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Old 08-26-2009   #1
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 393
Season is winding down, let's hear some stories!

So I was inspired by this thread on boof.com to hit y'all up for some stories of your season. Epics? Beatdowns?

The two most terrifying moments of my season were going behind the falls on Double Pothole and blowing my skirt in the meat of Pinetree Falls. Both were terrifying at the moment but I ended up okay.

In the spirit of that boof thread here are a couple of pics to give you a sense of my beatings:

Double Pot - I was stuffed behind the falls this dude is boofing...

Pine Tree - my skirt blew in the biggest part of the drop you can see in the background. I rolled up and boofed the bottom ledge with a boat full of water. My float bags paid for themselves that day.

I personally watched a few of you get worked (some of you several times.) Let's hear the stories!

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Old 08-26-2009   #2
Loveland, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 118
Last day of a four day river trip. I was at the take out breaking down the raft. I reached in the cooler and found a) all the ice was gone and b) the Fat Tire cans were warm. AHHHHHHHH.

I know not nearly as gnarly and scary as your story.

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Old 08-26-2009   #3
tj@cu's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 983
This year was full over very high highs and very scary lows for me, most of the time it was smooth sailing but some of the time my shit talking got the best of me. I have three memorable beatdowns/near misses this year.
1) On Bald rock canyon on the middle feather on the high side I was going to walk a rapid until I saw 2 others run it and make it look good, the move was to drive over a lateral that went over the drop and under a huge boulder. I drove up to far on the lateral stalled out and dropped backward under the rock, me brother told me I was under for 10 seconds, needles to say it scared the shit out of me.
2) Devil's postpile on the middle fork of the san joaquin, there is this double drop early on that is maybe a 20 footer followed by a 10 foot ledge with a mean hole, in pictures it looks very easy but the lip is all messed-up, and I kind of floated in with a I'll just figure it out attitude. I didn't get far enough left and took my boof stroke to early, I ended up plugging it completly virtical right next to the wall, I pitoned and cut a big hole in my skirt.

3) Upper cherry creek, I flipped going over the wier and somehow got my visor on my sweet helmet over my face, I rolled up in the hole and couldn't really see anything but thought I was facing left I faught and finally made it out of the wier hole after 45 seconds then ran the next little drop and with rolf yelling "come to my voice" then "what the fuck is that thing, rip that fuckin thing off your head" I made it into the eddy.
Me brother styling it moments before I got the hole ride of my life
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Old 08-26-2009   #4
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 325
So there I was....about to drop into the top of gore rapid, in a raft, when my R2 partner starts yelling "shit, shit, shit." I've never rafted, so when the guy who knows what he's doing starts freaking out just as you make the critical move at the lip of the raft line is not a good sign. We proceed to get surfed into ginger and the raft immediately dumptrucks and my partner is swept out. Somehow I'm still in and trying to dig this raft out of ginger, knowing full well that if I do get it out, I have no idea wtf to do with it through the rest of the rapid. At which point I am ejected and swim gore to almost sissors. Not the worst swim...but a good beatdown.
Long story short, I was "convinced" to R2 gore canyon Sunday after the race, and as we looked at gore rapid, I figured, what the hell, I've paddled this rapid at least 30 or 40 times without sirious problem, so what's the difference in a raft. Big difference....In retrospect, if you would have asked me what the chances are of two people, one of which has never rafted, let alone R2'ed would make it through gore rapid successfully, I would have told you that it was unlikely....I don't think that I will be rafting gore again anytime soon. That was some scary shit. I need a few laps down the numbers first! (or maybe I'll just stick with the kayak) Oh yeah, and I also surfed toilet bowl, and swam, on the same day, out of the same raft!
Chris Morrison
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Old 08-27-2009   #5
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 807
So there I was...kayaking on scenic alpine Daisey Creek. We were having a smooth day so far. An easy Upper East run followed by a great run down most of Daisey. Great lines off of Big Wood Falls and all that. The water was a bit low on account of the early June cold spell, but there was enough.

We arrive at a little rapid call Rip Your Head Off. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this run, this rapid is so named because the final drop pinches down at head height, so it looks like your head is going to be ripped off...and that is if you run it plastic side down. I decided on this particular day that this rapid would boat easier than it looked. I ran the little entrance slide where I planned but the pillow off the left wall kicked me a few feet further right than I had planned. I saw a small flake on the slide in front of me. No problem- I've got a creek boat. I'll go right over it. Turns out the sharp slate flake was not so easy to go over. It stopped me dead and flipped me right before the final pinch. I quickly rolled in 4 inches of water only to be knocked back over by another small flake. At this point I was backwards and flipping going into the pinch. all I had time to do was straighten (so as not to pin end to end) my boat and tuck.

I took my lumps and came out at the bottom bruised and with a new tear in the GMER. Moral of the story- even little rocks can cause big crashes. Moral #2- get a full face helment- this probably kept my jaw in tact on this particular day.
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Old 08-27-2009   #6
tango's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 688
after a lap on OBJ the posse decided a round on daisy and the slate would make a nice dessert. for some reason i took a big ass lefty boof stroke at the lip of Big Woody, which changed my downstream angle to a righty angle. i smashed my bow directly onto the rock shelf below the drop, flopped into the creek, and rolled up, managing to catch an eddy below. while self-assessing i tried to stand up only to discover that my ankles didn't work. also i had cracked my boat and ripped the knee of my drysuit. i had to paddle through the next rapid, and with much help from the crew i took out before rip your head off. i literally had to crawl up the hill because i couldn't walk.

i took myself out for a month on one of the easiest vertical drops in the state. lesson learned: spot your landing.
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Old 08-27-2009   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,095
Its been another solid year on the beatdown/swim team front for me. I've been out of the boat so many times, that I'm thinking about duct taping a yardsale sign on the bottom of my boat to alert people as I swim.

Worst beat down was on OBJ (aka oh-be-junkshow). Feeling good, hit the last big slide, tried to go left too early, got spun around backwards, couldn't turn it around, went over the final ledge backwards, but not far enough left. Got dumped on my side and upside down, and took the biggest series of shots I've taken going over the ledge. Holy f'ing beatdown. As it was happening I thought I can't take much more of this before I get knocked out. Rolled up in the pool below surfing the mini hole. Stayed in the boat, but was destroyed, dazed and confused. Felt like I got hit by a baseball bat on my head and shoulder (thank you fullface helmet), and my ribs were bruised for over a month. Didn't let the bruised ribs slow me down too much. Hurt like hell every time I braced left or pulled hard left, but daily ibuprofen, and mass amounts of takeout beers helped me limp through the rest of june.

Most puckering swim was out of the dinky bullshit left slot drop on SSV just above the narrows. Got backendered, to upside down. Missed a few rolls, hit red alert air and pulled like chump. Kept my paddle and did a "fear of death" body eddy catch behind a mid stream rock to halt downstream progress into the narrows. I was able to get out of the creek on my own, but my boat miraculously eddied out in a micro eddy on river right in the middle of the first drop of the narrows, below the 2ft entrance drop, but above the bigger slide drop that starts the narrows. Its on river right but we are on the left, its cliffed out on both sides on the right, and the only way to the boat is a major rock climbing expedition on the other side of the creek, or swim through the creek above a monster V+ rocky jagged drop. The boat was brand new, and no way was I letting her get crushed in the narrows. I did a tethered swimmer move in the class II lead in to the narrows and jumped out on the small rock at the brink of the drop that splits the entrace into left or right slots. Jumped from the rock to the bank and went down and got my boat. Was able to rope the boat and myself back to the shore safely. Standing on a mid stream rock at the lip of that beast of a rapid was puckering.

Most comical swim was on SSV as well. Rounding the corner on the zig zagging drop with a ledge hole at the end of it. Come around the corner lined up on the ledge hole, only to see my buddy side surfing it. Thought I could boof it to the left of him, but at the last second, he shifted left, my boat was aiming straight for his head, and I hesitated, not wanting to boof his face. Plugged the drop, went under his boat that was still surfing the hole, got plastered on my back deck after taking his boat to my chest, had the paddle ripped out of my hands as I went underneath him, and was in the hole upside down with him. The only hand roll I have ever had was in a japanese restuarant, so I immediately pulled, got my head to the surface, just as the last boater was boofing on my head. A rediculous 30+ min pinned boat rescue followed, but its was pretty f'ing funny. Wish we had video that day as it was a carnage highlight for sure.
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Old 08-27-2009   #8
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
I finally figured out that I'm not good enough for class V.

I stepped it down a notch this year. It was kind of a relief to say fuck it. No ass kickings for the first time in I don't know how long.
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Old 08-27-2009   #9
ACC's Avatar
dropzone, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 845
So there I was . . . deep in the greenroom, plastered to a smooth, overhung granite wall, wondering whether kayaking is worth all this? What would my family think? How would my boys, perched on a cliff on the opposite side of the creek, react when I floated up limp? This was bad. Really bad. How the f*ck did I get here?

It was day four of our four-day epic on Upper Cherry Creek. We were in the final gorge, with only two stout drops left before our beautiful, blue purveyor of bliss dumped us into Cherry Lake. We’d all taken a pass five days earlier when the whole gorge looked like a terminal hydraulic. Now I was committed and on my own, dropping into the Nozzle, while my crew walked high. The drop has two ledges condensing into something like a low-angle Gorilla, which then surges into a pool above a retentive u-shape hole. I cleaned my line through the Nozzle and was ejected from the white chute with a smile on a slight squirt. What I’d underestimated was the amount of water that exited the Nozzle and slammed directly left into a carved out granite pocket-eddy. Turns out, most of the water was going over there, "con fuerte," and I was going with it.

Next thing I knew I was sideways in the pocket, fighting surges that pushed me against the undercut/overhang wall. Not good. No problem, I thought. I’ll just ferry out. Suffice it to say, it went downhill fast from there. I was rejected on the first ferry, flipped in the strong current, and slammed upside down into the pocket. Rolled up and tried again with the same result. Not sure how the roll attempts went from there, but I tried many, partially made one or two, went for the upside-down Jesus brace hoping to catch flow around the dividing line between the pocket and freedom, all to no avail. I punched out. Then the beatdown began in earnest. My boat and paddle eventually flushed from the vicious eddy, but I did not. I tried repeatedly to swim across the eddy fence to extract myself, but each attempt had the same result: I went deep in the vertical eddy seam and was rapidly starfished by the current onto the granite wall of the pocket, way below the surface. I’d be down for five to fifteen seconds at a time, struggling to get back to the surface, only to see I was still in the room.

All the while, the rescue mission was underway from the opposite bank – a sheer cliff thirty feet off the water and forty to fifty feet from me. The first bag went to the intersection of the pocket and the current, and I had no chance to get the line. The next three or four bags came up short. I started to white out. After swim-circing in that mean place for at least three or four minutes, my freedom came. Captain Keck hit me in the numbers with a bag and pulled me from pocket hell. Thanks for the composure, bros.

Photo of the offending drop (we had more water – and it’s way meaner than it looks):

Better memories from that incredible place:
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Old 08-27-2009   #10
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 393
Awesome stories so far! I can't imagine that roped swim to the drop above the Narrows...I probably woulda just let my new boat die before attempting that!

Funny how V- rapids that we all run routinely have serious consequences for forgetting that they're still class V. A lesson I seem to be relearning every season.

ACC's story above was probably the scariest thing I've ever seen on the river. Two main takeaways from being on the shore crew - 1.) make sure the swimmer knows when you're throwing a rope. If my first throw had connected Alex's story wouldn't be that harrowing. 2.) Carry a full size bag in addition to the little waist bags. We had 5 bags on shore and only two could reach the swimmer (he was almost exactly 75' feet away from the closest safety.) It's pretty shitty to watch your 60' throw bag go taut 10' from a desperate swimmer. Captain Mank definitely had a perfect throw and he deserves props for his cool head.

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