Sunday, June 25, 2006

Melt preview

I said I'd get some editing done and a little preview of the west coast kayaking binge video together, and here it is!



Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Don't forget to pack your big boy pants!

Oh yes, once again poaching wireless. This time from a coffee shop in Golden, CO, where I just finished a nice play session to break up the Cali- North Cackilack drive.

Just got off two classic runs in Cali, did Devil's Canyon on the Middle Feather right into the Clavey. Devil's canyon is typically a 3 day run, but we tend to rally through the class 4 boogie and make 3 days into 2. Good times. My buddy Alex came out from NC to join in, it was his first taste of true California whitewater and after getting lit up in a big hole he was nothing but a shit-eating grin for the rest of the trip. Beautiful scenery, top notch rapids and warm weather. What more can you ask for?

How about another overnighter?


Just as we were taking off the Feather, I got the call from Burnham- "Dude- we're putting on the Clavey and doing the upper and lower into the Tuolomne in 2 days. Pack your overnight stuff and get ready for some Cali class 5!"
So I had no choice but to drive the 6 hours from the Feather to the Clavey and arrive at the take-out at 3 am and sleep for a couple hours before rallying with the crew to the put-in.
Now the Clavey run involves ~20 miles of class 5 on the Clavey proper and another 7 or so on the Tuolomne (did I spell that right?) at 6500 cfs. Good times- big water play in a fully loaded creek boat.

I'd write more on these runs, but I gotta get driving. Got tons of video footage from both and the previous month up in OR/WA and my crash on the South Yuba (14 stitches!), hoping to get a little teaser up within a few days!

Oh yeah, and major props to Dan for kicking some ass on the Wenatchee!

--Selander out!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Wenatchee Fest

A little update action from the Wenatchee River Festival last weekend...
Photos are courtesy of Brian at Leavenworth Mountain Sports. Leavenworth Mountain Sports, AW, some other companies and many volunteers put on an awesome event that included all kinds of crazy races and then the real competition: freestyle!

Dan setting up for something Huge while a random dog looks on.

I just thought everyone out there should know that I won. Yup. First place. I got two... count 'em, two... Wenatchee River Festival etched beer glasses. Every time I drink some water out of those glasses, it tastes like victory, too.

We had it up at upper rodeo hole, the turbulent little loop hole that sits about a hundred feet upstream of Rodeo hole. Rodeo hole itself was disappearing as the river dropped, but that brought in the upper hole for a premium level. Not the typical big feature action that you get on the Wenatchee, but it has that exciting little eddy that is really short and presses right up against the rock wall.

The loops were big, the ends were mostly clean, and there were some good back loops too. Not quite enough room or control in the pit for bigger moves like mcnastys, orbitals and tricky woos.

So the end results were:

  1. Me (Dan Rubado)
  2. Josh Bechtel
  3. 'Little Dave' Garringer
  4. Taylor Robertson
  5. Steve Bailey

There were obviously other things going on too, but I was just there to surf, myself. Drunkards was at a sweet level when I first arrived on Friday and the big aerial wave moves were great. I didn't get any video though, and then the river dropped. But there's still plenty of snow so it could come back!

Paddle hard out there!

-Dan Rubado

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Mt. Rainier National Park and Huck Special

After a while on the good ol' Wenatchee drainage with some big water play and creeking, I headed back to Portland to get in some classics like Bob's, Green Truss, Little White, etc...

This past weekend Rubado and I headed up to Mt. Rainier with some Portland boys to check out some park and huck possibilities within the park. Now, we weren't exactly sure if kayaking in the park was kosher or not, so we left the boats on one rig in a parking lot and piled into another to go scout. Paradise creek was the main objective, and we scored big with a 300-ish yard long series of slides that totalled between 100-120 ft high. Away from the road so as to not attract the attention of the rangers or gaping public that would think we're nuts and call the rangers.
We tossed our gear (which included many varieties of camera) over the side of the road behind a snowbank and changed while other members of the crew went to go grab boats.

Kris Wilson and I were nominated to be the first down the slide, with myself being first. Crash test dummy, I like that.

Selander between the first and second pitches...

I was suprised by the smoothness of the slide, from scouting it looked super bouncy, but it went on smooth like KY.

Everyone went on to fire it up a few times, but not before long when Dan and I were filming at the top here comes along Mr. Park Ranger. Luke is just about to run the slide when he looks at us and says "Oh, f---! Ranger! Busted!" and takes off down the drop, leaving Dan and myself.

Ranger: "Hey, are you guys the ones parked up on the road there?"
Jacob: "Yup."
Ranger: "Does one of you own a black dog?"
Jacob: "Yeah, that would be (insert random name here). He's down at the bottom filming."
Ranger: "Well, he needs to put the dog inside the car- you can't have them tied up outside. It just creates a problem for the park wildlife. Don't want a couger coming along and eating the dog..."
Jacob: "Okay, I'll let him know!"
Ranger: "You guys know about Narada falls just downstream, right?" (Narada Falls- 100+ ft onto rock)
Jacob: "Yeah, we're not even thinking about touching that."
Ranger: "Okay, You folks have a good day!"

Okay, enough storytelling. More pictures.
Rubado on the bottom of the first (and biggest) pitch

Pytel routing the second pitch

Johnny Ott on the last two drops- don't want to miss the boof on the 14- footer, pitoning will ensue...

Alright. Time for me to load up my home and head south to California. Land of endless whitewater and the place where the playboat stays on top of the car...

--Selander out!
Home. Rent is currently averaging $3.05/ gallon.

p.s.- I am in no way endorsing kayaking in national parks. If you do, be VERY careful to not disturb the native plants/ animals. Footprints in a pristine glacial meadow are an eyesore.