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!!!