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Old 08-09-2012, 11:46 PM   #149
Crooked Creek OP
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: May 2010
Location: Alberta
Oddometer: 430

Does your wife know you're doing stuff like this on your days out away from the kiddies??
She's the first one I showed the video . That's a big part of why I got into packrafting--she was interested in it first, so it's something we will do together. My marriage is too important to have 2 hobbies that I don't share with my wife (as she's not planning to get on a bike anytime soon.) Can't wait until next summer when we can do overnight trips together.
That river you were on was just relentless; I realize you probably edited out the flat stuff, but still...
It really is quite a steep creek and is dangerous (up to Class 5+) in high water. It's a whole different animal in June. Right now there is about 5km of easy going at the beginning, but it's pretty steady from then on. I didn't do much editing, just hit record before and after rapids that sounded (cause I'd couldn't see too well) that they would be good.
I saw you go through a few narrow chutes where the flow from both sides likes to blast right into the boat and swamp you if you don't have the skirt on. I've never used an inflatable boat like that before but it looks like just the ticket.
I love that this boat is self-bailing and without a skirt because it's easy in and out when you have to bail over a sweeper or something. And in splashy waves the water goes out as fast as it going in. It handled very different than a kayak.
So far the laser surgery seems to be a success. Still not supposed to be using a computer and it's a little blurry, but already it's amazing how well I can see.

Originally Posted by Platypus-3in1 View Post
That is really cool that you lost your glasses at that exact moment ...
I'm very thankful and grateful about that. Who knows what would have happened. Also, what's amazing is that the first vehicle (not counting an obvious tourist RV) to come by the the takeout right after I pulled out not only picked me up, but volunteered to give me a ride up the 4x4 trail (a 32km detour for them) to bring me right to my Land Cruiser. And what's more amazing is that the one guy way out there camping at the put in bridge happened to offer me his spare contact lenses as he had the exact same prescription in one eye. So off I went with two right contacts and 20/20 vision, right on time.
What I was curious about from there-on was what could you actually see ...
Let's just say I am (was ) very near nearsighted. I was going by feel quite a lot, but also from the low angle many times you can't see the clear passages (if there are any) on ledges even if you're 20/20. In a canoe I will stand up and look, but that's not really possible in a packraft. You can tell a lot by the sound though and I got better as I went. Also I learned (at least at this flow level) that as long as you really book it over the ledge, you can usually overcome the recirculating hole. If you get at all sideways though; it'll spin you and you'll be swimming (as you saw.) You're right about that boulder though; I didn't see it coming at all. But packrafts do much better on rocks than a rigid craft.
Was that blood on your hand after the second flip over ... If so what was the fix ... Let me guess ... You caught a fish and used one of its ribs as a needle then you snuck up behind a sleeping grizzly plucking a few hairs off his back so you could stitch it up without any pain killers and it simply wasn’t worth mentioning in the video because thats just what any 6 year old Canadian kid would do...
Nice guess. Yeah, I did smash my thumb somehow in the last swim (there was one more I didn't bother sharing) and spit my thumbnail almost all the way. With something that minor though, I prefer to let it bleed until it's done so it keeps clean.
What would have been your survival plan?
That is a good question, and your assessment is correct. Well, not as much as "survival" to be honest but I had promised my wife I would be home to help put the kids in bed, and I was determined not to be late. So I was running scenarios and setting priorities as I went. Priorities were avoiding serious injury/death (obviously,) then avoiding losing the boat, then the paddle. It would be extremely dangerous to tether yourself to a raft or paddle in a river like this, so that was out. I could have made a serviceable paddle in about a 1/2 half hour (with the cord and Leatherman I was carrying) so that wouldn't have been the end of the world. Or I could have just used a pole and took about an hour longer to get there.

Re: loosing the boat, I would have swam after it if at all possible to do safely (even if I had to temporarily ditch the paddle) because though it would stop eventually, it likely would be because it got pinned on a log and then it likely would get punctured with the tremendous force of the current. I was carrying a very basic repair kit (fine for a rock puncture, but not a pin-induced blowout.) This packraft (unlike the single-chambered Alpacka) has 2 main chambers and 4 more in the floor, so it is still useful if you lose one side.

After the point of where I lost my glasses, hiking out in that terrain would have been a solid two day affair over nasty canyons and through thick bush to take the direct route to the highway. I would have followed the creek instead (and provided it wasn't punctured) floating in my drysuit and life jacket anywhere it was safe. I would have still been out by dark that way. That's glacial water in this creek though, so you can't swim in it w/o a drysuit (or good wetsuit) for any manner of time, no matter how hot it is outside.
Originally Posted by 1Down-5Up View Post
Thanks for the info, I see they're Canadian made which is a bonus.

Yep. They are pricy, but the quality and service are second to none. I don't want to spoil what happened on the trip we're supposed to be talking about, but Feathercraft proved itself.
2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
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