The Raven Fork was one of the first bigger creeks I did in NC. It’s just such a gem of a run. The rocks are so smooth and the style feels a little different than most runs out here. With a few of the most classic rapids in the southeast, plus plenty of other memorable ones. It’s just a run that whether low or high, you’re gonna have a great day.
Normally the only laps I get on the Russel Fork are the day of the race, which means I am only ever in a long boat. But this year due to the fact I could get up the weekend before it meant I could not only get more training laps but also get an Antix lap. Which in this case was the first time in around 10 years I have been able to get a lap in anything other than a long boat. It was so fun finally going slow and hitting all the moves I normally race by!
Led by LJ we ventured into the upper stretches of the Puesco river. What we found left us blown away. Super steep section with really stout rapids locked in a gorge. Big portages and hard stretches of whitewater kept us entertained for over 8 hours…. The ultimate hard run in Pucon is here 🙂
Racing the Green Race is so epic on it’s own, but it’s also the off water experience that makes it one of the best days of the year. Everybody wants to have a good run, but in the end everyone is just so fired up to be there. Even if someone has a bad run or even swims, they are still smiling and enjoying hanging out. The energy is always insane, the stoke is so high as people come through, it’s just a day I look forward to all year long.
Every year I am always so fired up for the first long boat training lap on the Green. This year I was especially fired up because normally I have to do my first lap and shake off the cobwebs just a few days before the race, this year I got to do mine a whole month before. Although since then there has hardly been any days to do more training, it has helped being able to spend more time in a long boat than I normally would get before the race. This wasn’t the Sub 4 debut run I was looking for, but pulling out of the start line for the first time gets me every time. Now only a few weeks away, let’s hope I can get some more laps and clean up the lines!
Though every run that I have gotten the new Antix on has been dope, I have been waiting for the chance to get it on the Upper Gauley. I just knew it was gonna be so fun, and the ultimate boat for it. I was definitely not disappointed, it was better than I expected. With the 2.0 it just seemed like there were 10x as many moves as there was before, all the way down to even the final rapid. Every little seam was possible to hold an endless squirt, and the ferries and moves were even better with that extra speed. It didn’t hurt that I got to paddle with Stephen and Clay who had been there all summer, so they were able to show me all the new moves they had found. I was absolutely exhausted by the end, but I could do that day after day, and continue to find new moves every time. It was glorious.
The Green is special in itself but 200% is up there with one of the best days on the water. Anything up to 21-22″ the run is nothing but joy to bomb down. But once you move past around the 22″ mark things start to escalate quickly and every inch starts to add a lot of water in that steep section. Most of the run continues to be as glorious as ever, but Gorilla into the slides start to become absolutely stout. I made a pit stop headed elsewhere at the put in exit for the Green, which turned out to be the best decision ever, cause I woke up to a ton of rain. Not only was the Green back at epic flows, but Big Hungry creek was flowing in giving the perfect combo. Matt Anger picked up the call, and it was just another rowdy, but glorious lap!
Outside of Molina, Chile, lies one of the most incredible places to experience. The rio Claro is a river that you can only truly appreciate its glory, and many sections are only possible to access, by kayaking it. It is about as narrow, and committing as kayaking gets. It is one of my favorite runs in the world, and by far one of the most beautiful. The chrystal clear water, the towering overhanging walls of the gorge, and the endless drops. It is a place like one other, and I am always counting down the days till I can drop back in.
Remember the river we cleaned the lines up on by cutting out the trees so it would be in prime condition when the high water came? The highwater is here and the river is amazing. It’s named the Venter Ache for anyone wondering.
Dane Jackson takes a very stout run down the Lower Rauma.
I had grown up seeing so many videos of one of the biggest classics of Norway, the Lower Rauma. Finally getting the chance to experience it was unreal and it was everything I could have imagined, and more. I not only ended up getting the 3rd descent of Brennenfossen which is an ultra stout that Bren first descented in 2016. I also ended up deciding to run Flemmingsfossen which is one of the most intimidating drops I have done as it has a very hard lip to line up, as well as only about a 20ft window where the drop doesn’t land on rocks. It was one hell of a day and I definitely can’t wait to get back to it, although I don’t think I will be running those 2 stouts again.