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Old 09-21-2012   #101
Favre's Avatar
Nampa, Idaho
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Um, it's possible that I am mistaken, but creature crafts have not run freefall waterfalls over 20 feet to my knowledge.

I don't believe a creature craft has ever ran a waterfall like Spirit Falls, let alone Metlako.

I youtubed "creature craft falls" and every falls I could find was either a series of small falls, or a sliding falls, but there was no evidence of them running Spirit, Punchbowl, Big Brother, or any other waterfall that freely drops more than 20 feet.

This to me should seem obvious because that would hurt very badly, and likely break your back.

There are certain things creature crafts do really well, and freefall waterfalls are not one of them. However, they do shine in big water and surf holes very well!

I'm not hating, I'm just pointing out what I think people have mistakenly said. Creature crafts have not ran freefall waterfalls to my knowledge.

Maybe Brandon (riverdriver) can clarify, but I'm almost positive that I am correct.

-Micah Kneidl

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Old 09-21-2012   #102
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Farmington, Utah
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Tsangpo full decent will most likely never happen!

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Old 09-21-2012   #103
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Moscow, Idaho
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Seems like climbing has had controversies like this, and the result was to respect but distinguish the accomplishments. For instance, aid climbing El Cap is not the same as free climbing--still takes skill, still a huge feat, and even makes "impossible" faces possible. But it's just not the same as using your own hands and feet.

This quote from Ted Day leads me to believe that Creature Crafting is the aid climbing of the whitewater world: "Site Zed required 5 "do or die" moves, one of which was missed and required deployment of a sea anchor bag that was just barely enough to make the difference in getting out of the hole." (emphasis added)
"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 09-21-2012   #104
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I'm sure it was sick and way scary, but it still seems comparable to running it in a barrel. I would love to see a video of the creature crafts hitting these "do or die" moves. I doubt a raft would have any control in a rapid like that, creature craft of not.
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Old 09-21-2012   #105
Snohomish, Washington
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In regards to the big waterfall question, the answer is pretty simply, No. CC's don't run immense vertical drops, I've personally taken one over Huka Falls, in Taupo New Zealand at above recommended flows, which is about an 8m drop, but the boat(s) are not designed for big drops -as you can see from the video on youtube- and I flipped on my side at the bottom, and took a bit of time to right it while I was stuck under the trees on river left. However, cascading waterfalls, like Sunset Falls on the Skykomish River -see also youtube video- are totally manageable. Keep in mind that Sunset Falls had been run before by Tyler Bradt, Tao Berman, and two local paddlers Rob Mckibbin and Sam Graft, and NOONE else, and at much lower water flows. Also, paddling in and out of lowhead dams, and even running the 70 footer on the Nolichucky (ballparking the height, not sure) are also entirely manageable. There is a wealth of video on youtube, and on the CC facebook page which can show you CC's making tough, crux moves inside huge whitewater. But I am sure the trolls and naysayers will find reasons to discount those too.
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Old 09-21-2012   #106
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Nampa, Idaho
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Thanks for the response. While Huka Falls and the Nolichucky drop are the closest I have seen of a vertical freefall waterfall descents in a Creature Craft, it still is not anywhere near vertical.

I wasn't aware that Tao Berman or Sam Grafton had run Sunset Falls. Rob McKibben and Tyler Bradt were the only two that I had heard of. Except you are mistaken there is one other, his name was Al Fauccett and he ran it decades ago in an enclosed wooden capsule.

Huka falls is very much sloping, perhaps moreso with the high water flows. The approximately 70 footer on the Nolichucky is also large and steep, but not vertical, and it also perhaps made for a softer impact by hitting the feature two-thirds of the way down.

I'm not discounting any of your descents, I'm just making an observation. The reality is, if you were to run a completely vertical free-falling drop over 30 feet, it would most likely result in a substantial impact and injury.

It's clear to me that the creature craft shines in big water features but is not able to drop near the magnitude of waterfalls that whitewater kayaks do.

I will however say that while it has taken years of experience for me and others to learn to kayak the North Fork of the Payette, the learning curve is obviously shortened in the creature craft. The ability to quickly take on class 5 is obviously an advantage of the creature craft. Having less-than-experienced people hop on the North Fork is evidence of that. That is simply a fact that cannot be argued.

Again, not discounting the descents or sending any hate, just making some observations.

-Micah Kneidl
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Old 09-22-2012   #107
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at my house, Montana
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It seems to be that people have always said that " X Y Z" can't be run/ dropped, and look at what people are doing now in all sports. Personally I am not going to speculate or pre judge what cc's can do. I'll just wait and watch.
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 09-22-2012   #108
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vancouver, Washington
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Anyone ever see the vid of the rafter running Condit Dam (since demolished)
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Old 09-22-2012   #109
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San Juans, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
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While CCs may significantly provide an advantage in Class V to other inflatables this is still quite the feat.

If Mark Cramer (who is the shit) tried the Stikine once, bailed, and returned in a creature craft this tells me it is not likely a catboat river.....

If we want to argue the legitimacy of a 'true inflatable' descent maybe someone needs to step up and run it in a 16' Avon Pro bucket boat? Would that be acceptable to the haters?

I personally will stick to my cat, and will never see the Stikine in person. Even with a creature craft or a barrel, I wouldn't try it. I enjoy the thought of future rivers, and living a few more years. How many naysayers on here have actually run the Stikine? I know 2 people that have, and they spend their time boating not belittling everyone else..........

Huge props to this crew for trying and succeeding!
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Old 09-22-2012   #110
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I could bare hand paddle a small fishing cat boat down the Stikine better than Mark Cramer can Creature Craft it lol

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