Friday, June 16, 2006

Hawaii Sur Rhone with Pat and Anthony

Standard Pat Air

So after a quick tour of Colorado it was off to France for the Lyon River Festival and a little paddling in the French Alps. Kayak Session Magazine along with Canoe and Kayak Magazine France have put on the Lyon River Festival 3 times now and every time it gets better and better. This is so much more than a freestyle event. You have seen the photos of the huge ramp. There is also a skate competition, a multi sport race, and a funky rides area for kids supposedly. But all the kayakers were in on the trampoline machine.

The Boys Hanging Out on Hawaii Sur Rhone

These guys were head and shoulders above the competition during the week. Obviously there are folks throwing moves as hard but these guys are doing it almost every ride, both throwing super complex moves and sticking them. Unfortunately the water dropped out for the event so the fellas weren't able to show their latest moves during the event. However it was a great time and now that I say that the winning ride still included a Pan Am a Back Blunt and an Airscrew so in fact the wave was still really good it just wasn't the Hawaii Sur Rhone that we hoped to see. There was a great crowd there both days. Huge party Saturday night and then the water came back up on Monday which made for more good boating.

Here is a video of the first day hanging with these guys.
First Day on Hawaii Sur Rhone, Click It

Pat and Anthony did updates during the event here is the link to the Playak page with the updates. You may need to sign up on playak to make it work for you.
Link to Pat and Anthony's Event Update Videos, Click It

Next will be a few river updates from the French Alps.
Check Back.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Day 10: Slate Creek and Oh Be Joyful

Headed Over Cottonwood Pass

I will start this post by saying oops I am a little behind again. Its been a couple weeks since all this happened and a lot has happened since. So check back I will try to catch up with stories about Fish Creek, The Lyon River Festival, Paddling in the French Alps, and all that good stuff.

Okay so I have one day before I to go to Steamboat for the Paddler Magazine Invitational. There are quite a few runs that I would love to do but time is running out. Polk and a group of buds have rallied to Crusty Butt, as they call it, to get a few laps in on Oh-Be-Joyful, and anything else that is running in the area. The decision is made all there is left to do is drive the three and a half hours to Crested Butte and get ready for some fun.
We woke in the morning hoping we might be able to get a triple crown in, but soon those hopes were ruined when we found that the water had dropped a little too much for the smaller runs in the area to hold their water. But Slate Creek and Oh-Be-Joyful were right on the money for good levels and good fun.

First things first. We loaded up Polks' rediculously rad shuttle vehicle, got a cup of coffee and headed up the valley to Slate Creek. I hadn't ever done Slate so the locals helped us out with a quick scout of the last two drops, Racetrack, and Wicked Wanda.

Scouting Wanda

Slate is a pretty small stream that drops through a few layers of ,...Slate rock into a couple tight little canyons. There are the classic Colorado hazards to deal with, Wood, and Sharp rocks, but this run has a nice push to it. A nice amount of gradient keeps this thing moving pretty quickly. Which would be very disconcerting if we weren't with the local posse. Chris and Este' showed Woody, Polk, Erik, and I the smooth lines through everything.

Chris on the Race Track

From the morning scout we knew that Racetrack would be fine and we didn't spend much time scouting it, but Wicked Wanda had a little boily action above a very tight slot feeding a tight boof into a tight slot. We scouted that one for a while, and we all had a little question in our minds on how that one would go once we got there.

Woody Race Track

The run started out very ominously. I almost broke my paddle on the first rapid when I planted it between a tree limb and a rock, both submerged in the middle of a boof. Then I nearly flipped off another funky rock boof thingy. Luckily the I was able to get a little rythm over the next section. When we got to Racetrack and Wanda we were all working well together. We jumped out to scout and all had good lines. Glad to be upright and all right.

The Boof at Wanda

The Notch of Wanda

One river down and Oh-Be-Joyful to go.

Oh-Be has always been one of my favorites in Colorado. A few big drops a few big slides, and some really fun lines throughout. You know its going to be a fun run when the shuttle takes you through a creek with your shuttle vehicle chugging door wells deep in water.

The shot below is the first drop unless you walk a little higher and run "Ankle Breaker". Nah. I have done that before. So we put in just above this drop. Take about 4 strokes and off you go.

Chris on the First Falls

This is the big one. It has an elusive boof that is either a little left or a little right because I melted it twice this day. Which works well but is not as smooth as a nice 45 degree scoop landing.

Eric on The Big Drop

Este on the Big Drop

The slides of Oh Be Joyful are hilarious you just keep going and going, and going. With only one thing to worry about, that thing over there on the right, it is pretty worry free sillyness.

A Really Fun Long Slide

Looks a Little Different Than North Carolina

All in all an awesome day. Off to the Fish Creek Race in Steamboat.

Here are the videos of the day.
Slate Creek Video, Click It
Oh Be Joyful Video, Click It

Take Care and I will try to catch up now because in the mean time I have already gone to Fish Creek, and France of all things so I should have some updates up soon.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Day 9: Clear Creek

Cross River Loop

Don from Confluence gave us a call and told us we should check out the Lawson hole before we left Colorado, and Woody and I hadn't really done a ton of playboating while we were out here so we figured, Why Not? While we were at it we added in the class 3-3+ run downstream as well.

Woodys First Cartwheels in a Hole

We played in the hole for a while seeing what the CR would do in a hole for Don and Woody and then worked our way downstream on the Clear Creek run from Lawson hole to the first Idaho Springs exit. Its a little wierd to keep track of where you are on a river by the exit signs on the highway right next to you.

Woody Ducking the Tunnel

The first thing we came to was a small tunnel. We went for it it was actually pretty fun. After that the river turned into very continuous class 3 and 4. It was really fun water but there were some sharp rocks and a few sticky holes that you had to pay attention to.

One of Many Continuous Parts

Woody Surfin It Up

Last Rapid of the Day

Here is the video of the day.
Clear Creek, Click It


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