Saturday, May 20, 2006

Pallets with nails and class 5 for breakfast

Well, seeing as how the Cali snowpack is melting faster than an ice cream cone that just fell out of a 4 year-old's hand onto the sidewalk on a hot summer day, I've spent the last week up in Washington. Where the snowpack has been melting fastern than an ice cream cone that just fell out of a 4 year-old's hand onto the sidewalk on a hot summer day. Huh.
First stop was the Wenatchee, which by the good ol' semi-reliable Northwest River Forecast Center (go NOAA!) was predicted to rise and level out at about 12k, which is the primo play level for some really big waves. First day it was about 9k, and the play was mediocre, but levels were rising so high hopes for the next day were had by everyone.
Woke up the next morning to the sound of boulders moving along the creekbed where I was camping and 90 degree temps by 9am (gonna be a warm one!) and as I drove back into Leavenworth plenty of trees and old-growth forests were making their way through Tumwater Canyon. I don't know if you've ever seen Tumwater at high water, but it would take some serious balls to run it in a kayak. These trees, man, must have the biggest balls ever. Not even catching eddies. Just routing gigantic class 5+ right down the middle. I'm sure all their buddies on shore were scouting and yelling out beta, but damn!
Down at Rodeo Hole we were a little afraid of surfing. Not due to the size of the feature, which was at an absolute perfect level, but due to trees, 2x4s telephone poles, pallets, etc... coming downstream and taking rides alongside you in the pile. Not super fun to see a tree with the "Claw of DEATH" branches sticking off of it throwing 20 point cartwheels in the hole while you're waiting in the eddy. Or the pallets with lots of rusty nails floating downstream. Or the full size old-growth TREE that decided to stop off in the eddy for a bit.
The rest of the run was sweet, with the exception of Drunkards' being washed out. Level must be a little high. Turkey Shoot, normally a benign little wave, was pretty fun. Managed to work leftie air blunts, stabs, flashbacks and attempt the occasional McNasty or loop. Good times. Snowblind was epic. More waves than you could shake a stick at.
And good ol' Suffacator. Never dissapoints above 14k. Skook on a river, that's all I'll say.

I left that evening for the west side of the Cascades to meet up with some friends and rallied up to Bellingham, where some small drainages had decent water levels. Just about the only places in the state (or coast) with reasonable levels.
There was a catch. It was still so hot, that you had to get on things early in the morning before the snowmelt kicked in and bumped the flow up super high. All right! You guys want some class 5 for breakfast?


Friday, May 12, 2006

Videos are cool

check out this video of Dan being a bad-ass in Chile last winter.

Dan in Chile

And I just threw together a brief vid too-

Selander doing some stuff in a kayak

jacob live in albuquerque! poaching my friend's neighbor's wireless!
soon to be in california.

oh yeeeeeeeeeaaaaahhhhhh.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bob's Hole Rodeo

The big event of Oregon for the year went down on the Clackamas this Saturday. With all of 12 pros in the men's class, it was pretty rockin'. The spectator turnout was also somewhat below average... probably all related to the fact that Bob's wasn't in for the competition. But we had it there anyways! Because we were determined to throw some big tricks whether there was a wave to do it on or not.

Anyhow, we ended up including all four waves (top hole, first wave, Bob's, and the curler) in the competition. You could use whatever combination of features you wanted during your ride. That was a pretty sweet way to do it, actually. It made for some good variety. The top hole was actually really sweet. It was just a bitch since it required a hike at that level. Bob's was super flushy, but the curler was pretty sweet for blunts and backstabs.

Once the World Class kids showed up the event got started. I ended up judging for juniors, experts and women. Brooke Winger took first in women's, Devon Barker (props Team JK) got second, and Christie Glissmeyer placed third. Then the World Class kids took over the judging for men's pro.

I had some sweet rides in the top hole in the first round of the comp and was able to float down to the curler for some blunts and stabs. To my surprise I ended up going into finals in first place! Sweet. I think that lit a fire under Andy Bedingfield and Karl Moser, though. Everyone started trying to huck themselves off the small features in finals. I had a couple solid rides and out-scored my prelims rides with loops, splits, ends, cleans, blunts and stabs. But Karl and Andy went for the unstickable helixes, clean blunts, and donkey flips. It was risky on their part, but they had nothing to lose. The judges counted the big moves, though. Karl took first, Andy was in second, and I took third.

Tao, Matsell, Bechtel, and some other good paddlers finished in there somewhere as well.

Anyhow, another weekend, another comp. It was good times, especially since I got to drink an awesome porter in Estacada while eating a delicious chicken burger at Fearless brewery.

Peace out.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Footy from the College Nat's


Click on the kayaking button, and check out the goods from the semis and finals from boater-x and freestyle.
Right on. I gotta get back to finishing up the term so I can head to Cali and play in some snowmelt that's rushing down some granodiorite, or perhaps quartz monzonite. Plutons.