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Old 04-30-2009   #1
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2
Free GUNS Helmet -Spring Runoff Stoke-

Post your best pull into the eddy having stuck a drop story in this thread and win a free Limited Edition Guns Helmet

In celebration of Spring Runoff and of WRSI Team Member and native Montanan Tyler Bradt's momentous day where he had that moment at the bottom of a rapid when you pull into the eddy knowing you made it and have that indescribable feeling that makes those moments some of the best days of your life. When the emotion washes over you and you just want to scream Hell Yeah! For Tyler it's much more about that moment than any records or legacies.

So to get the Free Limited edition Guns Helmet all you have to do is post in this thread a short story of when you had that feeling at the bottom of anything from your first Class 3 to a big waterfall, where the feeling washed over you and you thought this was one of the best days of my life. Feel free to include pics or anything else. Best story wins the helmet.

See image attached of the prize.

If it does'nt show up well in the thread, you can check it out here: WRSI Safety | Whitewater Helmets | Ski and Snowboard Helmets | Rescue Gear

Tyler describes that feeling here in Graces quality interview:LVM Lunch Video Magazine

Happy Spring Runoff
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Old 04-30-2009   #2
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
thats pretty sick design..

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Old 04-30-2009   #3
rockinRio's Avatar
Thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 231
First time I ran Mishawaka Falls on the Poudre. I didn't have a solid roll, and was in a hand-me-down Mr. Clean. I remember thinking clearly "I could die" as we entered. Visions of smashing into the rock wall danced through my head. Before I knew it I pulled into the eddy at the bottom to a cover band playing Allman Brothers "Jessica" at the Mish. amphitheater. Sometimes life does have a soundtrack.

Definitely said out loud...

"HELL YEAH! This is one of the best days of my life!"
You ARE a soul, you HAVE a body.

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Old 04-30-2009   #4
rideon's Avatar
Chico, California
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 148
Kind of long, I know...

A wise friend and gifted hang glider pilot once told me “never take a new glider, to a new launch site, with a new crew.” His words ran through my head as I kicked off the early spring kayak season and headed for a new creek, with a new crew, and my new creeker in tow. A phone call that morning from a person I had met the week before had me ninja rolling out of my cubicle and grabbing my gear, having suddenly come down with a severe cough, or the flu or something like that. After receiving the mandatory green light from the wife, followed by a promise to be back by dinner it was game on.

The creek was swolen, the rapids were big, and I soon forgot all about my worries and the perfect trifecta of doom from the ride up. The crew was solid, safe, and fired up. The gorge was demanding and I forced myself to shake the rust off and to my surprise my new boat was getting along just fine. My apprehension would rise as we came to another horizon line or blind turn, only to feel the sweet release as we stomped one amazing rapid after another.

My thoughts drifted back to my family and co-workers as I tried to formulate words and phrases that would convey the experience I was having, everything was falling short.

The drops kept coming and we kept stomping, we soon found ourselves at a sweeping left hand bend and we all knew we were in for some serious gradient. After a partial scout we saw the goods…a 50 foot slide with holes on the right and a hard charging, super clean line down the left, capped of with an unavoidable converging hole as the creek disappeared around yet another corner. To make the experience even better, there was no portage route. I was tired and sore and feeling the day’s work and questioned my ability to stay on line, but after seeing our leader fire it up I was all in. A somber ferry and a quick brace at the top had me locked in, I was picking up speed and heading for the lateral that fed the crashing hole. I climbed the lateral and punched the side of the hole and found myself in the washout. Fists pumps and a long yell were all I could summon and the idiot grin wasn’t going away any time soon. The boater on shore looked small, the boater up top looked small and the sight of the cascade will provide me with a lifetime of stoke during the long winters and low water years. I yelled again as I rallied towards the next rapid for a pre-scout. I found that even my fist pumps and yells were falling short of what I was feeling inside and the total gravity of the moment.

I am guessing most of us have had that moment, and most of us have tried to describe it to our co-workers, friends, and family. Words don’t do it justice, and it can’t be manufactured or recreated. We all wait in anticipation of the next fleeting sensation that might just match it, this is what drives us, motivates us, and gives us purpose.

When I arrived back at work half-way through the following day, my co-worker said “man, you look like hell”. “Yeah, I know” is all I could reply, and didn’t even try to help them understand; for fear that the entire moment and larger experience might be cheapened, so I said nothing else.

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Old 04-30-2009   #5
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
ride on its a feeling of living electricity flowing through your veins....
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Old 05-01-2009   #6
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 213
Lower Narrows

I have grown up in the Poudre canyon driving past the 1/4 mile rapid that comprises Lower Narrows. When I was a young chap driving up the canyon with my parents to go camping I would always stare in awe at the seemingly endless powerful whitewater. I thought it was the strongest force in the world (not too far off). My parents always told me that water was a powerful, beautiful force but rivers like that were not run...especially by kids like me. As a young child I of course knew that my parents were wrong, and that I could run a rapid like that some day.

As the years progressed I continued to be mesmerized by this section of river. When we would drive past it on the way to Cameron Pass in the winter I was often criticized by my friends (non-boaters) who did not understand why I needed to stop and look at a boulder field with no water in it, “there is no way your boat could even get down that section” they would say. Still as I spent my time skinning up and skiing down the pass the river was in the back of my mind.

This past summer a friend and I decided to go up and have a serious look at Lower Narrows. I had looked at the rapid countless times before…but never in a PFD with a boat on the car. We drove up the canyon and put on at Sportcars Corner. After running middle narrows we pulled into an eddy just above the bridge that marked the entrance of lower narrows. A few quiet minutes in the eddy and my friend and I looked at each other, nodded and pushed off the shore.

For those that do not know the rapid the first drop is the most intimidating and there is a huge wrap/flip potential at the bottom if we did not hit the slot correctly. As we moved toward the entrance we got suck on a rock just above the drop and had to spin off of it; sending us spinning into the entrance. We corrected the boat as we went over the first drop. After the initial drop it was a ¼ mile of full concentration. It was the most focused I have been in my entire life. Even our friends yelling and cheering on the shore were not noticed.

As we went into the last drop I remember thinking that we might actually make it. We hit the last hole and I let out a “yell” unlike I have ever done before. We were screaming and slapping the water with our paddles as we rounded the corner to continue to the take-out. All of the yelling, water slapping, and fist pumping did not seem to fully display the feelings that were rushing through our bodies. Unfortunately there was a group of fishermen right around the corner (out of view but defiantly not out of earshot). As we approached them we apologized and ensured them that no other boats would bother them the rest of the evening.

The feeling was indescribable, although many of you can relate I am sure. I had finally done it…the river allowed me to sneak down (right side up the entire time no less). Told you mom and dad . All of the countless hours spent looking at and thinking about the rapid; and now I could connect an on river experience to my dreaming.

Now when I drive past that section I still (and will always) get a huge goofy grin over my face and the feeling again rushes through my veins. People often ask me what I am smiling about when we pass lower narrows. I simply respond to them “just thinking about the river.”

I have not run lower narrows again yet; but I feel like I do not need to. Running that section not only gave me the experience of a lifetime but it opened up a whole new world of rafting for me. No longer do I only look for flows running through class III/IV rivers; my search now includes looking for the next class V run to begin dreaming about.
There is always a reason not to...
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Old 05-04-2009   #7
Western Slope, Colorado
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7
Best Day

17 years old driving around the Northwest looking for whitewater and waterfalls. We ended up in Whistler looking for kayaking. There was no guidebook at the time so we did'nt know where to kayak. We had seen some stuff on the way up but had no idea. We had given up and started to drive to Vancouver to find a kayak shop to get info on the runs. As we were driving down the road we saw a car with kayaks on it. We flipped a U-turn and chased them down. We had found the locals and they were going to Callahan Creek in the morning. We were stoked and met up with a diverse crew of Whistler locals from all over the world the next morning. Everyone was stoked for Callahan, it did'nt get run that much back then. We ended up leading the locals down the entire run. Charging all the drops and launching the beautiful 30' falls in the middle of the run. Such a georgous pool at the bottom of that falls, I remember sitting in that pool looking up at the falls so overwhelmed by stoke I wanted to scream. We finished the run on Callahan, had a safety meeting and went to run the Class IV stretch on the Checkamus which was peaking in the late afternoon from the days worth of glacial melt. That great juicy run was the perfect cap to a perfect day. As I sat around the campfire that night I thought to myself loud and clear, that was one of the best days of my life.
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Old 05-04-2009   #8
denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 172
Stuck sock it to me on an october run(before permits swithed to 10/31) my first season. Having never even contemplated trying a roll that wasn't an option. As a newbie I figured it was over breathed a sigh of relief and started cruising into the eddy. Westwater eddie were a lot bigger than state bridge in Aug and I found myself upside down. Now remeber I had never contemplated a roll so wet exit was my MO. Having done this several time already that day I was sick of swimming my boat to the shore. Dunked the crossfire, pulled a wet entrance and made it into the eddy. One of the most experienced boaters on the crew told me had never seen a wet entrance in the sock.

Gave my helmet to my son the other day, so I really need a new one.

Its called a Lurk. Its what the old Norwegians used before we cut em up into two pieces
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