Friday, October 28, 2011

The Box

Being a young kid growing up in the kayak scene I always looked to the top to find my inspiration. Being from the Gallatin valley there was a group of well known amazing paddlers living right here in my home town...often know as the NERPU boys!

They made films such as Nerpu, Valhalla, Weyakin, and One World. The Teton Gravity Research boys were locals in my home town! So this made it easy for a number of incredible legends and stories to come up around town. Matt Wilson, Ben Selznick, Brain Fletcher, Nick Turner, Seth Warren, Brett "Soup" Ferre, and many other good ole' boys ripped up the best rivers and creek around Montana and the Rockies. There were two rivers that really stood out in my mind...Big Timber Creek and The Box of the Clark's fork of the Yellowstone.

"The Box" for short, was a 2-3 day run in North Western Wyoming, only a few short hours from Bozeman. I had always heard terror stories about this canyon and what it was capable of doing to even the best of paddlers. In my head this was the far exterior of what was possible in a kayak and because kayaking was the center of my own little was the coolest most badass thing I could think about doing in life!

Fast forward 8 to 9 years...thousands of days on the river...and instead of the kid watching all the movies just dreaming of becoming a so called "pro kayaker" I am doing nothing but going kayaking and making movies of my own. This has been quite the transformation to be a part of and it wasn't all that easy int he end, but passion and staying true to what I really wanted to become have lead me to this point in life. There I was 22 years old finally at the Put-in of The Box with 6 of my close friends ready to go!

The Box starts off with a tight little canyon known as the Honeymooner! This is mostly made up of fun class IV drops getting you ready and warmed up for the first big portage of the Box. Once you reach the Green Monster you walk high river right for about 30-45 minuets before you reach the river and an hour of flat water before the river starts to drop again. The scenery is next best to none! An amazing wilderness setting reveals itself as you float deeper and deeper into the gorge.

The whitewater that is held within The Box is world class...for the most part the rapids are very clean and runnable. There are anywhere from 5-10 portages in the run depending on how hard you want to go, but for the most part the big stuff is all walkable/sneak-able. Some of the bigger marquee drops are Deep 6, Balls to the Wall, Snuliguster, Deliberation Corner, Dilly-wacker, and Leap of Faith. There are tons more amazing class IV-V drops in there to enjoy, but just remember keep your bow up and head dry!

Tyler about to do some subbing in Deep 6! This is a classic drop that looks easy to boof, but turns out to be quite difficult resulting in some downtime! Photo Eric Parker

Deliberation make the line or die? Weird odds, but them move goes. Photo Eric Parker

The crew scouting out Balls to the Wall! Check out that sick canyon wall. Both times we ran The Box we saw climbers sending some huge cracks on river left. Photo Eric Parker

POV shot of dropping in to Balls!

Ryan Lucas styling out Deliberation Corner the crux of the entire run. Photo EG

If you look closely you will see a white Mountain Goat high on a cliff over the river. Photo Eric Parker

Lane Jacobs boofing the oh so classic ledge drop exiting a beautiful committing canyon. Photo EG

Ryan scouting the tight line of Deliberation Corner. Photo Eric Parker

Erik Johnson running a smooth line down B.T.T.W. Photo Eric Parker

Mr. Johnson keeping the fire burning so we can cook our dinner. Photo Eric Parker

We caught some very tasty trout right in front of our camp site and ate demshitz. Photo Eric Parker

Myself capturing the beauty of Northern Wyoming. Photo Eric Parker

Johnson running Leap of Faith the last major rapid of The Box. Photo EG

Myself dropping into Deep 6! Photo Eric Parker

We saw a wild Grizzy Bear while driving through Yellowstone national park on the way home. Photo Eric Parker

The Clark's fork canyon from the Chief Josep scenic highway. Photo EG

Camp Time. Photo Eric Parker

The full moon rising over our camp on night one. Photo EG

Ben Kinsella and Eric Parker running Balls! Photo EG

Myself in the middle of Balls going super fast towards the last slot of the rapid! Photo Eric Parker

One thing I loved about the box, other than the scenery, drops, camping, and fishing, is the fact that all the mandatory portages are 100% portages. There is no second guessing the run-ability of any of the big walks...they are absolutely massive and sieved out as a wife and kids. (just kidding)

It was a total trip dropping in to The Box, twice in one year, having two successful runs with great friends. If you would have walked up to me 8 years ago and told me i was going to be lapping The Box someday...I would have laughed and said "No Way". It's amazing how life changes and will lead you down different paths. I couldn't be more happy to declare that I am truly living my childhood dream...being the elusive "Pro Kayaker" making hundreds upon hundreds of dollars and traveling the world chasing down the best rivers it has to offer.

Look for our footage in Bomb Flow TV episode #5 coming soon....

Later E.G.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bomb Flow TV #4 B.C.

British Columbia!!!! It's big, it's cold, it's canadian, it's dark, it's scary, it's BC!!!!!!!

Watch as the Bomb Flow crew drives from Montana up to Fernie to enjoy the Elk river with the local boys! Follow them north to the wonderlands of Revelstoke and off the lip of many of BC's most famous drops. Laugh, cry, bleed, and celebrate along side the boys in this 30 minuet adventure of BombFlow-ness! Enjoy!

Later E.G.

Friday, October 21, 2011


There are so many rad parts of our sport, it's hard to say what's the best.

Surfing big smooth waves? Boofing the perfect 20 footer? Take out beers? Seeing new places? Making good friends?...Yeah all of those things do appeal to me as a long time boater, but there is still one thing that stands high above every other aspect of whitewater kayaking...Overnighters!

This summer I was blessed with the opportunity to return to California for the sixth summer in a row! It seems like just yesterday when I was driving up I-80 to Donner Summit for my first Royal Gorge run. I was terrified! I never would have guess that 6 years later I would have run this river 5 times and was the first person to complete the "Royal Flush". That's all history now...The point of the matter is that I fell in love with the whole deal!

Ever since I was a young ripper my parents had me out on the river. It all started with summer float trips down the Lower Salmon river in Idaho. I was either in the raft or a little rubber ducky inflatable kayak shredding the small class III waves! As I grew my father kept pushing me into kayaking and whitewater...following the foot steps of my brother Ian I was always behind in skill and scared of every horizon line. Not until I was 13-14 years old and after a life changing Grand Canyon trip did I truly knew that whitewater would be my life. Spending 18 days straight on the river pushing my limits every single day I knew that this was the good life!

Overnighters are the most simple form of living to me...Wake up on the river, cook breakfast, load your boat, gear up, hit the river all day until you find a worthy camp downstream. What can get better than that...the fact that you're normally with a group of awesome people way out in the wilderness far away from the fast pace of 21st century life! Yeah pretty much the greatest thing ever! So with all that in mind all you really have to worry about is what obstacles you face on the water. This lets you completely focus of boating, and this is where I personally progress the most. Day after day, rapid after rapid, just kayaking!

So this summer I was able to get to rally 6 overnight runs...

Royal Gorge of the North fork of the American - 3 days
Dinky Creek of the Kings - 2 days
Fantasy Falls of the North Mokelumne - 2 days
West fork of Cherry Creek - 2 days
The Box Canyon of the Clark Fork - 3 days & 2 days

That's 14 days or 2 weeks of being out on the river away from everything else, enjoying what I truly love to do...KAYAK! I have done most of these runs more than a few times, but the beauty and wild nature of all these rivers still keep me subtle and scared every time I visit. It's a funny feeling to be out there in the middle of nowhere, doing your thing for days on end, get to the take out, and return to "Real Life".

Out there on the river you are the king of the world and master of your destiny. Once you return to your fuel burning car you assume your roll as a pawn in the crazy game of human chess that's being played out everyday. A minion of society defined by wealth and possessions, weather you think you are or not! Spend more time on the river, be the master of your own happiness, and define your own world.

Enjoy some photos from Cali!!!!

EG lining up the massive blind lip of Wabena Falls, the last major drop of the Royal Gorge.

Camped out below some sick slides on Dinkey Creek!!! This is the only beach on the run and it's a bad ass place to spend the afternoon and night.

All sprawled out on the first night of Royal...Rattlesnake camp makes for some excellent scenery and good noise therapy listening to the stouts all night!

Fred Firing off a crazy line on Lower Heath Springs...he got his bow down good and stomped his line.

Fred on the classic Mushroom Boof of Fantasy Falls...I had these boys routing down some big stuff in there!

Scouting Heath Springs with Skippy!

Jared enjoying some Royal on Royal!!! He had a few sips before his first run!

Graham Seiler and Ryan Lucas tandem effort on the Rattler!

Nothing quite like a California sunset...its all the nasty pollution that makes it so pretty, but at least it has one pro.

Rush Wabena!

Ben Brown running what I like to call the steepest mank in Cali...this drops continues for another 500 meters!

Ian Garcia in some very nice granite slides on Fantasy Falls!

Our Crew on good juicy high Fantasy! We had a Eff'in blast...all the boyzzzzzz!

Jared leading off with a pretty descent of Fantasy Falls Proper! The cleanest easiest drop of the run.

Myself on the Fantasy Falls...the wide make the drop look's not :)

The stout gorge above Rattlesnake falls is one of the most unique parts of any river in Cali.

Can't wait till next time!!!!

Later E.G.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Surf Yellowstone!!!!!

I grew up only 30 minuets from the Yellowstone river. My first ever whitewater experience was me crying my way down the Yankee Jim canyon while following my brother and dad down the class III wave trains. I learned to surf, spin, and totally fell in love with kayaking on this river. It holds a special place in my icy cold heart!

I got the opportunity to return to some of my home town playspots this summer in June. First was the oh so classic Springdale wave. Its wide, retentive, and consistent! My kind of wave for sure. Here is a short I put together from a few sessions we had out there.

This next wave was a new find for the Bozeman was only really discovered and surfed because the water finally got high enough to actually make this wave. When 23,000+ CFS is pumping through Yankee Jim canyon the beasty wave forms! A constriction in the canyon plus a big rock create the perfect combination for a BIG WAVE! We only got to surf this one for a few hours, but pulled a solid little video out of the sesh!!! Enjoy!

Playboating is a lot of fun when on waves like this...I'm not much of a hole boater, mostly because I suck at it and never really do it...but overall I do really enjoy surfing waves and trying new tricks. It's kind of relaxing after so many stouts! hahaha

Later E.G.

Racehorse Creek Falls, WA

Ok I know this is kinda old news...but no one ever got the real story of what happened the day myself and Ryan Lucas decided to run Racehorse Creek Falls. We were on our way back to Montana from a good old Hood River Trip and I got a text from Fred! He sent a cell phone photo of Racehorse falls and said it was perfect level! I have been interested in this drop ever since Erik Boomer ran it in 2009, which you can see here Erik's First Descent!. So without much thought we turned the car around and rallied from Yakima all the way to the Canadian border and the city of Bellingham.

After about 5 hours of sleep we awoke to a nice cloudy day and some serious amount of shit talking going around the crew. Fred called up a photog buddy from school who had been wanting to take some kayaking shots. His name is Rhys Logan and this would be the perfect opportunity to capture some brown running! After a Nancy breakfast at some local fine cafe that was way too pricey we were on our way towards Mt. Baker and Racehorse Creek.

Our little crew eating some grub and talking about the brown to come!

Gnarcar and Brownbox mobbing out to the Nooksack drainage.

Once we got there a short trail run brought us to the scouting point. At first sight the drop looked good...but they always do :) After scouting and thinking a bit, I knew we were in for something crazy! The first 2 drops looked good and fun...but the big boy had some serious rock action and a very very tight line. Maybe an hour or so passed after running up and down and clearing some rocks off the shore for a clean landing sight, I decided to give it a go...Ryan was going to come with me.

So it took us awhile to decide to go, but we made the call and geared up!

The face I have going on here was kind of my feeling about the entire day...fired up and scared!

Taking our sweet time to get our boats into the canyon and finally getting in Ryan and I were both very nervous about this choice to drop in the gorge. The place was very powerful and beautiful! The tall sandstone like rocks covered in moss set the scene. Not being able to scout the 1st drop at river level I dropped in blind! It was an amazing drop...big ramp into a hole and off a 20-30 foot curtain falls. Treats were laid!!!!!! Ryan followed with a good line. We both be-bopped down the next slide and got out for one last scout!

Running this amazing drop...check the scenery!!!!

Tight shot of the first drop, I liked my red boat!

Ryan a bit more berried but having a good line.

This was the second of the 3 drops in the set. A pretty easy slide, but having a good line was necessary because the big drop was RIGHT THERE!

After a good scout and saying "ok I can't look at this thing anymore." I got in my boat said a quick prayer and peeled out into the channel. The line was tight and technical! Over a very scrapey rock staying left, but not too left, duck under the overhanging wall, sit up, stroke and stay left!!!! Freefall....Bang!!! on the reconnect, going very fast I tapped a flake sending me sideways and I went mock 5 into the pool totally sideways plaining out and doing a hockey stop like move! It was over!!!! I was almost heading downstream into the sievey pill of shot that laid down there until I hopped out of my kayak on to shore...I was stoked to be at the bottom and unscathed! Ryan was next!


Landing about to tap my stern on the flake...

Sideways going very very fast...this was an intense moment!

I don't even want to know how nervous Ryan was after watching me go, but I have a feeling that he was shitting his pants. He rallied up quick! Watching Ryan come over the 60+ foot waterfall was SICK...I thought he was right on line and all of the sudden he was airborne and sideways! Connecting hard on his edge he kickflipped and just missed his helmet on some rocks ripping his GoPro off...another connection sent his into his second kickflip into the small shallow pool. He was out of his boat quick and standing up in waist deep water. A quick tap on the head signaling he was good to go and we rescued his boat and gear. His only injury was some bloody knuckles and a hurt ego :) Walking back to the car was tiring and long, but I was satisfied about the huck session and overall success. At least we were all healthy and walking right! Ryan's crash he took 3rd place in the Rider of the Year "Carnage"!

Ryan dropping in and looking good...

A bit too far right made for a bad reconnection bucking Ry over...

Kickflipping on to his face and barely missing his head!

In the pool luck to be walking and not really hurt.

Ryan Lucas, Evan Garcia, Fred Norquist!!!!!!!

Sammy Freihofer looking very good while running safety!!!!! This was the whole crew - Rhys!

Racehorse was a cool day of this season for kind of symbolized the next level of hucking to me...I have been running big drops and pushing my limits for a long time now...but I feel like there is a curtain class of big drops where I know I can stick it 99% of the time. I love running those kind of drops it builds confidence and lets you gain air control. This drop however lays in that "Next Level" category. You know the line is there, but running it is risking some big consequences. I also love these drops because when you are at the bottom that feeling of success, winning, and reaching a goal is what it's all about!

Check out the video here in Bomb Flow TV's Episode 2 Pacific Northwest!

Later E.G.