Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Zambezi

(more pictures soon, slow internet)

The Zambezi has to be my favorite river run. Every rapid is big and stompin but still fairly flushy and safe. Of course there are the crocadiles in the flatwater but that only becomes a problem when you swim. You put in not even a mile below the one and only Victoria Falls. On the way to the put in you pass more baboons then you can count and can even get your boat taken down by porters for super cheap. Not much to complain about.

The run starts out with a super sick surf wave with a big pile in rapid Number 2 and a HUGE stomping wave in Number 3 right up against the cliff wall. Number 4 is the first big rapid on the run which involves you threading the needle between the little hole on the right and the huge hole on the left by doing a move called riding the Dragons Back. It involves riding up onto the top of this huge curler feeding into the huge river left hole but not skirting it to much because you will drop into the little sticky hole on the right. then you drop down and hit huge curling diagonal like NFL lineman. Number 5 has to be my favorite rapid on the river. With two super sick lines. One involves hitting a bunch of giant reactionaries or going for the huge 10 foot boof on river right. The right boof is super sick, kinda shallow but totally worth it.

Rapid Number 6

Number 8 involves dropping into one of the biggest holes of your life. I'd say the Hole is around 8 feet tall maybe taller. Needless to say it is GIGANTIC. (expect pics soon). Number #9 is generally portaged but runable. It is ever bit of V+ and has it's fair share of consiquences. I havent fired it up yet but hoping to by the end of the trip. Number 11 involves a left to right move over a real slammer reactionary trying to push you into the boilest eddy I have ever seen.

12b has on of the sickest waves on the river and once you figure out how to tame it you can get your fair share of air.

Me on one of the lower rapids

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Murtaugh July 4th 07

This July 4th Frank Holden, Mark Gove, Mike Farral, Justin Dailey and I headed out to hit up the Murtaugh at 1500 cfs. It may not be the epic big water roller coaster told in the Idaho Lore but in my eyes its better. Tons of perfectly pool drop rapids with some great lines and some sweet play spots. The first rapid under the bridge, Knuckles, has a fun wave in it that I believe drops into a hole at lower levels called Troll Hole. This wave was nice but we were here for the sweet rapids so we took a few rides and headed down. The drops on this river are as pool drop as they come making it a nice introduction to harder whitewater for up and coming kayak bums. maybe 4 miles into the run, its hard to tell because of how slow the river is going, you come up and super quick wave/hole named Opium Hole. The water coming into the hole is super quick and the hole has a tendency to chunder you after a while of surfing.

Opium Hole's fast oncoming water and steep pile is great for wave moves like blunts

a local boater throwing down a left cartwheel

While at Opium Hole we ran into a group of about 15 Twin falls boaters. It really is quite the surprise seeing a group of 15 kayakers rolling in you in such a secluded spot.

The next rapid is a sweet one with a couple different lines. You can head straight down the center and punch the curler, as seen in the first picture, just don't get typewriterd into the nasty hole to the right. You can also head close to the left bank and drop through some sweet boogy water, as seen in the second picture. Ethan and I were also checking out a sweet line to the right of the pour over but decided to save it for another day.

After what seemed to be a couple more miles you come up to Misty. Misty has a great 4 foot boof flake on the right side a more creekboatish middle channel and a some gnarly funk to the left.

Try to get a good boof because the landing is shallow in places.

We made our way down to the legendary Pair-a-dice rapid. At higher water this is a HUGE 'DEATH' HOLE emphasizing on the DEATH part. but at this level the right channel dishes out a good 5 foot boof. The middle of the drop can get pretty meaty so if the flows get much any more above 1500 then the hole could become very low head damish. At this level it was just a nice plop.

Mike given 'er at pair-a-dice

Next up were the Big Three of the low water Murtaugh. Lets Make a Deal, Red Shank, and Duck Blind. Sorry no pictures the camera was screwing up. All of these drops are class 4+ at the least but tons of fun if the lines are made. The next two I ended up Portaging and then proceeded to watch two people just run straight threw both without a scout. Kinda made me feel like a nancy-boy. But whatever.

Photo credits. Just Dailey, Mark Gove and myself.

Kahuna Session, Wyo.

I met up with some a couple friends from Bozeman to do some sessions on Kahuna Wave this last week. This wave is always really weird and hard to stick moves in but its always a great time let alone. This wave is super narrow and the pile is ridiculously steep and not too sticky so it makes for short but interesting rides. Most of the time you are trying to make your way up to the top of the wave to set up for a move but you will usually end up getting kicked off. All in all it was a great time. The key players of the trip were Erik Johnson, Nate Garcia, Ethan, and the legendary old school ripper Jerry Johnson.

Back Stab on run number one day one

Ethan chillin' on kahuna

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wyoming Whitewater Championships 07

Bozeman ripper Sam throwing something Nasty

With the river dropping into a near perfect level for Taco Hole, this years Wyoming Whitewater Championships turned out to be a great event and heated competition. Local ripper Jon Souter took home the gold, with Mark Cecchini hot on his tale. Will Taggart rounded out third place in the Expert Mens.

The junior rodeo was a heated battle between myself, Davis Gove, and Khyber Miller. After an exhausting battle Khyber ended up edging me out by two points for first place in the Junior Division. There was a good turnout in the Junior Class including two Bozeman boys, Sam and Skyler, taking in 3rd and 4th,who routinely threw massive loops, through out the practice rides.

Me throwing a loop in Taco

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Photo credits to LJ Groth

The Leaping Tiger Gorge at extremly low water

In mid January, I left for China with World Class Kayak Academy to beggin my most epic adventure to date. After meeting up with the LJ Groth, Scott Doherty and Joel Kowalski in Missoula we embarked on a long journey to the most Southwestern province of China where we would meet up with the rest of our group. The Yunnan province of China boasts a huge amount of never seen Big Water boating. Nearly every river trip in China could be considered expidition boating because of that ever present X factor of the unkown.

We started out our boating expidition with a two week long raft support trip down the great bend of the Yangtze. We took on a one hundred twenty mile section fo the river known as the Great Bend. We jumped on the river at a very different water level then ever done before, leaving us with that ever present expiditionary feel. Although the section was not particularly difficult it was very fun, extremely remote, amazingly beautiful. While on the river we were introduced to a rairly spoken of aspect of China, the many ethnic minorities. Villagers around the river were allways entrigued by our willingness to take on the river which was thought to be so immensly dangerous and our very odd costums and equipment.

After our Trip down the Great Bend of the Yangtze we headed over to the next large river valley to the West. In this valley we jumped on the mighty Mekong. We were one of the only groups to complete this section and I believe we may have been the second. The river was in a very deep and steep gorge in which we really didnt know what were in for. There was one portage around a fairly burly rapid with a tricky lead in and a nearly river wide Burl Gnar pour over blocking the exit. Although the rapid was runnable request to step it up by a few of the students was shut down by the teachers. The river dished out an extremely long and cold day but fully worth it. The rapids were great and good times were had by all. Towards the end of the river I was stricken with a strong case of Chinese Chunder Butt and ended up polishing of a full roll of toilet paper and then some leaving me with an unpleasent ten mile paddle to the take out and a dirty Union Suit.

The down days waiting to cross the next pass left all of the kids of World Class Kayak Academy with a large storage of excess energy to burn and nothing to do. To remedy the needs of activity the teachers created a nice game of Hide and go Seek Tag leaving the kids amped and ready to take it to the extreme. In the last minutes of the game after going nearly an hour with being tagged I attempted a daring leap from roof top to roof top to get away from the grabby hands of the seekers. Instantly the landing zone of the second roof gave away causing me to plummet to my demise on the cold hard cement below. My arm was shatterd on impact. We promptly hired a Landrover the next day to drive me over the pass back to the nearest airport and I was headed back to the States just like that for surgery.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Wyoming Whitewater Championships 06

Cottonwood rapid at nearly double the regular flow. If you look hard you can see a boater on the wave.

Well the Wyoming Whitewater Championships has always been a fun comepetition it is usually held at Taco Hole but last year in 06' we just so happen to have nearly 4 times the flow that taco hole needs. The Snake was pumping at a boom 20,000 cfs and the Comp was held on waves in the Cottonwood Rapids.
A boater Cross was held on the Greys River at nearly flood stage. The river was pumping but pretty fun. The competition was tight and current Junior World Champion, Evan Garcia, Came out on top in every Junior event.

Me running Snaggletooth on the Greys

Erik Johnson on Snaggletooth

Rio Alsaseca

Pictures by Dave Zinn.

While in the state of Veracruz, we completed one of the best creek runs I have ever done. The name of the river is the Rio Alsaseca and it has been in a few videos including No Big Names II, and I believe Burning time as well as Hotel Charley II. The whole river is jam packed with huge drops ranging from nice slides to monsterous clean waterfalls. The section we did is known as the roadside section. It was a steep pool drop bedrock huckfest. It started out with a nice 20 footer with a tricky lead in.

After the 20, there was a sweet double drop a confluence and a nice boof. We ran a sweet drop at the confluence it was a 15 footer into a 4 foot crack, it was a super sweet boof but later in the trip i ended up cracking my nose over my paddle on it. The rest of the river was alot of slidy waterfalls.

Somewhere in there was a really fun trip drop. Which inolved a tight squeeze under a log bridge right at the entrance to a little slide into a pillow that regurgitates you out onto an nice little pourover.

Later down the river there was another extremely sick triple drop, then the amazingly epic S-turn rapid. Not many fired it up but when you look at the pictures you will see why. It was neer vertical 13 foot slide with a huge curler droping you 90 degrees to the right into a natural waterslide with 10 foot tall bedrock walls surrounding the channel.

Our super gnar kayak buddy Rafa Ortiz fired it up to show us all how it was done.

Rio Zimaton

Me on the first drop of the Zimaton

Last fall we spent a while in the state of Oaxaca running a great river known as the Rio Zimaton. The characteristic was very tight granite drops. Lots of good boofs and a really nasty 15 footer. The river starts out with a sick windy rapid that drops you into this amazing mini-gorge. The run was great. Only one picture sorry.