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 :)