Saturday, July 12, 2008

Short Stop at the Payette

On the way up to the Slave River, Natalie, Conor and I stopped by the Payette. We played at Climax, and Conor and I did a top-to-bottom on the North Fork. It wasn't quite as sketchy as the first top-to-bottom that I did, a couple years ago with Natalie. That first time, we had no guide, had never done the section before, and only scouted one rapid. This second time, we had a guide, if you count running the stretch once as guide training.

But like I said, first we played at Climax. Here we learned about the many faces of Conor Flynn. Observe:

The Helix face

The Right Blunt face

The McPistol face


He makes those exact faces, plus one other one for the Left Blunt, every time.

This was my first day in the production Large Nemesis. I had been in the prototype for a while, and the boat performance had been perfected before the final generation proto, but there was a little more footroom in the production model, which was nice. Plus, the whole boat was just so shiny and perfect and new. I was very excited.
Photo by Conor Flynn


Natalie was pumped up for the upcoming slave trip, and ready to work more on her blunt.


Photos by Leif Anderson


After a surprisingly frustrating session at Climax (it was very flushy), we headed to the North Fork Payette. The North Fork was very full on, and very fun. I can't wait until the next time I can go run that stretch. We met up with Orion (a friend of mine from Arcata) and we all warmed up with a Lower Five run. Then Natalie changed into shuttle-running gear (since she only had a playboat) and Orion headed to work, leaving only Conor and I to run the shit. I still can't identify a single rapid in the Upper 5 or Middle 5. I do remember a couple holes... some waves... a bunch of horizon lines...

The typical North Fork experience - steep whitewater everywhere, especially in your face, and you have no idea where you are.

Like I said... horizon lines.

North Fork Photos by Natalie Kramer