Welcome to winter in Washington state, where year-round creekboating is a way of life. These photos are from a recent run on a local Class V classic that runs more consistently than your mom's Honda: the Green Truss Section of the White Salmon. The Truss has a plenty of fun ledges, a couple of big drops, some fun big water Class V, and enough consequences to give you that feeling in your stomach. The photo at left is me putting in the boof stroke at the lip of the first big drop on the run, Big Brother. Big Brother is a 25 footer with a sneaky lead in to a narrow launching pad with an infamous undercut cave on the right side of the landing zone. The tricky part of the drop is that if you are too intimidated by the cave on the right and shy left, there is an insidious fin of rock which will punish you and bounce you right back toward the cave....
Touching the void. Landing this one and skipping past the cave feels good every time.
At right is a photo of the cave in question. Cloaked in winter ice it is not a very cozy place to be or a comfortable location to ponder the length of your buddy's throw rope.
The next two photos are of BZ falls, the second big drop on the run. BZ comes right at the takeout when you are most tempted to pack up your feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment into your warm car and call it a run. At this level the line at BZ is an intimidating exercise in faith requiring the intrepid paddler to surrender their fate and melt it into one of the most fearsome and messy holes this side of the Stikine. It looks deceptively hard, is often deceptively easy, and sometimes people get deceptively pummeled. At left is me lining it up and exercising my powers of trust.
Tucking into full meltdown status at BZ. One of the things I love about the Magnum is not only is it a world-champion-blue-ribbon-thunderstrike boof machine, but its super clean bow entry and streamlined shape allow it to dip into pools cleaner than an olympic high diver on demand. There is something uniquely special about surrendering your beatdown fate to the power of the river and emerging 50 ft. downstream grinning big and breathing deep.
Hope you enjoyed this virtual snippet from the land of gas station attendents and long board lanes. Until next time, check ya on the trestle
All photos by Nate Herbeck. Check it out at www.liquidkayak.com