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.
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.