Tuesday, May 28, 2013

High Water, Low

By Greg

Springtime. Snowmelt. Fast, cold rivers and creeks. Er… Sometimes.

A dry winter left no hopeful expectations for a big water season. But late snow in the mountains and a late melting season have re-arranged the expectations. Rivers are flowing, though maybe not with the enthusiasm required by expert boater.

Luckily, we aren't (yet?) expert boaters. And this season's slower slide into low-ish peak flows have suited us well. Witness:

Escalante Creek, Colorado. Noted for putting the X into X-treme for a certain class of kayaker when it has enough water for a week or so during a good year. Mike and I managed to slip into the canyon when flows were low-yet-packraft-able. We chose our section carefully to avoid the dangerous chutes and waterfalls. And we got to sample the scenery while happily bumping and scraping down the creek. Documented in this video that Mike put together:

Link here.

Next up was Slaughterhouse, a frightfully named sections of mountain river near Aspen. Cold snowmelt water. Mike, Allan and I ran it while the flow was low and suitable to our skills. Lots of boulder dodging, eddy-hopping and line-finding. A high need to pay attention at all times, lest a hidden underwater boulder send one for a tumble. We had some good, alert fun in the splashy water and only one of us took an unplanned swim. Good fun and a great way to spend the day. I hope all of you are getting out and enjoying the season!

Portaging the waterfall:

Perhaps another time?

Lost in the moment.

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