6.21.2011

Hoosier Boating

Zach, Jeff, and Elise were in town this weekend.  We got on high water black rock and lower CC on Friday night with flows at about 1,000.  Things were busy, but everything was pretty managable.  We walked Rigo and the narrows, though Alex, who tagged along with us, ran them both.  Mr. Bill has quite a bit of stopping power, but it looks like a strong move through the right-hand lateral brings you through pretty well.  It's a riverwide hole at this point though. 
 
Black rock boated very smoothly, though the runout becomes long and busy.  Lower was fun, though Elbow got huge and managed to flip me and shove me into a wall.  Rolled up fine though.  Jeff got spit into the same wall.
 
Saturday and Sunday were spent up on the Poudre.  On Saturday Jeff, Zach, Roy and I all ran the Little South Fork of the Poudre at about 2' on the gauge.  The run was beautiful, and somewhat wilderness-ey.  The beta we had was that there were two gorges that rated about V- at these flows.  We went through one gorge early that was solid class IV, and was a good step up from what we had run so far.  We figured that was the first gorge, since it was noticeably narrower than the run so far, though it was somewhat overrated.  What we thought was the second gorge was busy and pushy, with a big hole that surfed Roy and caused Zach to flip.  It stopped me as well, though I was able to keep moving.  It would have been nice to have gotten a look at everything, but by the time we realized it was getting steep we were out of eddies.  It went well though, and the gorge let up just about where we needed it to.
 
Things opened up after that, and I figured we were heading for the confluence.  Nope.  Things narrowed down again, and before we knew it we were in another V- gorge, with a few big-ish moves and big holes.  It had a couple of convenient eddies about halfway down on both sides of an intimidating log drop.  Everything went smoothly though.  Overall, it was a fun run and a nice change of pace from the roadside stuff I've been doing lately.
 
Sunday was Stevens Down on the Poudre in playboats, at about 5' on the gauge rock.  It was my first time in the kingpin in big water for a long time.  I got pushed around quite a bit, and spent most of the run trying to stay balanced over my boat and avoid the biggest of the holes.  We walked Pineview Falls, which had a pair of big laterals in the middle of it guarding a big hole.  I was flipped in cardiac corner, but rolled up in the boily business at the bottom.  It was a run that was very good for my boating, but I think I would have had more fun (and definitely been more relaxed) in a creekboat.

6.06.2011

Black Rock, Big Day on the Big T

Made it out to Black Rock on Friday, flows were in the low 600s.  Everything was fun, and starting to get a little pushy.  The laterals and boils are starting to show up at these flows.  Lines went pretty well, though I ran too close to center on Mr. Bill and plugged it pretty hard.  I was able to paddle away, but next time I'll be further right.  I was used to worrying about getting deflected from the rock shelf on the right, but at these flows and up it's really not an issue.  I walked Rigo, though it looked like it was fairly forgiving.  Nevertheless, I may be done with Rigo for the next month or so as flows continue to rise.

Yesterday (Saturday) Roy, Bridger and I went to go check out SSV.  It was runnable, but awfully bony.  After some debate, we decided to head to the Big Thompson instead, which had healthy flows of about 650 coming out of Lake Estes, with some additional feeders.  It was getting pretty pushy, with big waves and holes in a fairly small riverbed.  We got to the big drop in the middle of the run, usually class IV+ at regular flows but it was pushing V- or V at these flows.  I had a good line through the entrance and the meat of the rapid, but near the end of the first pitch the nose of my boat was deflected by a lateral and caught on a rock.  I was hoping that it would just spin me backwards, but the rock was too close to shore and as I started to spin, my stern was caught by another rock and the force of the water pinned me horizontally.  My head was underwater, and I felt the boat lock down onto the rocks, so I didn't waste much time waiting for it to dislodge.  I swam, and fast, for shore.  Roy was in the process of getting out of his boat since he saw me pin.  I managed to self-rescue, getting a little banged up on the rocks and swallowing some water, but was otherwise all right.  My boat pined a little ways downstream, and Bridger was able to fish my paddle out of the water. 

The excitement wasn't over yet; below the dam Roy misread a set of holes and got flipped, and then was shoved up against the bank.  He swam, and Bridger and I chased his boat for a looong ways.  About halfway through the chase I realized that I had forgot to put in my drain plug after we portaged the dam, so it was a bit of a race against the clock to try and retrieve his boat before mine filled up with water.  We managed to get it done though.  In all, the casualties for the day were Roy's sponge and my throw rope. 

6.01.2011

Black Rock, Big T

Got out on Black Rock at 350 on Sunday, Big T at 500 or so on Monday.  Black Rock went pretty smoothly; the extra 100 cfs smoothed everything out, and everyone had pretty good lines.  Rigo even went smoothly for me, which was nice.  The Big T was a lot of fun, as usual.  It was well-padded, and while there were some big stompy holes hiding here and there, you could skirt or punch everything.  Kevin had a bit of roll practice, and Roy's boat was stuck under a rock for a little bit, but everything ended well.  The wind in the canyon was near biblical; at some points the spray that was blowing off of the tops of the waves made it tough to see downstream.  Fortunately, the wind was with us and not against us.