Friday, May 21, 2010

201 Mothers day kayaking the Upper Box...

This past Mothers Day I had the pleasure of kayaking the Upper Box in NM with some great folks. Ryan and Cari Mackey from Telluride area were first time Upper Boxers, Eric Parker from Durango was helping show them down and keeping the vides good and positive. Amos Hockmeyer from Taos had been a bunch of times before but still couldn't remember any of the rapids :)
and Ross Elgin, AKA "Rosa" was a good buddy of mine down from Salida. He had last done the run 20 yrs ago.
We had a mellow flow of 700 cfs. This is the Gauge to check, 450cfs would be the minimum to do the run and above 1000 cfs the run starts to have some POP! The rapids are pretty straight forward and not too pushy at these 700cfs flows. The sieves are in full force however and it is wise to set safety at NCO, Hellhole and Big Arsenic. A more detailed run description can be found in The River Gypsies Guide to North America
or in Whitewater of The Southern Rockies
The weather was perfect and we all had a fantastic time. Enjoy the photos....

Rosa and Amos getting ready

Drifting through the beautiful canyon

Parker in Powerline Rapid

Amos entering NCO

Amos buried

Ryan NCO

Cari NCO

Parker in Hellhole

Rosa about to go backward into the sieve at Hellhole. Please wear a good PFD, carry a rope and pin kit and have first aid and a breakdown paddle. We got him out of the sieve and had all the necessary gear, but he would have been screwed if we had not set safety. Be safe out there...

Rosa in Pleasure Plunge


Ryan buried

Amos plunging

Cover shot

Cari in Pleasure

Cari Buried

Proof that I was there :)

Yes, there is Amos buried in the hole at Big A

Parker running the sick line at Big A. Trust me, it is burly...

Parker showing off at the bottom of Big A

So if the last time you ran the Upper Box was 20 yrs ago, you might be getting a bit on in years. Ross is pushing 60 (he's gonna kill me for that) and was super stressed out about the hike. I'm not really sure how he pulled it off, but he managed to get this lovely lady to help him carry his boat to the top of the arduous climb. We could not believe it! Gotta love it :)


Rosa at the top of the climb happy and very pleased with himself. The lovely lady that helped him gave up her shirt so that he could keep the sun off his head. I'm still laughing. 
Fantastic day had by all and a huge thanks to the gals that ran our shuttle, helped Ross "Rosa" out and left beer in the river for us before the climb. You Rock!