Thursday, February 28, 2008

West Coast Women's Paddle Fest

Come on out for a weekend of competition, celebration, and good times with the ladies of the Northwest! This event is the first of it's kind. Women of the East and West Coasts agree that a women's event would be fantabulous. Guys- please come on out for your own unofficial events and celebrate female paddlers.

Women's Events:

*Extreme Race

*Big Air Ramp

*Downriver (individual) Race

*8 Ball...bring your full face helmet and elbow pads!

If competition isn't your thing, there will be casual trips on the river, clinics at the lake and even roll sessions.

All we ask is that you bring a BIG smile and be ready for a good time!

Happy Paddling,

Christina Russell-event coordinator

Please contact me if you have any questions regarding the event. Things are still being finalized so details are subject to change. Stay flexible but mark those dates on your calender! See ya there!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Toxic Waters Premier

The author on Big Brother

The past few weeks I've been stuck in Bend conquering the 13 feet of snow that have fallen. With a sunny forcast and open passes, I was finally able to leave the winter wonderland for a very exciting weekend. I decided to head North to the Hood for the world Premiere of Toxic Waters- a film made by locals Nate and Heather Herbeck.

This was the first weekend we "Bendonians" have been able to leave bend because the passes have all been closed from snow. It's been ridiculous out here. We took full advantage and headed out on Thursday evening.....

Photo by: Christina Russell

We arrived in Hood River around 3 and broke out the Jet Boil for a nice meal watching kiteboarders and thinkin about the paddling ahead.

Observe- two Jefe's ...ahhh they look so good together :)

Friday-Green Truss

138 feet/mile
Class IV-V
4.9 miles

The Truss was about 3.25 feet and Big Bro was crankin'. I asked Nate what he thought of dropping Big Brother at this flow and his response was, " well, it's on the high side of juicy." Perfect. We put on the water around 2:30 with quite the crew- Nate and Heather Herbeck, Ryan Scott, Jesse Becker, Jason Stingles (ha ha sorry if I mis-spelled your name!) , Josh mckeown, Jared Jackman, and myself.

At 3.25 feet things are padded out and you can have some pretty interesting lines off some of the drops. For those of you who aren't familiar with the names of the drops, here they are in order of appearance...also please check out for pictures of more drops:

1. Elbow Room
3. Bob's Falls- this one claims the most swimmers out of all the drops on the run
4.Big Brother
5. Little Brother
6. Double Drop
7.Cheese Grater
8. Zig Zag
9. BZ Falls

Anyways back to the run. With so many people on the rio, we all clogged up at the top of Big Brother. Nate fired it off first, followed by Ryan Scott and Heather. I finally decided to run it and after three false starts (ok I was a tad nervous) I gave it a go. Here I am attempting to meditate at the top of Big Bro....

Here is a sequence of me on Big Bro just for kicks....
Photos in this sequence by: Jesse Becker

After Big Bro I was super stoked. I had run something I've been wanting to do for a long time. It felt great to get over the fear of the cave. :) It also turned out to be one of the best waterfalls I've ever fun!

Photo by: Dave Gridley

A couple drops later I portaged lower Zig Zag which has two logs in it...not cool.

Photo by: Josh Mckeown

Unfortunately, the two logs at the base of Zig Zag wont be going anywhere so for the time being, it's a portage or a sneak....sneak in between a log just above the surface and one just below...I'm gonna be portaging cuz I REALLY dont like wood lol.

After an afternoon on the Truss, it was time for me to get some food in my tummy. Solution: the crew and I headed to Sebu on the Columbia Gorge. Great food and GREAT scenery. It just doesn't get much better than that!

Saturday- Little White Salmon

Stats: 238 fpm
Class V-V+

First off I want to say that I forgot to bring my camera on the run...I know I know it was a bit frustrating. But hey, the creek's not going anywhere :) What Im trying to say is that I don't have many pics except the ones I got from Dan Gavere...thanks Dan! The Jefe Chico was the perfect boat for the little white's tight and technical big water boofed like a champ and resurfaced VERY quickly. It was so easy to maneuver around on Gettin' Busy and it never failed to protect my bum from rocks. If I could I would marry it! :D Nah but it's that good :) The outfitting in the new Jefe Chico is by far the most comfortable seating arrangement I have ever experienced. Liquidlogic got the memo on making a comfy seat! Anyways, the Chico gets my stamp of approval.

Moldy hot roddin' through S-Turn
Photo by: Dan Gavere

Keepin' it real on the L-Dub
Photo by: Dan Gavere

A week from now Im planning on getting back up on the Little White for another great time down :) Can't wait. THIS time I will make sure to bring the video camera and still cam cam.

Until next time, keep the paddling gear moldy! ;)

Keep on smiling,

Ladies Double Header

So it finally rained in the southeast. We all rallied the troops (ie: Myself, Toby McDermott, Pat Keller, Chan Jones, Robin Betz, Drew Duvall, Jon Grace, Joe Barkley, Adam Biksby, and Nick E.) thinking we were going to the Toxaway after a whole day of rain. We were about twenty minutes into the trip and got a call saying that the Toxaway was frozen and to go somewhere else. We figured, lets’ go to the Smokey Mountains, hoping for Ravens Fork or West Prong. Along the way we lost the kayaks on the side of I-40. It was a great view from the sunroof within the Dagger Subaru.

Shane called on the way west to the river and told us the news that Ravens Fork was at 22 inches going up to 25 inches, but he also told us that the road going to West Prong opened that morning (it had been closed due to snow) so we opted to go to West Prong. Upon arrival we found West Prong to be a very healthy high so we made our way across the bridge and found the Road Prong. Perfect level.

At this point everyone is fired up especially Robin and I. This is the creek that I have heard to be terrifying. to bring some comic releif to the crew Robin started digging through her Astral lifejacket and found a few random items.....

We started hiking (it was raining/sleeting) up the mountain, 1000 vertical feet just to kayak back down. A mile and half took only about 45 minutes to hike. Drew about made an icicle out of himself without the pogies, skull cap, or even a dry suit.

All nine of our kayaks lined up on the trail at the spot that we decided to put in. The hike ended when the creek got too full of wood to paddle down.

The river was amazing, minus having the numb hands and feet that felt non existent at the time. Since the eddies were so small and almost invisible at some points I only got a small amount of pictures but here are some.

Just make sure to not boof out too much. Fun rapid though.

Undoubtably one of the best launch your tail boofs in the southeast.

The next morning I woke up once again to the phone exploding “We are going to Ravens Fork”. This was my second time down. I knew how it was going to be but the level was just a tad lower, 7-8 inches vs. 10 inches. It was myself, Jon Grace, Robin Betz, and Polk Deiters. At the take out, which is the house/driveway of Emanuel, a Cherokee who has allowed us to use his driveway as a parking garage while we are kayaking, we found Nick E. smashing beer cans. So we all joined in on the festivities before the river.

After swimming through the rhododendron and trying not to break legs hiking down into the gorge we made it to the river. It was a beautiful day, about 60 degrees and sunny. Since it was Robins first time, my second, and Polk was coming off of the couch we were all stoked to be out there.

Polk and Robin gettin ready for the boogy water before Anaconda

Headless Horseman

Grace in the middle of a low water Mortal Combat run

Robin keeping it real for all of us and launching in Mortal Combat

Grace keeping his head in the right direction on Right Right

After two long days of hiking, being scared, and running some of the hardest rivers in the smokies Robin and I cooled down on Sunday and ran the green at 100%. It was a great way to finish off the double header and to let everyone know that girls really can hang with the big dogs. There will be footage of the double header on LVM 26, the states series.