Sunday, March 04, 2007

thuggin' it on the "one" with the gangster

so i haven't been paddling much and we just got dumped on down here.
thursday sean sais,"i'll see you monday.".
i'm like yeah right i'll be there tomorrow morning. well after rain all day thursday and with it continueing on through the night, sure enough sean got a txt. msg. friday morning saying, "see you monday.".
team jah had decided toxaway. running late of course. it's par for us. i met up with billy #1 and billy #2 at mr. petes (famous bp at the airport exit in asheville). on the road after some complaining about being late and what not, we get the call there's a visual of -1/2".
that's big. oh yeah i haven't paddled in over a month. the toxaway is bigger then big, faster then fast, and scarrier then bush (ok maybe not). the toxaway is every rapid you've watched a video of and said oh shit, except on crack. happy group of seven with one first timer. the put in slide which runs a couple hundred yards and drops close to a 100' woke him up.
with quite a bit of busy class V for a while we get to pungi stick, named aptly for the dead tree that sits head high right behind the hole at the bottom. the hole that you will hopefully be punching as you fly down the 80 yard 5' wide slide that will be hurtling you at mach 3. pungi stick is the first really, really, really big rapid. this means that they just start to get bigger.
drew and brian took the river right portage for energizer while the rest of us humped it up to the ridge to get around the first of a few disgusting prtages. as we're finishing our portage drew's already hiked back up to run it again. (which he said later he was kinda rgeretting at the time.)
no one took to forty forty that day but there was a little tak and the water was good. that first forty is so good to bad about he second.
after the portage to landbridge we made our assesment. damn it's big, you can paddle of the bridge! drew and johny ky wanted to route though wintergreen right below. i dropped in first and hit the first curler and stood the critical mass completely vertical on the stern going up and over the backside of a diagonal at least 10' high. felt my stern catch rock and my bow was back down in front of me and for the next 8 seconds i say nothing but white untill i was in the eddy below. watching johny lauch of the bridge as drew was coming through teh first curler and watching them white out and reapear was incredibly sureal. taking lead right behind drew as came by we proceeded to drop right into wintergreen. we just dropped over 200' in less then 200 yards.
with just a little more mank and some more portages there was nothing left but the 5 mile hike out.
corran i have a hard time get wet now with the critical mass but i went completely under in the first hole at the bottom of feeding trough. popped up upright below the hole. hell yeah.
sorry no video.
what's that saturday morning 9am enca/canldler crackerbarrel (another famous asheville boating exit)? on our way to the ravens fork, the "one"! there isn't a river more powerful, scarry, and peaceful and yeah it's just the one. thank you emanuel for letting us share this wonder.
another hike, yeah that's the raven's fork for ya. mile and a half hike in to lord of the rings. one of the most beautiful put ins anywhere. with a new boat i've paddle once for five minutes on a pond. oh yeah second day paddling in a month in a half.
we got to anaconda and billy #1 just routes it. damn fine line. with drew, heath, and billy #2 dropping in i took the dry line finding the first drop to low for my liking. but some of those guys had some nice lines in there.
a little nervous about the next drop just an awkward wall boof into a slide that fades off into a huge undercut wall. hey i've hardly paddled this boat and the enterance is funky. the gagster got me through the hole nicely. all of us having been on the rf a few times were routeing into stuff pretty quickly. as i pass c1 chris at the enterance to jedi training and tell him you may want to scout this one, i proceed to drop right into a beautiful wingover entrance to the top the hole above the slide and proceed to throw a few cartwheels before surging out the right to the atomic elbo crusher line. still intact though.
chris wasn't so fortunate. he ended up in the hole and swam out. we had an awesome rescue. with drew and billy out on rver left, heath and i had the left side coverd to get chris and all his gear out, including his shoe that got sucked off. no one manned up for the big boy but we all had plenty of looks and there were a few who were really tempted.
i had the best line i've ever had at mike tysons and despite his reputation in the ring he couldn't ko chris even though he tried mighty hard. i got down to caveman first and got some good video of the double drop above it and the cave boof itself (possibly one of the best boofs ever) just make sure you don't end up in the cave.
sorry video will be up later i left the camera at drew's house.
and all i have to say to all you shit talkers about runnin' the shit that weren't out there runnin' the shit today for high water green, "you all is bunch of lazy good for nothing kayakers!".


Anonymous said...

you write like you are still breathless with excitement. was it the rivers or the boats (don't sound like you have lots of time in those boats)

lifeofloon said...

i've been paddling the CM since the prototypes a year ago. i have had a production model now for about 6months. i love that boat. it's my boat of choice when stuff gets big around here. i don't care how much it weighs i will hike it in or out of anyriver.
the gangster on the other hand; saturday was my first day in it other than 5 min on a pond. i had paddled a mafia for a while so i was prepared for how it handled and was pleased with the extra speed it carried.
the boats definately get me excited to paddle, but if you've ever run the raven's fork or the toxaway you'd understand. they are by far the two biggest, scarriest, hardest runs on the east coast and most people that have spent summers in cali will tell you that they are bigger.