Wednesday, February 06, 2008

February: Its Not Just For Skiers Anymore

Pringle Slides

Heavy rains during last week brought some exciting opportunities for the weekend, and we took full advantage up here in Got Boof territory.

It begins Saturday morning, as any great creeking day should, by picking up a good friend and leaving the city for a paddling destination, long before the sun has peeked out of the darkness. Josh Bernstein and I (Jason Hilton) set off to meet up with Jmac, Carnage and some New York boys to fire up whatever came our way. The plan was to begin at the Deckers Cascades and work south along the creeks until will ran out of light.

Well arriving at Deckers, it immediately became apparent that we were staring out at too much water for this tight little gorge, as each waterfall appeared to end in giant boils that could easily hold all eight of us at once. We briefly contemplated oddball lines, including the ever popular, “try to boof out of the creek rail grind down the bank and fall back in below the waterfall” move, but alas we chose fun over drowning and went on south.

Within thirty minutes, we arrived at Pringle Run. Now this creek has been high on my hit list for a really long time, and I spent the ride down building up Josh’s ego so that he would even contemplate getting in his boat, so you know I was willing to pull out all stops to bag this one. Once there, we saw that it was on the minimum side so you know we got in our boats.


Matt LeFlair

The run begins with a fairly large waterfall (25 feet or so) and then continues down hill at 500 fpm, for the next half mile. It was tight, technical, and as much fun as I had dreamed. Carnage, Josh and I all elected to drop the big falls, while our friends took photos and shot video. Well it turns out my friends have a lot more boof than I do because I managed to virtually pencil right in on my first run. Carnage and Josh both executed flawless runs while I went up for redemption. As I eyeballed the drop, I thought of a plan to boof out super far off the lip and then stomp my boat to pick up the angle for a softer landing. I guess I should of shared this plan with the river though, as I executed the biggest boof of my life, only to have my stern reconnect with the waterfall lip and send me head over bow for a nice beyond vertical landing.

Carl @ Big Falls

Enough fooling around though, its time to creek, not just huck so we all took off down the first slide. We took turns scouting each drop and running the plethora of super tight and technical lines, ending in small pools that allowed us to recollect as a group. My favorite move of the day, involved a right to left boof onto a rock and over a giant log pinned at a 45 degree angle in the drop. We had a couple of strange pins along the way, but overall everyone had a great day, and Josh, who had required quite a bit of convincing to get on this creek, left smiling ear to ear. At this point, Carnage went off to work, and we were down to seven.

Carl @ Rail Grind

From Pringle, we went further south to catch Teter and Laurel in the Tygart Valley. We began with Teter, and quickly bombed down, weaving in and out of eddys, BSing, and just being thankful for the rest our nerves were getting and anticipating a great run down Laurel Creek.

Jason @ 10 Foot Falls

After Teter, off we went to Laurel to get in some bedrock action before the sun set on our day. Jmac had a sudden attack of VD and couldn’t boat, but as usual, stuck around to take pictures and assist with shuttle. The six of us began the Laurel journey at the upper putin with one hour to get on down to the bottom. This would normally be a little short, but most of us were quite familiar with the run, so we were able to keep a good pace all the way through. Everyone enjoyed the slides and waterfalls along the way and we often remarked about the unique geology of this particular streambed, which more resembles what I imagine California to be like that the other creeks in the region. At the end of the day, some of the New York boys, after telling me about days on the Ottawa where they took major hole beatings on purpose (they referred to them as Big Water Sundays), decided to paddle down a very swollen Arden section to just above Moats falls. Now driving up, Josh and I had remarked on the size of the holes in the Tygart, so you know we were having no piece of that. Here in the Got Boof Crew we prefer our death to come from the blunt force trauma of creeking rather than flush drowning, so we wished them good luck and off to home we went.

Jason @ Floating Boulder

Sunday, after the water had dropped a bit, I met up with the New York boys to finally bag Deckers Cascades. We didn’t have much time, as the group needed to make the drive, and I wanted to be home to bet on the Super Bowl, so we quickly banged out the waterfalls, including everyone (but me) wisely portaging the last drop, while I picked up a nice beating in the hole its base. The journey downstream from here became rather complicated with wood, so we ended up just hiking out to allow the New Yorkers to get on the road. Matty LeFlair and I stuck around to park and huck some of the upper waterfalls for a bit to get in our fill of sik boofs and great water. What a wonderful weekend!

We spent a lot of time capturing video on this trip for our next Got Boof video, so fear not if you were looking for more info on these runs, we'll show you what they are all about real soon. Stay tuned...