Sunday, February 24, 2008

Russell Fork Gorge

Pete and I had the good fortune this saturday to paddle the Russell Fork Gorge with some experienced creekers. Pete had met and bought the Gus from Edgar last year and had been hoping to do some creeking with him for quite a while now. The chance finally came this weekend, and Pete called me Friday night to see if I'd be interested in hitting the Russell Fork. At 300 cfs, the level was perfect for a first time down. I couldn't say no, though I was definitely a little nervous about this one. Come Saturday morning, we had a crew of six kayakers: Edgar, Matt, Trevin, Clinton, Pete and myself.

Scoutin the drop!!!

Matt was the only one in our crew that had been down the gorge before and that had been at release levels. So, we all got out to scout the bigger ones. Towers looked kind of sketchy to me at this level, but Matt, Trevin, and Clinton had a sweet line boofing off a flack rock and dropped the left side hugging the huge, middle boulder. Unfortunately, I found a piton rock in the first drop, had to surf my way out of the hole, and dropped down on the far left. Not having to deal with the pushy water of higher levels, I was able to escape the undercut wall unscathed. Edgar and Pete followed up with clean lines. We continued on downstream scouting and dropping the Fist, Maze, and Triple Drop.

Edgar heading down the Fork

Matt stylin' the Russell Fork

Trevin in the midst of Triple Drop

When scouting the last two drops of Triple Drop, we met some locals that had caught up with us. After seeing some of them run Triple Drop, the others fired it up while I took photos. After getting that mess out of my system at Towers, I was able to run some fairly smooth lines the rest of the way down the gorge, though I did put on a good hole-riding show at the bottom of Triple Drop.

Russell Fork Locals

Edgar talking to the locals

Matt entering the Third Drop

Edgar Lining 'Er Up

Clinton going for the boof

Pete Dropping the Last One on Triple

Next was El Horrendo....what a sweet rapid!!! It's a hell of a fun drop, but does look big from the lip. Many of our crew and the locals hiked back up to run this one again. After banging down Climax, which isn't much of a rapid at this level, we paddled down the last mile and a half of class II/III water. We took our time, trying to catch every eddy and boof every flack rock possible. All in all, this was an awesome run and I would love to catch the Russell Fork Gorge at this level again. At the takeout, the six of us packed all of our boats, gear, and ourselves in Pete's truck and started home.

Loading Up

1 comment:

Delane said...

Hey Kevin, that "Edgar lining er up" photo is awesome.