Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dragon's Throat Revisited

(photo: Matt King)
The footage taken from the first descent of this drop was ruined by moisture, so I had hoped for awhile to get back up there and get some more. The time presented itself when my dad came down to school to see where I was living now and drop off some essentials. While eating lunch I decided we should head up there and look at that drop as it is a pretty cool spot and Macey (his dog) needed to get out and move around.
I figured as long as we were up there I would bring my boat and try to get some footage. To make a medium length story into a short story, the footage didn't turn out again... I guess I will need to go back yet again, but maybe it is destined that I will never get footage. Oh well, Matt and Nate took some great stills, so I will put the rest of those up today.
~Skipping back to the first descent~
Matt and Nate rallied down to meet me as I got out of classes for the day. I had been looking at this drop for quit some time and was ready to get it done. We drove the logging road up to the drop, went for a quick scout, then suited up.
Here I am scouting the drop.
(photo: Matt King)
The drop is pretty interesting, as it comes over a manmade structure in the form of four blocks narrowing the farther downstream they went. This resembled a set of teeth, and was the beginning of the Dragon reference. These we left unrun, as they landed in shallow water. Matt theorized that with a high enough flow, you could get speed and boof flat enough to avoid contact with the riverbed. Just below this is a lowhead structure (no hole) that begins a descent of about forty vertical feet over the course of 75 yards or so resembling the throat of the Dragon before it empties into a bit of an open pool (the belly you could say). The key is to get as left as possible in order to avoid crashing into the right wall halfway down. We all came close to the second pillow on the right on at least one of our runs, but this second pillow proved benign. The key is starting the slide in control, as it would be easy to get spun backwards. Once the slide is started, it is all about working left and controlling any bounces. It looks like at one point there is a six foot drop onto a slab of bedrock, but none of us took any sort of hit whilst running the drop.
Here I am below the "teeth" loading up for the first go at the drop.
(photo: Matt King)
The effort pays off as I careen down the Dragon's Throat.
(photo: Matt King)
Nate takes his turn dropping into the belly of the beast.
(photo: Matt King)
We all had really clean lines and a good time. We continued downstream for a quarter mile, but I would advise against this in the future. On my return trip we set up a rope and pulled the boat out on river eft just below the drop and this was very simple.
Speaking of the return trip, I ended up having an interesting line my first go of the day, trying to get too far left, my nose caught a shallow section and spun me sideways. Just about to drop off the steepest part of the drop, I spun backwards and rode it out as such. I was already far enough left however to avoid the right wall. I then hiked back up and had a much cleaner second line.
A couple shots head on of the drop.
Nate from the bottom.
Myself from the bottom, most of the way down.
(photo: Nate Merrill)
If anyone would like to take a look at/run this drop feel free to contact me and I'll point you in the right direction, but for various reasons I am going to keep the exact location off the internet. It is less than an hour from Salem.
A parting shot.
(photo: Matt King)

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