Saturday, July 24, 2010

Money shot

I used to think that if you were going to make a river it would basically be like the Kaituna with maybe some more waterfalls; warm water, easy access, sick rapids and german beer at the takeout/put in.

I was wrong.

There are some places in the kayaking world world which attract dirtbag gypises like moths to a flame. Places like the Nile, the west coast, Chile and California are notorious for the lifestyle and whitewater on offer.

However, there is one river in particular and one section of that river which holds one of the most photographed and iconic drops at least in Cali if not the world. Ever since I started kayaking I remember looking at photos and video of people flying off in a locked in granite gorge and thinking "if I ever make it to that place I will be a happy little chappy"
That place is Cherry bomb gorge on the Upper Cherry creek.
This run doesn't give itself up easily, with a 12 mile walk and a 35kg hunk of the most unergonomic plastic it is possible to engineer on your back, it's pretty much a given that you're going to be hurting by the time you reach the put in.
Once again we found ourselves at a trail head with a huge crew of nine kiwi boaters, three trail support/professional shuttlers, 15 cameras, our chief strategist/ball of enthusiasm/live guidebook and a dog.

I won't bore you with a description of the walk other than to say we started at 5:30 in the morning and it took 5-6 hours. Average.

The put in was awesome though - a huge granite valley with no dirt in sight and miles (literally miles) of low angle, super chilled out slides.
When we finally made it to the cherry bomb entry I believe the quote for the day was "Everyone's running it, it's mandatory, I won't allow anyone to portage!!!"(Garcia, 2010) With that decision out of the way we rallied into the upper cherry bomb gorge. Some cool slides and rapids get you to a lake in the gorge which then gets you to a portage right above cherry bomb.
Cherry bomb itself is a sick slide to kicker that drops you straight into a sick gorge with another ten or so drops back to back. One eddy and then it's into the jedi slides - awesome slides which lead straight into the teacups. Words don't do justice to this section of river at all so I'll leave the essay here and put some pics up.

The walk from the bottom of the teacups, I have no idea how many times we did this walk over two days but it was lots.

Twelve people rolling into the Jedi slides - sick

The bottom teacups

From the other angle... Our camp is on the left of the big pool

The money shot - cherry bomb, glorious.

On a slightly different note... some culture - Mum wedged under the tunnel tree after we all got out and she lifted a little... Not pictured - driving back under at twenty miles "pin it we can fit!!!" ish nerve wracking..

What would you write as a caption here?? Seriously? Heavy petting can lead to unplanned pregnancy? I just don't know.


Lauder - Conspicuously absent, Roil - average to poor, Neilson - fair to above average, Bayly - glorious

*All pics for this post are from Rach and Brad. Cheer Cuzzies.

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