White Water of The Southern Rockies for donating gear for the American Whitewater raffle. Thanks again and see you all around Mothers Day 2011 for the 3rd Annual Budo Fest. Below is the video I did. Click here for photos and the writeup I did earlier in the year. Beers, Atom...

2nd Annual Budo Fest kayak racers video 2010 from atom crawford on Vimeo.

The Weather Outside is Frightful, But the Boofs are Still Delighful

I had the opportunity to get down to the Big Thompson last weekend, and despite the freshly fallen snow and low temperatures, there is still some awesome paddling on the front range. We rallied around 10:00 in Fort Collins and by 11:30 we were putting on the water, just in time for the sun to peak out from behind the canyon walls. Even with the cold temps, just a little sun went a long ways, that and having a drysuit. I don’t like to deter anyone from kayaking, but we’ve officially shifted into drysuit weather. A swim right now would not make for a very fun time without one.

Running at about 400 CFS Big T had plenty of water and then some. Eddies on the upper section were a little sparse, but having a little extra cushion on the rocks was nice. Leif Anderson and Conor Flynn fired up Garbage Disposal and made it look easy. Double Drop offered up plenty of excitement with the current pushing unwary paddlers into an undercut wall on the left. It got the better of me on one lap and left me practicing my roll to boof combo which I’m slightly ashamed to say is a little more dialed-in then it should be. But all in all there was some stellar late season boating to be had, and it even provided some great holiday wish list and gift ideas. Number one on the list, a Stolqhuist bunny suit; number two, thicker neoprene socks. This is a great run if you ever get the chance, and if the eddy hopping Class V isn’t your style check out the section below and you won’t be disappointed. Happy boating and happier holidays to you and yours. See you on the water.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The 2nd annual, every man's Rio Grande multi-day kayak trip

The 1st annual, every man's Rio Grande multi-day kayak trip started last year in 2009. The Rio Grande in Northern New Mexico is an awesome multi day trip. From the Colorado Border to the Rio Arriba County line is 65 miles of class 2-5. The sections are, Ute Mountain (class 2), Razorblades (class 3-4), Upper Box (Class 4-5), La Hunta (class 2), Lower Box (class3-4), State Park (class 2), Racecourse (class 3). Last year we did the whole trip in 4 days and 4 nights. Full report on the first trip HERE. We had an absolute blast and when the time came again to do it this year, we had a few glitches. Joe was out, due to trying to build a house and and having a girlfriend hooked on Belly Dancing. Amos was in a new relationship and on a strict Vegan diet! (I didn't even ask him to partake, and yes they (as a couple) and his new diet are still together). Cougar Killer Cameron was needed badly for this second trip. He is a good buddy, but the main reason I needed him a second time around was because he stashed a large amount of booze in the basalt cliffs when he got lost for 30 hrs. Ya, he got lost for 30 hrs on class 2 and for some strange logic, stashed our entire supply of Booze. Please watch the video to fully understand!

4 days & 4 nights, A kayaking self support, 65 miles-class 2-5 from atom crawford on Vimeo.

Sooooo, I definitely need Cam Cam to show up for the trip. I called him and he was in. Amped! I also had done the Red River with this guy Murf a couple of days before. he had moved back to town after some time done in Colorado (not jail time) and I got him fired up for the multi day. So the night before our 2nd annual trip, Cameron leaves a voice-mail and bails on the trip. He mumbled something about a special seasonal hunting permit for Cougar opening up. So he flaked out once again and the hidden booze will be hidden for another year. And then it was just the Murf and I. Bottom line, this trip is an awesome multi day in the high desert for enjoying the scenery, epic camping, loaded boats, fires, drinking, good friendship and some good class 5 to deal with amongst it all. Note: Murf and I had a fantastic time and became great friends. This trip is frigging awesome! We did not pack light or simple. We went full on, all we could carry. Our kayaks for a 3 day trip weighed over 100 lbs. The 3rd annual will be next June. Please join us. It is a time to reflect, grow, drink beer, appreciate friendship and the wonders of a deep basalt canyon and the moving water that formed it...

No Country For Old Men Putin
Murf and My beautiful shuttle bunny Rach

Long Lost brothers

I'm so so ready for a good trip
The Lee's trail Skull

Murf packing 30lbs of beer

The basalt Rio grande

Basalt boogie water

Time to find a camp above the Upper Box section

We scored a good spot

Murf was all about the Margs

Our wet bar the first night


Can't beat a good friendship and the outdoors

Super camp

Sunlight cliffs in the morning above the Upper Box

Murf in the Pleasure


Some good whitewater




Little Arsenic

Murf correcting

On line for the eddy

Little Arsenic still going

Murf and Atom sharing a set of elbow pads

Second nights camp just below the Upper Box in the La Hunta section. It was an old Miner's campground

lots O gear

The Villain carried it all well

Old Miners dwelling

my custom Shred Ready T-Dub helmet

Murf enjoying the solitude of a great river trip

Damn Canadians..


Last Beer

Maybe there is one more in here

The paddle home, La Hunta section and the the Lower Box.

Old tractor riverside. How did it get there?

Till next year. Beers, Atom...

The new Jackson Kayak, the Villain and the New Pyranha Burn were frigging kick ass. Great boats for just regular creeking day trips. They also did awesome fully loaded down with 60 lbs of unnecessary gear, Demo them at CKS......