Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Flow's are Goin' Up!

YEAH! Flows are comin' up! Here are a couple pics we got the other day from Tyler Prinz. Tyler and Kelly Prinze were out to watch us paddle with their two crazy dogs, Ogie and Makita (see below).

(Above) Ogie on the left and Makita on the right

(Above) chuck it Tyler!

Local flows are now at over 2100 cfs...these shots were taken as it was rising at 1350. This canyon in Bend is super fun as it fills out a bit. It continues on down through Lava. We will have headcam footage up soon of Lava at summer flow which is an entirely different animal. First I have to get over the flu! Why oh why do I always get sick when it is nice out? Atleast I have the boats to stare at in the livingroom...wait...that doesn't help!

(Above) Josh deep in the canyon

(Above) me punching a fun hole

Stay posted for a helmet cam video....


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Hola everyone!  It's a been a while since I've posted so I thought I would drop a note and fill ya in on what's been going on out here.  For one, school has been kicking my butt this term and I havent been able to get out as much as I would like.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel but I just can't get there fast enough!  Darn that long tunnel.  Last weekend I finally got away from Bend for the Clackamas River Festival in Estacada, OR.

Photo courtesy: Dan Jones

The weather was warm, the booze were everywhere, AND Joe Bob's play way was IN IN IN!!!!! YEAH! :D  I felt like a total gaper having not playboated in 6 months atleast but hey...it's all good right?

Went up and did a high water Truss run a while back and didn't jump at posting...then I realized that everyone loves carnage and can learn from the incident so....here is my beatdown in all it's glory.

The morning we put on the Truss, it was raining cats and dogs. And I don't mean the little yappers either...Im talking German Shepherds. BIG raindrops. Ok now that you have that image in mind, we put on the truss at what we thought was a flow of 3.25. The locals we went with thought this was about right and so we were all surprised to find the usual manky drops to be fluffy. Hmmmm. We made it down to Big Bro in record time and got out to find it really, really fluffy. Instead of there being a rocky outcropping where you scout, there was a hole. Oh boy. Josh fired it off going farther left than usual to avoid the massive boils heading to the cave. I was feeling really good about my paddling and jumped back in my boat.

Here I am powering toward the lip...nobody get in my way!

(Above) boofing between the veils...lots of agua!

So what the heck happened right? well, I went off and had a carbon copy line of Josh's. I chose to go off the kicker boofing left which worked with all the water...except I hit a big boil at the bottom and flipped. Got pinned on the corner of the cave and wasnt rolling, flushed into the cave and swam. Normally the cave is pretty mellow but there was so much water pushing in tthere that it was a constant battle to keep myself on the surface (The entire cave is super undercut). Josh tossed me a bag and he was unable to pull me out. The current was just too strong. Our partner from across the river tossed a bag after a couple minutes and with both of them pulling, I came out. Turns out the flow was over 3.75 and that is a guesstimate. Dang. Was in the water for over seven minutes and super stoked to have been wearing lots and lots of fleece under my drysuit. Hooray for fleece! Anyways, as I flushed out of the cave, the throwrope that had been floating in the cave with me wrapped around my leg and pulled me under. Thankfully, Josh quickly let go and I swam to the eddy. Once my soaking wet body was out of the river, the boys attempted to get my boat out of the cave. Chaos ensued as Josh jumped in the water and couldn't get himself out (I told you so) and then John Cramp fell in! Thankfully they were able to self rescue and with Josh hangin' on to my boat , was able to be pulled out. It was a very humbling experience and definitely made me feel tiny and insignificant. I will be nervous at the top of Big Bro next time for sure.

Thankfully, the only casualty we had were my pogies that flushed out of the back of my boat, and the lifter pad from my seat :( Despite all the duct tape, it disappeared. (Those pogies are in there somewhere! If you find em, keep em' as a gift from the river) Having no butt pad meant I would have a nasty second half of the run and seeing that I was a bit shaken up, I hiked out. My first hike out but hey. Josh hiked out with me for support and our photographer buddy, Tyler Roemer, gave us a ride t0 the take out where we waited.

All in all, I am happy I ran it and happy to be safe and sound. I hit the line I wanted and will learn from the experience. On the positive side, my lifter pad was rescued between rapids farther downstream! Hooray for brightly colored duct tape! Knew there was a reason for that. :) I will have to take a pick of that pad...Ive been using it for 6 years now and despite getting ripped out during several swims, it survives! Lucky pad.

For flow comparison, check out a juicy flow of 3.0....lot less water and a lot nicer
Note: the rocks at the top of the drop were exposed at 2.5 and completely covered by over a foot of water...had to have been over 3.75 feet. Scary. At 3.5 you run it far left...

Hope everyone enjoyed the carnage! Remember: Carry a throwbag, knife, and pinkit with you ALWAYS! You never know when this could happen to you! If it does, don't panic (like me) and work with your buddies. They are your lifeline.

Stay safe out there-
Christina Russell

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Jerrys Baddle 2009

It all started with some bikers, but really, they were waiting for their kayakers. No really, this race started with a man named Jerry Beckwith, for the people who have run the Green River in North Carolina, ya'll know the name, its on the plaque at the top of the hike around Gorilla. "I will run it, next time." Sadly Jerry passed away a few years ago of ALS. This race, Jerrys Baddle is for him, and his rememberance. So every year in the spring the kayakers get their long boats out and the bikers get their road bikes out and they come together. Or the real bad asses just do both the paddle of the Green River Narrows and the 26 mile road bike. Check out Shane Benedicts blog for more pics and more info on the race and who won!!! http://shanesliquidlogic.blogspot.com/ Here I am comming into the takeout after a grueling 43 minutes of hammering downstream. All photos by my mother who ya'll will meet soon!!The fist punch gettin my parter Bob High on the 26 mile bike ride all the way UP the road at Green River Cove Road. And hes OFF!!!! Bob kicked A$$ in the race and we ended up 3rd overall in the team event which is awesome. Huge thanks to Ashley and Brooks hookin me up with Bob, what an awesome person!!One happy girl, stoked to be done with the run and ready to bask in the sun next to the river and drink some brewskis!!!
This is Clayton Garr and Daniel Stewart (who works for LVM) who were fired up they could sit in the sun after their leisurely paddle down the river just to tap the hand of their unsuspecting bike rider, who was about to almost melt under the sun during the bike.The bikes all waiting in a nice line, awaiting the arrival of their peddlers. Whos bike is that with 2 tall boys of PBR? He might be hurting up those 18 switchbacks.....
After what seemed like forever, my biker finally came in and he did awesome!!! I was so stoked to have him as my partner he did great. Here he is reminessing about the ride he just did and how damn hot it was riding the whole way. He was pretty fired up to have a nice cool river right next to the end of the run!!!!AHHHH. What the body needs to rejuvinate! Friendship!! We ended up going to Green River BBQ in Saluda that night with a huge group of people and then we found ourselves dancing, thats right dancing, at the Purple Onion all night long. What a great way to make friends and have an amazing day outside!!! By the way Bob and I had never met till the day of Jerrys Baddle. We had a great time!!!!!

Hope the weather where yall are is as good as the weather down here in Flat Rock North Carolina!!! See you on the river!


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Escalante Creek, CO

What's up ladiesloungers!! Hope all is well and everyone is enjoying spring. Darin and I loaded up the Subaru full of dogs, gear and food on our way to Escalante Creek. This beautiful creek snakes through sandstone making an incredible gorge with a handful of formidable rapids. The camping is amazing with all the amenities (BLM bathroom, shaded picnic area) all sitting on the rim of the lower gorge. The most visable rapid from camp is escalante falls but you can see 57 chevy and the lead in to magnetic wall. Saturday we scouted and the fin was totally under making the level on the high side of good. Darin and I put in with a group, but we were taking our time and scouting so it ended up being just the two of us. Couples creeking!! It is not often that it is just Darin and I alone, but sometimes it is fun. Cosmopolitan suggests it is good for relationships "to do things together", they may not mean class V creeking but it works for us. Leap of Faith is the first drop, its a 8 foot boof avoiding a rock below. It was super fun and I styled this one. The next big drop is Waterslide, there are two lines, one down the slide punching a tricky hole and avoiding a pothole eddy on the right. The next horizon lines were fun and led into a couple miles of super boogie with tons of blind corners, FU rocks and boofs. The next big drop I remember was Double Drop, the river constricts and the drop begins with a big boof over a ledge into some hustle to the next big boof. I loved my line here and felt like a queen sitting high in my Jefe in the first eddy after the drop looking back up at the accomplishment. Darin and I ended the day without heading into the lower gorge, but no regrets. Escalante has an extremely short boating season, but we look forward to doing it again, since its only about 2 hours from home sweet home Glenwood Springs.