Thursday, June 12, 2008


Oh Be Joyful is one of the classic, if not THE classic, steep creeks of Colorado. It starts wit an 18footer, has big slides, a 25footer and is all pretty manageable. Alex Kilyk, Tom Janey, Christian and myself done a couple of laps in the morning and I ran a lap in the afternoon with my buddy Chris who got roped into having us stay at his house for a few days. Here is some shots of the action.

Me hitting the line on the entrance 18 footer

A better angle of the entrance falls

Tom getting it done

Christian on the entrance

S-slide to 10 footer

The mini-gorge before the 25 footer

Chris running the shit

Myself on the 25 footer

Alex styling the shit out of it

My second go at the 25footer

Christian getting the line of the day in my opinion

Myself on the Avalanche Slide

Me running the second last big slide

Christian, Myself, Alex and Tom happy with a day on OBJ.

Me, Sean, Brody and Tom just as happy

Upper East

From Gunnison we decided that we would paddle the Taylor Canyon on the way to Crested Bute. Moderate class III-IV the whole was it was just nice to be on the water. At the take out we met some local good fellas, Chris Goodnough and Josh Morris, who said they would take us down the Upper East.

Chris and I getting ready for the Upper East

Me on Midget Wrestler

Chris on Midget Wrestler

Josh 'dont follow my line' Morris on Midget Wrestler

Me running the 15 foot slide/drop blind

Chris giving Arthur the line on the 3rd sister.

Me trying out a large burn, boofing the 3rd sister.

Chris on the last drop/slide

The team with Mt Gothic in the background

Andy and me playing around while the guys pack up

It was really great to paddle with Chris Goodnough and Josh Morris who showed us down the Upper East. Also, a big thanks to Chris and Erin for putting up with the 'Road Tripppers' parking on the back lawn and just suffering our general, and repeated, nuisance and disturbance.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Rodeo, Roadside and Towards the Creeks

In Glenwood Springs we headed to the local play wave to check it out. Arthur, always keen to ride a big wave, Davis took his gear straight to the river and got amongst it with some world class play boaters. I just chilled in the sun and relaxed for most of the day.

Getting in the sponsors...Yeah Right

Its a wide wave

Dan the werner rep

The next day we weighed up the options of either going to the Teva Mountain Games in Vail or head towards Gunnison/Crested Bute for some creeking. Since we had been to Vail twice already, and the call of creeking was so strong, we decided to go to Gunnison. On the way I got a chance to paddle the Narrows section of the Crystal, a class V- section of big water (for Colorado) that was road side. Arthur who was not feeling it opted to do safety by means of bicycle by which he could only just keep pace with me.

Tessa taking the only available photo

Little bit of road-side whitewater

More beautiful than paddle-able, but roadside

The following day we spent a good amount of time at the Gunnison Play Park where the two features kept Arthur and I coming back for more and Tessa entertained to say the least.

Gunnison Play-Park

Undocumented - Durango

Alex Kilyk gave me a call and said he was free to do some boating for a few days before the Lyon River Festival so we decided to head back to the Denver/Alex’s house for a few days. 8am the next morning Alex wakes me up with these words, “I think we are going to Durango”. Two hours later two punk kids, Tom and Christian pull up to Alex’s house and we are on our way to Durango, 6-7 hours driving and we are travelling past BV from we had travelled the day before. Arthur and Tessa decided to hang around the Denver/Boulder area until I get back. Ten minutes into the journey a water fight (Christian and only Christian) breaks out in the car, no need to explain how the trip was. We decided to break up the driving by paddling the South Fork of the Rio Grande. Alex paddling the top drop first, my camera dies and I have no way to charge it until get we get back to Denver, so no photos. Tom who was running the drop last ended up in a nasty hole and eventually swims after going over the crux upside down. Fortunately a sieve caught his boat, we found his paddle and things worked out ok. Next day we decide to paddle Vallecito Creek, one of the best runs in Colorado. It’s a mile long, gorged in, limited scouting, almost no portaging options and a swim in there would be disastrous. Christian had paddled it twice before so he would be our guide. Entrance falls is a 18footer that you cannot scout properly and one person has to run without safety or anyone there to make sure they don’t end up in the cave. Christian was the probe, then Tom, then Myself then Alex. We all ran it well and it was a real relief. Just as Christian and Alex were about to run Trash-can Nate Klema came of Entrance Falls, he was running it solo between groups of friends. Nate told us the lines through Trash-can, Fuzzy Little Bunny, Boofont and Paddle Bitch. In Boofant I tried to ride a wall buffer which flipped me over, rolling up quickly I scrambled to an eddy above Paddle Bitch… very scary. At no way out Nate gave a brief description and took off to catch his mates who were walking up to the get in. No Way out and Exit Falls went well and we had survived Vallecito.

Vallecito get in

Delayed boof was the order by Christian

Alex happy paddling free

A couple of days later, after scouting the Cascade Slot (had wood in it) we decided to paddle the 3rd Gorge of Lime and the run out section on the Upper Animas. After the first rapid, where we all portaged the entrance, we Blue Angled (follow the leader) the rest of the run not really stopping at all. We drove through most the night back towards the South Fork of the Arkansas. In the morning we decided it was too low to run so headed back to Denver.

The typical drive to/from kayaking destinations in Colorado