Wednesday, July 27, 2011


This seems to be the HOT run in California at the moment with lots of people looking to go big, and this is the place for it. After umming and arring for a day or so, Snarley finally got his way and convinced us to sack up and put on at just above 1300 (lows 1100), and we would be the first crew to go in for 2011. This time the crew was the usual culprits (Barny, Snarley and Myself) accompanied by Preacher, who was the only Royal Virgin in our crew. We enlisted the Canon for our drop off (thank-you), and the trip was on. Between Snarley and myself we remembered the first few miles of steep low-volume creeking down to Heath Springs Gorge.

Preacher! (p. Barny)

Barny the Carny, loving a good water leverl (p. Jordy)

This gorge is infamous for how is can hold up a teams progress... and this would be more then true for us, we had a mini-epic! Firstly, heath one... our lines were good but then Preacher lifted his knees at the lip, causing him to land SUPER flat and hurting his back. This would be the end of the trip for him, as he elected to hike out the following day...

Too flat! (p. Jordy)

Another angle (p. Barny)

Next, Snarley decided to fire up Heath Two. A 60 footer with a magnetic (for kayakers) cave on river left. Although he styled it, with his paddle intact, he was pushed left at the base of the falls and after numerous attempts accepted that he could not ferry across the base of the falls to freedom. So, as is with Heath Two, it was time to vertically extract him... twice! When we was almost at the top, after handing his paddle to barny, the bag his was attached to tore and he fell 30foot back into the watery prison of the cave. After he was finally extracted the next tragedy struck, literally. While Barny was trying to get around for a vector pull on the line to Snarley's boat he accidentally dislodged a soccer ball size rock, sending it careening down the crack that everyone was standing. The rock kicked up as Barny yelled and it struck Taylor Cavin, who along with Smurf and Chris K were now helping extract Charles and his boat, in the chin/should/chest knocking in to the ground in a daze. Fortunately Taylor had his full-facial helmet on and is tough as houses, and after an hour was smiling albeit in pain. This would be the end of this trip for Taylor, who elected to walk out the following day. So we decided to camp at Heath Gorge that night and then carry on the following day, with a new group of us three, smurf and Chris K.

Snarley firing (p. Jordy)

Chris K running Heath One after all the mess
(p. Jordy)

The next day was sick! We elected to portage the Crux Gorge, I felt the hole with the narrow exit looked dodgy so made the short portage and then it was all on. Lower Crux, Rattlesnake, Perfect 20, Split Falls and plenty more. We all elected to portage Scotts Drop, its burl, and just when I thought everyone was going to portage Wabena I heard a 'whoop-whoop' to see barny in the eddy right above the lip. Fire! Barny had a pretty good line, actually great considering some of the stories and footage I seen of other lines in the ensuing days, and then we were on the paddle out, pushing down almost as far a the Dream Gap section.

Chris in the hallway (p. Barny)

Barny routing into Rattlesnake... blind (p. Jordy)

Snarley watching me route the
rattler (p. Barny)

Smurf about to take a hit (p. Jordy)

The next morning, after waking up at a lifestyling 9am, I was startled to see three paddlers charging towards our camp. An older man and two younger fella's. The man introduced himself as Phylex, and his two sons, Sven and Lars, and then went to to pronounce that all three of the had paddled all the big ones. I would be lying if I didn't say I was dubious, but this would be my first of many encounters with...."The Swiss"!

1 comment:

Michel said...

Felix Lämmler and his sons? Yeah, crazy family! Haha, so funny you ran into them.