5.10.2011

Escalante

Got out to Escalante this weekend.  We were greeted with strong medium flows on Saturday, and medium-high flows on Sunday.  We had our fair share of excitement; Roy swam at waterslide on the first day, as did Bridger.  A group in front of us all swam at waterslide; one boofed onto another, resulting in a concussion and a broken orbital bone.  I swam about 5 strokes out of the scout eddy above the inner gorge; an irregular ledge flipped me and I took a couple shots when I was setting up to roll that pulled me out of my thigh braces.  I ditched my gear and swam to shore, since I didn't have much time left before I was locked into the gorge.  My boat stayed in a recirculating eddy above the falls for a couple of hours, inaccessable from shore or from below.  I hunted downstream for my paddle, since someone had seen it hurtling through the gorge.  I hiked all the way down to the cabin, thinking that my odds of finding it weren't very good past the first 1000 yards or so, but lo and behold I found it pushed up against the outside of the bend.  It was a lot of hiking, but it was worth it.  In the meantime, another crew had pushed my boat out of the eddy, and it ran the falls on the right side by itself.  It apparently stayed in there for a while, but eventually worked its way out, and by the time I made it to the take out it was sitting on shore, intact.  I'm impressed with the Prijon plastic again; it had a couple of scrapes but no dents and no cracks.
 
Sunday had pretty big med-high flows; our crew walked waterslide after the group in front of us had to extract a guy from the sieve on the left.  His crumpled Nomad was up on shore.  The in between bits were a lot of fun at those levels though, and we managed to make it through without any additional drama.

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