Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Mini Epic on the Snow Covered Green River

Adriene and I joined a good crew from Charlotte for an awesome mini epic on the Green during the snow storm that hit Western North Carolina last weekend. We had as much as 24" of snow in the mountains and down on the Green River we had about 10 and in all my time living in the area I had never been on the river when there was lots of snow. So even though the small roads were impassable we were determined to get out on the river. I was able to get out of my neighborhood and Adriene and I were able to meet the other folks at the exit for the takeout of the Green and run shuttle to that point. We drove back to my house and walked a couple miles down into the river and paddled out to the take out of the Narrows. The walk out was the tough part but after 1 1/2 hours we were at the top thanks to Holly delivering tasty beverages.

All totaled:
2 1/2 mile walk in.
7 miles of river
2 miles walking out straight up the mountain.

Heres the Video.

Snowy Day on the Green from Shaneslogic on Vimeo.

Have a great holidays everyone and I hope you are getting out there.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Speedloader Challenge

Woody and I put the Speedloader to the test with a challenge load against a comparable small 50' bag with the same 1/4" rope in it. Here is the video for you.

The Speedloader has had a bunch of feedback and opinions stated about it lately. Here are some of the questions that folks had about the bag along with some answers, solutions, and facts about the bag.

1. Will the rope come out of the bag after loading it into such a big opening?
Yes, I have thrown this bag hundreds of time. I have thrown on land, at the river, in the lake, underhand, overhand, sidearm. The rope has fed out fine every time. Sure you need to load it consciously just like you would any bag. I would'nt suggest grabbing a pile of rope and just stuffing it in there. I use the standard hand over hand loading technique.

2. Will a big opening bag like that with the strap and all will catch up on things?
The thing people don't understand is that you don't throw it completely open. You just open the top a little. You can leave the buckly snapped while throwing and the bag still deploys. So you have a tight little package flying through the air and pulling through the water.

3. Is it durable?
Yep and the mesh which might be the most vulnerable part is covered while stored and covered when thrown and drug through the river so its protected.

The Facts

The bag is made of a bright green polyurethane coated nylon pack cloth for durability and visibility. The mesh side vents allow water to slip thru and speed up drying. The 3/4" webbing strap with a quick release buckle is for tightening the bag to a smaller size. You don't have to undo it to throw the bag. Just when you open it up for loading. The Rope itself is pretty cool its a polypropylene sheathed high strength core rope. The Break Strength is higher than other 1/4" bags and still being analyzed at a testing facility.

The rope is bright yellow with red and reflective stripes down the length for high visibility.
The core of the bag is foam so it is very buoyant.
And its cool, and patent pending.
We had a great suggestion that it could also work very well as a beer bag at the river camp, or a great party hat when you take the rope out of the bag.

Available: January 15th
Priced $59.95

There you go.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Liquidlogic Speedloader Throwbag

So here it is... The Liquidlogic Speedloader throw bag. This has been a fun project that we have spent a fair bit of time on over the last several months. What you see here is the final prototype. It needs a little refining on the sewing aesthetics in this photo, which we have polished off now. The function is 100% there.

Woody and I were thinking about throw bags and ways that we could improve them and we came up with the idea of making it really easy to load. We both thought right away of times that we didn't want to get out bags out on the river because we didn't want to have to reload them. Even simple things like lowering your boat becomes that much more a hassle if you have to spend several minutes loading your throw rope back in its bag.

The original concept was a clam shell design that was two sided. It made for a good bag but we had some problems with excess fabric. It also didn't stand up well which is the other great benefit of this bag. When you are loading it you can put it on the ground and the bag stands up, opens up and makes it super easy to load. We tried many different protos of the clam shell design but couldn't get it to a refined refined. So just recently we went to the three sided design that opened well, closed well, and stood up like it had a tripod which it turns out it did have. The three sew sides give it much more stability while sitting on the ground, rock, boat, whatever.

The Speedloader will be shipping the beginning of the year. Right now we are doing it as a basic tag type bag. Its a 50 footer. Its smaller diameter rope like all the other bags, except they don't stand up, and load like this one. We haven't solidified the exact rope at this moment but it will be at least industry standard for this type of bag. We also hope in the future to have a full rescue version as well.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Drought Is Over... 19" on the Green


It is good to be in the "South" again. After a few years of drought the South is on the rise again. Before the Green Race Duke Power had started trying to draw down the lake so our flat water bretheren could work on their docks, and clean the algae from their foundations but we started getting rain, wetness, and we have really been enjoying a great fall and winter. As soon as they announced the draw down Duke has been behind the 8 ball. The lake has been nearly full to spilling ever since the race. Today the river was flowing over the dam at 100.5, which means there is 6" of water flowing over the damn and with the 1" plus of rain we had last night the river is cranking. When we got to the gauge it was reading a solid 19". Which is an awesome level because there are some really fun lines that open up with the higher level. There are also some holes and pushy current that come into play as well.

We had a great crew. Toby "budget" McD, Riley Cathcart, Adriene Loveconnect, Mr. Brookes, and myself. It was one of those days that if you woke up early and slightly wimpy feeling you wouldn't go kayaking. Luckily we all saw the rain and slept in to find clearing skies and high waters in the afternoon."Budget" fired up the Monkey and we all conveniently found our way down the left side of the river to "set rope" and "document" Toby firing it up.

This is what is looks like at 19"

This is what it looks like normally. Thanks original photo person.
This is Rob Rostermundt dropping in at a normal flow.

Good indicators are the rock above this guy on the left that backs up the notch eddie. Notice in Tobys shot how there is no rock. Its a little tough to tell but there is sooooo much more power in this spot when the water is high. Gorilla beomes so much more when the water is high. Not only is the Notch sort of a nightmare spot in the world but the slides below start to form large... no wait giant holes and Toby found his way into on of them. Luckily he worked his way out.

This hole not only stopped Toby it pulled him back from a good 15 feet downstream. He kept his head together and worked his way out of the hole and cleaned the second slide so that he could make his way into "the happy place".

Another fun line at high water out on the Green is the direct Sunshine line. When the water is high you don't have to worry about the rock that makes Sunshine the nighmare rapid that it can be a normal flows. Normally if you mess up the boof you could be paying with your ankles or more. But nicely at high water you can just air it out right down the middle.

After a nice day like that what more do you want than a nice dinner. So in a fine southern tradition I decided to fry me some catfish.



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