Never fails to intrigue me.
Never fail to fascinate me.
The synergy of humans running rivers, an abstract of life itself, a synapse of energies which create a mirror of being.
We can learn a lot from a simple river trip.
Last weekend the boys we’re tied up for 48 hours with the Wind Race.
This coming weekend we roll down to the North Fork of the American so I wasn’t too surprised when only Ox and Matt showed up Saturday morning for a Canyon Creek run.
Oh sure everyone had an excuse/reason; mom’s in town, bachelor party in Vegas, flying back from spring break in Arizona(x2), gotta work.
For what might be the same reason folks rubber neck when driving by an accident about 8 kayakers showed up at the put in. Of course we didn’t disappoint. We ran 90% of the drops fairly well, it was just that the 10% was an 18 footer we body hucked sideways. Sure we might have seen the guard rocks we got hung up on had we scouted it, but we will not be able to scout during the Canyon Creek Race, training makes one stronger if ya can survive it.
Once all control was lost and we were peering the wrong way into a bad situation, during the next millisecond the concept of fate and luck crossed my mind.
Tchaikovsky explored the concept of fate with his Fourth Symphony and even stated that, “ This is Fate, that fateful force which prevents the impulse to happiness from entirely achieving its goal, forever on jealous guard lest peace and well being should ever be attained in complete and unclouded form, hanging above us like the sword of Damacoles, constantly and unremittingly poisoning the soul. Its force is invisible and can never be overcome. Our only choice is to surrender to it, and to languish fruitlessly”.
Ox and I surrendered to gravity as we body gutted the reversal at the base of Big Kahuna and languished fruitlessly in the frothy run out. Kayakers watched, and our teammates will hear about it from a safe distance.
Human behavior, classical music, whitewater.
When it all comes it apart it all comes together.
Yin and Yang, another day on the river with ORT.
Check out the vid by Corey Morton at:
Well maybe not that wild, but definitely wet. After givin' her all semester with school and keeping good grades, I was in definite need of a break. Luckily I was able to do some kayaking locally and then got to travel up to Western NC and sample some of their finest. I managed to catch our local classics Johnnies and LRC at good flow. Then I came down with a bad cold and was out of commission for a few days, but recovered in time to meet up with some some friends in NC to get on Big Creek and the Raven Fork.
The Raven Fork is by far an incredible place, and I feel very privileged to have kayaked there. Enjoy the pics:
Headless Horseman pic by Joey Jarrell
Launching at Mortal Combat pic by Joey Jarrell
Sam watching me at Mike Tyson's Punchout(I'm the little yellow dot at the top of the picture) pic by Joey Jarrell
Caveman pic by Ryan Moore
And here's the video thanks to Ryran:
Now it's back to the books!!!
2008 Western Whitewater Championship Series (WWCS)
What a blast.
29 racers suited up to brave the cold rainy weather, early start time, and wrath from mom for not attending Easter dinner to attend the first downriver Upper Wind race in 14 years.
Joe Stumpfel in his super mongo Wave Hopper was the only racer to break the 20 minute barrier finishing the roughly 3 mile (Class III-IV+) course in 19minutes:17seconds.
At approximately 6.7 feet on the gauge at race time the Upper Wind held on to it’s reputation of being technical while still smashing paddlers with solid holes.
Ram’s Horn was said to humble several fatigued paddlers on this day.
Dave Hagmeier proved yet again that he is the man to beat in a cataraft, while Greg Mallory beat all comers in the competitive under 9 feet kayak class. Greg represents what is right about competition, his inner strength and modest demeanor was unmatched. I really hope you get to meet Greg on the river someday.
The California Women tactfully took full advantage of their downriver starting position and cleverly held a solid line throughout the first 1/3rd of the race completely disallowing ORT an opportunity to pass. When the channel finally widened up just above Initiation, ORT snuck by on the inside but blew their exit line after the first big ledge which let the opportunistic ladies from Cali to slip by. ORT was again forced to wait patiently for an opening and about 4 boulder gardens later were able to crank by just above Ram’s Horn. Our line at the Horn wasn’t real clean but it was good enough to take a solid lead and settle in for the remainder of the gorge.
At the finish line we waited anxiously for new ORT recruit and first year paddler Matt King who had never seen this section of stout water before. Additionally, he was racing it (R2) in a 12 foot Aire Puma with a classmate he had just “drug” off the campus who may have only been in a raft a few times, ever. We let out a big cheer as this crew finally came around the corner, Matt with a big grin and his bro with the thousand yard stare.
Back at the cabin racers and volunteers were stoked with some spicy chili served up by ORT, Easter Eggs by Kate and April, and PBR which was donated by Zach from Echo River Trips.
83% of the racers went home with gear or prizes provided by:
A very special thanks for:
Event insurance and timing provided by Bob and Kerry of the Northwest Rafters Association (NWRA) who will be hosting the 25th annual Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival May 16th – 18th.
Registration and event support by Mark Rettmann.
Shuttle and tent by Next Adventure.
Gerber knives and parking by Rob Virostek of kayakattack.com.
And of course the great folks at Aire, Aquabound, WRSI, and Immersion Research, who continue to provide the boys with the best equipment on the river.
Come join the fun next year with practice on Saturday March 21st and the race on Sunday March 22nd.
Next stop on the WWCS is the North Fork of the American April 5th.
ORT, we are more than just a whitewater rafting team,
Long Boat Kayak
1st Joe Stumpfel 19:17
2nd Austin Rathman 20:04
3rd Nate Bell 22:06
4th Christie Glissmeyer 22:48
Kayak (Under 9 feet)---Times “rained out”
1st Greg Mallory
2nd Tony Skirvanek
3rd Rob Virostek
4th Jim Kennedy
5th Roberta Grant
6th Luke Spencer
Cataraft---Times “rained out”
1st Dave Hagmeier
2nd Zachary Collier
3rd Val Shaull
1st Oregon Rafting Team (ORT) 22:44
2nd California Women 23:17
3rd Bigfoot (R2) 27:09
4th ORT Rookies (R2) 28:55
Check out this sweet new Video sent into us from Mathieu COLDEBELLA. Here is what he has to say" Here in france, the season is just starting this weekend with the first national event which will count for the national team selection. Here is a litle video about our WRSI group in action"
picture by Billy Harris
Honestly, I was a little nervous about competing since I've been creeking all season and have only been in my playboat a couple of times since Gauley Fest, but I had to come out anyway and represent for the 'bama boys. Due to recent rains, this was the highest water level in NAWF's history and Short Creek offered no mercy for competitors. Everybody was chundered at least once and a few were even pulled behind the curtain and beat down like a red headed step child. It really made every body think twice about how big they really wanted to go. I had to change my game plan a little bit, but ended up happily placing 4th. With a sore shoulder and short boat I opted not to race in the boatercross.
picture by Austin Guthery
Saturday we woke up to find the campground and tents covered in snow, which is rare in Alabama, so the contest ended up getting pushed back to the afternoon. I ended up not making finals, but learned what I need to work on playboating wise. For full results click here: http://www.nawfest.net/
picture by Austin Guthery
The party was fun as usual, with plenty of entertainment. I got to listen to some cool music, see some new videos such as Night of the Living Donkey, and then there were the raffles, food, and beer and I was also able to catch up with old friends and new ones alike.
I ended the weekend with an after noon run with Effort Production's Spencer Cooke on the pristine Little River Canyon at a stellar level of 8 inches. It was an awesome way to end a great weekend and to celebrate the return of spring.
Props to the event organizers, volunteers, and sponsors!!!
For full results and more event coverage check out: http://www.nawfest.net/
Until next time,
Myself and Nathan Welch recently completed a source to sea journey of the Amazon River (www.expeditionamazonas.com) with gear supplied by the awesome folks at WRSI. Early on in the piece the river goes by the name Rio Apurimac which means Divine Voice or Voice of God. I can tell you I heard it loud and clear! Through our full descent of the Apurimac we had some fun times, some big flips and serious downtime!
In a couple of coming posts I will detail our experience, so stay tuned. In the meantime check out one of our clips here. During our descent we came across a commercial group and hung with them for a couple of days. Good times. The boys fed us and set up safety for us on some of the gnarlier rapids. Sweet!
This year again, Québec city will be witnessing another edition of the Québec RIP Cup. This team creek race has been held for the pas 2 years with great succes, prises and, of course, a great party!
The race will be held anywhere from mid-May to end of May 2008. (the ideal date would be around May 24th 2008)
Right now the organisation is hard at work, planning another very cool race on the best possible river.RedBull is again, part of the organisation.
More info on the exact dates, times, rules, prizes will be coming up soon.
On these few words, have a great spring!