Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lower St. Louis River April 4, 2009

The crew of (pictured left to right) Ryan Zimny, Joerg Steinbach, Justin Japs, Joel Decker, John Kiffmeyer, and not pictured rookie Tony Nigon all paddled the lower St. Louis River at 800 cfs. The Dam that separates the upper and lower sections has always been considered a run but no one stepped up to do it. John and Justin hiked up to the base of the dam and determined it was good to go. The final test was sending a log over to see how it would react in the hydralic at the bottom. The test was a success and John went solo and got the 1st Descent of the Dam. The rest of the crew decided to line up and go at the same time. It was a success and a Gas!
This run was also Tony Nigon's first taste of Class V rapids. He did awesome and it was great to be apart of taking him down the river. He styled Octupus and Finn Falls with ease.

Lower St. Louis River March 28, 2009

Tommy Meirhoff and Andy Scheidel loading boats

Joergie, Decker, Scheidel, Zimny, and Justin paddled the lower louie on Saturday. The water level was approximately 6000cfs. The weather forecast predicted 36 and partly cloudy. Well, it was completely wrong with snowy conditions. It was a hot 27 degrees, windy and snowing. Pre-paddle, we all gathered at Decker's and everyone was stoked to get out on the water regardless of the nasty weather conditions. It was great to have most of the crew back together again after a long brutally cold winter. The crew loaded boats into Tommy's suburban and cruised to the put in.

Andy Scheidel and Joel Decker getting out into some whitewater

Zimny, Joerg, and Justin put in above Cliff''s hole. Decker and Scheidel put in below the large manky hole. Above the hole, Joerg was off like a jack rabbit as usual. Zimny sat in a large eddy and watched Joergs line. Zimny creepily yelled that Joerg was off line going into the meat of Cliff's hole and "we better get down to recover the carnage if he swims."

Left to Right: Joerg Steinbach and Andy Scheidel

Zimny sprinted far river left to narrowly avoid the hole and Justin followed the same line. As they paddled passed the hole, Justin looked river right and Joerg was sitting in the eddy grinning. The crew was shocked and stoked he made it out of that sous hole. He got worked in the hole then flushed himself using the "dig for the brown technique." It was a great "stay calm under pressure moment." After the race course section, they paddled through first sister rapid and paddled river right around second sister to Octupus. By that time, the wind and the snow was kickin. Decker had a sick line and pinned himself on flat water during the Octupus portage. Nothing dangerous and totally halarious.

Joel Decker pinned

The bone yard was a full on sprint fighting cold hands and frozen faces. Scheidel was stoked! We reached the swinging bridge waterfall and all had great lines and soft landings. We came off the river completely full of ice with huge smiles on our frozen faces. The season is on....

Left to Right: Andy Scheidel, Ryan Zimny, Joerg Steinbach, Joel Decker, Justin