Sunday, July 27, 2008

The LVM Green River GS

When it comes to interesting competitions, LVM's John Grace sure does know how to put on a competition that no one has ever seen before. The LVM Giant Slalom is the most recent of such competitions, and this time I think John has hit it right.

The Green River version of the Giant Slalom involved a down river section beginning at the putin for the Green, and ending at Chief (the drop just above the monkey). After that, it had 2 runs through a 7 gate slalom course set up in the slides after Gorilla, and the race finished just above Rapid Transit. Below, John explains the set up at the confluence of the Big Hungary and Green Rivers.

Since I left my camera at the putin, I didn't get any pictures of the down river section. Thankfully Adam Herzog brought me my camera. So after an hour of looking at the course (note that we were not allowed any practice runs on the course), we started the slalom portion. The slalom began with the slide in after Gorilla, and below is a photo of Nate Elliot just after his start.

Below is a picture Pat after making the first gate, making the move to the second gate in the Scream Machine.

Below, John Grace finishes the moves through Scream Machine and starts in to the Nies' Pieces sequence.

And, the following is Toby MacDermott beginning the Nies' sequence.

Next are a couple of shots from upstream of Adam Herzog and Chris Gragtmans (who eventually won) that show them making the moves into the Nies' sequence.

The crowd watching Adam:

Chris in the middle of the Nies' slides (I know the course isn't very visible here, but I really liked the picture):

Finally, the following photo shows the legend who has been laying down huge results for as long as I can remember, Shane Benedict, entering Nies' Pieces.

The next photo shows the last gate in the middle of Power Slide placed to set the paddler for hitting the hole head on. Caleb Coaplen showed everyone the right way to hit the line.

The race was amazing. Despite my not qualifying for the National Championships (i.e. making the top 20), I had a great time. I guess I could blame my poor performance on a hurt shoulder but no. I simply missed a gate (oh well maybe next year). Anyways, I decided to walk Sunshine and happened to get this picture of my buddy Eric Chance.

I would suggest all of you guys out there who can make it to go to the final in the LVM Giant Slalom series. I'll definitely be out there shooting pictures and running the Green at 200 percent. Until then maybe I'll see you on the water.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mountain Biking at Snowshoe

So, this weekend was a ball, but it was not without injury. I went so Snowshoe to ride the their bikes and the lifts back up the hill for the amazing fun. It's a bit expensive, especially if you get hurt, but entirely worth it. Let's look at the pictures, and I'll let you decide if the riding is worth it.

On my way to Snowshoe I saw this sight, and I thought it extraordinary. Really, how often do you see a limo made out of a Rolls Royce. Here it is, I hope you enjoy the picture.

I made it to Snowshoe after taking this picture and a little more driving. Myself and my two friends Chris Fehn and Mike Pfund had some great riding. All of the great stunts are located on the conventional side of the mountain for skiing. Here is Mike riding a ladder bridge.

After this trail we went after a few larger stunts. Hurting the bike is not an issue with riding these ladder bridges and drops because that is the deal with rental bikes, beat them to death and give them back. So, with that in thought Chris decided to hit this 20 foot gap.

After Chris finished with the super big 20 foot gap on the stunt side of the mountain, he decided to move on to road gaps. This road gap I speak of was near Cupp Run on the other side of the mountain. And of course in the process I decided to get hurt and just take pictures instead of riding. Here is a shot of it with an unknown biker from Alabama smoothing it.

And, here is are the picures of Chris having good lines off the road gap. Here is a wide angle of Chris just after the takeoff for the drop.

And the following, Chris mid air from down the hill.

I was really suprised and excited to watch both Mike and Chris fire up some huge riding.

As for me, I'm out of commission for a little while. But, I can promise some great shots from next week's LVM Giant Slalom. I'll try to cover the event with some killer pictures. So, this time you know what's next for me. But, after that who can tell.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Meadow Run and The Lower Yough

After two trips to the hospital and a good deal of abdominal pain over the last two months, I finally got back in my boat. It's remarkable how taking time off paddling makes you just want to paddle more. Anyways, I went to the Maryland and Pennsylvania to paddle the Upper and Lower Yough. We ended up getting far more rain than anticipated so 2 rivers over 3 days turned in to 4 rivers over 3 days.

We ended up paddling the Top Yough, the Loop 3 times, the Upper Yough, Meadow Run, and finally all of the lower. It was myself and my friends Jon, Michelle, and Catherine, although Michelle and Catherine only paddled the loop and the lower. So now on to pictures. Here is a shot of Jon making sure that he is fully ready to put on to the Upper.

We paddled the Upper at a level of 2.5ft. at the bridge, and it took us just under 2 hours. So, the speed accompanied with the rain, I decided not to shoot on the Upper. Similarly, rain kept me from shooting the Top. But, thanks to Michelle (who happens to be a pro triathlete, check out her website we got some great pictures of Meadow Run which is the creek that comes into the Lower Yough on the river left just after the putin.

Here's Jon having a good line on the first drop named "The Cascades".

The drop continues down, and Michelle got this picture of Catherine taking a picture of Jon.

Next I was up so here is a shot of me on the Cascades.

As you may be able to see Jon was paddling a Dagger Outburst (broken to boot, but the duct tape weld seems to be holding). With the broken outburst, he decided not to paddle the final slide which turned out to be tricker than I thought. But, luckily it worked out fine. So here I am.

Just behind me a spectator decided to swim the slide with no lifejacket or helmet.

Now this is fairly standard at 1/10th the flow, but this guy decided to give it a try. I wasn't too happy about it because if he had hit his head, then we would have been doing CPR, and that's always a drag.

We finished the weekend paddling the Lower, and here is Jon making the ferry at Cucumber. I like the picture simply for the explosiveness of the water.

As for me, it seems that I'm back even though the muscle work from paddling landed me in the hospital just 3 weeks ago. So, hopefully we'll see more good pictures.