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Old 11-30-2012   #81
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
I as more impressed before I watched the video. It was typical creature craft footage with the one exception being the good line in Site Zed. Pass/Fail, not even an attempt to pass by any of them.

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Old 11-30-2012   #82
GWS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 486
Well the video footage of the creature craft Stikine decent that I just saw confirms that these guys have no control and simply bob their way down. It looked silly.

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Old 12-01-2012   #83
St. Louis, Missouri
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Actually, I thought they acquitted themselves remarkably well. I have flown in a chopper through the entire Stikine canyon (at Site Zed, about 15 feet above the water) and rafted the section below the Tanzilla slot, as well as the lower Stikine to Wrangell. And I've seen all three TV paddling documentaries since 1984, plus the more recent YouTube kayak postings.

The Stikine has astounding power, far beyond the average big-water run. Its eddies are stronger than most rivers' rapids. The fact that the CC crew ended up backwards a few times, or rolled horizontal...well, entirely to be expected. The kayakers who have been there will attest that you can't ever notch everything on that river. It's a Colorado-volume stream flowing through a canyon that very much resembles Black Canyon on the Gunnison...steep and vertical, with insane compression of all the usual hydrological elements. A celebrated whitewater cinematographer, Roger Brown, once told me he flew over the Stikine at high water and was utterly dumbfounded at the sight of it. "Nothing but physics" was his comment. Late summer "low water"--10-20,000 cfs--is the only reason we can run it at all.

And regarding their actual runs, since there understandably was no "shore" camera perspective (since they were running as a team), I think it's difficult to say how much they were or weren't doing to affect the outcome. How much worse might it have looked had they not been scouting and attempting to run lines? Yeah, a good bit of adrenaline-induced screaming can be heard. The double-oarsman thing is unique and cool...probably demands a whole new technique to finesse, along with serious coordination!

So, I say bravo to Mark and the entire CC ran every rapid in the canyon and shared the result with us....well done. You also dealt with Jeff West's tragic end and took responsibility for getting his body home. And you have now proven there is more than one way to get down the Grand Canyon of the Stikine. Kudos all around.
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Old 12-01-2012   #84
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 18
Congratulations Creature Craft

Darren told me in 2008 his goal was the Stikine. I'm actually surprised it took until 2012 to get it done. Clearly he put in the time, trained all over the West while continuing to develop his boats, and then pulled off a successful run of the canyon.
There are a couple other scary eddies on the run that I can visualize a trapping an inflatable like the one on Site Zed. How exactly did the sea anchor work? It looked like an innovative solution to a very real problem.
I've been thinking a lot about the Stikine this year. What exactly is it that makes this run have so much impact? Why do I think about this place more than any other river? I don't think it's just that this river happens to be the super-hyped, "ultimate test piece" blah blah etc.
One truth is that the Stikine is much more than the whitewater. It's about taking a trip through an almost other-worldly place. The mind-blowingly great whitewater is almost like a bonus for getting to be there.
I guess my point is, while I much prefer doing the Stikine my way, in a kayak, I can see doing it in a Creature Craft and still having a experience that would rank as one of the highlights of my life.
The dangers of the river are still so great that we'll never see significant traffic on the Stikine. Instead of the typical lonely beach, it was awesome this year rolling to put-in and getting to share the stoke of a sunburned crew of paddlers who'd just had an successful trip. Opening the river up to a different contingent of paddlers who would normally not be able to paddle the river is fine by me.
But the double boat with the guy screaming the whole time? That did not look fun at all.

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Old 12-01-2012   #85
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at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
I saw doug ammons speak the other night and saw photos of the stikine area that were amazing, different than i had seen before. He said it is eroding a centimeter a year. That's an adolescent river and landscape for sure.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 12-01-2012   #86
missoula, Montana
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by kazawolf View Post
The Mark Cramer video of the Creature Craft Stikine Canyon run is now online:

This video has been removed by the user.

This anyone have another link? It sounds amazing, I would love to check it out!
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Old 12-02-2012   #87
St. Louis, Missouri
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4

Wow, glad I watched it a couple times when I did. Hope he re-posts it...amazing footage.
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Old 12-02-2012   #88
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Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 983
It is pretty interesting to watch that video, some of those lines really look like you don't have to do anything. I'm pretty sure that someone could get through that canyon in a creature craft with little experience. I congratulate them on there accomplishment, its always good to see people set a goal and accomplish it.

On a side note this quote from ammons that kevin posted shows his somwtimes lack of true research and that he just states his opinion:
"If you think a little further, running waterfalls is a rather odd pastime. Surely it is spectacular, which for most people is probably a good enough reason to do it. However, I’m reminded of the oddness by the guy who ran a 105-footer in Oregon in an inner tube after “scouting” for three minutes. The kayaker who ran the falls originally scoped it out for months, but the tuber just glanced at the falls, climbed aboard and shoved off. He made it fine, although he fell off his tube at the bottom."

Rolf had been scouting it for years, ammons needs to do some real research.

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Old 12-02-2012   #89
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subaru, down by the river
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 71
Wow, that yelling was abusive, i feel sorry for the guy in the back! "I said back"!! Mark Cramer seems like a cool guy and he sure styled site zed, but was not impressed with the video, or the way that Darren was screaming at the guy in his boat.
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Old 12-02-2012   #90
Searching for water....., Nevada
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 168
Im pretty sure that Darren was in the other single.

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