Saturday, September 26, 2009

4 days & 4 nights, A kayaking self support, 65 miles-class 2-5

This June, Cameron, Joe, Amos and I did a 4 day self support kayak trip on the Rio Grande from the Colorado border to the county line below the Racecourse. 65 miles of class 2-5. Great times, 1 lost kayaker, lost whiskey, carnage, fishing and a trip that is etched in my memory of good times forever.
I had been wanting to do this trip for the last 10 years. I could never rope fellow boaters into it. I guess the concept of lots of class 2 and beautiful scenery didn't excite the "core" paddlers around. Luckily, I have some great bros that love kayaking regardless of the grade level and they joined me. We had flows of about 950cfs, tons of gear in our kayaks, a good attitude and actually paddled some whitewater during the trip. Sections that we kayaked were, Ute Mountain, Razorblades, Upper Box, la Hunta, Lower Box, State park, and Racecourse. I would recommend this 4 day self support trip to anyone that loves an adventure. We had an absolute blast. The wildlife was abundant, the scenery unbelievable, the winds way strong, and the whitewater was a blast. One of the best trips I have ever done. Oh ya, The Everest rules as a multi-day kayak. I think this trip will become an annual event. Stay tuned for next years episode and feel free to join us if you can break away from the "stout" for 4 days. It will do you good.
Enjoy. beers, Atom...

4 days & 4 nights, A kayaking self support, 65 miles-class 2-5 from atom crawford on Vimeo.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Upper Box Geezer Video

What do you have when you get 8 kayakers together and no one is under 40 yrs young? Well, we all affectionately named it the Geezer show. One fine Sunday morning, the 8 of us showed up to run the classic Upper Box in Northern New Mexico. It is a cool feeling to still paddle with folks that you have kayaked with over the last 15-20 years. There was about 150 yrs combined kayaking experience on the river this day. I have fond memories of meeting Chan at Tunnel falls on Gore in 1995, Svenny taking me down the Embudo and Upper Box in 1994, Marcia routing me down the Pueblo in 1996, Brett running the Embudo at 4.6ft in 1996, following William down the Embudo when he still C-1'd and watching him style everything. Kayaking creates friendships that last a lifetime. It was great to get together with this crew and have a fantastic day on the water. Everyone of these boaters has inspired me and shown me some incredible times. On and off the river.
This little video is for all the old schoolers still rocking it and for the newbies coming up. Kayaking for me is all about enjoying the river and the special places it takes you and the friendships generated along the way. Hope we can all do this again in another 20yrs. Cheers, Atom...

Geezer Upper Box Kayaking Show from atom crawford on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Embudo low flow-Junk show & Vertical Pin

Well the Embudo season has come and gone. We got on it a couple more times as the flows were dropping out. As you will see, there is a bad pin spot at the very bottom of the drop called MJ. Far river left on the last drop is a perfect pocket for a vertical pin. We were lucky that the paddler pinned during low flows, high flows would have made the pin very scary. So stay away from the far left wall when running this drop. And as most of you are well aware, always carry a rope when scouting. A rescue vest is also key when creeking. Be safe and aware out there this season. Cheers and enjoy the Junk Show.....

Embudo low flow junkfest and vertical pin from atom crawford on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

1st Annual "Budo Fest" Extreme kayak Race

The 1st Annual "Budo Fest" was awesome. The Embudo was Flowing a stout level and we had 2 teams for the race. Tons of folks hiked into the Slots to watch the teams come through the last section. Evan Ross, Tim Kelton and Rolf Kelly had a time of 40 minutes. Pretty awesome for a 7 mile class 5 run. Kyle McCutchen, Oliver Deschler and Luke Pennington had a time of 49 minutes. Huge props to these guys for entering the race. There was a raffle Saturday evening that raised $250.00 for American Whitewater, in our friend Mitchell Smiths name. The whole event went off without a hitch. A big shout out to Colorado Kayak Supply, Astral Bouyancy, Keen, Taos Mountain Outfitters,
Shred Ready and Lunch Video Magazine for supporting the event and donating prizes for the raffle. Local artist Lex Lucious made some cool trophies for the winners. John Grace from LVM brought out the Jumbo Tron and everyone dug the big screen and movies during the party.I'll be posting a longer report with photos soon. Here is a short video of the event. Cheers, Atom...

1st Annual "Budo Fest" Extreme Kayak Race May 9th 2009 from atom crawford on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Crocs, Sharks & a little whitewater as well.....

It is winter time down here in New Mexico. The mountains have snow but the lower valleys are getting toasty during the day. Perfect for some nice 60 degree weather to go boating in. The Rio Grande Racecourse section flows year round and some folks kayak it all winter. Today I was joined by Thad and Lisa. Thad has only been boating for 5 months and is the most fired up individual I have ever met about going boating. Lisa has been boating for awhile,and is just recovering from shoulder surgery. A mellow beautiful day with some minor mishaps (mental delusions), lay ahead...Oh ya, Nate also joined us. Were not to sure about this Nate guy....

The putin..

Thad looking good. For only boating for 5 months, he sure does have the nicest gear. He has on the pimpinShred Ready Tdub helmet, the new awesome Astral Green Jacket, the AT2 flexi paddle and he fits perfectly into the new Pyranha Karnali kayak. I respect the fact that he bought great gear even as he is learning. Less upgrading later...

Lisa seal launching in....

Thad has been working on his roll like there is no tomorrow. Here he demonstrates the adverse effects of bringing your head out of the water first.

I didn't capture the perfect roll demonstration by him right after this. I later asked him what his secret was to perfecting the roll in any situation. Especially this early in his kayak career. He said, Atom its really pretty simple, I'm terrified of sharks and so I just pretend that they are in every river I Kayak on. If I swim, I get eaten. So it makes me roll every time. He then told me about his favorite movie. Here is a preview of it..

After all the shark talk, I had to do some Bow Stalls...

Thad charging...

Lisa during the aftermath of a rare swim. I asked what the heck happened? Oh not much she said, I just thought I saw a Crocodile and so I freaked out and tried to ward it off with my paddle. Ahhhhh, Okay?

Lisa then confessed to me that she loved crocodile movies, but is totally scared of the actual creatures. This is her favorite Croc movie..

Back on track. Thad running Big Rock

Thad looking like he is training for the Middle Kings.

Lisa Training for the Micos en Mexico.

Lisa catching the Eddy at Sleeping Beauty

Thad same..

That guy Nate finally shows up.

Yup, that is Nate's tongue sticking out. I have about 50 shots of him surfing Sleeping beauty and his tongue is out in every shot. Lisa thinks it looks hot...

Thad getting some surf in..

Lisa one upping Thad (she actually made it in the hole)

Nate going for the elusive Helix.

Afterward I asked him what he thought about before trying such a hard move. Older women, he said without hesitation.
This is for you buddy..

Well an awesome day was had by all. I'm gonna end it with a plug for the NRS Toaster Mit. My hands are always freezing in the winter time (tried pogies and gloves-all of them). Tried these out today and was actually sweating. The paddle felt fine while wearing them. I'm sold using them for play runs and easier river running. I would not recommend them for creeking. Over and out. I'm off to Chile for 3 weeks where hopefully there are no crocs, sharks or aggressive cougars...