Showing posts from 2010

Mwave 2010

The famous M wave, located near Montrose Colorado, is probably one of the best waves in the world. Perhaps not the absolute best, but definitely in the running for the top ten. Considering the fact that it's located in the middle of the desert and runs consistently well into october, it could be the worst wave in the world and it would probably still be one of my favorite spots. Montrose is only about 7 hours from Fort Collins, so I consider the Mwave sort of like my backyard spot. Natalie and I get out there as often as we can during the late season. The wave is shallow, scary-fast, and cold, but it can serve up some huge air. Here are our best photos from this season. Natalie especially had some big breakthroughs this year. Last year, we would post every week or two, with whatever photos we had taken lately. Consequentially, some of our real great shots would get buried in a flood of "merely awesome" photos. This year, we decided to wait until the season had

Quick photo shoot

Although some people might say it's getting close to the end of the season, there is still some paddling to be had in colorado. If I can just hold on for one more month, it won't be the end of this season, it will be the beginning of next season. With some huge releases on the Big T (about 450 cfs today - the highest I've ever run it, and about as high as I would want to see) and a broken dam promising solid flows through Barrel Springs for some time to come (I had nothing to do with that broken dam), this could shape up to be a strong finish to 2010. However, it is November, and the two things I listed are just about the only two things running in the entire state of Colorado. A week or so ago, Natalie and I got desperate enough to drive up to Poudre Falls for a park n' huck photo session. It was a long drive for a pretty diminutive drop, and right when we arrived and stepped out of the car to scout, a light snowstorm started. We were both pretty grumpy. Natal

Low water continues remorselessly

Well, I suppose that despite the unseasonably warm weather, the paddling season might be starting to get close to finishing, although that's totally a matter of opinion. However, my favorite part of the end of the season here in colorado (which is a lot like saying "my favorite part of being eaten by a giant octopus...") is the Big Thompson. Near the end of the season, there are usually a couple good releases through the Big T, and it makes for some awesome paddling. It's a pretty good run even when other stuff is running, so in the late season when Gore is down to 1,000 and Barrel Springs is at its winter level, the Big T suddenly seems like the best run ever paddled by humankind. Over the past couple weeks, these last few releases have made my life an emotional rollercoaster ride. One minute it's perfect at 200 cfs, and I'm dancing around my office, the next, down to just 70, and I ride home to lie in bed and cry myself to sleep. At one point, I go

Finally won the Glenwood Ender

First off, I should mention that I don't think Natalie has ever NOT won at this event. This is the third annual Glenwood Ender, and Natalie has won the women's class 3 times. It's been a small field for the women's class but this is still pretty impressive. Before I started bragging about how well I did, I just figured I should give some credit where credit was due. Well, now that that's out of the way: I totally won! Hell yeah! Every year, I've moved up a little bit in the rankings. Mostly that's because at the inaugural event Jonny Meyers, Jed Selby, and Conor Flynn were all there to beat me. At the second event, Conor was in Japan, and Jed Selby was too scared to show his face, so only Jonny beat me. This year, Jonny broke his back, but Conor came back from Japan, so it was down to me vs. Conor. I was further aided by the fact that the publicity for the Glenwood Ender didn't really take off this year, so there was a pretty small crowd of co

Low Water strikes again!

I've written a detailed blow by blow account of this trip, but there's also a slideshow, with a few extra photos. Seems like just a few months ago that we were lamenting the low low water across the state of Colorado. Well, time flows in circles I guess, because here we are again in the shoulder season, back in school, with nothing to run. A series of long weekends caught up with Natalie and I, and we found ourselves stuck near home for a weekend, with only one day free to paddle. "Nothing to run" - ha! I laugh in the face of low water. A few years back, Natalie and I drove up from Glenwood Springs to Fort Collins to run the Big South, and during the drive the discharge from the reservoir was turned down to just 20 cfs. We still had a great time, although it was a very long day. Checking the gauges this particular weekend, I noticed that they were letting loose about 50 cfs from the reservoir! Hot dog! We secured a shuttle driver (Natalie Beckman - sor

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

As has become usual for our blog, I will include a slideshow first, so that those with short attention spans will be captivated by the pretty pictures. The captions tell most of the story below. Natalie, Conor and I first ran the Black Canyon back in 2007 or 2008. We showed up, found out that our shuttle/guide had backed out, but decided to run it anyway. With the shuttle complications, we didn't get to putin until about 1:00, and although we had a great day on the water, the portage wrecked us. We had no idea where the trail was, and it took forever. We finally limped into camp about an hour after dark, only to find that cave camp was already occupied by some other paddlers. Basically, it was epic, and we all told ourselves the many things we would do differently if we ever came back. Of course, none of us would be coming back until the memory of that heinous portage faded away. Flash forward several years (I can't say exactly how many, because my memory has faded a