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.