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Old 08-16-2007   #11
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700
Any word on how he got pinned behind nutcracker?

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Old 08-16-2007   #12
phlyingfish's Avatar
Moscow, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 269
There has been no word on the precise cause of the pin and swim as of yet. Conrad's group is understandably devestated, and I think the time for discussing this in detail has not come.

However, this is the time to reflect on the safety measures that you and your buddies take while paddling. It is worth noting that Conrad was extracted from the foot entrapment by a member of his group who took the calculated risk of wading (while on belay) out into some very very serious current and clipping into his PFD. This is yet another case where an on-shore rescue was not effective, and someone had to step up and take a risk. So, it's worth considering what you are personally prepared to do to potentially save a life. It often takes more than throwing a rope.

The boat is still pinned on river left, below the Nut rock, immediately in front of a fan rock and approximately 6 to 8 feet from shore. The boat is about 2 or 3 feet under very fast current and you can barely tell that it is there. I know of at least one attempt to extract the boat that was not successful. My opinion is that the water needs to come down before the boat can be safely extracted, so that'll be a while. As it is, the pinned boat does not pose a hazard to those trying to run Nutcracker.


"A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes writing for the majority in New Jersey v. New York
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Old 08-16-2007   #13
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 120
Originally Posted by Canada View Post
Any word on how he got pinned behind nutcracker?
I think that there will be a detailed writeup by those involved. The facts on this accident do give a lot to consider.

There was a beautiful memorial for Conrad in Banks yesterday. The Idaho boating community really is something special.
"Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart..." Confucius
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Old 08-18-2007   #14
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 6
Doubt it

I seriously doubt that Conrad is "killing it" up there. What you fail to understand is that Conrad was a devoted father and has left a devastated 9 year old son behind. My guess is that Conrad is kicking himself and wondering why he didn't slow down a bit so he could be there to watch his beautiful boy grow up to be a man. I know that your love of the river etc. is huge, but there is a much bigger picture to look at, and a sensitivity that really needs to be shown to those who really knew and loved not only Conrad, but his son as well.

Originally Posted by craporadon View Post
Fuck that, not a Third Legend of the Payette. Don't have to wonder what Russell, Damon and Conrad doing right now. If there does happen to be another shot at existence after this first crazy ride is over, those three are killing it up there. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I'm missing out on something. Damon plotting, Conrad smoothing it and Russell hootin' and hollerin' the whole way.
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Old 08-19-2007   #15
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 380
No need to scold. I think he was just complimenting a great man in his own way. A lot of people new him in a lot of different contexts. Noah will appreciate that someday.
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Old 08-19-2007   #16
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 732
didn't sound scolding to me. this situation actually sheds some light on the struggles of trying to reconcile being a class 5 boater as well as a family man, and not in that order. I know my own situation [2 young daughters] has forced me to look at class 5 [risk] in a different way. it is tough to walk some stuff that i know i would be fine in, and maybe have run many times in the past, but the risk is definately there, as better boaters than me have died on runs i have run more than once. as i get older [now 40] this is getting easier thankfully. maybe my ego is easing up. that and the desire to not at all risk denying my daughters a lifelong relationship with their dad, and vice-versa. i know you can die walking down the street, but it is possible to limit some big risks in boating [and life] while still going for it and paddling hard.
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Old 08-19-2007   #17
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 380
Very true...............
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Old 08-19-2007   #18
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 403
You are 100% correct KimmyC, Conrad would be devastated by leaving his family behind. I have seen much too first hand how ridiculous the sport of kayaking looks when someone dies and leaves behind so much. I would guess Conrad would have quit kayaking in a heartbeat if he knew this was even a remote possibility. I cry for those left behind and know the magnitude of the pain. I guess it is a consolation to remember the heroics of these people for those us who keep trying to convince ourselves there is a higher purpose in kayaking. I have just seen way too many people die in this sport and it kindof makes me sick. Hopefully later in life Noah can have some small consolation that his father was a true legend and hero to many.
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Old 08-19-2007   #19
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 6
Noah will know that his dad was a legend and hero-he witnessed it every time he was with him. His mom is trying to pick up the pieces for him now, though. I guess my point is the same as steven's: the reward isn't really worth the risk once you become a parent.
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Old 08-20-2007   #20
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Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 739
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I have to agree with Smokey on the scolding; And with Kimmy's points also.

Death isn't easy for anyone, some people voice there thoughts and sadness in different ways.

One of Noahs proudest moments was going to school and telling the kids his dad was a hero. This was given to Noah because of the paddler and man his dad was. I'm sure if we could ask Conrad, about his great moments; They would probably be taking Noah and Cynthia up to banks for an x mas tree and some quailty family time that day and so many others.

As I sat and listened to the stories, met the family and Cynthia for the first time, I felt so sad for them and their loss. Than hearing Cynthia's thoughts that night with 300+ people there, and what she had to say, I felt nothing else needed to be said that night.

Conrad had a life, a great life with family and friends; He also built that life around kayaking; They both need to be respected and celebrated.

Maybe Conrad needed to slow down; I don't think that was the case, things happen, and it was his time. For his time to come on the NF, is very hard, as he knew the run better than anyone.

I wrote this article years ago, for AWA, for the people that don't get it. The fact is, most never will. But it's how Conrad lived and loved. Noah won't forget his dad, because his dad taught his son this in the 9yrs they spent together; Not because people will remind him of who his dad was, he already knows. Would Conrad want to see Noah become the man he is gonna become? Of course!

Paddling: Is it worth the risk?
This past June I had to do a lot of soul searching when my hero and friend died in Upper South Boulder Creek. It was a bad day in a place I have had other bad days in, as I almost died there the year before in an underwater wedge pin.
My wife, family, and non paddling friends ask me why I do this sport. They think I'm just an adrenaline junkie. I’ve said, “If you don't do it, you won’t understand,” yet, I still need to explain it to them. It’s as much for me as for them.
This sport is not about the big drops or who’s the best. It's about friends, unreal places, personal limits, and mental strength. This sport brings all walks of life together in search of the same goal - to live life to the fullest.
We all have friends we have known for years or grown up with. I have a group of eight or so paddling friends that I have spent the last 5 years with, paddling all over the country. These people are some of the most important people in my life - on and off the water. Most people don't or won’t ever be called to put their lives at risk for a friend. In kayaking, it happens everyday somewhere in the world. Water enthusiasts are special people with special values that create an untouchable bond between everyday paddling partners. Friends are the reason we are out there.
The places that I have been kayaking and what I’ve witnessed from being in my boat are simply beyond words. I've seen bear, moose, bobcat, and mountain lions. I’ve seen bald eagles hit the water and come out with a fish in their talons. Towering walls hundreds of feet above me, and trees so thick they create a roof over the river. From the aqua blue water in Washington, to the crystal clear water of California, to the Rocky Mountain watersheds, whitewater let's us have a purpose and a motivation to get out and see the world how it was meant to be discovered.
You don't have to be an “adrenaline junkie” to set and achieve your personal limits in whitewater. Everyone has their comfort zone. Some like it right there and others push themselves to a higher level. Either way, you’re out there getting it done.
Whitewater enthusiasts are beyond the norm in mental toughness. They make life-threatening decisions on their own and then follow those decisions through. Whitewater is no joke, it's relentless, unstoppable, and lethal for egos and for those who show a lack of respect. Whether it be Class III or Class V, when I am out with my buddy's, I make my own decision to run or walk, to go left or right. This is an important process that takes place a hundred times a run. Daring someone to run something is usually not tolerated. It's an individual sport, so you live and die by your decisions.
My favorite thing about kayaking is searching for that perfect moment we all have had while paddling. I like the focus I get above a big and scary drop (it's like tunnel vision). I like seeing some of my closest friends smiling and sharing what we have or are doing; looking up into the chaos after a run and knowing for this day the river made you special. The beauty of the unseen places that only a small watercraft can get to. The serenity and peacefulness, the campfires and the quality of people you spend these moments in life with. The bottom line is, whitewater is about the people next to you, so yes, it's worth the risk to me.

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