Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Kettle Run

A good rain storm sent the Kettle level up to about 2000cfs, so Dennis and I headed up for an afternoon session. We carpooled, which meant park-n-play at Blueberry and Teacher's Pet. We also met "Stretch" as we were getting geared up, but he was done for the day. The water was pretty big, but not quite the ideal play level I remembered. Good wave surfing on the Big Wave in Blueberry. Carving was easy and I even managed to get my boat off the water on one or two bounces. The wave was pretty flat, but it was still possible to hit and hold a back surf if you were careful. Dennis met his nemesis on a frustrating wave right below the big one. It looked like a great play feature, but it was a long and difficult ferry out to it and it seemed to fade away the second you got there. Noble efforts were made to make it work, though. After tiring ourselves out in Blueberry, I decided to check out Teacher's Pet. It looked nice and deep, but attempts at both loops and cartwheels ended with my bow meeting the bedrock in an unfriendly way. The surfer's left side seemed deep enough to work with, but I couldn't find any way to get lined up on it. Kind of frustrating. On the upside, Dennis proved himself to be quite a lensman with the big camera. He actually did well enough that someone who doesn't know me might believe I could actually paddle! Big thanks for taking the pics. Finally, we were treated to a beautiful evening for the drive home. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Kettle Day

4 of us (Brian J, Caleb, Roger, and I) headed up to the Kettle to get some play before the water goes away. The level was on the low side, but there was still fun to be had in Blueberry, Dragon's tooth, and Hell's Gate. We also did the cliff drop and went over Wolf Creek Falls. Wolf Creek proved to be the most interesting part of the day. The water was low enough that a couple of us got hung up on the lip. This happened to Roger, who then teetered over and penciled into the pool below. He went in perfectly vertical, causing him to slice through the water and Piton off the rocks at the bottom. He jammed one ankle pretty hard and put a nice dent in the bow of his boat. Thankfully, neither boat nor ankle broke, so he should be back in the game soon. Note to anyone running it at low water: After Roger hit, Brian J and I checked the depth below the falls and found it was less than 4 feet. Still safe if you can avoid going straight in, but worth thinking about... Also, found that if you give a hard stroke off the lip of the falls, you can do a 180 in the air and land soft, but flat. Fun way to go, and it avoids the piton issue.

My water camera is on its last leg, so I'm saving it for Scuba from now on. Brian J took some videos and pictures. When I get the CD from him (hopefully in the next couple days) I'll post pics from this trip and last week's verm trip.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Verm Trip

We had a truly awesome group of paddlers on the Verm on Saturday. Brian J, Caleb, Graeme, and I decided to head there after the cold temps and 2 degree windchills made the Kettle less appealing. It turned out to be a good decision, because the Verm treated us well. It seems like the features on that river are never the same twice, and Saturday was no exception. Railroad was loads of fun, with 4 feet of horizontal shoulder on the river right side and a sloping shoulder coming on from the left. Great spinning and even some low-angle wheels. S-curve was bouncy and fun, and Donut was really fast with a long, low foam pile that could get you back to the front from 4 feet back. It was pretty cool. The most interesting part, however, was probably going up to the falls and running the slide beneath it. Fast, splashy water sliding over the rocks in a giant banked corner, followed by a good sized wave-hole at the bottom and a a couple boulders to dodge. Brian J had his camera along so there's pictures and video. I'll post links to the videos when I get them (probably this week).