Sunday, August 15, 2010

A good weekend to be in the Midwest Warm Weather Creekboating and fun Playboating

A series of lucky events happened last week. I scored a three day weekend form work and the Black River in the UP of Michigan was running at lower but runable flow. This river usually only runs in the spring and is fed by snow melt, so it was a treat to get on it with warm weather and warm water. got hammered with thunderstorms. This made it the perfect opportunity to get on the

For those of you who haven’t herd of the Black it is a very unique creek run in the Midwest. Unusual geology and a lot of gradient makes for some very cool waterfalls and slides made out of conglomerate rock.

Our crew of John McConville, Steve Bletch, Joerg Steinbach, Ryan Zimny, Aaron Schrader, and myself hiked in to the Conglomerate falls put in. All of us took a couple laps on this fun slide to get warmed up before the lower drops.

John On Conglomerate Falls

After Conglomerate comes Pottawatomie falls, a big river wide slide that is hard to read coming into it. A couple of us scouted it that morning so we decided to drop right into it. It is a very fast drop and the bottom of it feels like toe world drops out from under you.

6 out of 6 good lines had us taking out above and portaging around birth canal (a seldom run small drop that can hand out a big beat down)

After that comes Gorge Falls a unique water fall that we decided to set up safety on. (thanks to John for rappelling down in)

Aaron on Gorge Falls

After Gorge there is a few fun smaller rapids before Sandstone Falls. At this flow the hole at sandstone is not bad and there is a fun boof move to do. We all took a couple laps on it.
Steve in his Solo On Sandstone Falls

John on Sandstone Falls

A couple smaller rapids brought us to Rainbow Falls. This one has been on my list for a while and still remains on it. Due to the lower flow the lead in was very boney and the hit at the bottom was very green and probably wouldn’t feel good. We all decided to walk this one. I hope to see it again in the spring with a little more water on it.

Rainbow Falls Both Beautiful and Scary

Here is a short video by Steve of Johny and I on a couple of the Drops Thanks Steve :)

Water levels were dropping the entire day so John and I decided to head down to Wausau for the rest of the weekend to do some play boating at the Whitewater Park.

Here are a few play boating pictures from the Wausau park Thanks Dad.

Well until next time,

Keep on Shredding :)

Tommy Gram

Monday, May 17, 2010

Escalantae Creek

This past week end I had a chance to run Escalante creek. It is located about 20 miles south of Grand Junction CO. Even if you are not a kayaker this awesome sandstone Canyon is worth checking out (climbers will really like it too). It was one of the most scenic drives I have been on going up the canyon.

I was able to take pictures of most of the top section of the run. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any in the Lower Gorge due to the walled in nature of it. I also needed to focus more on sticking my lines than photography in this section.

Here are the pictures.

Watch out for cows on Escalante Canyon Road.

1st drop Leap of faith.

Gavin showing us how it’s done with hand paddles

3rd major drop Double drop

Pete Stomping on Rib Ripper4th major drop

Another good line

And a few more.

Definitely a run I would like to do again.

To the guys I went down with, I tried to get the best shots of every one on here. I have a lot more, so if you want them shoot me an Email. It was good boating wit all of you.

Stay tuned for more Colorado Whitewater Action :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Looking Back at 2009

A lot has changed for me this year. It's hard to believe that this time last year I was fixing furnaces for a living making decent money but not very happy with how my life was.

Over the past year I gained experience, met people and made friends that I wouldn't trade for any thing in the world. I learned a lot about kayaking, and had an awesome first creek boating season. I also increased my play boating skills significantly. I got to spend a lot of time rock climbing this year and had a blast with that as well. I also got to spend a lot of time taking photos and found that I really enjoy it and is something I want to spend a lot more time doing.

I spent some time looking at photos of this year and found some favorites I forgot about.

Climbing At Shelf Road near Cannon City, CO Photo By Dad

Johny Running Something Scary in Canada

Roy Throwing Down at Salida

Lizz Zilla at Salida

Slide on the Poplar River, MN Photo By Chris Baer

I am super excited for this spring and can't wait to hit the road again. Hope to see you all on the water soon :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pretty in Pink

Just got some new boats from fluid and have been having a blast in them. The medium Solo My new creek boat (replacement for my broken Jefe) has been great it seems to fit me better volume wise and paddle awesome. I used it on the Black Rock section of clear creek then on the Big South fork the next day. I was a little worried about using a boat I wasn't used to on a harder creek but all lines went well and I felt good all day. The Medium Nemesis is my new playboat It's PINK and also paddles well I had a few awesome days in the Salida Play hole in it. Here are some Pics

I am excited to bring these boats back to the mid and hope to help Fluid gain some popularity there. If you want to try them let me know.

Sturgeon Falls

After the north shore I headed to Sturgeon Falls in Manitoba to do some plaboating. Had a great time and it was nice to do some low consequence boating and to take a break from the creek boat for a while. I played for a couple days on my own then met up with Craig and Steve. By the end of the week we all had the wave pretty dialed in. Here are some of the Photos. Who would have thought that three whitewater boaters could have this much fun in the middle of a lake :)

Craig on Surfers

Me on Surfers Photo By Steve Bletch

Steve on Surfers

For those of you that haven't made it to this great spot it is worth the drive. Not to many places you con surf a big glassy wave in the Middle of a lake.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

North Shore

Hey Everyone, Just got back into WI last Thursday Morning. Miss being out traveling around but am glad to be home and happy to see friends and family I haven't seen in a long time.

Just got all of my favorite pics together and put them up in this post.

My trip started this spring creek boating on the South and North Shore of Lake Superior. This year was the first year that I had done any serious creek boating and I was pretty intimidated starting out but I got hooked up with one of the best crew of boaters I have paddled with. I learned a lot from them and had a great time, Thanks Guys:) . Had a few beat downs and swims and earned myself the nickname of Downtime Tommy Gram but all turned out fine. At the end of this part of the trip I was feeling a lot more comfortable in the creek boat.

Winfrey's Wimper on the Split rock Photo By Chris Baer

Got spun Backwards in the middle of this Slide
Photo By Chris Baer

Ski Jump on the Splitrock
Photo By Chris Baer

Thirty Footer on the Encampment.
Photo by Cris Baer

The north shore is definitely one of my favorite places that I have kayaked so far and am excited to go back next year. These are only a couple of the many runs to do.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Finally Started a Blog

Hey All, Hanging out in CO taking it easy today and decided to start my own blog.

Just got my new boats from Fluid and got them all outfitted and set to go.

Planning on heading home to WI next week Thursday to start working and and kayaking back in the Midwest

Plans for the remainder of the time here are to run Big South tomorrow, and then make my way back to Salida for a final few days of playboating (water levels should be Great!).

Once I am home and have more time I will be adding all the pics form the road trip on here.

See you all soon :)