Friday, February 13, 2009

Lets Play: OKCC Play Clinic #2

Saturday Feb 2,

Welcome to the second edition of the monthly Oregon Kayak and Canoe Club's Playboating clinic.The weather here lately has been sunny, cold and clear making for beautiful days, cold clear nights filled with stars and very low water. Last time we were on one of Oregon's best know play runs, Lake Creek. This time we were relying on dam release at a normal summer flow: The Niagra Run on the North Santiam.


Shuttling Boats

We had a gorgeous sunny put-in below Niagra rapid: a vaulted, short gorge with double undercut walls and an entrance that is just 5 ft wide. The rapid isn't hard, but the potential for carnage with a group of 11 just makes it not worth it so we put in right below it. Shuttling the boats down the walk way, on a gorgeous and relatively warm sunny day can get kind of warm in a drysuit so after a short cooling off period we got right to work at playing and found a squirt and a couple of holes right there


Cooling off and playing around in the water

Unfortunately, because of the low water, none of the normal eddy serviced playspots were in so we focused on eddy line and down river play in all the little spots, the type that every local knows on their home rivers. The North Santiam is no exception and conversations like, "So, just behind the next rock is a great little right cartwheel spot but you have to enter just square and be careful not to go to vertical or you'll hit the bottom" were pretty common. Sadly without any real spots, its hard to stop for photos.


Playing on one of the better eddylines

On a river with no "play spots" we still took several hours longer than usual having squirted, surfed, endoed and cartwheeled our way down the river so people were pretty exhausted and cold by the time we got to Spencer's Hole: the only well known, named hole on the river. Spencer's is a spot only a mother could love. It's intimidating, sticky and flushy, has a rock in the bottom, has a two stage attainment just to make it back up to the eddy, and a rock you can flush onto if you come off the surfer's right side of the wave upside down. That being said, its one of my favorite spots in the area and once you learn to work it, the possibilities are endless. Only a few of the troupe were still feeling up to throwing themselves in at the end of the day, with the sun going down behind the clouds that showed up.


Ann in Spencer's

We rounded out our day at the Sierra Mexican Restaurant in Gates Oregon and with our bellies full and our arms heavy we made our way back to Portland. Thanks to Michael for organizing and Shannon, Markus, Liane, William, Ann, Carey, Michele, Nobu and Willie for coming out, playing along, supporting and just plain having a good time!

Special Thanks to Liane for pickup up my camera at the end of the day at Spencer's!

OKCC Play Clinic #1

More Photos from OKCC Play Clinic #2

Throwing down in the Astro at Spencer's HoleThrowing down in the Astro at Spencers Hole


See you at the next one.


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