Gauley and such

WOW Fall was busy
West Virginia sun set from Rick-O-Shay's ultralight
Commercial raft guiding on Gore Canyon was great until I crashed kayaking and messed up my ankle in Cheeseman canyon, what to hear the whole story click here ouch.

Commercial raft guiding in WV on the Upper Gauley is always rewarding. I have a stealer group of return clients that allow me to play hard and work on new and not so standard lines. Including the Double Death Spiral into Iron Ring, and just letting them go through the Box Canyon on there own.

During the Gauley three day mid weeks it is up to us to find some trouble, like flying in Ultra lights and Caving 

Ridding with the master of all that is sketchy Rick-O-Shay.

Casey and Hammer above a 20 foot drop deep in the cave
Casey and Hammer Checking out some stalactites
Hammer repelling
Tubing the upper Gauley with Casey Tango,
There had been so much shit talk about it after my good friend Mike Edwards accomplished the amazing and definitely stupid feat of tubing the Upper Gauley, we had to follow suit. The next friday we had a bunch of coffee, talked a little more shit, and went down to the local tire store looking for inter-tubes. The guy behind the counter was more then happy to help, what size you need, I reach my arms out beyond my sides, about like this, we are going to go tubing down the river. Well this is what I usually sell to folks that are going to take there kids out. Perfect we'll take two. That was that we had tubes next up a little padding. We stopped over at River Expeditions and grabbed a couple wet suits. We tossed a couple extra beers and a roll of gorilla tape (our patch kit) in our support raft and hoped in the river. It was off to the races, we had solid left lines through Insignificant. When you bump your feet off of Pillow Rock while siting fat man style in an inter-tube there is no doubt you had a great line. Next up the scary one Lost Paddle, Casey and I had lines that would put most raft guides to shame big Hawaii 5-0 hits and supper clean lines into Tumble home. Once in Tumble home the shit talk caught up to us again and we both went through the Mail Box Slot. At this point we were feeling pretty sure of our new found skills and Casey called for a left left line at Ship Wreck. I in turn called out for Death Spirals into Iron Ring, I went a little further right then expected and had some serious down time in the top hole just to pop up right before taking a big Wood-stock hole hit. As we floated into Sweets falls we both under stood what was about to happen, we looked at each other and simultaneously the words came to our lips, MELTDOWN! Tango managed to style it on the other hand I got totally beat down. As I slowly found my way out of my pounding I looked over to see Casey stamping his tube and getting pulled up on Postage Due. I went for the same line and got blown off into the Box Canyon. I had a great line through the Box, and climbed up the back side of Postage Due to celebrate a very successful tubing mission of the Upper Gauley.

Casey Tango getting a hand up onto Postage Due

Upper Youghiogheny, Seems there is always some issue with the damn release on the Youghiogheny, it is early, it's late, There is always some rumor of something usually not true. Last year International House Of Pancakes Falls burnt to the ground, but it looked good this year. Anyways the initial big three day midweek release did get canceled and as Gauley season rolled on Casey Tango and I got more and more restless about missing one of our favorite traditions. So fifth weekend we got the heads up that the river was going to run, unfortunately my personal favorite part of the Upper Youghiogheny was closed. The Riverside Hotel, they do the best vegetarian food anywhere, and it is one of my favorite restaurants any where. O well there is always next year, and the river as always produced some great entertainment.

Let the show begin
B-Real boofing International House of Pancake Falls
Casey enjoying the show
Some of the paddlers even like to pull there skirt and still paddle to the eddy
A small but excited crowd at National Falls
Another great time spent in West Virginia and Marry Land.
Chris Baer


Weekend Shenanigans

We had an amazing weekend down here in WNC with Green Race, Cheoah Release and Catalochee opening. Sadly enough decisions had to be made so that kayaking fun could continue even though I would to love to have been at 3 places at one. I must say it is great to be back in WNC. When it finally became friday the 5th the choice was made to head to the Cheoah River in Robbinsville, NC which is where the old homestead is. So we headed to the put-in after waking up bright and early to around an inch of snow on the ground. So with a rallied up crew and the creek and playboats loaded. The first run was from the top down and turned out to be quite awesome with some epic carnage. My friend Lindsay charged ahead at Yardsale which is one of the last rapids and has a large hole and undercut off to the side of the hole. As he hit the hole I watched the first windowshade happen and then I decided the meat was not going to be the line to go for currently so i hit the double boof on the right and proceeded to try and grab his stern out of the hole but couldn't reach. However he kept riding it out and after going end over end unintentionally cartwheeling and hitting some enders for around a minute Lindsay finally wound up flushing out of the hole to my cheers cause it was pretty epic. We also had the fortune of kayaking in the snow in November which also made water feel really warm. So after getting to the lake we got back to the car to fire up the playboy run. Then after a successful playboat run the day was over and we concluded the last scheduled release of the Cheoah River for the year. Then it was time to go out for the night and continue the fun. After a night of fun it was a bit of rest before bucking up for the Sunday Special. We went out for a little Clay Wright park and huck special at Dupont National Forest. We hit up the Little River's 2nd drop of Triple Drop. It was quite bony but it still went! Second drop has two lines a center and a left line. I tried for the center line and came off line after my second left stroke which threw me off line and I wound up sideways but was able to keep the boat under me and ride it out boofing way bigger then necessary for this size drop. However even with the unplanned boof and not so as planned line I came out with only a pulled lat. Now I am resting it up for a couple of days and then its time to go run something this coming weekend. Hope everyone also had amazing weekends and awesome lines! Peace Paul


Back to the South East

Well things have started to pick up down south got Green Race coming up tomorrow and plenty of other boating opportunities as the rainy/snowy season begins to pickup. The home run Cheoah will also be going off on saturday as well so in general its going to be an awesome weekend! Now I just got to make the choice! Go and paddle in to check out the race or hit Cheoah and squeeze the last good drop of playboating out. I just got done working and am ready to head back down there. Speaking of the Green and Cheoah though got a little video I have tossed on here with some stuff from the summer on those rivers, hope everyone likes it. Other then that I will be getting back to the rivers so I am sure I will have some more video and pictures to toss up on here soon and hope everyone has clean lines out there, peace Paul.