Sunday, May 8, 2011

Korg 3.0 Gets Wet

As promised, I returned to the River Fest in downtown Reno Saturday to be on the photo crew for a special occasion.

Grant, with the help of High Fives, the Korg 3.0 Movement, his amazing wife Shawna, and countless others, made his return to moving water under the watchful gaze of hundreds of onlookers.

I shot 800+ photos in a little over two hours as Grant slipped into the Truckee River, made his first paddle stroke outside of a swimming pool in over a year, and got right back to business; surfing the holes, throwing a few tricks, and smiling like the happiest shrieking baboon you've ever seen.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the day (also, check out Matt's excellent work here).


First paddle stroke!

Dropping in; time to focus

EJ stokes the crowd as Grant paddles in to the main hole

Fine adjustments


Riding high

Deep breath


Still stoked

There were few dry eyes as his enthusiasm and gratitude were evident from the time he put his gear on until the time came to begrudgingly step out of his boat. Whether they were friends and acquaintances from the close-knit local kayaking community, fellow competitors from previous years' freestyle competitions, or casual spectators, all were able to grasp the importance of this pass along a short stretch of boiling whitewater.

Onwards and upwards!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Downtown Reno Wanderings

What follows are the products of a couple consecutive afternoons of wandering around downtown Reno.

I was going to title this "Slow Water, Whitewater, and Bong Water," but then these first two photos wouldn't have fit the theme at all.

These two are recognizable to you Renoites as the Freight House District and the Aces Stadium.

Sailor on the prowl


These two are along the river just east of downtown (Slow Water from the proposed title).

Submerged snag

High water

Next three here are from the Freestyle Qualifying Round of the Reno River Festival (Whitewater from the proposed title).

Loading up

Fully inverted

Eric Jackson of Jackson Kayaks gets nasty

And the final two here are some skaters I poached as they sessioned the ice rink site (Bong Water from the proposed title; sorry to paint with a broad brush, but not really).

Skater 1

Skater 2

I'll have more to post in the next couple days from the River Fest; a certain friend is making his return to kayaking this afternoon and I'll be on photo duty for him.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Remember all that stuff I wrote about in the last post about consolation and backing away and waiting 'til next year? Well, that changed.

Long story: After getting home Saturday and stewing for a while, I decided that the conditions in Sullivan Chute were indeed passable, and that the mental consequences of letting it go outweighed the possible physical consequences in the line itself. So I went back. And remembered the intervalometer, which works just fine when it's not sitting on my bed. And got there at a better time in the morning. And set up a different shot. And set my head straight.

Short story: Consolation? Fuck that. Drrrrrrropping!


Self portrait

The only reason anybody knows what it's called. The origin of this line is a mystery.

I'll admit to not riding it gracefully, as I had to weasel down around a couple big loose rocks before pointing it straight for the exit air. Even though I still went from Zero to Not Zero rather rapidly, that weaseling made the exit smaller and I knuckled on the bergschrund below the drop, which I was hoping to clear easily. To give a sense for the speed, my camera was firing once a second, and there's just this one frame that includes me riding... I don't want to be in the business of claiming the steepness without verifying it, but DAMN.

I think I'd like to go back when there's more snow.


Monday, May 2, 2011


Saturday did not go as planned.

I had grand aspirations to go ride a white whale of a line in the Mt. Rose backcountry, Sullivan Chute, and to architect a self portrait of me riding the line.

As I was setting up the shot high atop an adjacent crag, it all started to unravel when I discovered a HUGE flaw in the Canon intervalometer I'd purchased. This flaw is that it simply doesn't operate when I leave it at home.

Furthermore, the snow coverage in the prize line was unfavorable, as usual. It was close to going but I had a couple concerns about the technical and narrow crux. I did scope it from both top and bottom, and I came pretty close to pulling the trigger, but it was simply not the day.

Mitigating the first mistake by making friends with another group up there, I talked them into sticking around while I hiked to, scoped, and rode the zone in question, relying on them for their top-notch shutter-mashing skills with my camera set up on the tripod.

The only solution for the second problem was to ride a nearby and far less interesting line. As such, I've made a composite of some of the frames the semi-anonymous Craig (thanks dude!) fired off while I rode. You can see me scoping the elusive Sullivan Chute in the top left corner of the frame. Next year, I suppose...

Consolation Rock


Past Detritus