Early in July I got some footage of Rob McKibbin, Sam Grafton and Darren Albright running the Wall on Tumwater Canyon at 4900 cfs. Darren is first, then Sam (notice the feisty hole ride he takes nearly halfway through) and then Rob, of course in his playboat.
The funny part about this day is that the point was for me, Dave Moroles and Charles Graves to run Upper Icicle down to Ricochet or the Sieve with Rob and Sam, and then somehow we decided that after watching these guys run the Wall we would run the in-between sections of Tumwater first (skipping Chaos and POW), kind of as an afterthought.
Note to self: Running anything in Tumwater at 4900 cfs is not in the ‘afterthought’ category, at least not for me. It’s a good example of how sometimes things just escalate.
Anyway, not long after this video was taken Dave, Charles and I were putting in below the Dam. Rob, Sam and Darren were a few minutes ahead of us, and Dave was looking a bit grim, understandably – he was in a playboat, and the highest I’ve done Tumwater is 1850 cfs. Not surprisingly, about 7 seconds after getting on the water (and maybe 12 seconds after telling Dave in a chirpy little voice, ‘Everything’s going to be fine!’), I was upside down in Dam rapid taking what felt like mallet hits to my helmet. I think I could have rolled up anyway because I’ve rolled up after some pretty massive hits before, but suddenly my paddle hit a rock and the next thing I know it was in two pieces in my hands. It was a bit like, ‘Hmmm, never done this before’.
I didn’t try rolling up with half a paddle (although I realize now that’s a great thing to practice), so I got to swim pretty much all of Dam rapid – not recommended! I was really fortunate to walk away with just some major leg bruises because the water is really fast and super shallow at the top – it turns out Darren had flipped there too and taken some major clonks before rolling up.
Anyway, once all the excitement was over (thanks to Dave for retrieving my boat, and Charles for making a solo run down part of Tumwater looking for my paddle that he didn’t know was broken) we ran Icicle from RV down to Ricochet (I walked Limbo, being pretty much topped out on adrenaline for the day) and Charles got this cool video of me, Sam, Dave and Rob running Roadside Attraction rapid.