Sunday, February 18, 2007

Winter Adventures

On Saturday the 17th, it was time for a little wintertime fun in the boats. We took off for the Belington section of the Tygart, with enough flows to make a lowish run down through there and with our fingers crossed that we wouldn't be portaging too much. The temperature was in the 20's with a snowfall throughout the day. In my experience these days are some of the prettiest in my paddling career.

The put in required some sleding to reach, as Carl demonstrates proper snow edging technique.

However, it was John Rudland with his superior kayak sled managment techniques that wins the 2007 Kayak Sleding championship.

Of course the views were outstanding, behing John you can see the ice flows coming off of the hills, along with the snowfall throughout the day. Beautiful scenery and ice fows were everywhere.

More of the guys.

When you paddle in the winter, you have to get used to striking solid objects in the water that you couldn't previously see. Also be ready for lots of slush.

You have to be on the lookout for these, the rotating ice filled eddy of death. This normally very easy rapid was turned into a dangerous situation as the exits filled with ice jams, leaving the rotating eddy o' ice for the unwary paddler. You definately have to be on your guard on days like these.

Post portage put in. Nice scenery.

Often the ice only leaves you with one route through a rapid. On the plus side it is usually the main line. Bridge rapid.

Time to portage again.

Overall it was a good day. Getting home was another adventure, between angry farmers and their road blocking tractors, and the herd of deer that decided to run next to our car as we slid out of control down the roads, the fun didn't stop until well into the evening.