Monday, June 22, 2009

Cucumber and McClintock

With big rains coming to our region Wednesday night everything was flowing on Thursday, giving us the opportunity to do some summertime creeking. While some of the regular creeks that make our region so great were definitely a go and would have made for a super day, we decided to see what new runs we could knock out given this opportunity. Using Confluence as our launching point we set out for two creeks we had heard mention of but had never run, Cucumber Run and McClintock Run, both rumored to be class IV creeks that flow into the Casselman River.

Cucmber was first on the list, being the smaller of the two runs. Art Barket and I (Jason Hilton), put in off of State Road 3001 and immediately began to dodge the kind of wood one expects on these sorts of seldom run micro creeks. A little duck here a portage there and we were off. The creek began with some simple technical stuff winding its way through the forest and having the same general beauty one would associate with regional creeks such as Drakes and Fikes. About a half mile in, the creek began to take a dive towards the river, granting for Art and myself some of the best boofs and tight little drops we have encountered in a while.

The two largest rapids of the creek were a two-tiered waterfall we boofed down the center on and a tight rock jumble before the tunnel that required a stroke or two to keep from getting beat up in the hole and taking a trip through the tunnel sans boat. Out of the tunnel, off a short waterfall and we were moving down a swollen Casselman river to our cars.

We elected after our first run to go into Confluence and have lunch at the Lucky Dog Café, an area restaurant known for its tasty and environmentally conscious food. In both regards the restaurant was an excellent choice. While waiting for lunch, we were joined by Matt Pascal and Beau Smith, who had come to meet up with Art and I for McClintock.

Back out to the river we went, using the same takeout as in the morning, we setup to explore McClintock Run using a similar shuttle to Cucumber but just requiring one to travel another mile or so up the same SR 3001. Once on McClintock we were pleased to find relatively no wood in the way of our paddling. The creek had a steady downhill feel to it, similar to local Fikes creek, however as the creek approached the Casselman, it took a decidedly steeper turn through some bedrock rapids. The best of the rapids was a long three-tiered slide, which alone would make this creek worth doing again.

Continuing along were a number of additional ledges and bedrock formations that makes this creek resemble an easier version of close by Drakes creek. One last rapid, through yet another tunnel, gave us some cause for concern as there is a piece of wood that looks like it could bash out your lights were you in the wrong part of the tunnel’s exit, especially given the speed at which the water was roaring out of this tunnel. After much deliberation we decided to give her a go and as usual found that the rapid was much easier and less threatening than it had appeared, giving all of us that mission accomplished feeling as we once again flushed out into a roaring Casselman river.

More photos of the day can be viewed here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

John's First Descent

Got Boof crew member John Rudland is known for his attempts to run previously uncharted waters. Here is a little exploit someone captured on film near John's place of employment.

Check out the video of John's First Descent

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Matt Zeleznick and the power of denial

This last Monday, our friend Matt Zeleznick made his return to the Upper Yough for the summer. The level was a beefy 2.5' but Matt, having had a bad day on the river at that level in the previous year, would have surely been concerned had he known about this day's water volume. At the put in, the crowd (and by this I mean every boater there) decided to all say that the level was 2.2', a level that Matt was more familiar with.

While myself and another individual distracted Matt with conversation about work in order to draw him to the opposite side of the river, the word was passed and every boater on the Upper Yough quickly began referring to the great 2.2' level we were going to paddle today. In the end, the fable worked and Matt had a fantastic day on the river. After letting him in on the deception, he sent the following email:

Wanted to say thank you to everyone for keeping me in the dark about the level yesterday. Made for a fun run (at 2.2) with a lot less anxiety than if I had known what the level actually was. Anyways thinking back on it there are a lot of funny instance that should have clued me in. Hopefully you enjoy these...

- While in Friendsville Carl proclaims that we are looking at something along the lines of 2.5... Should have been a big clue
An unusally small crowd at Sang Run with a lot of experienced boaters and a seemingly high ratio of rafts to hard boats... but hey it's a monday.

- Jason and Bryan sprint in the flat water at the put-in to catch up to me to ask about work. Was a little odd to see such urgency from them on such an obscure subject. Really interesting how the conversation ended so abruptly after the sang run bridge.

-The hole at the bottom gap seems a lot stouter than I remember it.

-Bernstein pulls into the eddy before bastard proclaiming "It is pushy today" to which Jason tells him "You haven't been out here at 2.2 in a while."... Yes there was definite emphasis on 2.2.

-Seeing Bryan take an interesting line at mushroom cloud and hearing that most days there's a boof on that line.

-Above triple drop Matt tells me to remember to hit the boof at the pyramid rock to slow down in the boil... very helpful had the pyramid rock not been underwater.

-No one boofs national

-Great boof to the right side of Tommy's - to self: "why don't we run that more often?"

-"You really want to hit your boof at meat cleaver today - that hole is big."

-Kurt informing me that I should paddle fast and hard through some boogy water before powerful popper because of the level today.

-By the way I haven't heard anything inapropriate from Kurt since we got to the meat of the run.

Great job Matt!!!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Summertime Boof Sessions

Summer is here and so are the Upper Yough releases. The great benefit to being a teacher is the chance to run almost every release throughout the summer. It is at the Upper Yough that Got Boof started and it is in this location that the skill of boofing is best practiced. See what I mean?