Friday, December 11, 2009

Liquidlogic Team Dog-Pepper Salt Russell 1994-2009

Pepper Russell passed away on December 10th. She was very sick and we had to make the decision to let her be at peace. She was a river dog and loved going on kayaking trips. She traveled everywhere with my family. Many people treated her like their very own dog and for that reason, I feel the need to post this. We will all miss her smiling face at the put-in's and take-outs. We will miss her disgusting tennis ball in our laps, and we will most of all miss her unconditional love. Please remember all the good times we had with Pepper. She is at peace now.

-Christina Russell

Monday, November 16, 2009

Westwater in November

The Remix XP9 arrived at my house two weeks ago. I had never paddled the boat, but knew I needed to have a whitewater kayak that has plenty of space for my tent, sleeping bag, food, beer, water, down coat, firepan, and a poo system. I filled the kayak with 2 drybags, warm clothes, first aid kit, one breakdownpaddle, two waterbottles and about 5 beers.

Dave and I decided that we need to run Westwater Canyon as a kayak self support trip to get ready for the grand canyon in January. Little did we know that a major snow/rain strom was coming our way. Luckily I packed my down coat and 3 pairs of wool socks.

We arrived at the put in, dropped our boats and gear off; the ranger made sure we had a fire pan, poo system, and 1st aid kit. He looked at us like we were crazy.
(dave got to put the fire pan on the floor of the kayak which fit perfect in his XP10)

We dropped the car off at the take out and biked 14 miles of the kokopelli trail back to the put in. During the ride we saw a few antelope running off in the distance. We arrived to the put in and started paddling down stream. I was nervous at first because I think I had at least 50 pounds in my boat; but the remix was fast and very responsive. The first 5 miles of flat water went by fast. The gorge was beautiful and surreal, I felt like I was flying over the waves. I think I got about 4 feet of air off one wave.

We arrived at our campsite and started making dinner. It's so nice to have everything you need in your own kayak! It's nice not to have to rely on a raft, and it made me realize that you don't need much to enjoy and survive the outdoors. Sometimes I think we get caught up on material things and think we need paco pads, kitchen table, camp chair, etc... for a river trip. When it comes down to it, aren't we trying to get away from normal life? Back to simplicity?

It did rain/snow for about 4 hours that nite, and the tent collasped from the weight of the wet snow mixed with the intermitant rain. I thought a bear was crashing our tent at first! After Dave moved the snow off the tent, we were able to fall back asleep, thankful to have a warm dry shelter.

I can't wait to take the Remix XP9 down more rivers....The Salmon, Selway, Illinois, Virgin, Escalante, and Catacrat canyon are some of the rivers on our list...Starting with the Grand Canyon in January with the Liquidlogic Crew! what I'm learning with age

Cheers, Lisa Marie

Rain, Snow or Hail....Liquidlogic is on the River!

Hello from snowy and cold Bend, Oregon! The down jackets are out and so are the pogies....nooo! Darn those pogies but hey, they're are brilliant. It's now officially that time of the year when you haven't quite adjusted to the cold and you choose to blast the heat in your car and get geared up in the front seat. Did I mention it's also time for the hot chocolate mug to become a permanent fixture in the creek boat? YES! You can't possibly go creeking without having a hot cup of cocoa in your boat. Let's see what else is new? Oh! I dyed my hair purple he he he! You should see my helmet liner! Anyways, back to the actual kayaking portion of the post....

Recently, a crew of us from Bend headed upstream to our "locally famous" drop known as Benham Falls. It is a solid class five drop riddled with lava tubes. It's technically not a falls but it sure is huge. Rumor has it that a TV crew filmed a rubber dummy gettting dropped out of a helicopter above the rapid and its arms and legs came up miles downstream at the end of the lava tubes. From top to bottom, 30% of the water is lost in these tubes. Definitely not reassuring if you happen to go for a swim.

The put-in was snowed in and the all wheel drive barely got us there. The water temp was sitting around 42 degrees and the sun was out. We geared up and checked out the drop. There was a little wood but nothing in the way... special thanks to Irina of Bend for taking the photos!

Here's a photo from a year ago when we ran it. The flow was substantially higher when we recently did it but you can get an idea of the scenery and the drop. Just add 300 more CFS and understand that the ledge drop in the middle of the river is a 12 foot drop. Perspective is the craziest thing.
(Below) Look at those beautiful Jefe's!
(Below) Me in the lead-in rapids
(Below) Just above the crux...
(Below) Cold but very happy!

(Below) All I'm thinking about here is how much I'm looking forward to eating a veggie burger at the local burger joint....not sure what those other folks are thinking though....

Special thanks to everyone at Liquidlogic for your continued support and enthusiasm for making the best whitewater boats on the market. Stay warm out there and remember your mug of hot chocolate!

PS Here's a picture of me and my partner in crime. Her name is Pepper and she is 15 years old. Please send good thoughts her way as she has gotten very sick and can't hear me or see me anymore. :( I'm sure she would wag her tailess bum if she knew you were thinking of her! Thank you!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Toxaway, You are the Greatest in the Land

Hello!! Inter web world I am checking in from the South East just to tell everyone how Bad-Ass it is down here even in the midst of a sight drought. So last week it rained, and rained, and rained. The Toxaway got up to 9 inches on the gauge, this river is normally run at around -2 to +4 on the gauge, with 4 being really scary.

So few days later we went in at around 2 inches on the gauge with a solid crew, myself, Clay Wright, Adam Bixby, Isaac Levinson, and Stewart (sorry I don't know your last name). Adam had been in here the day before and he was saying that there were a few large changes to the riverbed, which was not surprizing. The first mile is a good warm up to the rapids downstream, continuous, steep and big. The rolled up to the first huge rapid formerly called Pungee Stick now named Baby Landbridge, for a good reason.

It rained so much down in this gorge that there were a couple of massive landslides. This one ended with a rock that landed perfectly flat in the middle of the river and now we just seal launch off of the rock and run the rest of the newly renamed Baby Landbridge.

This is what we were looking at from the river on river right. The immense scar that this rock left in the mountainside was insane to see.

Fantastic picture by Clay Wright seal launching into the abyss.

After a small portage Isaac and I put in on river right of Energizer, one of the largest rapids that I have ever run in my life. This is one of the most lonely places that I can think of. Isaac had already run the rapid and I was trying to get in my boat without launching into the rapid without my sprayskirt on. So I finally get it all figured out and take a few deep breaths and the rapid begins.... It goes....

And goes.....

And goes.... Ya its a pretty long rapid when all is said and done.

Will Lyons contemplating wether he can run Energizer as well as I did.

But the excitement is not over yet. Feeding Trough is one of those rapids that you drop into and ask yourself "why am I here?" Dropping into a 4 foot wide slot that ends in two ledge holes that try their hardest to flip you every time is always a good feeling, and slightly nerve racking.

We headed downstream to find that there was another landslide below where Landbridge is. So that means, not only are we seal launching eight feet into one of the largest rapids east of the Mississippi but then we have to make an eddy above the next rapid to avoid certain death in the trees across the river.

Being the good Liquid Logic paddlers that we are Isaac and I fired it up and we both styled it, caught the eddy below and portaged around the massive landslide.

Just below Landbridge is the last "big" rapid of the day Wintergreen. Sickest drop I have ever seen in my life. 20 foot waterfall into a re connecting 50 foot slide that all fans out. Fantastic drop, slightly painful but very good and very worth it, its a great treat for the end of the run. Just to give you an idea of how big this rapid is, look at the top left of the picture, Clay and Stewart are standing on top of the rock scouting the rapid... ya it's that big...

Happy Adriene, that I made it through another fantastic run on the Toxaway.
So all was successful after I strapped on my Shred Ready Full Face, elbow pads, Immersion Research drydeck, and Astral Green vest. My Liquid Logic Jefe treated me well and I added a few new scratches on my Werner Stikine paddle. I am now hanging in Flat Rock North Carolina getting ready for the Green Race and as always waiting for rain. Praying for rain.

Get out and go Kayaking!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Out of Worlds but Not Out of Fun!!

Hey all in the inter-web. Hope this blog post finds everyone enjoying all likes of water wether it be flat water of Lake Michigan, surfing on the Pacific Ocean or running the Gauley River.

My trip to Switzerland ended only a few days ago and I am already up in West Virginia getting ready to run the Gauley for another season!! Above is what the boat locker looked like at its best. Everyone in the competition left their boats here overnight and there were guards with dogs that will eat you!!!
The opening ceremonies were awesome. All of the countries had flags and they walked around in circles kinda like at the Olympics but not as cool. Or as lighted up. One of my favorite kids in the world Dane Jackson who ended up 2nd overall in the Junior Mens after Jason Craig who is another young ripper.
This is my beautiful mom who is the best mom in the world for all of you inter-webbers that don't already know that. She is my biggest fan and she is my biggest sponsor. Without her I would not be able to do the things I do, like go to Swizterland.
Even though my competition ended swiftly in Thun at Worlds this year, I still enjoyed myself to the fullest. I ended up in 28th place, lower than I would have wished but many people are just telling that it is a big feat to even make it on the US Freestyle Team. So, since I got knocked out early in the competition I had a lot of time to waste. So I wasted my time by going creeking!! Just like I would do at home!!!
This river is nestled in the heart of the Glacier valleys and is glacial fed, super cold and it rained on us every day that we were up there. Gotta represent some Shred Ready with the waterfall in the background, they made me a kick ass helmet for Worlds and they kept me warm with their awesome new styling sweatshirts.
I borrowed a few boats while I was overseas since all I had was a freestyle boat, my trusty Biscuit 45. I borrowed Arnd Shaftlien's Riot Magnum, which was actually a very good kayak, but not nearly as nice as the Jefe that I borrowed from, Phillippe Doux, editor and founder of Kayak Session. I had forgotten how nice it was to boof things in the beautiful Jefe. I went on two runs the first one was with Jessie Stones boyfriend and Clay Wright. I can't remember the name of the creek but it was super cool, really continuous class 3 with a few class 4's.
I also went on a few trips down the White Lachine (I'm not sure how to spell it properly), my wonderful mother came up with me one day to take pictures, and she did a very good job. The put-in down to where the man made 24 foot waterfall is all class 3 read and run that is pretty continuous with tons of good boofs and little eddys to catch. There is a quarter-mile of flat water above the waterfall and then suddenly you are boofing an awesome soft waterfall.
There is this stupid weir right below it that you have to boof, if you don't its a certain thing that you will have to get roped out of the hole. So I guess ya'll get the gist of what the river is like, it is short, an aussie named Lachie and I did it in 21 minutes.
So anyways my mom is an awesome woman and she took all of these pictures from the same creek!!!
On my second run of the day Lachie (an aussie) and I paddled down as fast as we could from thr top and mom hiked up from the bottom to see what the whole creek looked like. She was hiding in the bushes when she took this picture of Lachie and I choosing our line down the creek. This is pretty much how the whole creek was, super fun.
Me in my Team USA uniform representing for Astral, Immersion Research, Liquid Logic, Werner, and Shred Ready. So pretty!!!

The crew coming in after our first run everyone super happy.
I was the happiest person on the river to be able to actually boof some stuff and run something that made me think about moves. I was STOKED!!!

On that note, I will leave the inter-web with an awesome picture of KC Jackson during the opening ceremonies.

Now I get to go run the Gauley!!! YAY see ya'll on the flip side!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Last Day before Competition

Hello people of the World Wide Web. I am here in Thun Switzerland still, they havn't kicked me out yet thankfully. We have one more day of team training's until the competition starts. Most of us have been hanging out and just wandering around Thun finding little random things like the never ending well that is by the HUGE castle in the middle of town. Since we only get a half hour to train every day we have a lot of down time to sleep, walk around, and do push-ups..... or just sleep.

The last two days of practice have been pretty rough. The wave went totally out on us two days ago so we did a flat water session for a half hour. Yesterday the wave was there but getting really green so finally today we got a real wave and we were able to do our tricks and get our rides down pat. Oh ya the other people who paddle Liquid Logic Biscuits are three other C-1 ers. So there are going to be lots of pictures of me and all the C-1 ers!!

This is just an example of what the eddy looks like during an open session, I counted 36 people in the eddy for a 30 minute open session between team training's. Ya not everyone in the eddy got a ride.

So finally this morning we got in knowing that the wave had come back and we were all ready to rip. I felt like I had my first training session that was worth while.  Maybe I am starting to get used to the wave? Everyone is crunching since competition starts tomorrow.

This is the castle that is in the middle of town. So as everyone might know, Switzerland is a neutral country. But they also have mandatory time for all of the men over the age of 17 to go into the Army. One of their bases is here so we see them all over the place. They have to come for three weeks a year until they hit 100 days, then they can keep coming or they can go on with their lives. So this also means that every household that has a male over the age of 17 has an
M-16 just laying around the house. This might be a reason why no one wants to invade Switzerland.

Hopefully I don't end up in chains before the end of this, represent the Liquid Logic!!

And now for the news that everyone has been waiting for, the newest team member to the Liquid Logic Team; KC Jackson. Not only is he the newest member but he is the youngest at just a few days over a year old. Happy Birthday KC!! He told me he wants to rebel against the Jackson over taking and paddle for a down home company!! Really, he told me that.
We have opening ceremonies tonight and the men start competing tomorrow.
So until a few days from now. I will keep everyone posted. Hope all is well wherever ya'll are and go get on a river, or go do flat water.
Peace, love