Thursday, March 13, 2008
The days are warming and getting longer. Hopefully we are ready to step it up and try for a few big ones.
David launching off Pinnacle on his 12th lap...
At 5AM Saturday, we got a wake-up call from Jeff and looked out the window to see snowflakes just starting to fall from a dark sky. After checking rain gauges, Bear was a gamble, but Suck was almost definitely going all day and there would be enough light to paddle in less than 2 hours. Time to get motivated! I knew David wanted to paddle a vertical mile, and I was happy to help him meet his goal. Afterall, I am his wife, and besides, it was freezing outside! So when Jeff asked me to do shuttles, I grabbed the camera, some snacks for the guys, and was glad to do it. Below is Jeff at Pinnacle, around lap 8, boofing the Dagger Nomad like a champ:
The gauge in snowy twilight:
The first lap was just before dusk...yet Jeff fired up Knucklehead anyway!By the second lap, the light was getting better...The snow and wind would occasionally subside, but it continued for most of the day. Soon, the ground was blanketed with snow, a rare sight in the southern corner of Tennessee. But the laps continued...
TVF started for us on a river dropping a whopping 6 feet per mile. We needed conditioning and fun so we packed our bags and headed west.
During January the Steamers and friends spent 11 days longboating the
Paddling was only part of the adventure. Hiking in the Canyon is amazing. We spent a day climbing the full distance to the rim and while returning to the river we got to truly appreciate what a vertical mile looks like. On day number 8 we explored Havasu Canyon and hiked to 90+ foot Mooney Falls.
The whitewater was amazing. Giant holes and waves everywhere. Steering a longboat loaded with 100+ pounds of crap was a great daily workout. There was always the hole you wished you could miss, but just couldn’t turn the aircraft carrier in time to avoid. The better technique was to simply plug the meat of it with as much speed as possible and hope to mystery through it. The plugging method was a blast when it worked. If it didn’t, as House Rock Rapid illustrated, you felt like an old-school rodeo boater exploring the first cartwheels. In all, the whitewater was awesome and I look forward to paddling there again.
After returning home to
Close to the top:
Chris with 11 days of supplies:
Deer Creek Falls drops 50 feet to the Colorado:
Jonathan, Mark and Nick at Nankoweap:
Beaver Falls in Havasu Canyon:
River Right at Lava:
Deer Creek Confluence:
Jonathan in Matkatamiba:
Rainbow above Lee's Ferry:
Lower Falls on Thunder River: