Sunday, June 27, 2010

North Fork Payette 9000 cfs

The whole time I was running around in Oregon/Washington I was getting harassed by my best friend, Cheese, to come to Idaho and do his home river at record high flow. He lives in McCall, ID only 45 miles from the put in of the infamous North Fork of the Payette. Hearing him tell stories of 15 foot tall waves and man eating seems, I wanted to go, but was scared to say the least. Big water has always been a passion of mine, but steep creeking and waterfalls have become my forte. Even after trips down the Rio Baker, Stikine, Futa, Nile, Zambezi, Fear Canyon on the Elaho, and many more big water trips, I still had goose bumps thinking of this particular river with so much water.

The North Fork is 15 miles of continuous steep class V whitewater. At this level I knew there would be few eddies and none of the lines would be the same. With all that said, I knew that I had to get a taste of this epic piece of kayaking history. A 6 hour drive from Hood River put us in a sleepy Idaho town high in the Rocky Mountains. These were my stomping grounds as a young boater, I practically learned to roll on the Main Payette 11 years ago.

Getting to the river was a very nerv-racking hour. I didn't eat much and felt like a kid going to get his first shot at the doctors office. Once we came upon the entry to Steepness I could see that there was gonna be some really huge shit downstream. We drove to Jake's Ladder and checked out a few of the major drops to see what kind of brown we were about to get ourselves into. Cheese had already been out there a few times at this flow, and has grown up a North Fork boater from a young couldn't have a better guide. It was just the two of us...I wanted a bigger crew but this was a good way to run this river. We just looked out for the other and had nobody else to worry about. Back to the put-in and off we went! Check the Photos and Video! Thanks to Candace for running down the river and catching us at some of the bigger drops.

North Fork of the Payette-FLOOD from EGcreekin on Vimeo.

We had an absolutely amazing day of paddling. We ran every rapid, other than Jakes and Golf Course, which was just one mile long explosion at this flow. The biggest rapids were Nut, Bouncer, Pectoralis, and Jaws...but everything else was pretty much at the same level.

Tristan catching some huge air off the back side of the Juicer wave.

Here is a cool shot of our whole group running Screaming Left.

Mike McKee feeling his nerves at the top of Bouncer down the Middle.

Birthday boy getting a back ender!

At the bottom of one wave only about 15 feet up the next to go.

Myself gaining speed to hit the wave at Juicer.

Cheese subbing out in Houndstooth rapid.

B-Ward having a good line through the chaos of Bouncer down the Middle.

Brain Ward getting some feedback from the huge wave in Juicer rapid.

Payette local Binx chilling on the shore doing what he does best...look for food.

Ben Stooksberry getting a big hit at Juicer rapid on the Bottom 5.

The next day Cheese, Tris, and I went back down to the river and met up with Local Brain Ward, Micah Kneidl, Mike McKee, and Ben Stooksberry for another top to bottom. We had another great day of paddling and running huge huge huge sets of rapids. James Bird and Tristan McClaran ran the whole river, including Jake's, a few days before I was there...BIG TIME BOATING! That rapid is an stout huge piece of BROWN! Good work Demshitz!!! I'm really fired up to have gotten the opportunity to run this famous stretch at this flow. Back north to Hood I went to meet up with long time kayak amigo Pat Keller for some more PWN-qual boating.

Later E.G.

Double Trouble, Upper Lewis Falls

The thought of the Upper Lewis Falls scares me. I ran it in 2008 with a friend Marshall Woods, it was a high level and a very powerful falls. He went in the cave behind the main veil and swam out...I was nervous to go up to my boat, but ended up with a good clean line. You can see it in "Demshitz the Movie" or this blog update. Upper Lewis 2008

This time around we have been on a serious rally of paddling so I felt really good in my boat and ready to step up to this drop again. With a rainy June, Washington has had high flows for this time of year, but I didn't know what it would compare to the first time I was there. As we drove up the forest service road 23, from Trout Lake and the Wells house, it was a dark rainy day. This is a bad thing in most places, but here in the Northwest it is kind of the set mood for most paddling exploits. Very mystical!

Upon arrival to the Lewis river we could see that there was no lack of water in the upper reaches. Once we laid eyes on the falls, I knew it was very similar, or higher than my previous run. With that said it has been a few years and my eye for lines and abilities have changed. It looked good! So Myself, Todd, and Brennan geared up for what was sure to be an epic huck session.

Scouting the falls in the classic rainy PWN weather.

Scouting for quite some time Brennan decided he would go first! The biggest issue with this falls, is being able to line up on a 200 foot wide horizon line and hit the exact spot you were scouting from the other side of the river. For those that don't know...the drop is a long slide off a 30 footer landing right on top another 30 footer. Big time for sure! We all dropped in and watched Brennan disappear off into the abyss. Candace, who was taking photos gave me the thumbs up so I followed next. We had a few big markers to line up with and the line we picked set us up perfectly. I ended up launching two of the biggest boofs I have ever done. My neck was a little sore, but I didn't get my hair I was stoked as all hell.

Brennan trying his best to line up to get the good can see just how intimidating this lead in really is.

Brennan Wells running Upper Lewis Falls...first!

Go Pro Freeze of the pinnacle moment of running this drop.

Myself hitting the money line to set up for yet another huge airtime off the second step.

Todd was next up! He came over the top falls off balance and plugged vertical. This gave him down time and he didn't get a good stoke off the second falls. There was enough water going off number 2 that the hole was huge in the landing. He was pushed behind the falls, exactly like Marshall was two year ago. After a few very scary moments he came out after swimming into the veil and going deep. He was very happy to see my boat and me ready to paddle him to shore.

After that we ran 3 miles of the Lewis river down to the lip of the Lower Falls. There was some fun slides and surf waves with all the water. We enjoyed our adrenaline rush and the insane scenery of the rain forest like canyon. Seeing the lower falls was a good reminder that H2O is more powerful than you.

The Lower Lewis Falls...a great huck with low levels, just plain scary this day.

It was a good day overall and gave me some good memories of the great summer I had in 2008. We took out and drove a few mile towards Trout Lake when Todd decided to "First D" a cool culvert gorge under the hi-way. It was a good looking drop with some serious consequences. He got through it fine, with a long surf in a boxed in hole, but made it out with some play boating skillz.

Todd getting ready to pick up a lot of speed claim a first D.

Todd coming rocketing out of the can see me filming on the left. It's a great shot.

Another fine day of boating in Washington for us. There have been rumors of record high flows and descents on the North Fork of the Payette...I couldn't miss that!

Later E.G.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The New Celestial Falls

I was going on and on about how much I love the Metlako falls on Eagle creek this last week and I saw something on the Internet where Clay Wright called it "The New Celestial". This gave me a good chuckle! For those who don't know what that is check this out Celestial Falls.

Back a few years ago people would come from all over the world to run one of the biggest falls around. 40 foot Celestial that that things have changed in to a bigger more ballsy realm, 85 foot Metlako has taken its place as the new clean big drop that everyone wants to fall off. It was a good comparison.

So being right up our ally at this time of the year all warmed up in our kayaks and all we threw a fit to go up there and get on the falls after such a reviving rain in the Columbia Gorge. So Shannon Carroll, Myself, and Griff all walked our boats up the Eagle creek tail to fins a very inviting high flow to drop this STOUT. So brown we ran...

This is an amazing scouting shot that Charley Munsey took of me. Very Beautiful light and composition.

Myself bows up ready to release the paddle and tuck it up. Candace got on belay and rapped down to a few feet below the lip to catch this angle...I think it payed off.

Shannon becoming the third lady to ever run this takes a lot of nerv to go up there and commit to dropping this thing.

Great line by Her and great shot by Candace. She will be getting a photography site up very I will be able to link to that with in a few weeks. She has so many photos that I haven't been able to show yet.

This was my third time running this fall and it felt bigger than ever. I tossed the paddle to not get any rip back or take the chance or breaking my paddle. Afterwards, I sat at the bottom to watch Shannon and Grif stick this monster beaut as well. Nothing better than sharing some smiles as the bottom of a stout with some friends. I have run Metlako in 2008, 2009, and now 2010, it has become and annual huck for me, but I'm always scared the day and night before running it. Good day and great action...Can't wait till tomorrow :)

Later E.G.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Skate Park!

Summit creek was discovered last year by a young group of Washingoton brothers known as the Wells Bros. They live in Trout Lake only 5 miles from the put in of the infamous Green Truss run on the White Salmon and have been searching the area for little stashes like this. We had two good days on this creek last season getting the second run down the Skate ramp falls and the first descent of the huge top canyon falls...Those updates can be seen here Summit Creek.

The basic deal with this run is that, you need a bit if rain to pump the normally dry river bed up to enough water to scrape down this high mountain drainage ditch. Once you get the water you need it is an amazing place with two very steep and clean basalt gorges to run. This day we got a bit of a later start and the water only looked good for the lower gorge…so we rallied up to the Indian Reservation to get some “Skate Park” action.

Getting down from the put in to the goods on this river is kind of a task, as the river is littered with bad trees and sticks slowing your down stream progress. Once the trees open up and the river bed goes to bedrock, all is well. The sort of un-seen Skate Park drop is the main course in this bottom gorge. This drops a total of about 60ish feet, with a huge transition and flake about 10 feet above the pool, where you catch some serious high speed air time. It can look very intimidating from the top, but normally runs better than it looks. Stories of bad lines and huge hits from this Spring had us scared to give her a go… I read this quote on Facebook of the first runs from this year;

Rush Sturges- kicked the season off with a bang... Filmed Boomer running a burly low volume 60-70 ftr on Summit Crk... then Boomer, Lane + LJ all taking massive hits on the 60 ft tranny drop. Burl gnarr. Carnage segment is off to a good start... No more please.
April 1 at 11:45pm · Comment · Like

Those are my boys as well, so I know it was for real. I had that in my mind as I said I would go first, but after a few moments of scouting and checking the scene, it looked the same as when I had been there last year. So I went for it.

Having a very smooth line throughout the whole drop. It's over before you know it. You just end up flying through the air, hopefully up right and straight.

Todd Running second with a cool line through the trany.

This is what happens if you go too far left on the drop...its just not smooth over there.

This has got to be one of the easiest going big drops in the world when run right. With no hit or whiplash you free fall for 50 feet and smoothly go from vertical to flying horizontal through the air. I went off with a good line off the flake at the lip and had a fine very soft line down to the pool. It had been a whole year since the last time I had run this drop and it was just as exciting as the first time. Watching all my friends run down the falls after me was a good time alone. 3/5 of our group had good lines the other two took crazy bounces off the bottom transition, but ended up being just fine.

The next set of slide keeps you on your toes as well. The first of which is a drop named the ”Well” because it drops into a deep crack where you can’t tell what will happen to you if you go there. Only Todd had a good line down this rapid..,the rest of us almost flipped in the crack leaving us discombobulated and out of control through the rest of the boxed in section.

Myself in the gnarly crack falls they call "The Well".

After that the creek pretty much totally looses its quality elements and turns in to a shallow tree infested mank-0-fest once again…but it is all worth the hassel to get in there to run and see the beautiful gorges. This was a run that I didn't think I was going to get on this year, but thanks to all the rain we got out there and had a good time with Parker, Erik, Grif, and Todd. Thanks to Candace for the sick shots once again. She has just been killing it, these shots weren't photoshopped at all just taken right in good light conditions. Here's a little parting shot...

Gringo and I chilling in the Glenwood valley overlooking Mt. Adams.

Later E.G.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Shasta Steeze

This is a bit of a double update...First and foremost, I would like to say that all of this summers footage will be going to the next Shasta Boyz film Slippery When Wet. Shon Bollock has been making movies for some time now and I will be putting in a whole "EG" segment into his new flic. It should be a good one...personal funny segments focusing on each athlete. Check out his site

Back to this update now. We were in Mt. Shasta, his home town, and the flows were right to run the biggest drop on the Mccloud River. The rest of Cali has gotten HOT!!!! The water has risen to new heights, and we are all scared, so it we came up north once again. First stop on PNW “Tour de Stout” was the McCloud falls in Mt. Shasta California for a park and huck special. The middle falls of this river is the biggest and rarely has the water to scrape off it. With some rain and warm bursts of weather we got there and the drop looked very friendly. T’was a fast low angle slide off maybe a 40-45 foot free fall, this is what we’ve been looking for. A few pre-breakfast laps off this thing, which I don;t like to do because I like eating! However, the huck set us straight and got us ready to head to Oregon once again! Enjoy the wonderful photos by Candace Sanders…

Most of the year the Middle falls looks a lot like this. Fit for a cool tourist picture or bathing place for naked hippies. Not this time! We showed up to a drop that was full of beautiful green cold serum.

Getting some good speed I came off the lip hot and spotted my landing before throwing my paddle and tucking up.

This is such a fun place to be...launching big air off a roosting stout! Demshitz likes stouts.

Leaving California is never easy and I never want to do it, but this time we had a goal and some serious rain water to work with. Good things have happened so far, so keep your eyes out for the next few updates coming soon.

Later E.G.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Big Kimshew Creek

Big Kimshew is one of my favorite creek runs in California…being only a day run this has got to be up there in the “most fun” category of all the rivers on planet earth. With the right flows and group, you will enjoy a mix between the Little White Salmon, and Upper Cherry…you can’t go wrong. The rapids start out fast and hold to the class V character all the way to the last take out falls.

The trick to this guy is, finding the put in, and timing the water levels…both of these factors make this an untouched river some seasons. Getting lost multiple time on the way to the put-in is part of California kayaking, it's why I love it so much, NOT. I was stressing and thought we may not get to paddle. A mile or so of walking through the snow and we made it to the Upper Kimshew Creek. We just went ahead and put on the mank infested ditch and made our way a few extra miles down to where I normally put in. It was an adventure and made our day longer, but all the work paid itself off in GOLD! With all the snow pack in the mountains out here, I think we will have plenty of days out on this puppy this Summer. Here is a small taste of the sweet treats you get to sample when dropping in on Kimshew creek…

The Island at the normal put-in of Kimshew is a rapid that does get fired up, but most the time it's only Chucky that does that!

Kimshew falls! This is just the first in the stage of a triple set that will get ya goin'.

It's about 20 feet of sliding and maybe 12-15 feet of vert...don't want to boff out to big, or you will end up giving yourself a crooked nose for the rest of your life, like me. I broke it here in 2008! This line was much better.

By the end of the goods the level had risen a lot and we had some high flows for Frenchy's Falls. Make this thing better, I swear.

Pillows...PILLOWS I tell ya.

Nate Klema giving a nice line to the bottom of this one. This is a kid we met in our travels from Durango, CO. He has been boating for a long time now, and getting out with on the CO-gnar with Matt Wilson. He was "THE" kayaker where I grew up in Bozeman MT, it showed when I got to know Nate.

And come on...If you are in the area and you don't go and rally a lap on the South Branch? Well that's, that's just not right!

Griff boofing while I watched on...glory in our eyes and a steep rough trail in front of us.

Had to get it!!! We were out there Running Brown.

Erik Johnson throwing his paddle off the 50 at the take out of day 1 section.

Mr. Klema lining up a huge boof off 99 Problems. Damn sick rapid!

I hope that you enjoy taking a look at the shots, Thanks to Nate Klema. Two of the greatest rivers in the world/cali. The water is now still rising here and doesn’t seem to want to mellow out. The California Love Tour 2010 continues as the crew searches for the next watershed to attack. We have not slowed down at all. Wait until you see the photos about to come in the next few posts! Good Stuff!!!

Later E.G.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

The Kaweah's

California is doing some crazy things with its weather this summer...mostly just huge changes in temperature and precipitation. This has caused for hard windows in the runnable levels of the rivers that we want to get on. After some good times in the Northern Sierras we saw that the levels were looking perfect for some of the steep tributaries of the Kaweah. Mostly the East Fork, which is one of the best steep granite stashes in the State. So with a nice crew of paddlers I headed down to the old Hideaway Campground for a Memorial day weekend of shit running and good times. The flows were between 1350-1150 @ Three Rivers making for some juicy flows on the classic runs of the area. Celebrating Canadce's birthday we went up to the National Park as well where we ran some cool slides on the Upper Middle Kaweah and checked out the sights... including the Keebler Elv's house, and a cool young brown bear off the side of the road. All in all the Kaweah is a always a good time with great weather and brown runnings. Enjoy some of the shots from our short time down there.

A Go Pro freeze frame of the big Triple Drop on the East Fork. This rapid gets very large and scary at high flows like this.

Eric Boosting through a big seem on the South fork of the T. It was kind of a failed day, but we had fun and go to go kayaking.

I would have to say that it is almost never a good idea to run something at the same time as someone else... I still have to stick with that. Sick picture though!

I have wanted to run this mank piece of shit of sometime now...Skyhook is one of the dirty drops on the East Fork that pretty much never gets run. Only when you feel like you can take a hit.

This drop has got to be one of the best slides you can run...It is called Chuck's Drop after Chuck Kern who got the first Descent in 1997, I believe. Anyway this is a huge twisting slide that goes through a very scenic box gorge.

This is a good friend from Bozeman MT...young ripper Eric Johnson running the Big slide with me...there was like 6 of us who ran it I just didn't want to toss up all the photos.

When in Rome...if you are in the Kaweah land you have to go visit the Sequoia national park.

Taking a huge stroke on the drop after Chuck's to clear a diagonal hole.

Here is a shot of me and my new dog Gringo. He is from Fresno and is only 8 weeks old...he's a stout master!

This drop is called "0-60" because you start on a shallow slide and then hit all the flow and blast off the cool falls to avoid a nasty cave on the right. Hospital rock is great fun at these flows.

So after some good times at the campground and plenty of sun bathing it was time to move on back north to get on some more goods around the state. This place is huge!!!!! If you compare the amount of driving to any other place in the country you would stay away from Cali...but you just can't do that!

Later E.G.