Friday, May 05, 2006

Whitewater Highway

Whitewater Highway - Tom in center

By popular demand i am putting up this post for the first (weekend) Upper Yough release of the season. I had initially planned on just doing an overall UY post at the end of the summer but i guess we'll have too many pictures by then anyway.

It had been quite a while since i'd been on the UY at 2 feet, sometime August or July last year probably. The end of the season had lower levels (1.6-1.7) and our runs earlier this year were also lower (1.7 and 1.25 respectively). This weekend the Sang Run gauge read 2 feet even (though by the online gauge using the old correlation it seemed to be closer to 2.2). I didn't find anything all that much harder but i'd gotten used to seeing exposed rocks and it was a surprise to see just whitewater everywhere for a change (nice)!

Margaret and her friend Rex as well as Scott M and Tom Djoined us. On friday we stuck to standard lines as it had been a while and Mark was also leading Tom on his first run. Saturday Mark and I ran some new (to me) lines including one of the slots at Charlie's (which to me was just a narrower channel, not really a slot, later we'll work on the tighter ones). Will need to get pictures next time. We also ran right line above Meat Cleaver (the Cascades instead of the "Rockies" a fairly staright forward but fun line). We also got out and scouter Time Warp. Although we didn't get around to running it this trip we decided it defintely didn't look too hard and that we'd be going that way next time

Now that i really know the lines and have had lots more practice i finally feel confident running everything on my own (i actually annoyed Mark a little cuz i kept getting ahead... hee hee). So the plan is to use the UY as training for bigger stuff: run harder lines, work on making harder moves, ferries, catch tough eddies etc. I even discovered a new little elevator move at a rapid below Cheeseburger (Mark was able to make it but i'll need some practice).

Overall it was a nice weekend despite the incredible crowds (Cheat Fest weekend). I'd never seen so many people on there (or as much carnage). It was truly a whitewater highway. Pealing out in between the huge groups wasn't much easier than trying to merge on the Beltway. I saw three people swim out of National in the span of about five minutes. Luckily everyone in our group had good runs. I really don't understand why people like to paddle in such large groups (some had at least 20!). It's ridiculous. Our group of 6 on friday was enough as it was!

Mark got to take his new creek boat (Riot Sniper) on its maiden voyage. He did really well, catching all the challenge eddies (Eddy of Doom at Gap and the tiny eddy on the right at Triple Drop, cave eddy at Zinger, etc).

Mark in the Eddy of Doom

Mark and Rex below the Cascades

Margaret at Meat Cleaver

Mark's favorite boof

Rex at the boof

Maggie at Gap Falls taken by Mark from the Eddy of Doom

Maggie boofing at Bastard

Maggie at National

Margaret at Gap Falls

Margaret at Bastard

Mark at Meat Cleaver

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