Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mexico Part I

Matt Wallace hurls himself into Puento de Dios on the Rio Tamasopo
John Crain enters the Cave below Puento de Dios

I just got back from San Louis Potosi, Mexico with Adam Goshorn, Leigh Knudsen, Jon Crain, Matt Wallace, Brandon Hughett and Alex Zendel. Within the epic 3 weeks of our journey we fired-up many creeks and rivers--taking only one off day during our time down there.

During our stay, we found ourselves in remote canyons often confronting obstacles such as massive waterfalls on the canyons of the Rio Verde, sieved-out boulder gardens and big water within the upper canyons of the Santa Maria, low water travertine drops on the Minas Viejas and a night paddle/hike out of the Gayenes. We climbed, hiked and rapelled around unrunnable rapids often putting ourselves at risk outside of running the class 4-5 and 5+ rapids, but ultimately we worked together as a team and got the job done each day. Here are some photos of our adventures.

A sequence shot of me on Puento de Dios
Photos by Leigh Knudsen

Among the easiest runs in the area (logisticaly speaking) were the Salto and Micos sections of the Rio Valles. Our base camp was nestled right by the Micos, and both of these runs offered plenty of gradient with minimal consequences. Adam even stated, "It's creeking made easy." Also, due to the nature of travertine rock these sections of river could be run at fairly low flows. Fortunately, subprime flows were never a problem except for the Minas Viejas run.
El Salto...The take-out for the Salto Section of the Rio Valles
Photo by Alex Zendel

Matt Wallace and I looking down at El Salto

John Crain by the last drop of the Micos Section
Adam Goshorn boofing through El Nemo

Adam on La Luminosa (El Nemo is above right)

John Crain on La Luminosa from a different angle

Me on another big drop on the Salto

Matt Wallace on the same drop as above

Leigh Knudsen boofing a ledge

I'm running another killer drop (Photo by Leigh Knudsen)

Leigh on the same drop as above

We fired up the Salto Section over a dozen times during our 3-week stay. It was a great stretch of water with big fun drops and an easy bike shuttle...very similar to the Micos Section of the Rio Valles. Unfortunately, many boaters tend to overlook other steep whitewater in the area and many Texas boaters stick to the classic runs such as the Micos & Salto Sections as well as the Ojo Frio (another great river we hit several times).

The Minas Viejas is a particular run that Adam explored last year that many boaters have overlooked. Adam completed the second known descent in November 2007 and since then this river has only been run just a handful of times. Here are some photos of this soon to be classic run.

Put-in Waterfall (Photo by Adam Goshorn)
Adam running the first ledge of the Minas Viejas

John Crain negotiating another low-water drop

Me running the big slide (Photo by Leigh Knudsen)
Me on another slide
Adam fires-up the 30-foot slide (Photo by Leigh Knudsen)

Me runnning the same slide. Really big and really clean...photos can't serve this justice.

Me and Adam on the Lower Canyon of the San Nicholas. Another great but overlooked run.(Photo by Leigh Knudsen)

Stay tuned for more photos of Puento de Dios, the 4 Canyons Expedition of the Santa Maria and the Rio Verde adventures in Mexico Part II!

Signing off for now,

Jordan Sherman

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jones Creek

Dalton Creech and I ran Jones Creek today. I didn't get many pictures but here is what I got.

Sam England
Team Eskimo Kayaks

Monday, December 15, 2008

First Big Rain of the Season

The time has come once again to dust off our creek boats and head out for some action on the steeps. 6 inches of rain came over the past few days and many a good boof followed. Here are the pics and video from the week.

The Crew

Me hucking Photo-Cruise

Charlie Mix Master
Danny Flynt with the hand clapAndy Hobson launching a freewheelCruise droppingJordan decided to go spelunking below CableAll emerged OKDanny flying through PinballAdam Goshorn
Earlier Charlie, Danny, Cruise, and I got a chance to run Wolf Creek in the Canyon. Low water, wood, and the fear of running deep throat at 50" forced us to hike out after the first big drop. We did get some video from the day though. Enjoy

Wolf Creek in LRC from sam on Vimeo.

or if the that doesn't work here is the link.


Signing out,

Sam England
Team Eskimo Kayaks

Friday, November 14, 2008

I guess late is better than never. I've been having issues with the computer and just now got the pics and video uploaded from the green race. We had several of the Bama Boys firing it up on the race weekend. Danny Flynt, Charlie Simmons, Luke Scott, Ryan Snodgrass, Andy Hobson, and I all raced. Sorry I didn't get video of everyone, Zach was shooting. Here's what I got though.

Green Race 2008 Video

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"The Ronin Sessions"

http://www.vimeo.com/1960832 So I've been backed up on footage, and all the while wanted to produce a LiquidLogic Ronin 59 video. Its a great compact areal machine. The Ronin is great on waves and holes capable of combination moves, but also does wonderfully on big water river running, making it a stable all around bad ass(and so is the outfitting.)
If you search online for Ronin reviews or videos, there just isn't whole lot so here it is for viewing pleasure........"The Ronin Sessions"

Featuring: Zach "hardhat" Sanders, and me Charlie Simmons

Rivers featured: Tallapoosa, Coosa, Locust Fork, Ocoee, and more.

check it out here:



-charlie simmons

Monday, October 6, 2008

LRC Photo Tour

Since moving to Alabama, Little River Canyon and its tributaries have become my home runs and the center of my kayaking life. Although my travels and kayaking experiences have continued to expand, Little River Canyon remains one of my all time favorites. Despite how many times I have traveled through it’s spectacular gorge I never seem to tire of the quality rapids and amazing scenery.

It seems like where ever I go I meet people who, upon finding out I live in northeast Alamaba, ask me about Little River Canyon. "What's it like?" they say, "How big is Pinball?", etc. etc. I love sharing my love for the Little River so I thought I'd give a little photo tour for all those who haven't had the pleasure of paddling the upper stretches of Little River Canyon.

When the water is up, Little River Canyon starts off big with "Little River Falls". Here's Charlie Mix and I (Adam Goshorn) scouting the falls in January 2008 at twenty-four inches...

The standard river left line is about thirty-three feet and involves boofing twelve feet onto a rock shelf before dropping the additional twenty-one verticle feet into the pool below. Although the falls has been run as low as two inches (on the route 35 bridge gauge) it has dished out its share of injuries at levels below eight inches. Above eight inches, the landing on the shelf is much softer and more forgiving. Here's Charlie Simmons on the left line of the falls at ten inches, photo by Adam Goshorn...

The center line off "Little River Falls" is done much less often and requires much higher water than the left line. While it has been run as low as fourteen inches, it is much safer over twenty inches. Andy Hobson reports have scraped some leading up to the lip at around seventeen inches and scraping at the lip could cause you to pitch through the curtin and hit the shelf underwater so higher is better. Here's me (Adam Goshorn) on the center line of the falls at twenty-four inhes in January 2008, photo by Joey Jarrell...

When Little River is too low to run the falls, the standard put-in is on river right and requires a short hike down form the parking area at the Little River Falls overlook on Canyon Rim Road. Here's Joey Jarrell putting in at the standard spot, photo by Adam Goshorn...

After the standard put-in there are several easy rapids that allow boaters to catch eddys, make ferries, and get loosened up before the bigger stuff downstream. Here's Joey Jarrell making his way through the "Warm Up Ledges", photo by Adam Goshorn...

The next rapid of note is rightly named "Are You Ready" because if you have trouble here you better hike back to the car because this rapid is nothing compaired to what is downstream. Here's Joey Jarrell entering "Are You Ready", photo by Adam Goshorn...

"Blue Hole" is a popular swimming spot in warm weather and a fairly easy five-foot tall ledge drop at most levels. Here's Joey Jarrell boofing near the right shore, photo by Adam Goshorn...

"Mammoth Rock" is one of the harder rapids in the canyon that you never hear anyone talk about or see photos of. At high water there are some holes to dodge, but it is fairely straightforward. Here's Andy Hobson exiting "Mammoth Rock" at ten inches, photo by Adam Goshorn...

At lower levels "Mammoth Rock" is much more technical and generally harder by most accounts. Here's Joey Jarrell running the low water line, photo by Adam Goshorn

"Terminal Eddy" is another rapid that is much easier at high water, but can be downright mean at low levels. Here's Joey Jarrell entering the main line, photo by Adam Goshorn

"Avalance" has a nice line down the left that opens up at higher water. Here's Jon Miller on the first part of the left line, still capture from video by Adam Goshorn...

Several boulder gardens seperate "Avalance" from the next big rapid, but one of the best boofs on the river is located here at medium to low levels. Here's Joey Jarrell about to air it out at the "Mushroom Boof", photo by Adam Goshorn...

At levels of three inches and up, the center spout at the first drop of "Cable Falls" opens up and provides a nice ten-foot drop into the pool above the second drop. Here's a still capture from video of me heading off the spout...

The second drop of "Cable Falls" is a more complex ledge that requires good boat placement to drive off the end of the finger ledge without falling off the left. Here's Jon Miller going for it, still capture from video by Adam Goshorn...

At low levels (below two inches) the left line at the first drop of "Cable Falls" provide a very unique move that requires paddles to slowly drift into the left slot and explode right with a good left boof to avoid the rock. Here's Joey Jarrell about to make the move, photo by Adam Goshorn...

"Pinball" is by far the hardest rapid in Little River Canyon and perhaps the most concequenual. A long complex enterance rapid contains many hidden hazards before going off the main drop into a meaty hole. Here's Joey Jarrell on the main drop, photo by Adam Goshorn...

After a couple of miles of easy water paddlers will pass the put-in for the Upper Two section and soon find themselves at "Screaming Right". Recent changes allow paddlers to stary straight at levels over zero, but below zero the move right is still required. Here's Brandon Hughett about to make the hard right in front of the slab rock, photo by Adam Goshorn...

At higher levels, "Roadblock" has a terrible pocket hole that can kill, however at moderate levels it is just a fun boof next to the rock on the left. Here's Shannon MacMichael getting the boof, photo by Adam Goshorn...

"Humpty Dumpty" is located just downstream of "Roadblock". This two part rapid is the hardest on the Upper Two secion, but one of the most fun on the entire river in my opinion. Here's Brandon Hughett boofing the first drop, photo by Adam Goshorn...

Numerous other boulder gardens make up the Upper Two section, at low levels the "Push Button Boof" gives boaters another chance for some air time. Here's Joey Jarrell at the "Push Button Boof", photo by Adam Goshorn...

The last big rapid on Upper Two is "Deep Throat". This one can be big at high water, but even at low water is a fun way to finish the secion. Here's Brandon Hughett on the last ledge of "Deep Throat" at lowish water, photo by Adam Goshorn...

The rapids of Little River Canyon will always remain beautiful, challenging, and often humbling, even for those of us who paddle there regularly. For over thirty years paddlers have been exploring the rivers and creeks of this region, yet Little River Canyon is still and will remain the center of the Alabama paddling community. Whatever it is about this special place it continues to draw paddlers to it and keep calling to us to return. As fall sets in and I look forward to another creeking season there are few places I'd rather be than floating into that magical place agian and again.

Until Next Time...