Monday, June 9, 2008

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

1 comment:

Aisha said...

Hey babe
sounds and looks great over there ... hopefully you'll be able to get more pics of your trip with Alex ay.
have fun - talk soon x