Monday, April 21, 2008

Updater! ::: Spring 08 Stuff

I. Baby Dotcom
II. Big Weekend, Little White
III. The Main Event -- Robe Race 08
IV. Pounds All Around


I. Baby Dotcom

Poudre Posse stalwart .. Co-creator of one of the most celebrated websites in the whole history of the World Wides of Web .. Co-author of the river guidebook that redefined river guidebooks .. Proud wearer of the Yamika & observer of the Passover .. Mr. Evan Stafford, along with his lovely wife Nicole, are the elated new parents of little Kaija Michelle Stafford. Congrats & much love from your BFF in the PNW.

II. Big Weekend, Little White

The first ever official downriver race (& slalom event) on the LWS was, by all accounts, a huge success & a good time. Hood River loc Todd Anderson took the top honors. Congrats amigo! And nice work to Austin for actually pulling this off. Info & pics Here and also Here

III. The Main Event

And speaking of downriver races ...

Nowhere near as glam as some other PNW classics, The Robe Canyon of the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River humbly lurks in the North Cascade foothills an hour north of Sea-town. But for those who've been bitten by the bug, The Robe has become a bit of an obsession.

With somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 complex class V rapids & at least that many more class IV's, nearly all of which contain soaring big-water boofs, multiple lines, hungry holes & tons of "personality", this 5-mile canyon stretch is hoisting the "quality" flag high for the PNW. And at its best runnable flows, from +/- 800 cfs to double that, it's not really "creekin'", although there are plenty of creek lines to explore if you're so inclined. All of the rapids, except one, are remarkably clean, perfectly spaced, pool-drop style in a relatively remote, densely vegetated, basalt canyon. The gray glacial water is frequently pinched between polished vertical walls, & with ever present overcast skies, Robe can have an eerie vibe -- especially given the carnage this run has been known to dish out. But the more you get to know the canyon, the more you come to appreciate its dark beauty .. & in its current condition, the quality of the whitewater may be among the best you'll ever paddle.

This coming Saturday -- levels permitting -- we will be hosting the first ever Robe Canyon downriver endurance race. Teams of 2 will launch at 5-minute intervals to see who can make it through the length of the canyon the fastest. The race will begin just above Tunnel rapid, at the start of the canyon, & will include a mandatory portage at Landslide (cuz that's just a part of kayaking), & will finish at the cobble beach at the terminus of Lime Kiln Trail, just below the last big rapid, Conversation. With continuous class V from start to finish, it will be a pretty grueling race. I'd look for winning times to be somewhere around 35 min's. As such, emphasis will be placed on combining downriver efficiency with safety .. hence teams of two & a strong volunteer safety crew.

This is a NON-event -- there are no sponsors, no entry fees, no cash purse (though I did spring for some sweet prizes for the winners!), no red tape, no gapers, no celebs, & no attitudes. The day will be 1 part See-Who-Can-Make-It-Down-The-Fastest, & 1 part community celebration of this awesome resource. Then we'll eat pizza & drink beer.

If you're in the neighborhood, please come out & be a part of our little one-day circus -- For spectating, you can access one of the most action-packed parts of the river super easily from The Old Robe Trail, off the Mountain Loop Hwy east of Granite Falls. We'll be meeting Saturday at the Granite Falls parking turnout / Robe take-out at 9 a.m. for competitors/safety meeting. After party will be at Omega Pizza in cosmopolitan downtown Granite Falls, WA. If flows don't cooperate, we'll shoot for Sunday .. but I have a good feeling about Saturday. If you are interested in racing, please email me your team info asap so I can add you to the list.

To get you stoked, here's a short Vimeo piece on THE ROBE, shot & edited by our good friend Chris Tretwold of Bellingham Whitewater

Robe Canyon from CHRIST on Vimeo.

IV. Pounds All Around

For several days last week, drivers on I-5 seemed a lot less erratic. Bartenders & servers at Capitol Hill hipster hangouts & restaurants replaced their usual sneering or sardonic smirking with legitimate friendly smiles. Passersby on the sidewalks of downtown looked up from their fixed downward gaze & said hello to one another. And the sun even made a cameo appearance for about half a day.

His Holiness The Dalai Lama visited our fair city. Here he is seen showing Adult Contemporary heartthrob / Seattleite, Dave Matthews, the proper way to bump knucks. You'll start seeing this hot new style in all the gossip rags at the grocery store checkout .. but you saw it here first .. unless you actually saw it in the Seattle Times first.


Anonymous said...

Better hope North Face does not come after you - or better yet, that crazy guy who hangs around Nordstroms venting about how communists conspired against him and stripped him of his life's work.

the Dalai Lama is a commmmmmuuuuniist!!!!

nice video Chris - best captured robe footage yet.

I will miss spanking everyone at the race. I have more hard core matters to attend, like sea paddling the stout on the straight of juan de fuca. Beware of the tidal undertoes and current changes.



Anonymous said...

which ones are the complex rapids?

Shane Robinson said...

"Community Celebrations," new parents, His Holiness ... I think you have been reading the Uptight Seattlite a bit much ;-)

Is there a minimum flow set for the race?