Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rivers in Demand

Check out what the boys are up to in China! The Epicocity Crew has a pretty sweet new website up, highlighting their change in focus from pure shit-running to shit running for a cause. This new project is designed to raise awareness for beautiful, diverse watersheds around the world, doomed to slow deaths at the hands of the man.

Rivers in Demand: China

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Metlako Falls - Eagle Creek, OR

It's a big one and it's clean. Evan Garcia rolled into the Columbia Gorge the other day in order to start training for the Little White Salmon race this upcoming weekend. He has been talking about the Northwest's most runnable, big drop since his arrival. After a race lap down the Little White with local favorites Todd Anderson and Tao Berman, Evan drove out to Bonneville and hiked up to Metlako for a scout. He returned to the house with an intense level of excitement about what he had seen on his little walk.

We hiked up there this morning with our kayaks and gave her a go. It was good to have a small crew of Gorge locals there for support. Eric Boomer and John Grace showed up for some media just an hour after Boomer gave Rock Creek's "Money Drop" another re-first descent. Apparently the Money Drop is now measuring in around 60 feet.

Evan slayed the beast first and styled a perfect line. I followed with another clean, soft landing. It was a good day for waterfalling here in the Northwest.

If you know where this is, you know where he's going.

"Where is my kayak?"

Evan picking up speed.

Eagle Creek is a really nice place to visit this time of year.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A few more shots from Santa Catalina

Aiden, the Kiwi at low tide.

Low tide leaves a bit of the reef out of the water.

Kai and Mike's bounty from the sea.

Don't fall in the bushes.

Last River in Chile: Middle Fuy

We took the ferry from Argentina to Puerto Fuy on our way back from the Baker with high hopes of running the infamous Middle Fuy. Tales of mandatory waterfalls and past vertical canyon walls had me excited. A heavy rainstorm hit as we docked in town, and after a quick scout of the river we decided that it was most likely going to be too high. So, we trucked on to Pucon where we waited out the storm for some sunny weather, and Rodrigo, Evan and I returned to the Middle Fuy two days later.

Although the level at the put-in was frighteningly low, the level at the take-out bridge was looking like a good medium-low-flow for the classic Lower Fuy. Rodrigo had done the run before at the recommended boat bashingly low flow, but he was convinced the run could take a little extra water. Just about 100 yards below the first rapid a tibutary tripled the flow, and we committed to the gorge concerned, but at the same time confident that we could make a safe descent. The extra water actually made the run really fun and cushioned-out.

The big falls is the big attraction. It has a sketchy lead-in before the water plunges about 50 feet into a deep pool below. heavy vegetation and steep cliff-walls make this one nearly impossible to portage. The three of us decided to do a big seal-launch to avoid running through the undercuts in the entrance. Rdorigo hucked it first with a clean line, but he lossed his paddle after tossing it to avoid the potential of a break. I followed and rolled up at the bottom with half of a paddle. Damn. Broke my paddle on my last day of kayaking in Chile. Evan hucked his paddle to be sure we wouldn't run out. I was tring to shoot video from the bottom, so I didn't get any good photos of anyone running the drop from the pool below. The rapids that followed were steep and continuous. It reminded me of the Little White. I am now back in the Columbia River Gorrge, and I had the good fortune of running the Little White this morning. It was cold, but as much fun as ever.

Salto de La Puma. We put-in just below this beast. I think it could be run with more water.

Rodrigo doing what he does best. Going big.

The Middle Fuy has game! The big one.

Rodrigo and Evan taking one last look at the big one from below.

If the Fuy looks like this from the bridge, the Middle is good to go.