Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Clackamas Roaring River Slalom Oregon August 2013

Jon, Kirti and I took boats up and spent time practicing on the slalom course in OC1, OC2, ww kayak, Slalom race kayak, slalom race C1, and C2.   We helped finish setting up the coarse on Friday and practiced some more.  Slalom courses are fantastic for practicing control, precise and efficient techniques.  There are must make moves and it is fun trying to figure out the best approach to make all of the gates.  This slalom event was started several years ago by LCCC member Carl Poston. This race has been put on by volunteers each year.  

Saturday was a day for practice and clinics were offered by other racers. I participated in a K1 clinic and practiced in my solo whitewater boat.  On Sunday we participated in the timed race and then helped in the afternoon with the judging stations and course take-down.   Jon and I race in the OC2(open tandem canoe) and the C2 (decked tandem canoe) categories.  We were pleased with our runs and really had fun with the C2 because the ends were low enough to slide under the gates. Kirti raced in the K1(slalom race kayak) category and and she also jumped in a tandem canoe to race in the OC2 category with Travis.

Hmmm... Which boat to try first?

Jon warming up with a surf in his C1.

Kirti warming up with a surf in the K1.
Jon and Jenny warming up in the C2.

Negotiating an upstream gate at the top of the course.

Jon and Jenny in synce to power through another upstream gate.

Kirti going for the next gate.

Ready to power across the river to gate 22.
Jon and Jenny negotiating a tricky tight offset series of gates.

Kirti loves the light weight feel of the K1.

Middle Fork + Main Salmon + Snake River Idaho July/August 2013

The Walpoles and I lucked out by securing cancellation permits for the Middle Fork and the Main Salmon the night we returned from the Rogue River.  We had to be on the road in less than 24 hours to make the launch date for the Middle Fork.  We cleaned, packed and planned for a trip lasting at least 22 days while covering 320 miles.   We took 2 rafts and drove to my favorite river and were able to launch the following day.  Having  Middle/Main permits back to back has been a dream of mine since my first Middle Fork trip.  For the first time, after traveling down 99 miles on the Middle Fork we didn’t have to take out.  

The Middle Fork of the Salmon was low with a reading of 1.92 on the gauge the day we launched.  It was very technical, but we were running fairly light and were able to move our boats.  This made it FUN!  We scouted some of the major drops picked lines through the maze of boulders and then tried to execute the moves.  There were also miles and miles of boulder gardens requiring precision move after move to avoid getting hung up on rocks.  There were fires on the river again this year.  It seems like every year wildfires claim another piece of wilderness along this river.   Fortunately the smoke wasn't too bad.  The main fire was in the impassable canyon section and fire crews were being flown into the Flying B Ranch and then rafted down to do their work.  We rowed past hillsides that were smoking and burning with hotspots everywhere.  There was also a tree that fell and blocked 3/4 of the river below Elk Bar and above Veil Falls.  I haven't been on the Middle Fork in several years but I was happy that I could remember where to scout and where to pull over to see the points of interest. When the Middle Fork flowed into the Main Salmon we were able to turn the corner and keep floating down the Main.

We just kept floating the river down to the Main Salmon launching area.   At this point we had a forced layover day waiting for our Main Salmon launch date.   

Our Main Salmon trip started off with a search for missing goats.  We spied them and were able to run up the river trail to notify the owner who was greatly relived.  On this trip we met another small party from Idaho and New Mexico.  We exchanges stories and they shared fresh food and drink with us.  We scouted the new rapids made from stream blowouts.  The bees/wasps were numerous and fierce.  The big camps that get heavy use were the worst.  You'd push off from shore and the bees would follow you along buzzing in your face.   We searched for small camps with little use.   Part way down the river the weather turned and it rained.  Something upstream blew out and the water turned a dark thick chocolate color.  The weather turned nice and hot again, but the river still held a lot of dirt and debris.   We tried to find campsites next to clear running side streams.   On the last night of the permitted part of the run we shared camp with that other small river party.   Jon provided rolling instruction and in exchange they provided dinner for us.  

The next morning we rowed past the Main Salmon permit takeout area and entered new river territory for all of us.   This section of the river has a road that travels along it.  The river corridor is still beautiful and interesting even if it isn't remote and wild.  When we got to the town of Riggins we tied up our boats and grabbed our shopping/chore list.  We bought fresh food and some other essentials to resupply.  There isn't a decent river map for the section of river between Riggins and White Bird.  We just had to take extra precaution and scout when we felt it was necessary.  There are some fantastic drops in this section.  The scenery is quite good, but there aren't many camps to choose from.

When we arrived at the launch site for the White Bird section, we saw many commercial groups gearing up for trips.  The river was finally starting to clear.   We enjoyed running this section of river.  I had only run it once before and didn't remember much about it, so it was like a new river for all of us.    

A busy launch site.

1.92 feet on the river gauge.  Low, but not too low.

Our boats at the launch site

Jon and Kirti rolling downstream.

A nice line through a first day rapid.

There is only one route through the maze at this level.

Cardinal Meadowhawk 
A scenic bend at Pistol Creek Rapid

Inside a mine looking out

Rogue River Trip Oregon July 2013

Upon returning from the Deschutes Shelly and I repacked and joined Jon, Kirti, Gerry (dad) and Thia for a trip on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon.  This was also a low water trip making some of the drops more technical than usual.  We spent 4 days traveling the 38 miles from Almeada to Foster Bar.  Jon and Kirti rowed their Super Duper Puma.  Shelly paddled an IK.  Gerry and Thia were in the Riken Nez Perce.  I rowed my Riken Pioneer.  This was a sunny hot trip with lots of other people traveling the river. We saw butterflies and black bears in this beautiful river corridor.