Monday, May 29, 2006

Rattlesnake Rapid and HUGE waterfall

everyone asks about this rapid, and the huge drop, yet very few in the paddling world have actually seen it.
yea yea yea. a BUNCH of us have spotted a line down the drop. But, that first 9' boof onto pointy rock with about 4" of water is the crux, at the top of a giant, 60' slide, half of which goes into a cave,the other half goes off a lip and lands on a rock flake. You'd probably have more control freefalling from 60' than attempting this!

Still. Putting in below the thundering falls is absolutely spectacular! And, there are between two and five good little surfing waves on this short, 1/4 mile stretch of whitewater.

My personal favorite is the cave wave. Two waves with eddy service. The eddy is in a cave. How awesome is that?

This is not a great photo of Tim getting onto the wave for a good surf, but the sky was kind of pretty. I just couldn't resist...

Until very recently, there was an annual slalom race that started near this wave. Many top, national team athletes both looked forward to and dreaded the Rattlesnake Slalom. At least one person's super cool, all carbon fiber, boat would break each year. And "the drop" made many racers nervous. Only 8' high, but it packs a punch, and disguised a very narrow clean line. Being accurate enough to hit a patch of water that is barely as wide as your boat is tough. Doing it at the END of an intense slalom run take super human focus and effort!

Here's a better shot of the cave, where people warm up and surf in the mist of the big 60' "Great Falls".