Slave River week 3

As Natalie put it yesterday, we've entered phase three of the trip. Paddlefest is over and we're getting into full stride. The water is back down to "high" levels, instead of "crazy" and all the rapids seem tame now. Rocks are starting to show all over the place. There are eddies everywhere. We no longer have to hunt around for new playspots. The river is familiar again.

For our previous posts, check out Week 1, the wood movie, Week 2, and paddlefest. There is also a map of the rapids online with rapid descriptions. Water levels can be checked here. There are also a whole heap of posts from 2009 and 2010: Driving, arriving, flooding, still flooding, Sweet Spot, Rollercoaster, and Outrageous.

Ok, enough historical links. Here are the daily updates!

Friday August 12: Rollercoaster 4,000 cms (141,000 cfs)

After a couple intense long days at Rollercoaster, we were all getting a little tired. Natalie took the day off and went with a group of geologists to see the salt flats, and John and I didn't motivate until about 12:30... sort of like today. On the way in, we finally got around to doing that road improvement that we'd been talking about for the past month.

Road improvement. Slave 2011

When we got to the wave, we had a pretty relaxed session, and even went home a little early, around 8:30 or so. We also took a couple shots with the 105mm lens, which provided a little more perspective.

From Slave 2011

It's hard to get into that boat. Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

Thursday August 11: Rollercoaster 4,400 - 4,000 cms (155,000 - 141,000 cfs)

John tries out a couple different methods for keeping his eye healthy. Slave 2011

John gets an eye infection

So apparently, on like tuesday or so, John got a little sand in his eye, and that sand put a little scratch on his eyeball, and then it got infected.

Eye infection? How is that possible? Slave 2011

Seriously, how could that have even happened? Slave 2011

Needless to say, we were all pretty baffled by this development. There were a lot of pinkeye jokes, and since tuesday was about 11 hours on the water, we even rested on wednesday and just made fun of John all day. But thursday we were right back at it. If the levels keep dropping, we'll only have a few more days at rollercoaster, and then we'll be surfing Rockem Sockem, which, honestly, I am a little scared about.

In the meantime, enjoy a fat batch of photos from the last two days.

Weird lookin' flipturn. Slave 2011

Natalie nails a nice blunt. Slave 2011

Back Pan Am. Slave 2011

Natalie works on the clean. Slave 2011

Natalie keeps working. Slave 2011

Leif has no eye infection. Slave 2011

Leif has no ear infection. Slave 2011

Leif has no sinus infection. Slave 2011

Helix. Slave 2011

Helix the other way. Slave 2011

Stab. Slave 2011

Clean right. Slave 2011

clean left. Slave 2011

Clean right air shot. Slave 2011

Good hull separation on the leftie. Slave 2011

John blunts. Slave 2011

Natalie stuck one of the only helices of the day. Slave 2011

Cool angle for a flashback. Slave 2011

John tries for an airscrew. Slave 2011

John with one of many left panams. Slave 2011

Stab left. Slave 2011

Still stabbing. Slave 2011

This helix was actually a total failure. Slave 2011

A little perspective on one of my favorite places on earth. Slave 2011

Who's artsy now? Slave 2011

Artsy clean. Slave 2011

Clowning around a little. Slave 2011

John tries out the clean. Slave 2011

John still working on the balance. Slave 2011

John gets a nice clean. Slave 2011

John goes big. Slave 2011

John rotates. Slave 2011

John makes contact. Slave 2011

Natalie about to eat it. Slave 2011

Natalie with a beautiful stab. Slave 2011

No flashback will ever look good again, after doing this one. Slave 2011

This wave is so cool. Slave 2011

Clean panam. Slave 2011

Enjoying lunch on the rocks. Slave 2011

Natalie still panams. Slave 2011

Monday August 8: Rollercoaster 4,400 cms (155,000 cfs)

Rollercoaster is back! I have been waiting to try out the Element on this wave, and it was every bit as awesome as I had hoped. Right now we're packing up to take another all day session out there, so I have to hurry, but here are a couple shots from monday.

Natalie KILLIN IT Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

Finally found a large wave where I wasn't terrified of the backsurf. Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

Still KILLIN Slave 2011

Getting good separation from the pile. Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

Thursday August 4: Sweet Spot. 4,900 cms (173,000 cfs)

From Slave 2011

After the Edge King contest, we took a day off (although I protested pretty loudly). Thursday, we came back to Sweet Spot for a rematch. The water had dropped, and the eddylines were much more manageable. The spot seemed downright tame.

Well, not all that tame. We still got a little beat up.

John tries the space Godzilla Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

I'm not even sure what's going on here. Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

Yeah, that's Natalie swimming after a skirt implosion. Slave 2011

But good times were had by all. John had some trouble getting his tricks to work. The Element was still the prime boat for the spot, but Natalie was getting huge moves too.

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

Nice big helix. Slave 2011


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