Saturday, July 23, 2011

Slave River week 2

A massive flood has hit the Slave, and water levels are higher than we've ever seen them. As the water slowly works back down to the pre-flood levels, we hope to see the whole spectrum of playspots that the Slave can offer. We will continue to add updates to this page every day or so, so keep checking back.

And in case you lost the link, you can find a map of the rapids here, and week 1 here.

Day one million. July 27: Sweet spot, flows unknown (broken gauge).

Sweet Spot is still a little bit too high, so it greens out too much to surf... unless you're in an Element. I could just barely catch the wave in my surf boat, and once I got out there, it was a rowdy ride. I threw about three moves in the whole session, and the first two weren't on film because we didn't think the wave could be caught.

Once we got the camera out, I mostly had some really intense frontsurfs. It was a blast.

From Faces of Whitewater

Big thanks to John for taking photos. It must have been pretty lame to not even be able to catch the wave, and then spend an hour or so taking photos. The Element is an awesome boat. Too bad you don't have one.

Here is a slideshow of the funny faces that I made while surfing:



And here are some of the photos of the frontsurfs.

From Slave 2011



From Slave 2011

Day before that one other day. July 26: Browntown, flows unknown (thanks, Government of Alberta, for all those times when you DID work)

We were feeling like a mellow day, so we gathered up team C (Calgarians) and headed over to the Rapids of the Drowned to check out Browntown. It turned out to be about as awesome as ever, so we did a lot of flatspins and roundhouses, but it was relaxing and fun. After surfing, we took a giant tour of the racecourse channels off on the river right side of the rapids, and then took a quick ride on Monstah Schiesser on the way out. (Remember, you can find the map here.)

Here are a couple photos of us chillin out.

From Slave 2011

Polarizers make everything awesome. Slave 2011

Even the Brown claw looks pretty good with a polarizer. Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

Look how the black and white conversion has transformed this into some artsy shit! Slave 2011

From Slave 2011



Day ... something. July 25: Top Gun wave, 6000 cms (212,000 cfs).
We'd been anxiously waiting for the water to drop back to a level that we had already explored, and today it finally came within reach of the very top end of some previous experience. John had found a wave near Molly's while the water was rising. We decided to call it Top Gun, and went out to check it out, joined by the Calgary crew and a couple newcomers from Litton.

Upon arrival, we found that the wave was not very spectacular. Maybe the levels weren't quite perfect, but the wave was a lot like #1 wave, except less consistent. We took a quick session and headed down to Chico, which was still great. Avalanche was about the best that I have seen it, with a pile that would cycle in and out, leaving a huge steep face with some great big air potential. To bad there's no eddy service there.

One of three tricks I threw on Top Gun. The others were roundhouses. Slave 2011

Looking back up at Molly's from the Forgotten Island. Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

Day... whatever. July 22: Chico hole, 6700-6500 cms (237,000 - 230,000 cfs).
We've been surfing Chico for several days, but we haven't been able to get photos until John had the idea to climb out on river left and shoot from a log jam. The wave is a little flat, but still good. The Element is a great boat for this wave since it's so fast.

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011


From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Knock on Wood. Slave River Flood.

This is a SPECIAL post because it is the first time John Blyth and Natalie have edited a movie and they have chosen one very special catchy song to set the back drop for the most crazy day on the water, EVER! Watch this movie at your own peril because you might just have THE TOP GUN ANTHEM stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

SLAVE RIVER FLOOD 2011: KNOCK ON WOOD (7,300 cms, 258,000 cfs)

Slave River Flood 2011 - Knock on Wood from Leif Anderson on Vimeo.



Here are some additional photographs.



and a CBC news post about the water levels complete with an interview with John Blyth.

For more posts about the slave river see
Slave River! Week 1

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Slave River! Week 1

In the past we have never really done our trips up to the Slave River justice as far as posting on the blog goes (Overdue Slave post: Outrageous!, The Flood Continues, Slave flood!, Already worth the drive, Driving is awesome!). This time around we are going to do things a little differently. Instead of waiting until the end and then wading through thousands of photos we are going to add to this post our favorite few photos from any day in which we take photos. We will also record the water level and the play spot for future reference. Please see this google map to find play spots mentioned in this blog post.

Day 7: July 19th
Cassette- ROCKEM SOCKEM! 6,800 cms
From 2011 Rockem Sockem
This is my absolute favorite photo from the day

and here are some other sick shots!



Day 6: July 18th
Mountain Portage and Rapids of the Drowned 7,000 cms

Avalanche Surf, 7000 cms from Natalie Kramer on Vimeo.

We were actually able to surf Avalanche- sort of. Here is an unedited go pro footage (coming soon). Although we don't have any good shots, chico wave just keeps getting better the higher it gets!



Day 5: July 17th
Pine Lake Picnic and Mountain, 7,100 cms

From Slave Posts

From Slave Posts

From Slave Posts
Leif and John beat out the rest of the canoe enthusiast for for a gold in the pine lake canoe race. John and Gen took gold and silver respectively in the corn husk and Natalie took silver in the potato sack race.

Day 4: July 16th
Cassette Exploration, 7,300 cms (258,000 cfs)

The river had a carpet of driftwood moving past the putin, which sketched out most of us. Entire trees had space to quietly drift past. This made the rapids quite interesting.

From Slave 2011

Apparently at 7300, Outrageous really does wash out, Dave's Demise turns into an ok wave with no eddy access, and Rockem Sockem becomes a nice diagonal wave with a strong shoulder. We surfed Rockem Sockem for a while.

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

Day 3: July 15th
Mountain Portage exploration, 6,400 cms (226,000 cfs)

From Slave 2011

Day 2: July 14th
Sweet Spot, 5,200 cms (184,000 cfs)

Leif and John took a quick session at Sweet Spot and hurried back so that John could teach in the afternoon. Leif took the Element out on the Slave for the first time.

From Slave 2011

From Slave 2011

DAY 1: July 13th
Sweet Spot, 4,600 cms (162,000 cfs)

Best Scenic Shot
From Slave Posts
Looking out across Molly's Nipple. Photo by Natalie

Best Action Shot
From Slave Posts

this was my first time surfing the sweet spot and this shot of Leif really shows how It felt most of the time. Although slightly out of control, this wave really dishes up some big air. Click on the thumbnails below to view some big tricks.

From Slave Posts


THE DRIVE
From Slave Posts
Somewhere in Montana

We made it! Left Glenwood Springs Sunday Evening around 4:00pm and arrived Wednesday at 3:00am.
From Slave Posts





From Slave Posts

I almost forgot about all the bugs!