Sunday, November 15, 2009

Givin'er at the Green Race

Adriene Levknecht set a new bar at the 2009 Green Race with a time of 4:59!  

Holy cow that is freaking fast.  Nice work.

Adriene going left @ Sunshine

Laura Farrell @ the Notch

*Thanks to Arlyn Agababian for the photos

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2009 PDX Kayak Film Festival

NW Livin wins the PDX Kayak Film Festival!

Kate, Christie, Melissa

Yeah Northwest Livin!

. . . then we got Kanyed :( hehe

Thanks to Next Adventure for hosting yet another great event.

We appreciate you and all you do for the Northwest kayaking community!

heart Christie, Kate, Melissa and Monica

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kate and Christie's Epic Birthday Adventure

After many discussions about the desire to start doing more self support trips, we decided the Clendenning River for our birthday would be the perfect start. The Clendenning River is known as a two day class IV-V read and run trip through Clendenning Provincial Park. With clear skies and a 40% chance of rain we rallied the troops and headed to Squamish, BC. Once there, we were a little uncertain about levels with the gauge being broken. Checking the weather forecast, we discovered that a storm system was predicted to roll through on Sunday so we decided to pull the trigger, set shuttle, and beat the rain.

Day 1: We woke up to sunshine Friday morning, all smiles and giggles, and made our way to Whistler Air. The views from the plane were spectacular, leaving us all giddy with excitement. As the plane flew off we were dealing with the psychology of feeling completely on our own, miles away from the nearest road. It didn't take us long to realize the level was on the high side of good. After our first swim, we realized how important it was going to be that we work together as a team. By swim two, we realized how quickly small mistakes and simple decisions can turn into big situations. In the backwoods of British Columbia it can take up to two hours to reunite one with their group, boat, or paddle. We were relieved to come across the pinned boat, only to find out that we had been separated from two members of the crew. When it started getting dark we felt helpless, with nothing else to do than set up camp and hope for the best for our comrades.

Photo: Ethan Smith

Photo: Ethan Smith
Photo: Ethan Smith

Day 2: We woke up to the early arrival of the storm, adding to our already high anxiety. The river was rising fast. By noon it was flooded chocolate brown and we still hadn't caught up to our friends. After waiting two hours for them at the beginning of one of the crux sections, we made the call that we needed to keep moving downstream. It's hard to explain the excitement felt several miles downstream when we paddled around the corner to see them camped out, waiting for us. At this point new waterfalls were appearing off both sides of the canyon walls and the side creeks were raging. This is when class IV-V turned into class FULL ON. Pretty soon the entire god damn canyon looked like the North Fork of the Payette at high water, complete with mine fields of bus-sized holes and scary ferries. We found ourselves creeking down the boulders on the shoulder and trying not to get sucked into the main flow. We all had a scary side surf or beat down at some point in the day. We definitely got way more than we bargained for on the this trip. In the middle of a long portage we realized we weren't going to make it out that night and hunkered down somewhere near the end of the walk. Thank goodness the rain let up for a few hours while Nick cooked us a delicious 3 course dehydrated meal and somehow Ty built us a fire out of the soaked landscape to dry our gear.

Photo: Ethan Smith
Photo: Ethan Smith

Day 3: We had an exciting morning, waking up to fresh snow on the peaks and actual rocks in the river!! While finishing up the steep section, we encountered swim number 3. This swim came complete with a log broach and crazy solo hike through the woods with the bears. Once again we had a great moment of excitement when we turned the corner to find Willie and the run away boat. Never have we been so excited to see class II for the paddle out. We finally made it to the take out around 4:00 pm on day three.

Learning a lot about team work, group dynamics, smart decisions, the power of positive thinking, and staying cool in stressful situations, we walked away with a great first time expedition experience.

Signing off to plan our next misadventure....
heart, Kate and Christie

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

California Love

With the last of the runs in the Pacific Northwest dropping out, we decided it was time to begin the search for water.  Since there had already been some discussion about heading to the Shasta Boys premiere of Wet Dreams, we decided to check out what was running in California.  It just so happened that there was a scheduled release on the North Fork of the Feather for the same weekend...SOLD! 

After a fun night in Shasta with Shon and the boys we were off again on our quest for whitewater. A few cosmo quizzes and Madonna sing alongs later, we arrived at our destination, boof heaven.  Let the fun begin!

There were three sections running, Roger's Flat, Tobin, and Lobin.  Roger's Flat is a fun class III section that provides lots of splashes and giggles and also serves as a nice warm up for those wishing to step up to class IV on the Lobin section.
Melissa on a fun drop in Roger's Flat

Next up is Tobin, a class IV-V section of boulder garden goodness.  It is only 1.2 miles long, but has enough boofs and boogie to keep you smiling for days.  The greatest thing about this section is the ease of  snagging a quick shuttle and doing it again!
Joe and Ethan in Tobin goodness
Dropping into the boof park
Last drop in Tobin

The lowest section is Lobin, a class III-IV run that starts off with a bang then mellows out over the next several miles.
Mission : Successful! We even got to break up our days on the water with a giant star watching slumber party at the Tobin put-in. 
 Dear Cali, We Heart You! Heart, Northwest Livin

It looks like there is another release the last weekend in September so pack your bags and go get your boof on!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cispus Season

One of my favorite things about the Pacific Northwest is that I can kayak here year round. With water levels dropping in the Columbia River Gorge I headed north into Washington's Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Glaciers on Mount Adams keep the Cispus River flowing late into the summer.
Andy at the put-in drop

The Upper Upper Cispus section flows north through an amazing gorge stacked with Class IV-V boulder gardens, slides and waterfalls. The grand finale as you exit the canyon is a technical rapid leading into a must-run 30 foot waterfall called Behemoth. I went up there with Drew Austell, Andy Round and Brian Lee from Wet Planet Whitewater. They were going in to recover two paddles that had been lost a week or two before. Mission accomplished! We had a safe and exciting run down the canyon and Andy even biked our shuttle.

Drew in one of the boulder gardens

Brian @ Double Drop

Entrance rapid to Behemoth

Andy stomping Behemoth

Brian and I hiking a side creek

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Water in the Chelan Gorge!

After a week in Salt Lake City I was very anxious to get back in my boat. Luckily, I made it back to the Northwest just in time for the last Chelan Gorge release of the year. What a treat!

There were 24 paddlers from all over Oregon and Washington that turned up for the Sunday release. The river was running at 400 cfs which was just about a perfect medium flow. The gorge is about three-tenths of a mile long and stacked full of class IV, V slides, boulder gardens and waterfalls. The novelty of the run was magnified by bluebird skies and warm water.

Ben Hawthorne @ Entrance Exam

Willie Illingworth @ Final Plunge

Ryan Scott @ Double Slide

Super Boof

The Throne Room

The Chelan Public Utility District and American Whitewater have negotiated recreational water releases for the second and fourth weekends of July for the next two years. If you missed out this time around, put it on the calendar for next summer!

Thanks to all of those people at AW who are working hard to keep the rivers running for us! To become a member of American Whitewater click here.