Saturday, August 15, 2009

WCKA Summer Session: Part 2

After a week of paddling around Missoula the Summer Sessions crew finally started our journey to the Skookumchuck Narrows. Along the way we picked up our instructors girlfriend Blake and former WCKA student Adriane Levknecht. On our way to the wave we stopped at the Nahatlatch Creek in British Columbia for a quick class III run. Despite the long windy road to the put-in, the endless boulder gardens and occasional playspots made for a great break during the long drive.

Bluntin' Skook

As soon as we'd reserved a campsite at Brown Lake we drove 15 minutes to the Egmont boat launch and paddled another 15 minutes to the wave. Surrounded by 10-15 other paddlers we watched the wave build and shrink, and for three hours surfed the glassy surface. At the end of the day we locked up our boats and hiked the 2.5 miles back to Egmont. For the next four days we hiked back and forth to the wave, surfing it for 3-4 hours at a time between 12.8 and 14.4 knots. A couple days into our session at skook team Wave Sport showed up and showed off their quiver of aerial tricks. Brian Kirk and Kelsey Thompson held most of the attention throwing down helixes, airscrews, and huge pistol flips. Though I was far from being able to land any of these moves, by the end of the trip I was throwing consistent air blunts and occasional backstabs. Everyone in our group improved over this short session and without instruction from our coach or the helpful locals we still would have been straight surfing at the end of the trip. Skook was the biggest and best wave I'd ever surfed and I can't wait to surf it again in the near future.

Friday, August 7, 2009

WCKA Summer Session: Part 1

After some time on the Clark Fork we decided to drive to Mesa Falls in Idaho for an overnight park and huck. As soon as we reached the parking lot we began the quick hike to the waterfall. One mile and 50 mosquito bites later, we arrived at the Mesa and thoroughly scouted the falls. I wasn't able to convince my coach to let me run the 65ft. drop on the right side, but the 10 and 30ft. consecutive waterfalls on the left side still got my adrenaline pumping. Along with my own thrill in running the drop, I was able to watch Karsten Thompson run Mesa, his first waterfall, with a clean line. After we hiked through a steep scree field and back up the trail we set up camp, ate a quick meal, and got some sleep. The next morning we headed back to Crystal Springs, and arrived with just enough time to load the boats and gear on the van before heading to the Skookumchuck Narrows...

My brother boofing the top drop...
... And launching off the second one

My brother and I looking downstream after a successful huck

Photo Credits: Mike Malament