Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Idaho Recap

As soon as I took my last final exam, I packed up my entire house into a Subaru and headed to Idaho. Taking turns driving through the night, we finally arrived in Banks at 7:00 a.m. and put on the Lower five of the NF of the Payette to get a quick practice run in before the race. Paddling on this style of river, let alone racing it was quite different for me. As the creeks around my neck of the woods already began to lose their flows, it was a treat to paddle some juicy big water. Although quite exhausted from the drive, I found some hidden energy and pushed myself down the grueling 16 minute race course. This was hands down the most fun race I have ever competed in, with hundreds of spectators on the side of the river and over fifty competitors. I was stoked to place 9th, only a few seconds away from placing in the top five and moving on to the elite race.
The elite race the following day was one of the most incredible races I have witnessed. Some of the best paddlers in the world were missing gates and swimming down huge class five rapids. The turnout for the event was amazing and I look forward to coming back next year! Check out a sweet recap of the event- https://vimeo.com/44336493
After the race I went on a multi day trip starting at the Secesh River, which starts out at less than a thousand cfs. The Secesh steadily gains flows as it winds through twenty miles of steep granite until it hits the South Fork of the Salmon River, a classic big water run with lots of fun rapids and surf waves. Just below the confluence, we set up camp and rested before paddling another thirty five miles the following day to the confluence of the Main Salmon. The Mamba was the ideal boat for keeping a quick pace down the flat water sections and had an incredible amount of room for camping supplies. I didn’t have a small therm-a-rest with me, but my huge foam pad was still able to fit in with my sleeping bag, food and warm clothes. Sixty five miles of whitewater across three sections of river was an incredible way to end my short trip to Idaho. Check out some gopro shots of the run...

The beginning of the Secesh

Confluence of the S. Fork with the Main Salmon

Just after the confluence with the S. Fork of the Salmon

Flat water on the Main Salmon

 Our campsite on the S. Fork