Monday, June 7, 2010

Silver Creek: Upper North Falls

Among the countless beautiful roadside stouts of Oregon and Washington, Upper North Falls on Silver Creek has arguably received the least hype of them all. With that said, this easily accessible 55-60 footer with a super smooth left line is undoubtedly one of my favorites. Last weekend Nate and Heather Herbeck, Chuck Taylor and I ventured west to pursue this stout. We arrived with the uncommon but perfect water levels, and after a brief scout decided she was good to go. After we set up safety and some media I lugged my boat to the put-in just upstream of the drop. As soon as everyone was ready I made the ferry to river left and slowly approached the horizon line. At the lip I was able to set up along the right side of the river left tongue and slowly fade into a classic Oregon tuck. Towards the bottom of the drop I reconnected with the waterfall which provided for a surprisingly soft hit. After some downtime I resurfaced upright and was able to use the remaining half of my paddle to make my way to shore.

My sequence from Upper North

Heather was next up to give'r and came off the lip just left of where I had lined up. The banked lip twisted Heather a little to the right, but set her up for a sweet landing in the pool below. Heather ended up swimming and emerged from the boils with a second broken paddle in hand.

Heather lining up for the plug

Next up was Chuck who, on this day, set a new standard for stout running steeze... I'll let the pictures tell the story.

After witnessing Chuck's mind blowing front flip Nate fired it up and emerged at the bottom with the only intact paddle (we started the day with four). From here we drove back up the gorge where I got some rest and prepared myself for an upcoming week of paddling. Stay tuned for more photos and stories of the goods we pursued during this week of exclusive WCKA alumni stouting.

To check out some of Nate Herbeck's hi-res photos from this trip and other excursions visit

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kayak Session Cover: The Inside Story

For anyone who has yet to read the most recent Kayak Session (2o10 Summer Issue #34) check it out. The cover shot is of myself on Summit Creek Falls on Summit Creek in WA, so I thought I might fill you in on the story of that particular shot. The day this shot was taken Evan Garcia, Erik Boomer, my brother and I were doing the first descent of the upper canyon on Summit Creek. After some exciting slides and a stout triple drop we came across this monster drop. The drop started off with a 20-30ft. chunky slide that steepened out and eventually, after hitting an auto-boof flake, free fell about 40ft. into a tight landing zone, then proceeded to flow into another series of 3 slides. Erik Boomer was first to fire up the beast and came off the flake with a fat boof stomp. Upon hitting the water his skirt exploded and he paddled the next 3 drops with his boat half full of water. After watching Boomer fire off the beast I decided I wanted to give'r a go. Instead of boofing as I went over the flake I decided to plug it and had a relatively soft landing. However my skirt imploded upon impact and I had to chase my boat down as it floated through the following triple slides. After I gathered everything together I hiked back up to the drop and watched Evan Garcia fire off the bad boy with classic E.G. steeze. He, similar to Boomer, boof stomped the shit out of the drop and ended with an exploded skirt. Luckily he was able to put his skirt back on before sliding down the next three drops. After the first, second and third descents of Summit Creek Falls we paddled further down stream and proceed to paddle more sick slides and the monster Skate Park drop which free falls 40+ ft. before reconnecting and launching into the pool below. So there you go... there's the inside scoop to the cover shot of Kayak Session #34. As a little bonus here's a couple other magazines where you may have seen/read about my brother and me.

Brendan and my first Claim to Fame: The whole family in Alaska on Canoe and Kayak Magazine's August 2002 issue

Brendan's 2 page spread in the 2009 August dispatch article for Outside Magazine. Erik Boomer captured this shot as well when my brother, at age 15, fell off 82ft. Metlako Falls.