Monday, January 23, 2006

Q is for "quitters"

So there we were, getting our asses kicked in the second pitch of our rope-assisted ascent out of the Big Q gorge, when Paul casually drops "Yeah, the Big Q is the 'tenderloin' of the Eastern Peninsula runs .." At that moment, I was clinging to the canyon wall & a tree, dodging rockfall kicked loose from the cliff overhead. I paused for a moment to reflect on the curious timing & delivery of his sage advice. "Neat," I thought to myself. I had to laugh though, I mean, I'd heard nothing about this run til earlier that morning in the ferry line-up when Schertzl says via cell phone, "Get your game face on!" .. & now, as I was boiling in my own sweat, I get the hard sell, "the tenderloin". I loved Paul's cavalier attitude toward our potentially dire situation, even after a seemingly sketchy cave/hole episode, a grueling portage, & now a brutal but necessary egress from the sheer-walled canyon. We only got a couple rapids before having to split due to wood blocking the gorge, but managed to have a great time anyway. Best part would have to be Couch's cabin at what would've been our takeout had things gone as planned. At least we slept comfortably & were able to enjoy our post-epic beers in style.

Heffernan on "Casserly's", the first drop of the run.

Boomer on the same.

Ross hauling on the first pitch.


Ross & Boomer.

Landslide rapid from the canyon rim.

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