Video: Me and Friends on Roadside Attraction, Icicle Creek

I could just as easily call this video “Why I love whitewater kayaking” because it’s a perfect example of everything that’s amazing about it – the beautiful surroundings, the thrill of whitewater and the great people you do it with.  This is me, Rob McKibbin, Dave Moroles and Sam Grafton on Roadside Attraction on Icicle Creek on July 4, 2010 when the Wenatchee was at 4900 cfs.

Thanks to Charles Graves for filming this!  (Due to having to skip the paddle after tweaking his back out getting stuck in a hole for 30 seconds on Tumwater that morning looking for my paddle that broke in half and resulted in my swim through Dam rapid – ouch! But that’s another blog post….)

Anyway, Sam’s in the lead, I’m in the blue and white boat that flips (huge surprise) followed by Rob in the red playboat and then Dave.  Notice how I completely don’t paddle going into that drop that flips me, and then you can hardly see it but after I roll up I do the next drop backwards.  Which surprisingly often works out pretty well – I’ve done it enough times that I’m telling Rob my goal is to eventually do all of Tumwater backwards.  And now maybe Icicle too. :)  Anyway, first time on Icicle and it was definitely a stretch for my skill level but it was a blast and I would love to do it again, as scary as it was.  (If you haven’t done it yet, it’s definitely a lesson in the ‘it’s bigger than it looks from the road’ department.)

P.S. I should mention that we put in at RV and I walked Limbo and took out at Ricochet.  Then Sam broke HIS paddle on Son of Ricochet.  It was just one of those days when things break, I guess!  Also, Icicle was 875 cfs on the Professor Paddle virtual Icicle gauge.


Adayak - July 8, 2010

Nice recovery from the flip though – in traffic too!

Irene - July 8, 2010

Thanks, I was kind of bummed I missed that first roll but overall happy to end things upright.

Blair - July 12, 2010

That was 875 CFS? That looked pushy for 875. Looks fun!

Irene - July 14, 2010

Hey Blair, I think that was 875 cfs, that was going by the Professor Paddle virtual gauge which I really don’t know where that information comes from, but I’ve been using that and the main level on the Wenatchee to monitor Icicle – this was my first time down so hard to say for sure. Sure felt pushy to me! :)

Jillian - July 14, 2010

Hi. I just wanted to leave you a comment saying how much I’ve enjoyed your blog so far. I stumbled upon it randomly through a google search, and am now backtracking through your posts. I’ve never been whitewater kayaking before, but I’m taking my first stab at it in 2 weeks.

Irene - July 17, 2010

Hi Jillian, Thanks for your comment on the blog, that is great you’re going to try whitewater kayaking, are you taking a class somewhere? It is an awesome sport (obviously I am a tad biased ;))and for some reason the people who fall in love with it just seem to be mostly amazing people, way more so than any other sport that I’ve been in. Anyway I’d love to hear how your first stab at it goes, and if there’s any info I can pass on that might be helpful just drop me a line here, I’ve got a ton of ‘new kayaker’ advice that I want to put on here eventually, right now most of it is in my head – and it’s not like I’m an expert, but I’ve been fortunate to learn around a lot of great kayakers and definitely can also pass on some stuff I didn’t do right that would have helped me to know when I was starting out. Have fun out there!

Jillian - July 27, 2010

Thanks for the response! :) I just got back from a 3 day class with Sierra South on the Kern river, and to sum it up, it was amazing!! :) I’ve definitely fallen in love with it. Looking back on how on day 1 I felt like I was super wobbly just on the lake, and everyone in the class was flipping on peel-outs in the smallest of currents, to being able to run some class IIs and IIIs with some level of confidence. I’m hoping to see if I can get up there again in a few weeks before the water level is too low and practice some more. And especially work on my roll. At the risk of sounding too cliche or corny, I am hoping that these past 3 days were only an intro into many many more years of kayaking to come.

Irene - July 28, 2010

That is awesome Jillian! I can tell you’ve got the bug, I totally know how you feel. That is quite impressive to go from just starting out to feeling comfortable up to some III stuff that soon, it took me a lot longer than that to feel OK on IIIs (although having a good roll is a huge part of it, as you noticed, since it means you can put yourself into things that are a bit over your head and still recover without a major hassle.) I’d love to hear back about how things go, and no, you’re not being corny at all! :) I totally understand what you’re saying, it’s a sport that turns into a passion for a lot of people, myself included, and I’m so glad you had a great experience starting out with it. Post back sometime and let me know how it’s going!

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