Monday, May 19, 2008

Clackamas River Festival

This weekend, I headed over to the Clackamas River Festival near Estacada, Oregon. The weathermen forcasted a 95 degree weekend....I'm pretty sure we just jumped from full on winter to full on summer. It was the 25th anniversary of the event and it was bigger than ever. Competitions were offered for rafters, kayakers, catarafters, and IK's. I drove up for the Kayak Mass Start and the Big Air Ramp- said to be the biggest in the country...that's debatable but it could be.... The mass start began at 11:30 on Saturday...a little behind schedule but that's chill.

Photo by: Keel Brightman (below)
The Mass Start

Photo by: Christina Russell (below)
Monster is NOT Beer...ha ha ha

The ramp was built next to Carter Bridge while the flow was at around 2000....this weekend, the flow hit a record high of 11,500 cfs! According to Luke, the support struts for the ramp would be left behind until the river levels dropped. It also meant the landing off the big air ramp would be cushy compared to last years green water. What was even cooler was that the event coordinators decided to put the men and women in the same category. WOo HOO!

Photo: Christina Russell
Lana Young shooting photos at the ramp (below)

At 3:00 competition started and we had a record number or big air competitors, roughly twenty five men and women. Austin Rathman, Ryan Scott, Luke Spencer, and others showed up to huck their meat....

Photos by: Josh Mckeown
Paddler: Christina Russell

Photo by: Chirstina Russell
Paddler: Josh Mckeown

After the big air event, Josh and I cooked up some mean spaghetti....on the side of the road. Ok, so there wasnt much parking but it was pretty nice for the side of the road :)

We thenheaded back to the BBQ area where they were showing the newest northwest Video Scrapbook VI film by Ryan Scott and Year of the Cat- a very slow film. He did a great job on compiling footage from local paddlers of the Northwest. Check out his website at

Ha ha ok the dog above was the shiz. He found the beer on tap and decided he wanted his own share of the stuff....

Josh and I got up early and ready for creeking....unfortunately, everything was TOO high and no one wanted to rally. :( Poop on that. We decided, as it was our only real option (we had no shuttle)- was to hang out at the Clack Fest for the boatercross. I shot photos for the event and Josh contemplated his decision to not race....bad decision lol! There was carnage because the river level jumped up to a record high that day and the hole got BIG. Check it out...


Photo (below) : Christina Russell
The racers

Photo: Christina Russell
Josh Mckeown

Photo: Christina Russell
Ryan Scott testing out the course

Photo: Christina Russell
The final heat in the boatercross

Photo: Christina Russell
Rafters experiencing the hole

Following boatercross, we ran back to the ramp for some final jumps. josh almost completed a double barrel roll! On my last jump, I recall thinking this was a bad idea. I could barely laugh it hurt so much. I went anyways and landed on my face...."hmmm this boat is cold and hard to roll....CRAP Im sinking!" . My skirt imploded on impact and my boat was movin downstream at a good clip. Josh went to retrieve my boat with Dave and I swam to shore. Yep first swim Ive had in a while....I guess we are all in between swims right? :) A swim is always good- refreshing if anything. Thanks Todd Anderson for throwing me the bag!

The event was super and I cant wait for next year! Thanks to everyone for pulling it off and all the volunteers for their time. You make it worthwhile! :)

Happy Paddling,

Saturday, May 10, 2008

EF Lewis

Following our run down Copper Creek, the crew decided on a run down the EF Lewis into the gorge section. Mostly class 3 until you arrive at the gorge where you are treated to some quality class 4 drops.....just watch out for the wood!

The put-in is at a tunnel. Todd called it something funny I cant remember....but Im gonna go with the "Tunnel of Love" he he he

photo: Josh Mckeown
Paddler: Christina Russell

Below the put-in you have a few miles of mellow goodness and then Sunset Falls. This being part of the Canyon Creek Race, the Huckfest would take place at noon on Sunset Falls. Biggest trick wins. Unfortunately, Sunset is not the best waterfall to throw tricks off of. The guardian hole is just too big and nearly right on the lip. Anyways, we had a scary moment on the falls. Here's how it went....

Below: Right about here, I realized I wasnt going to be boofing....if I did, I would have squashed miss Kim. I plugged right in between Kim and the curtain and resurfaced on the other side of her boat.

Kim and I were pretty surprised at the event and took a minute to discuss what happened. Thankfully no one got hurt!

Gnarly huh? ok so it gets better.....after this we had the gorge. Now it wasnt the gorge that caused problems. Oh no. It was the stupid drop right below the gorge. Kim asked for me to go first and so I did. The instructions were: "Hard left" . Ok I thought, HARD left. I started paddling down and all of a sudden I was on my face and on a bunch of rocks!

JUST under the surface was a little F*** you rock that REALLY hurt. I promptly flipped and flushed into the wall where I broke two fingers. I really beat my body up that day.

For all those that have not yet run the gorge- remember the little f*** you rock on the exit drop! It'll get ya!

Off to the Clackamas River Festival this weekend! Ill keep you posted! :)

Happy Paddling,