Thursday, March 29, 2012

RCRE VOL. IV 2011 High Water Highlight Reel

RCRE Vol. IV dropping in with High Water Gore, Fish Creek, Charlie's hole, OBJ, Daisy, North Fork of the Little Wind, Black Canyon, Pozo Azul, Reventazón, Chirripo Pacifico and much more. Enjoy the stoke!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

B.C. A bit late

Last fall, Ben Hawthorne and I rallied from the Seattle/Tacoma area to the promised land: British Columbia. Over the course of three days we were able to paddle Tatlow creek twice and the Box Canyon of the Ashlu twice. I had the pleasure of meeting and paddling with Leif Embertson, Don and Darcy of Small World Adventures and also German paddlers Nils and Matti. Thanks to Nils and Don and Darcy for the photos! If you ever want to paddle in Ecuador, be sure to check out

The rapids contained within the Box are awesome. They have a bigger water feel to them all the while being in a spectacular canyon.

Don and I scouting 50/50

Seamed out and about to go deep. Batting average: 0/1

Immediately below 50/50. Ben leading into the first sequence of drops.

Just up the road is Tatlow! The road is impassable once you come to a certain point, so it requires a bit of a hike, but it is well worth it!

Trying to find the path of least resistance down to the river.

Ahh yeah! Put in

First boof of the run

Another angle. Photo: Nils Dippon

2nd Drop. This one takes you soo deep!

Ben and I below the 25'er. You can really see how stacked Tatlow is from this perspective.

I think this one was called Lil Dave's. Nasty little pocket at bottom on r right

The in between rapid after Wall Drug, (sickest rapid ever) and right above the crux

The Nymph Pool! The idyllic take out.

Check out this video Fred put together of some of my gopro footage from these two classics as well as some Dipper footage!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Perfect Runoff - 2011

Pineview Falls at a nice juicy flow

“47 foot snow drift reported by crew clearing Longdraw Road! We've requested pictures...”

Quadruple overhead. “That’s a damn BIG wall of snow isn’t it? It’s the end of May right?”

Summertime on Cameron Pass - photo Frenchy

Near the top of Cameron Pass the snow wasn’t just still double overhead, it had just been added to. Things were shaping up to be epic. The snow water equivalent (snowpack reading) was 209% of normal. Snow was still falling deep into May and there was already more snow than had ever before been recorded in the Poudre drainage. The talk was of how big and how soon. Six foot, seven foot, eight foot flood! Daylight come and me want a big flood.

Spencer Heights at a nice flow - photo Frenchy

If things got hot quickly the sand bags were gonna have to come out and some people were going to need to be evacuated. Which is kind of what we were hoping for. Nothing malicious but a fresh seven foot mark was painted on the old Pineview Gauge rock and everyone was grabbing their nuts in anticipation.

Louis Geltman in Super Collider with some juice! Narrows - photo Marty Bell

Austin Woody Rocket Launching - photo Frenchy

ES crossing in Cyclotron, Spencer Heights - photo Frenchy

Marty, ES and Austin in Boneyard, Spencer Heights - photo Frenchy

Marty Bell crushing Boneyard - photo Frenchy

And then it just stayed cold up high. The snow started to melt but not in one great flood. The dark roast coffee colored waters slowly, patiently, rose to meet the high water marks on the banks. The boating went from good to great, the fun rock was covered and EVERYTHING was in by June 2nd when the Poudre crossed the magical 3.75 mark. On June 5th it was 4.5 ft. On June 6th it was 4.9 ft and it didn’t fall below the 4.5 mark until July 20th!

Austin Woody styling it up on a Big Wave below Three Way

Spencer Mauk in the same high water only wave

ES rolling into Pineview Falls with the gauge rock visible in the background - photo Spencer Mauk

Austin Woody punching the big wave hole in Pineview - photo Spencer Mauk

Austin and ES finishing out Pineview - photo Spencer Mauk

Over six weeks of high water paddling on the Poudre. You just can’t beat that. Many years the Poudre barely crosses the 4 foot mark before descending back into the mediocrity of flows in the 3 foot range. The river never truly got out of control but it was high for sooooo long. It peaked on July 1st overnight at around 6 feet. Instead of an ultra high peak the river hung out in the 5 foot range for over a month! I would trade a few days of off the charts flooding for a month of high water any year, and 2011 was the year we got it. The perfect run-off.

Cutch on an early morning Fantasy Flight during a Poudre Source to Canyon Mouth run

Cutch sliding into a very soft Pin Cushion, Big South

ES nailing the Elevator Boof in Cyclotron, Spencer Heights - photo Frenchy

Cheers to another great season on your home river and go ahead, pray for the perfect runoff, because it’s out there, and if you believe, it might just visit you one year.