Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Liquidlogic Weekend Tour: Biscuits, Playboat Creeking, and Raft Carnage

Mefford Williams rockin' the Biscuit and sporting his winning Jerry's Baddle Number!

What an awesome weekend! A big group of us headed over to the Ocoee to get our playboatin' on. It was Adriene, Maria, Juliette,Yonton, John Grace, Will Lyons, and a couple random Brits that we picked up on the side of the road. Everyone was jacked up to get out in the Biscuits and everyone came away psyched.
Adriene and Maria were paddling the 45 and really happy with how they could throw it around. They both were able to get flat water ends working. Maria later told me that the thing she liked the most about the boat was how loose it was and that she felt like she could move it around really easily. Adriene was starting to stick loops in the hole at staging eddie which is not an easy spot to set up let alone stick a loop. I was just happy because to be out on the Ocoee. It really had been almost 2 years since I had paddled there.
It was an awesome day out there with an eddie load of friends.
Lil' A gettin' some pop at Hell Hole.

Yonton, Grace, and Mefford getting ready to taste the Biscuits

You can check out the rest of the shots from this day by clicking this link.

From Liquidlogic Biscuits at High Water Hell Hole

Yours Truly, Biscuit boofing the first drop of the Cascades called "The Horns"

When you boof in a playboat you don't necessarily stay on the surface.

We stayed the night in the area and it rained most of the night. Only thing is we didn't have our creek boats, but we knew there was going to be some extra fun out there. On Sunday morning we jumped up and headed up to the Cascades on the Upper Nantahala before heading back to the Ocoee. Its not far above the normal put in for the Nantahala run but its a completely different thing if you haven't seen it before. The steep section is only a half mile long but its really fun, with a handful of nice rapid nuggets. Mefford and I knew it well enough that we thought it would be fun to take the Biscuits down.

The biggest rapid on the Cascades called "Big Kahuna".
Mefford coming up from seeing "Chinese Feet".

Click the link below to see more photos from our trip on the Cascades.
From Biscuits on the Cascades section of the Nantahala

After paddling all day on the Cascades and then jamming down the Ocoee we came across this at the Put-In. I don't know how to explain this other than we had a feeling something was going to happen when we watched these guys putting on the river as it was rising rapidly. They looked fairly together and they had a couple of guidely type folks at the helm but for some reason we decided to walk down and see how the run through Entrance went for them.

"Water seems a little high?"

I was guessing the flow to be around 3 or 4 thousand but it was hard to tell because it was coming up by the minute. The scene on the put in ramp was a tell tale sign. In this photo if you know the spot it makes sense but if you haven't seen the put in ramp before this photo might look normal. The spot where they are standing in the water is 30 feet from where you normally put in. There usually isn't a standing wave where you might normally put your skirt on and the river isn't usually going through the hand rail.

We watched them slide the boats in the water and immediately get pushed against the river right bank. This I thought was going to be their saving grace. If they had only managed to scrape down the right bank they would have been fine but unfortunately they made it out into the main current where within the first 3 waves they nearly flipped and then found them selves staring into the pit of Grumpy's Ledge.

Raft Guide just gets back up from nearly flipping to see where they are going.

From this point on it was total chaos. If you have raft guided before you know what happens to the guide at this moment; either he holds on or he flies into the front of the boat like a sack of potatoes. Believe me I know I have landed in a heap with the bow paddlers. I have actually completely cleared the front of the boat right here at Entrance rapid.

No time to brace himself before impact.

Shouting commands from the middle of the raft. It is easier for them to hear.

This raft proceeded to get a 3-4 minute pounding in the hole. The guide was trying to keep people high siding but it was all happening too fast. First a couple folks fell out then one by one it was down to just the guide and one person who wasn't stoked. The folks that fell out seemed to go for one recirc and then flush out of the hole. Some, unfortunately, had a brief under the raft experience. In the end everyone was fine. There were some rattled nerves but it seemed as though folks were dealing. All I know is I wouldn't want to be in there.

The beating begins

Notice the hand on the right

Emerging from the depths

"Noooooooo not again!"

In the end the guide pulls it out and calls it a perfect ride. The "Dump Truck".

For the whole slideshow of the action click the link below.
From High Water Raft Carnage on the Ocoee

Take care folks and remember we are all inbetween swims.

Shaneslogic Comments