5.03.2006

Another exciting weekend

Paul, John, Chad, Erik and I headed up to the Cascade this weekend. It was running at -12, a good level for us since none of our group had run it before. When we setup our shuttle we ran into John Alt, Jason, and Cliff, and we paddled the river with them. Good thing too, as there would have been a lot more scouting without them. I ran Hidden Falls, which was great; big fast line, and I ran the whole thing cleanly. I think it put a hole in the bottom of my boat though, as things got pretty wet in the usually-dry Phat, and when we took out at the end of the day I noticed a 1/4" crack under the seat where the plastic was wearing thin. Boo.

I screwed up the next drop, Discretion, flipping about halfway down the slide onto my back deck. Since the jagged slide only had a little bit of water flowing over it I had to protect my face with my paddle and my hands; breaking the paddle but fortunatenly not my fingers. As I lost one of my gloves a couple weeks ago my hands took a beating. I brought my split paddle, but as I was digging for it the inside of my boat got covered with blood from my torn hands.

Back on the water, a little shaken, I followed the rest of the crew down the Cascade. It was a great run; lots of fast, curvey slides and fun Class IV-V drops. Everything was pretty bony; good for a first run. We took out above the Cascades of the Cascade, and then John and Jason ran some of the entry drops through Chastity. Hell of a run.

We drove back to Jay Cooke to camp. It was raining and apparntly my tent was no longer waterproof; when I woke up in the morning my feet were in a pool of water. We grabbed breakfast at a cafe near Carlton and then ran the Lower St. Louis. It was a good run; everyone had clean lines through Octopus, and Fin Falls was a blast. We then decided to run The Wall, which was a mistake. The long, technical, bizarre rapid which spread out over 100 yards from bank to bank, was extremely shallow, resulting in hang-ups and pins at every turn. We had to scout often, knowing that there were a couple bony 15 foot falls that wouldn't be any fun to go over blind. Eventually we made it out though, and shouldered our boats for the long hike up Oldenburg Point.

It was a solid weekend overall, giving me a good taste of Class V paddling. Too bad it was so hard on gear though.

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