Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We would like to wish you a merry Christmas and happy holidays this season! We would also like to thank everyone for the support and encouragement we have received. Kudos to everyone and stay warm on this holiday....which means....wear a drysuit and go paddling! :D

Just for kicks....check this out...

All the Best,

PS If you choose to bake gingerbread cookies tomorrow, make sure you don't forget they are in the hots start to melt he he he....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Canyon Creek, WA

December 15, 2007

Last weekend was fantabulous. I drove up to Portland to #1: drop off Kim and Todd at the airport and #2: Paddle ma little bum off. We drove up Friday afternoon and had some of the best thai food around. If you are ever in Portland, make sure you stop at Sweet Basil in the Hollywood district....friggin amazing. Oh and fyi, their food is HOT. :D Anyways, we had a relaxing Friday night and then I woke up EARLY Saturday morning to drop Kimmers and T Odd off.

We checked the river levels that morning because after doing many many rain dances, we were hoping for higher levels...we were disappointed. No rain Friday night and it was partly SUNNY that morning! Not cool. We had a few options and we decided on meeting a crew at Canyon Creek. One thing must be understood- when you paddle with Dave, you end up with a BIG crew of people. I don't understand the phenomenon that is Moldy but it's awesome. So...Moldy and I drove up and met two guys at the take out. We were then expecting four more to show up. By the time we got on the water and were half way down the run, this had grown to around 15 people....

Canyon Creek is a class 4/5 run. I would call it a class four at the flow we hit it at....350 cfs.
It has very few boulder gardens but it full of ledge drops and sticky holes. All good stuff :)

(Above) Photo by: Dave Gridley
Paddler: Christina Russell

(Above) Photo by: Dave Gridley

(Above) Photo by: Dave Gridley

(Above) Photo by: Dave Gridley AKA "Moldy"
Paddler: Christina Russell on Thrasher

The run starts off with a few mellow drops: "Swizzle Sticks", "Terminator", "Prelude" and "Thrasher". About a mile and a half downstream is a 17 footer called "Big Kahuna". It's a pretty clean drop but...just's not necessarily the best to boof....a wee bit painful.

ha ha me
(Above) Photo by: Dave Gridley

Big Kahuna is where you end up with bumper boats (Atleast we did) . Moldy and I hopped out first to get a look and then fired it up :)

Checkin out Big Kahuna
(Above) Photo by: Dave Gridley

The photographer himself, Dave Gridley
(Above) Photo by: Christina Russell

Paddler: Christina Russell on Big Kahuna
(Above) Photo by: Dave Gridley

The final drops: Champaigne and The Hammering Spot
(Above) Photo by Dave Gridley

Ah yes...
After the run you have about a two mile paddle....wait it might be 1.5 miles but it felt long lol. :P We were pretty hungry and Moldy had some Gu gel with him...."What's the flavor?" ...."Oh, Banana Blitz". Hmmmmm....this sounded sketchy but I was pretty low on food so I took a swig of the stuff....
It was quite possibly the nastiest food I have EVER put in my mouth. It tasted like burnt bananas. Maybe it was old? We will never know.

It was a near perfect trip (minus the Gu gel) and hopefully I will get on the run at a high flow with Moldy! WOO HOOO!

Winter boating is here!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Creekin in Da Hood

Date: December 7-9

Last Friday I split from Bend and headed North to Hood River. It's about three hours from home and well worth the drive. Pretty much everything runs in the winter up there and a lot of cool peeps happen to call Hood River home....good reason to road trip. :) The weather looked like it was going to be fantastic for us. Sunny skies and under 30 degrees! YEAH!

I loaded the car up with basically everything I could possibly stove, tent, hot chocolate, boat, paddle, dehydrated never know when you might be camping out! I was going to meet Kim Russell, Todd Baker and Glenn...that's with TWO n's ! Get it right...gosh! We didnt know exactly where we would be paddling but meh, we left it up to the river gods to decide for us....


We woke up and checked water levels. Ok....everything is VERY high. The Green Truss was sitting at over four feet and the little white salmon was at 3.8 feet. We opted out of those puppies and decided to hit a creek none of us had done before: Upper Trout Creek. We talked to a few friends who all said it was pretty manky. Let me be the first to say that manky is a worthy description...

Upper Trout Creek flows directly into the Wind River. It is about fifteen minutes from town and usually runs after lots of rain. Considering that a few days prior to this trip, the main highway between Seattle and Portland was closed from too much RAIN, we thought it would still be a go. I parked my car at the lower take out and we loaded up Todd's Subaru with the gear. We drove up to the upper take out (there are two take outs and we wanted to allow the option of getting out at either one) and saw something we werent exactly expecting....a snowed in road. A friendly stranger was kind enough to tell us that Todd's vehicle wouldn't make it....ok option #2: leave Todd's vehicle and drive Kim and Glenn's vehicles. We settled the shuttle situation and began the drive up to the put-in.

Photo by: Christina Russell
(Above) the ominous road in front of Todd's car...dun dun dun...

Photo by: Glenn D.
(Above) everyone at the put-in to Upper Trout Creek

Upper Trout Creek is a class four/five run depending on the flow. At the low flow we did it at, it was (according to Todd) "definitely class five". The characteristics change dramatically depending on the flows. We ended up running it at roughly 1.3 meters on the gauge. I can safely say that the run would be a bit easier at higher flows. At the flow of 1.3 meters, there are more F*** you rocks than you ever want to see. That said, it has big, steep boulder gardens that create the gradient of 194 feet per mile. May I emphasize technical?

Photo by: Glenn D.
(Above) the first half mile on the run...the calm before the storm

*note, we have very few photos due to the need for speed....the creek was dropping fast and we only had a limited amount of light (It's pitch black at 4:30 pm).

Photo by: Glenn D.
(Above) Christina coming down one of the first boulder gardens

Photo by: Glenn D.
(Above) Kim deciding that going backwards is more fun

The creek gorges up about a mile into the run so the farther down we went, the steeper the drops were. I have never seen boulder gardens so clogged with F U rocks and just pure nastiness. It was steep enough that even when we got out of our boats to check things out, we still couldnt see the bottom of the drops. Each of us had our fair share of "oh shit" moments that day and we were happy there were no problems.

Ok, continuing, we finished the creek around 3pm. About three and a half hours later. We were all freezing and pretty hungry so after running shuttle, I fired up my stove and made thai food. This was about the time when I realized Glenn was eating a banana. "Hey Glenn! Have you had fried bananas before?" I asked. "Nope". Awww it was on! We fried up three bananas and wow....that was amazing. Nothing like fried bananas after a day on the river :) You should try it.

Photo by: Kim Russell
(Above) the beast surrounded by its loving cargo :)


It was friggin freeze your bum off day on Sunday. Cloudy, snowing, and windy. BRRR. The crew of Nate Herbeck, Jesse Becker, Jason S., Kimmers, and myself all headed back across the Colombia Bridge and up the road to the Wind river. Plan: Lower Trout Creek into the Upper Wind. Both sections were pretty mellow but there was LOTS of water in the Upper Wind...some pretty nice drops and gorgeous waterfalls along the sides of the rio....shame they weren't ON the wind and runnable :D

Anyways, here we are (below) heading up to the put-in. Kim and I found it amusing that just the day before we were on Upper Trout Creek.

Photo by: Kim Russell
(Above) running shuttle

(Above) The put in for the lower trout creek/upper wind
Photo by: Glenn D.

Photo by: Christina Russell
(Above) put in dam

Photo by: Christina
(Above) looking just downstream of the dam

Unfortunately for us, there was so much water that pulling out the cameras while we were on the rio seemed like a dumb idea so I don't have any pics of the run. Just take my word that it is a fun little section and a nice break run after a day on Upper Trout Creek.

Stay warm everyone! Long live flannel lined Carhartts! :D

Happy Paddling,

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Chill Weekend

This weekend my friend Jesse drove down from Hood River. He had never been to Bend before so I decided to show him around....on the list: Tumalo Falls, Dillon Falls, Benham, Parilla Grill, Lava Island, and of course Aldercreek.

We busted a move out to Tumalo Falls. In the winter, the 100 foot falls actually freezes up and is an exceptional ice climbing location...if only I knew how to do would be so fun! :) Anyways, we got to Tumalo falls in the early morning and got some great shots before the sun disappeared. Did I mention it was snowing AND sunny. Just another typical day in Bend. It doesnt get any better.

Tumalo Falls
(Above) Photo by: Jesse Becker

Me checkin out the drop
(Above) Photo by: Jesse Becker

After checkin' out Tumalo and hiking a few miles in the snow, we decided to hit the rio while the sun was still out. Dillon Falls down through Lava was the choice. Even though it is a low flow, it is still good stuff.

Our first run down Dillon........

(Above) Me dropping in

Jesse B running the shit that is Dillon :)
(Above) Photo by: Christina Russell

Yep, dorks

After a run on Dillon-Lava, we headed back up to Dillon to meet Josh for a quick huck sesh. I flashed down to run dillon and take shots...this is when things got interesting. First off I should mention that when the lifterpad is NOT in my boat, bad things happen. This is pretty consistent and I respect the fact that I really need that booster seat lol! So there I was going down to run dillon when I realized I didn't have my lifter pad. This is what I like to call an "oh shit" moment. Yep. I got completely rejected by the entry hole and shot clear across the lip of the drop into the photo eddy. ha ha ok perfect I will just take pics. ya ya I had to run it later.....
So Josh came down first followed by Jesse. Both of course had clean lines and styled it. They hiked back up and then I decided that well, I should probably do it. I was parked literally at the lip and decided that the ferry across to the river right side (from river left) was doable....with much encouragement from the peanut gallery I might add ha ha. I quickly discovered that this was NOT doable. One word: SHALLOW. I basically was ferrying and slipping back toward the drop cuz I couldnt get enough purchase with my paddle. The water is just too shallow at this flow. There I went, backwards and right down the middle (where the gnar is). It's on video so I will be posting that soon. We all love carnage! :D

That was definitely the most interesting Dillon Falls run I have EVER done and now I can say I have run Dillon pretty much every way possible...well, I havent freewheeled the thing but I'm not sure that would feel good on Dillon.

I woke up to a HUGE wind and snow storm. Gusts were at 50 mph and the waves on the coast were pushing 40 feet. I later learned that the coastal winds were 120 mph! With the storm hitting us pretty solid and expected snowfall throughout the day, Jesse headed back to Hood River. being that it was Sunday and I had a final on Monday morning, I hunkered down with the books and enjoyed the warmth of my apartment....ah it's the simple things in life you treasure.

*Stay tuned for the carnage video :D

Happy Paddling,
Miss Chris