Jul 11 2011
Jun 25 2011
Check ‘er Out!
The fourth installment of our biweekly video updates.
This one features playboating exclusively in earls. For this we tried out some of our new filming systems like the dolley and flag pole. It was filmed exclusively on an HD GoPro.
The level for earls was between 7.9 and 8.1, mainly at 8.0
Jun 15 2011
In an attempt to ramp things up in terms of the quality of shots we are getting for our video updates, we have come up with a number of ways to get good video results on a budget.
We have put together 3 different ways to get the shots we are looking for. The first, and most basic, is designed to go along with a Go Pro helmet cam. We have taken a flexible, extendable (and once very broken but since repaired) sky flag pole and added a gro pro mount. It extends to about 21 feet in length – making it ideal to hold out infront of a feature or over the river. These telescopic flexible sky flag poles will run you about $30-$40 or so and can be found at home depot.
The next tool we built was a steady cam mount – again, on a budget. We did some research online and found a very low cost design for one of these that garnered reasonable results… its very simply. Three 1/2 inch steel pipes connected to a T-joint, along with a 3 pound counterweight. This offers way better results then a folded tri-pod. You can pick up the steel pipe at the hardware store, all in this will cost about $15. You attach the counterweight at the bottom, and the camera to a bolt at the top. You can also flip it upside down for closer to ground shots.
The last thing built is a low cost dolley. This allows for panning shots, or chase shots depending on the set up. We took a 1×12″ pine board, added 2 runners on either side as the base of the dolley. Next was to take an old set of skate board trucks and wheels, and mount them to a 2×6 scrap wood. We put a go pro mount on this, but we are also going to add in a tri-pod head option as well for other video cameras.$20 for the wood and nails, and I found the skate board trucks in the basement…
All of these low budget devices work better with image stabilization. With most convetional video cameras, a stabilizer on the lens first works best, but if you can’t get one, then software that will stablize a shot is a good alternative. We are pretty pumped to put these to good use and see what results we can get!
Jun 01 2011
On very short notice we decided it would be great to head down and do a double run of both Twenty Mile Creek, and Spencers Creek. We decided the night before we should go for it. So we called Tam, and she was in as well. Levels were holding on the high side. Big shout out to liquid lore and five2nine for pioneering this run and providing beta – without you guys we never would have known about it or run it. Click to read more….
Our day began at 6:00 am… since this is way out of the normal halifornia range of things. We packed up, and headed to the river and arrived at roughly 11am. Levels were holding pretty well on the high side of things. So we put in and sauntered down to Upper Balls Falls.
We set camera in a few key locations, and had one of us running saftey at the bottom from their kayak in case anything went wrong. James ran first and cleaned up. A perfect line and perfect angle set the standard. I went next, and ran it equally clean. All in all, a solid drop and some high fives went down.
After the portage around the very impressive Balls Falls proper, we made our into the lower section. Some smooth sailing down some fun continous class II / III got us to the top of The Causeway. We took out to scout. This took a little time, since this rapid is pretty involved. We had some prior warning from Boydo to be catious since in highwater it gets full on. No kidding. We set the cameras rolling on tripods, then set saftey. One person by the strainer and potential pin, the other by the lower hole in case of a swim and stick.
James suited and took the first line down. After a near stick in a hole we considered insiginifcant, he proceeded to dominate the line. Good forward speed, solid boofs, and some world class skills saw him down. His words;
“Neal, that was the most full on rapid I think I have ever run. I don’t think I’ve done anything as technically demanding as this in my life. That being said, I have full confidence that you’ll style this line. Keep your forward speed up and that will see you through as long as you stay on line”
We swapped saftey duty, and I hopped in. I was 3 moves down before I made the one mistake that would then set off a very long, arduous day. I slipped up, I got caught on a boil, braced, and lost all my forward speed before the most powerful hole halfway down – the one also beside the strainer. I recovered as best I could, boofed with all my energy, but the recirc pulled me back in since I had no momentum. I knew this hole would be a beat down, and I still had the latter half of the rapid to get through. Instead of wasting my energy in a battle I knew would be mostly hopeless – I pulled my skirt. I made two laps through the hole before I managed to get myself out. A chance to poke my head out got me some air and water in one. My boat was still going for a ride. I appeared partway downstream, below the major hazards and James with the rope. Before I coudl recover I balled up and went straight through the next major hole. I resurfaced near Tam, who threw me a rope, but I was too focused on what was ahead, some rocks and potential undercut. I got my feet as high up as possible out of the water, and pushed as hard off as I could to the center with my legs and around the hazard. One more hole to ball up through. Finally, I could breathe. I stabilized myself. The meat was over, but the swim wasn’t.
After this, the river mellows into class III continuous, but a large number of strainers and lack of eddies develop. I ended up in a weak point in the current beside a strainer. The way things worked out, I managed to hold on to the log and stabalize myself with my legs and remain in position. My energy was going down rapidly. Tam and James response was fast – they were down in seconds and had a rope out to pull me in. I caught it, swung in, and collapsed from exhaustion. 60 seconds of swimming and very little time above the surface.
My boat went a few kilometers down river. My paddle remains a mystery. But what really made the differnce was
#1 – Good swimming skills. Getting myself out of the hole and staying safe out there was really important.
#2 – Swimming almost right away. I don’t always recomend this, but I knew the hole would retain a boat without a doubt and trying to get out in one piece would likely just have drained me of all energy and swimming anyway. Getting out right away at least left me with the energy and air supply to keep myself together
#3 – Good safety set up. We had our bases covered.
I did swallow a lot of water, and puked up a bunch. We thought it was best to head to a clinic to ensure that I still didn’t have water in my lungs. After we got the all clear, we headed home.
May 31 2011
Once we got on the creeking train with Kahshe Creek, we decided to keep exploring. Unfortunately time was against us, since we still had to show up to work, and couldn’t creek until the following week… this meant water levels would be dropping. We had two options infront of us… Sharpes creek near Bracebridge, or Papineau Creek near Maynooth – which is pretty close to Moore Creek which claimed a few years ago.
On some advice from Ed (legend) we decided on Papineau – since it was likely there was no water in Sharpes by this point in time. So we headed to Papineau. Checking out some topo maps, and getting some information from Strano, we decided on our put-in and take out.
The first drop is a warm up Class II, with two small boofs.
Following this warm up, you run into the main event of the creek, Neuman Falls. Neuman is an interesting drop, roughly a 10 foot falls with a few major hazards including an undercut, strainer, and vertical pin potentail. The line was straight forward enough – a two stage hit to the bottom and some boogie water out.
Neuman was a great technical drop and a lot of fun. After Neuman we ran into a small class III slide, followed by some flatwater.
After this there was a long section of continuous class III until our take out. Unfortunately we took out at the highway, and only later did we discover from Strano that there was a pretty fun class IV drop after the take-out.
View Papineau Creek in a larger map
May 30 2011
Highlights from Kahshe Creek and Terminator on the Gull!
May 30 2011
Decided to mess around with some delay effects on some video. Here are the results!
May 30 2011
We put in on a fairly rainy day and had our expectations set pretty high based on the previously mentioned beta. The first drop was obstructed by a foot bridge as indicated, though the drop was a pretty small class III one move rapid, so no big dissappointment there. Next is a larg Class V+ less then vertical falls – which the locals funny enough call Sabertooth. We decided to walk this. While the lead in was alright, the rapid narrows considerably at the bottom, along with some significant reactionaries ready to dump on you some rocks face first, with a big rock river right ready to take your head off.
I’d like to go back to this in higher water, as I think it would be more feasible. While I’d like to think we may have been capable of running this drop, it was ultimately up to chance whether or not you run the bottom and make it out unscathed.
Following this was a great class III / IV drop, which included a pretty fun boof over some tow back. We ended up running multiple lines over this since we were anxious to do some paddling and weren’t sure if there was anything worthwhile afterwards. From what I understand this is just the second part of Sabertooth.
From there there is some boogie water, as well as another small class III rapid before we reached the highway. We decided to paddle underneath the highway, since the culverts were huge, and had some fun looking stuff in them as well, in addition to being boat scoutable.
One of the guys giving out beta had mentioned there was a potential drop below the highway, so we decided to take a look further downstream, and we ran into probably the most fun drop of the day.
This drop is a boof over a hole into a 10 foot vertical falls. There is a line on river right requiring no boof, but we decided it wasn’t worth the risk of a potential piton. There were a lot of no tresspassing signs, so we went and talked to the home owners and they said go for it. In fact they actually came out and watched us run it, and said come back any time. They also mentioned they had never seen or heard anyone of running this drop, since it is literally in their front yard.
This pretty much made our day, and the line was super fun. Not often do you find a clean vertical drop in Ontario, so I definitely recomend hitting this.
Overall, the Kahshe creek was more of a park and huck. We could have put in at the Kahshe lake campground and had a quick walk back to the car. I’d defintely recommend these drops to anyone in the area.
Here is how to get there..
View Kahshe Creek Map in a larger map