Thursday, May 17, 2007

How I Came to Fall In Love with Robe Canyon During My Summer Vacation

If you have been following along, you know that we experienced some BIG WEATHER EVENTS this past winter that altered most of our rivers. ROBE CANYON has a history of a river that changes seasonally, and our EXPLORATION OF IT in November, following a record setting storm, proved that it lived up to that reputation. Many other storms followed the big one settling all the rocks in just the right places and leaving Robe in SPECTACULAR shape.

Two weeks ago, I finished the semester of school, and with two weeks off began summer vacation. This corresponded with about a week and a half of absolutely perfect bluebird weather (quite rare for Seattle in May - a typically cloudy month), consistent flows, and plenty of paddling partners. The result was several very, very fun laps of various speeds through my new favorite run.

The following images are not the usual outstanding quality that Hot Toddy produces, but I jumped out of my boat a few times with my trusty point and shoot rounding up a few images for eye candy and encouragement to get on this run while its in such good shape ... Enjoy!

Chris Tretwald about to air out the launching pad at the bottom of the New Last Sunshine - not to be confused with the similar sounding MOVIE with an equally good ending. The New Last Sunshine deserves a little beta: The rapid is totally good to go and should be run by most people attempting Robe; however, there is a rock in the landing that has damaged one elbow at 5.1 and seems to be less of an issue with more water. It can be scouted from the lip with some rock climbing, but portaging would be extremely difficult at that point; thus a scout of this drop should be taken from above Tunnel Rapid via the railroad tracks.

Chris and Christian on their way downstream from the New Last Sunshine. This used to be Trap Door One. T1 and T2 are completely gone, with all the gradient now occurring in the New Last Sunshine.

Below the New Last Sunshine, many amazing boofs will be enjoyed, including a clean boof in Hole in the Wall. After Landslide (still a portage) comes another pleasant change: Thats not Garbage, Thats the Compost. Chris going for the ultra fun boof that does not look intuitive from above, but trust me, you won't go into the log :)

Christian riding the fun exit curler on a High Brace! Notice the new log about 30 feet off the deck.

A fairly innocuous class IV rapid is now one of the better drops on the river, which includes two boofs and is known as The 20 Foot Waterfall. Christian on the first boof.

Chris on the second boof of The 20 Foot Waterfall.

Utah is probably wondering why there isn't a picture of him yet ...

Chris T.

Utah taking us Home.

Like all new loves, it is often the knowledge that it is a short fling which makes it so sensual. I am off to Spain tomorrow for a month, so I will be dreaming of her lines and hoping she saves a little season for my return.

By the way, I would love to do some boating in Spain, if any readers have some Spanish boating contacts they would like to share??? Muchas Gracias in advance.


Hale said...

It is an honor to be the first post of this update! In the past three years I have paddled Robe about six times always with a bit of fear and anxieties of its reputation! Now despite my eventful last run of robe I am very excited about Robe and how it has shaped up! Just a few weeks ago I was discussing favorite runs with two of my friends and Jeff said not on of us mentioned Robe??? Well after last weekend Robe is now in my top Five! I am looking forward to returning and for those that get there soon Boof center at catchers mit and paddle hard as soon as you land! I found out what happens if you dont! It was my most violent working ever, kind of like when a Bull rider gets his leg stuck in the saddle trying to get off!! Not pretty!
Peace Hale

Andrew Oberhardt said...

I've often heard people talk about how good Robe used to be, but as long as I've lived here (~4.5 years) it has been a mank pile. If Robe were to appear on any lists of mine, it would have been the most overrated rivers and rivers not worth your time unless you want a broken boat.

After the flood however, that has all changed. Robe is now tied for my favorite "local" run, and in my top 5 for the region. If you haven't paddled this river *this season*, then stop wasting time and get on it!

Of course, it's still not as good as the Ashlu Box Canyon, but that's a different story all together.

Anonymous said...

How about the new hole after Conversation. It was named "Mrs. Robinson" for the following reason: I ran it, then darcy, then Dr. tim and shane sat horrified and looked at it for a half hour. As such, i thought Shane was going to have to call his mom to come bail him out.

Todd Gillman said...

The New Robe is amazing. It's like your old best friend from freshman year of college, who turned into a sketchy ragin' alkie, but has totally cleaned up & is your new best friend all over again.

Little Miss Sunshine, the huge glory boof right above it, the multiple huge glory boofs right below it, the 20-foot Waterfall, New Garbage, Coversation with Mrs. Robinson ... so hott right now.

chrsk said...

Hey Shane,
Chris Korbulic here. I know some peeps in Spain if you want to paddle. They should be killin it. for a little more info.

JuiceMan said...

ehhh... there's still a teeeny bit of mank in there. I managed to dislocate a couple of ribs in one of those middle rapids when I went too far left, landed on a rock, and cried like a little girl about it.

Andrew and Todd know which rapid it is- whatever it's called, just don't go left in the runout!