This past Winter and Spring, New Mexico had one of the worst droughts in history. It sucked. No skiing equals no boating and no boating equals "Hell". So it has been a pleasant suprise that the Rio Grande has been flowing this Fall. The playboating has been good and the Upper Box is IN! This saturday I headed to the Upper with Tim Kelton, Ed Lucero and Steve White. There was a bit of snow on the ground but the temps were around 60 degrees and the flow was a low, but very fun 500cfs. We put on about 1.30pm and were done at 5.30pm, this included the hike down and out, with a few scouts along the way and one minor boat extraction. I would have to say that it was one of my favorite days on the Upper ever.
Parking at bear crossing, the start of the hike down.
TK watching his step
Ed dialing in his new boat
Atom heading toward h2o
Ed making the move Hell Hole. At this level the landing has a nasty seam that wants to flip you and send ya upside down into the river left sieve. upon landing, Ed was buried to his helmet, resurfaced and made the move right.
TK also making the move at Hell Hole. His line was a bit hectic. He got caught in the seam and flipped, rolling up just before the sieve.
Tk rolling up just to the right of the bad ju ju sieve. I walked the drop after watching that line.
TK with some pleasure at Pleasure Plunge
Ed getting the pleasure on.
Ed's favorite rock room on the Upper
TK running the first part of Boulder Fan. The hole he is boofing is very sticky. Steve got backendered here and rolled into the undercut river right rock shown in front of TK. This resulted in a quick cold swim.
Ed in the second drop of Boulder Fan
Tk in the second part of Boulder Fan
Steve chillin in the great calm, the flatwater between Pleasure Plunge and Boulder Fan. Awesome to see a C1'r running the Upper. Wish I had some photos of him running stuff but he was following my line the whole time. He styled it..(except for one part)
TK, Ed and Atom getting the last rays of sunshine before the hike out
Heading to camp
No ice cream for NM misshaps, Beer bootie always.