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Old 01-02-2008   #1
Force's Avatar
Bham, Washington
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 463
Allright lets hear it fellas...

I know some people have been getting some action (Ecudor, New Zealand, Chile), I want some trips reports already... I'm dying here. Don't make me call you out by name. While skiing is a good diversion it really doesn't compare and if I can't do it myself by god I need vicariously live thru your adventures.

Things to include;

1. How many times lotsawater was temporarily seperated from his craft

2. Who owed who ice cream?

3. How times did Keck have to miss a roll before it being counted as a swim?

4. How many women did the old guard pull in? I hear that pink shirt was worked like a charm for Gordo.

The high side of good - Daniel D
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Old 01-02-2008   #2
Fred Gnarquist
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carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 403
leif, answer your phone man! i left you a message call me back. Missed you on shoshone yesterday!! it was quite cold. Here is a website that might help...

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Old 01-02-2008   #3
thecraw's Avatar
Boulder, Jackson Kayak, Colorado
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Leif.... NZ is the perfect creeking destination. There are many great spots in the USA (WA, CA, WY, CO), but I think NZ takes the cake as far as steeps, water clarity, and semi exotic due to the rain forest and just the distance involved to get there. Do what you can to get a NZ trip pulled together and you will be stoked beyond belief.

Out of the 18 days on the trip with my wife, I got 8 days of boating and 10 runs in. Two of them now are now in my top 5 runs of all time.

The Styx- Solid hike in (for me anyway!), and absolutely no warm up into solid V- makes the styx a true gem. General character is steep, big boulder garden, with probably 2 lines on almost every drop. It's basically one continuous boulder garden for the first 2 miles, and then get's a bit pool drop in nature. We ran it at what was considered a high, but in my opinion it was just well padded and super fun moves. Eddies were plentiful but the moves to get them were super quick and sometimes a bit sketchy. Thanks to Alex (colorado kid I met there) we boat scouted the whole thing and his beta was stellar. Check the photo gallery for what is one of my most stomping boofs ever! I was so stoked someone got this snap in. This run is interesting in that it truly tapers off the whole way down. V-, IV+, IV,IV- and so on... down to class II at the take out roughly 7 miles later.

Holyford - This is full on action as well, but is basically stiff IV+ and it's character is IV+ the whole f'n run. I hear it can be run pretty low, but we were on it after 8 days of brutal rain and it was a smoke'n good time. Pretty good holes and again great boulder garden style creek'n.

Other highlights were the Kakapotahi at about 200% above recommended levels. Can't say this one was smart at those levels but boy howdy it was exciting. If you have the NZ book, there is a full page pic of the first gorge at about 5 feet less water than we had. This really had some scary highlights, but all was good till the end. Did it with 2 guides from the NZ kayak school, but they too had never been on it and we didn't know if it was REALLY F'n hi or just sorta hi when we got on it. Damn good time in there.

Also, the sea kayaking in Milford Sound was completely off the hook. Stout wind and some pretty serious swell for a two person sea kayak and one person (my wife) not ever rolling a kayak before was kinda sketchy, but the views and overall feel of paddling in the middle of Fiords is something special.

I too am anxious to hear from Gary E, Pete, Joe and everyone else that made it out of country lately....
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather...To skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... WOW !!!! What a ride!!!!!!"
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Old 01-02-2008   #4
Force's Avatar
Bham, Washington
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 463
marty - those pics are sic. that picture should be in the dictionary next to how to boof.

fred - i think you're thinking of the other leif who paddles for fluid.
The high side of good - Daniel D
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Old 01-03-2008   #5
Gary E's Avatar
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 94
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OK-heres the 07 Costa trip report from Dec 7 to Dec 17.

Gordon, Forrest and I arrive at 7:20am. Waiting our arrival is Local paddler Ferdinand to show us the goods. He is the man in Costa Rica. Also our super shuttle driver Cacho, who is well worth the money.

Two hours off the plane we show up to run the Pozo Azul. This run starts with the put in at some lady's front yard. A mile hike in gets you to a huge blue'ish spider and a dicey entrance to a 20 foot waterfall. This was my first stoke in 7 months. This is a nice soft class 5 run with 3 waterfalls, with the largest being 30+ feet.

Day 1 complete with only a few casualties.

Gordon's 80 dollar paddle snaps before he even put on the water. One toss off a 20 foot cliff into water and snap, he's already using a breakdown. Cacho then picks up the paddle on the bank only to get bit by a bullet ant. His hand swells 3 times the size.

Day 2 - We head to the Rio Orosi. This starts with 3 big granite class 5 drops then mellows too 4+ with some fun rapids, a great hot spring and nice gray granite boulders. Great day two!

Day 3 - My 37th B day. We did a first D of upper Buena Vista. This run is awesome and is a instant classic per Ferd. It reminded me of NSV with a little cheeseman mixed in. It had tight gorges, big drops and a mini double trouble, with a little spice. It was a 10footer into a hole with no recovery and a cave on the left, right off the bottom drop into a nasty hole. Beatings were handed out on this drop. It was a great run and a nice present.

Day 4 - Top Chirripo Pacifico
This run starts and ends with a bang. Solid class 5 from start to finish. It had twisting gorges and great drops in an intense jungle setting. I took my first heavy beating in the last drop of the run. This rapid is super hard, I had to look at it all night from our room. I didn't want to redeem either.

Day 5 - Upper Chirripo Pacifico
This is the must do in Costa Rica. It is super stompy and for real. We lost Ferd for the rest of the trip after a brutal hole surf and a tweeked shoulder. This run reminded me of the Embudo at 3.7/3.8 from Slam Dance to Taco. It was crazy in there. This was a non stop Kung Fu fighting monster from first stroke to takeout. We got her on the high end of what it had been run. One drop that sticks out the most was this 10 foot falls into a huge hole that pushes you into/under these vines/bamboo that are two feet above the river. You're fighting to stay upright and out of the hole, only too drop off into more 5+. It was my favorite run of the trip, hands down.

Day 6 -Headed down to the pacific coast of Qeupos. There we surfed and tried to stay the hell away from those howler monkeys, little bastards!

Day 7 - Rio Chirro
This run was super short with a awesome gorge and great drops. It's very pretty with some great rock. It is way too short for the effort though.

Then we stopped and hit Hermosa Beach for some 6 to 8 foot waves. Got out our kayaks where I proceeded to take the worst beating of the trip in the beach break trying to get out. It was brutal!

Day 8 - Headed up to Turrialba for some Upper Upper and Upper Pacuare action. This was an emotional day for me; 10 years ago Bill Whitehead broke his back on the upper and ended up passing from the accident.

As I paddled in, I thought about Bill and wanted to clean the run up for him.

The Pacuare is an amazing, beautiful place. I was all fired up and ready to send whatever was in front of me. The first miles were read and run 4 to soft 5. We then came to the first gorge and scouted. It all looked good to go and we ran everything fine. I then started running all the meat lines through the huge holes and rapids, I was fired up!

About a half mile from the takeout was the last huge drop. This class 4 rapid had crazy shit going on... I saw irregular waves and an under tow along with two holes on the right... I wanted them! I wasn't gonna take no tongue down the left like my muffin partners... As I came to the first hole I boofed the shit out of it and landed perfect for the next one; I hit the second with such a great boof that I figured Gordo was counting scatches on the bottom of my boat from his muffin line view, when all of a sudden, a Sloth grabbed my stern and drug me back into this hole backed up by a rock.

I don't panic cause this ain't shit and start working to the right; I'm going nowhere, so I work to the left. Denied! I flip and start some pull up action then roll; Same spot! Shit, now I'm thinking about all you gapers and I'm gonna be one of them, lol. Fred, Keck, Lotsa, Craw, Parker ect... So I flip over again and rudder my paddle and then roll, Hell yeah i'm out suckas!

Hell no, I swam that shit... Broke the boat I just sold a day earlier. As I'm laying on the sand with Forrest taking pictures, I have to smile as Bill comes to mind. I felt like he gave me a spanking and is laughing his arse off. Was a great day, in a very beautiful place.

Day 9- Rest day! Massage, Internet, food and sleep. Forrest does make an important call to ask Ferd if theres a hard run in Costa Rica? Ferd tells him to go to the Rio Verha(sp). He says, "It's really hard". At that point Gordo and I knew day 10 was gonna be on.

Day 10 - Drive to the Verha put in. This is a super low volume creek and looks like poop. Serious Jungle and you're way out there with one way out. This will be the second descent of this creek and it's a tired Gordo and Gary. We're not sure about Forrest as he's all smiles.

The first few miles were scrappy and tight with few things to write home about. Then the river takes a right turn and drops off the mountain side and the shit hits the fan. Forrest and I make our first portage of the trip around a deadly sieve. Then another around a brutal falls and another. This is a real mission, 10 big drops and catch a eddy to portage something. These drops are stacked and tight with no room for error. That's when we get to the 40+ falls. It has yet to be run and has a nasty log at the entrance which we thought you could get around only to drop the left side and resurface in the wall below. We portaged and this was the real deal. We should have ran the falls as everything is sharp or poisonous. After the portage is more super stomp til you hit a waterfall into the top Pacuare.

All in all we got shit done. Great trip with the boys.

heres the link to a few pics
Gordon and Debra Banks
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Old 01-03-2008   #6
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Boulder, Jackson Kayak, Colorado
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Great pics, and classic storyline Gary... Looks like I have a new trip planned...
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather...To skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... WOW !!!! What a ride!!!!!!"
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Old 01-08-2008   #7
Mad Scientist/Creeker
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 803
Holy swank teenage ticas! Nicely done team old balls. When I heard Gary was going to Costa Rica instead of Ecuador I was like good luck getting on the shit with those has beens in that flatland of a surfers paradise. Then out comes team old balls secret Spanish conquistador of a weapon - Ferdinand - and I hate to admit it but, even judging by Gary's exxagerated trip report and even after I divided the cfs reports by two and subtracted 50, down rated all the difficulties by a half rating, and subtracted 10 feet from all of the waterfall heights, it would still appear that there is some SICK paddling to be done in Costa Rica AND that team old balls paddled a significant chunk of it. It looks like we went on vacation in Ecuador compared these old f%$#ers going down running first and second d's, portaging and generally getting beat down in a place where I seriously doubted there was real whitewater. If it wasn't for you nannies portaging that perfect looking "forty" (thirty) footer you would still be my heroes.

Seriously though - way to get it done, you guys really still are my heroes. A shout out to Ferdinand for showing the old guard down THE shit and I know who to call next time I'm down there. Ecuador update may happen in the near future. At least I posted a picture.
Evan Stafford
Cub boater: "What do the spiders mean?" Old fart boater: "Trust your intuition." CRCII
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Old 01-08-2008   #8
Gary E's Avatar
Jackson, Wyoming
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LOL, Cub. That forty is waiting for you. Was a great trip for sure, driver and Ferd were critical. Then again, what did you expect? We don't just show up in other countries hoping our guide gets a day off, we reserve that shit and get after it. Nice pic of that "park and huck", was that the highlight? Get that report done before you get the ruler kid!


ps- sounded like you folks had a good trip, just couldn't believe keck only swam once? Must have been a lot of t rescuing going on out there.

On another note a dawn patrol this morn resulted in 8 fresh inches of smoke in the poop chute of glory.
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Old 01-08-2008   #9
Matt J's Avatar
Leadvillian, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 381

I thought I was going to miss out on the story-telling after a broken hand kept me sidelined through Gordon, Forrest, and Gary's trip, but my first trip out of retirement proved to be pretty exciting.

The Costa Rican rainy season has proven to be a bit delayed in abating this year, and so we put on with two rafts at a high muddy flow last week on the lower section of the Pacuare. A competitior had an eight boater ready to launch at nearly the same time so we decided safety in numbers and ran together. It quickly became apparent that what we all thought was a high level was in fact banks full with the help of several key tribs downstream. Between myself and the safety kayaker from the other trip we had our hands full with nine flips all told. A trip with 48 participants (just theirs) produced over 60 swims with many of them bringing a limp back to the bar with them.

Gordon, Forrest, and Gary sorry I missed you guys, hopefully the trip was fun enough to warrant consideration of a return mission. As cheap is Frontier is flying right now it's cheaper than driving to Durango for a powder day.
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Old 01-08-2008   #10
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Who ever said I only swam once....

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