day 2, 2009: Pine & #s
It's winter, right? It has hardly felt like it this year. Seems we only get a couple of good storms a month lately. Spoiled on fresh powder, what's a guy to do on these warmer winter days? Go boating, of course. This time we chose something in that receives sunlight.
Shane and I opted for the Pine Creek and the Numbers. As when we did the Royal Gorge a couple of weeks ago, we were again welcomed by Bald Eagles. This time two were in mid-air battles. As we watched for a while we so hoped to see them hit the ground in locked talons, though each time they locked and spiraled they chose to abandon the fight before ground zero. Way cool, though.
Geared up and excited, a walk down to the S-Turn revealed this was going to be another exciting, beginning of the season, adventure. Pretty much the whole trip was enclosed with ice sheets hanging well out from the banks. The pinch just above the S move was further daunting with big ice caps jousting out off the center rocks and pinching the line scarily tight. Body shot potential was worrisome. Being the heavy construction safety manager, Shane was of quick mind to see if we could break part of the tip of with a few fast ball pitches at it. He knocked off a foot of it. Then I hit it with a heavy and the whole sheet tilted into the river. I though it might flush, but it held. No doubt it should soon break down and flush clear now.
We put in at the usual spot just 40' above the entrance at Anvil Rock. Sliding down and off the iced edges and into the immediate entrance drop the alert meter was getting amped on high. Freezing water, rocks out of the water, deflector rocks just below, ice banks jousting out into the lines and undercut to invite pins under the shelves, and as always it is fast action. Yup, it was tough to be relaxed in Pine Creek. And the ice constricted danger continues for a half mile below Triple Drop. There were a couple of areas we had to find new lines through, because of ice constricted dangers. After that, all was well. The temperature seemed to get a little warmer and the body a bit more flexible. It was a truly great day of early season kayaking.
Right on, day 2 of kayaking and 40 days of skiing this season. Not a bad start.
No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
"If there is no risk there is no adventure."- Bill Briggs