Monday, December 7, 2009


Toxaway may just be the best stretch of whitewater in the South East, with huge gradient, overly channelized clean granite, and a ton of rapids- big, small, and gigantic. Will Pruett and myself made the trip from Chatt in his vegetable oil burning Mercedes Benz, which broke down on us more than a handful of times. Upon driving through the night we met Dustin Marquart at the takeout. With the uber solid group stoked on the sunshine, sweet water level(-2), and safety we made our way through the gorge with evident charge. Clean lines were shared by all and our trio was stoked to be at the parking lot before night fall. Standout rapids of the day were- Energizer, Land Bridge, Winter Green, and all the smooth boogy. 2009 just keeps giving aqua splendor. Life is great and so are waterfalls.
Dustin- Put In Slide
Dustin - Minigizer
Will- Minigizer

Will- Energizer
Will- Energizer
Dustin- Energizer
Top 4040
Bottom 4040

Will- Land Bridge
Rock Slide
Dustin- Winter Green- sequence

Winter Green

Typical Scene

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I can't escape the charge- So charge it!

My life motto lately has been "Just Be" and I feel content for the first time in a while. The Chattanooga lifestyle offers me the opportunity to live life day to day with beautiful surprises around every corner. A couple days at the Green before and during the race proved to be good for my spirit. Sunny days, cold nights, healthy flow, collective energy, the Wrec Center on the switch backs bumpn Pretty Lights late night, quick-clean lines, and a fat crew of Chatty Chargers gave way to a chill couple of days kickn it North Carolina style. I finished the race with a 5:31, smashing my last years time by 44 seconds. Catching the cascades on the way back to Chatt proved to be a nice cap for the weekend and a pushy level was enjoyed with no scouts, eddies, or signs of slowing down. And then came Ida and the Bear took the bait giving way to multiple runs in the high teens. The Bear is officially my fave with easy access and stout drops only 25 minutes from home. A spectacular day in the gorge was filled with sunshine, falling leaves, sweet lines by all, and stout JIB Charge. The forthcoming media of the goods to be had in Cloudland Canyon will surely keep the charger's eye's occupied until the Bear rises once more.
Paul Hubbard- Stairway
Jason Rodwell- Fishbowl

Cosmic Trigger

Will Pruett-Big Bang

Taylor Martin-Revelations

Jason Rodwell-Momentary

Will-Getn Vid

Raven and Tripple Falls:

Me-Mike Tyson

Me-Mortal Kombat

Me-Mortal Kombat

Me-1st Drop Triple Falls

Me-2nd Drop Triple Falls

Monday, October 19, 2009

Over the gradient the water will flow!

Man 2009 just keeps givn. The last month has been spectacular. It all started mid September with an afternoon flash that would supply water to the Dragons Lair of Falling Water. The next morning I left bright and early for an 11 day trip to Arizona where I felt like I had made the ultimate sacrifice as torrential rains and flood would sweep through the south east the entire time I was gone. Upon returning from a 30 hour cross country drive, I immediately started for the smokies to cash in on the ultra classic Raven Fork. The previous trip to the Raven had yielded a run on the infamous Big Boy however it did not call to me this day and it felt good to portage. The next couple of days would be spent riding around with Will Pruett on Triple Falls, The Green Narrows, and an excellent ride in a big wheel at a perfect hell hole at surge all by myself.

The next week would start with a trip to Rock Island ,where I try my hardest to keep it ninja. The following day resulted in a Bear run at 12"( I have decided the Bear is it),where me and Taylor Martin were the only two Chattanoogans to cash in on the run. That same day I found Rock Creek too low to run ,but not too low to park n' huck the sweet 25 footer. The next day would see a run on LRC at 7'' with a huck on the falls (what a sweet move) giving way to a leisure afternoon. The next day was spent at Rock Island where I wore my ninja smile all the way to the end.

Again the next week would start big, but end huge. A car ride to the Bear with fellow charger Taylor Martin yielded a flow of 14", the call was made and JIB rallied numbers(once again the Bear is it). A run on Johnies the next day would put us at the LRC for a park n' huck. Afterwards an impromptu visit to scout Desoto falls would start the ball rolling on a gigantic Wednesday. Sleep was lost over the majestic waterfall that had called my name and I woke the next morning knowing that flows were abundant and the mission to huck was mine for the taking. Seeing that flows were over 1000 cfs the plan was too huck the LRC 30 foot line at 6000cfs while waiting for Desoto to drop in that afternoon.

Kurt Lamberth and Taft Sibley were fired up about the day of waterfalls and we made our way south. Arriving at LRC we found rowdy water, Matt Wallace and Jeff West scouting, and the day growing old. There was so much boil at the bottom of the falls that we were all able boof into its pillow. After spending a good bit of time at the falls the whole group made haste towards the potentially massive huck. A call was made to Burl Master Bryce Evans that confirmed a dropped level of 753 cfs. With nerves wired but still stoked from the 30 footer we rolled up to a massive waterfall under heavy fog and dusk setting in. I usually like to huck big under blue sky's and sunshine but my focus was intent and the line that lay before my eyes more beautiful than I had ever seen before. There it lie the enormous double tiered waterfall that opened up a massive domed amphitheatre. The top drop of 15 feet lands in a boil that pushes forward and right creating two planes that fold at the lip and funnel together brilliantly dropping 73 feet and blowing out the landing as if there were hurricane trapped amongst the arena sized amphitheatre. I made the call quick, as day light was limited, and put in on the river right below the low head dam. With support and ninja time approval pounds from the boys I shoved off into a small wave that would surf me to the middle flow. My favorite and craziest sensation of kayaking, theres no turning back. Aiming for a long flake at the lip of the 15 footer I paddled across the flow and at the crux found myself bottoming out with all speed lost on the outcropping rock. I pitched forward off the lip and dreaded a piton when somehow the bow of the nomad scooped out and I found myself pointing left on the boil line. Turning her around quick and focused I found my self taking the most sure strokes of my paddling existence as I winged the boat towards the lip on my left edge all the way into vert were I found myself melting the crease and tucked hard leaning right just as planned. Fully immersed I soon felt an amazing disconnection that left the anticipation of impact lingering. Boom, impact was hard ripping the paddle from my hands, imploding my skirt, and giving way to a swim. Back to reality I found myself floating in the water, my bros waving there arms, their cheers of excitement echoing through the amphitheatre along side the thunder of the falls, and myself staring up at a massive structure of energy suspended in motion. By the time I made it to the bank it seemed as if all light had escaped the domed gorge. I could barely make out the people atop the falls and was forced to hand paddle out, leaving my paddle somewhere around the base of the falls. Wow what a way to top off 3 weeks of paddling hard in warm fall conditions amongst the lush foliage of the South East. Keep up the Charge!

Due to a broken video camera and horrible lighting the only images of the falls are those that exist in the minds of the 5 paddlers that decided to attend to the huck, myself included.

Found a news wright up on the Kings trip-

Check out Wills blog and vid of our Falling Water trip along with the burliest Toxaway footage I've ever seen-

Monday, August 3, 2009

Middle Kings

The Middle Kings is a trans-sierra expedition that starts on the east flanks of the Sierra Nevada range in Bishop, California. The 12.6 mile hike to the river starts at South Lake, elevation approx. 9,000 ft, and peaks in the high sierra alpine at Bishop Pass around 12,000 ft. Surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks, crystal clear lakes, high country snow, and bright California sunshine the expedition kayaker is presented with a mentally and physically demanding hike that is only rewarded by the promise of world class whitewater and priceless views. Atop Bishop Pass the wind and water carved peaks truly set the tone for the expansive wilderness and vast distance from civilization that await the adventurer. The downward plunge to the Middle Kings at 8,000 ft proves to be more difficult than the climb and just as beautiful as you are now encapsulated in the majestic Kings Canyon National Park. Passing back down into the tree line one is approached with great optimism as they are provided with their first views of the river. Still a good 1500 ft to go but for the first time in the arduous hike whitewater seems very tangible. Upon reaching the river it is a mere creek of no more than 200 cfs, a humbling wave comes over you as you realize you will be taking off on more than 7 times that flow. Putting on we made our way 3 miles down to Palisade Creek were we would camp, fish, hike and huck, and inevitably spend a lay over day relaxing in the splendors of life amongst the granite peaks. The next day would be a hard one as we made our way down the steepest section of the Kings. Sweet drops and hard portages gave way to camp with another group right before sunset. Camping high and cooking on the fire led to good laughter and even better dreams. The next day we would pull out of camp earlier than our fellow group and right away found ourselves in a blind and committing gorge. Charging hard we reaped the rewards of sweet fader boofs and safe passage through the gorge. The rest of the day would be steady charging through continuous boulder gardens all the way down to Tehipeti Dome where we would once again have a lazy layover day feasting on fresh Rainbow's and getting ready for the notoriously hard bottom 9 miles of Middle Kings. I will share no more information on the Bottom 9 as to keep their lore and mystique alive(its really hard stuff). After reaching the confluence of the Middle and South Kings we celebrated in our safe arrival. Running low on food and energy our last day on the river was spent in the Garlic Falls section with high water, big boulder gardens, and giant holes giving way to a truly amazing journey across the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and completing one of the hardest stretches of whitewater in the country.