2018 swim board - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-12-2018   #1
bobbuilds's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,706
2018 swim board

This was a fun read a few seasons in a row then it dropped off. Iím glad to get to bring it back.

I know Iím not the first person here who swam this season, but Iím lucky enough to start this years thread.

For those who donít know the swim board was a thread where each of us would post our swims for the season. I had my first swim of the season tonight.

Hereís where it gets awesome.

I paddle class 3/4 all season long. I can paddle class 4 well and at the end of each season I try to get a few gore laps. I park and huck easy stuff, colors falls crystal mill, upper east.

Iíve been in a small town where the locals are, in general afraid of the river. I work for a small shop and one of the guys I work for thought heíd give it a try as long as we brought fly rods.

So we set out for the milk run, class 2+ 3- in all fairness at a friendly level for maybe a mile and then class 2 all the way to the tacos at the take out.

I had a ducky for him, cotton tee shirt, check.

Iím shoving my fat ass in the mon-star for this fun run, no shoes either, you canít with this boat. And Iíd like to mention I had no float bags.

Heís kind of nervous and dragging his feet at the put in.

Fair enough.

I walk out into the eddy to help him do some practice paddling. He seems to get it but is nervous.

I got back to my boat

I figure Iíll do a squirt and show him it can be fun with caution and practice.

Kayaking is amazing I tell him, itís so fun it can change your life!!

I paddled to the top of the eddy, peeled out and did a beautiful stern stall.

In that instant where the boat points up and you lay back to hold it my skirt popped off behind me.

Immediately the boat glunked and filled with water. I never got a breath and it pulled me down to the bottom of the river. Knowing I had to stay in my boat to guide my friend I held on until I resurfaced a few seconds later. The only thing giving me buoyancy was my full pro top to bottom foam block I made over the winter. I was barley getting air.

My friend was able to paddle into the brush and get out just a few feet down from the eddy.

Paddling hard trying to get the boat to the side I was rejected each time by large boulders under the surface. Each time Iíd paddle for shore Iíd hit a rock and get pushed past my eddy.

I swam out of the swamped boat hoping I could get it out faster. Good thing I wasnít wearing shoes. It helped a lot as I cut my feet and swam with a 70 gallon playboat full of water for 30 more yards.

Less than 100 yards total, about an hours time bushwhacking so we just fished the top eddy and called it a night.

The shit we learn.

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Old 06-12-2018   #2
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,723
Thanks Bob! There's nothing like complacency to ensure you'll have a mishap...

I appreciate your humility and sharing your tale of a total screw-up.

Good lessons here.
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 06-23-2018   #3
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,113
Ha, the swim board was a good thread, I don't know if the Buzz has enough traffic anymore to keep it going. By some miracle I haven't swam yet this season, but I've sure seen plenty of them.
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Old 06-23-2018   #4
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at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,605
I think I got 4 flips in this Lochsa season. All were playing around in big features and flipping is just going to happen then. I never got separated from my boat, so never technically "swam" . Fun times and good practice for when it matters.
Living in Montana, boating in Idaho
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Old 06-24-2018   #5
East Glacier, Montana
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 4
2018 swims

Love the idea. Air this stuff out.

I was going to treat myself and buy on of those flashy 9r L I have been eyeing for a while. Where I live demoing boats does not really exist unless you have a friend who owns one so I figured if I did not like it I could sell it for a bit of a hit. All new things are risks right. So I bought this plumb caddy rasta boat and took it down the whitewater section on the way back to my house. Wow is she fast.

Next day head over to the swan and do some boating with a missoula buddy. Do a couple of conservative laps and then start looking for more. First time I punch right though that massive hole. Wow she can handle some heat.

Next time through I go for the same line and get promptly stuffed. Can't surf out, windowshade a couple of times, ender... and bail. Wow she is particular.

Couple weeks later I go run bear cr(MF Flathead not bitterroot). I have been gaining some confidence back in this boat and figuring out some nuances. Like how to catch eddies with my ass. Gripping, flying, even smiling, down this blastout run that looks very little like the run I did the week before I find myself above two holes. The 9r punches the first without missing a beat. The second punches me. Once again couple of windowshades and here comes that unmistakable balstout swim (been a while up here in MT but I learned how to swim like many others idiots on clear creek). Luckily my partner has spent the last two in chili and believes that there are no real class Vs in MT so heroically I only loose the shafts of my breakdown because of that stud.

And yes one more. While scouting a steep tributary of the MF for packrafting I carried my kayak up 3/4 of a mile to find that this < 50 cfs creek needs a little more water and a house to be made out of the wood in it before I would consider letting it scare the piss out of me.

So I promptly put in bellow knowing full well I would have to be portaging the future outbuildings of earlier said house. First potage goes well. On the second all seems well when I am holding a tree and trying to get out the the thigh hookers (bought separately) and I spill. Not bad right. Is it really a swim getting out of your boat in a 8 inch 20 cfs creek? When you loose your paddle Yes. I must have knocked it off the rock in the commotion on getting my boat out of the creek. Thanks John for lending my your breakdown. Lesson here always put your number on your paddle. Thank you MF rafters.

So good to get that all out. Sadly the only reason I have time to type this is my season got cut short by a rock who did not like some of my ribs. But come august want to make 2018 the year of swims with me. Even with my injury you may have to do some catching up. And more seriously anybody want a young but used 9r?
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