Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Why we go

After a rough start to the summer, watching Nick have a stellar trip down his hardest run to date reminded me about one of the reasons I kayak.

Nick was leaning towards walking out at Island, a broken paddle during a scout made that an easy choice to take had he been looking for an excuse.  However, he decided finishing the run was something he wanted to do and committed to paddling to the lip of Behemoth, a point from which there is not a reasonable option of turning back.

The risk in kayaking can be hard to justify, most often to those who don't do it, though sometimes even to yourself.  As anyone who has ever stepped up their game in a setting like that at Behemoth knows, you can be one person at the top of a rapid, and a slightly different one at the bottom.  

Here is a video of Nick expanding his horizons by means of descending one.

*So understated he got left out of the credits, Ben Mckenzie deserves a shout out for his role on this trip and many others.

Also on this trip was a friend of ours who was helicopter lifted out of the area last year when he broke his leg at Island Rapid.  He succeeded in descending the canyon safely this time around with only a single roll.  I have never hurt myself this badly so can only surmise about how tough that was mentally to come back and run the same river that wrecked him.  Good on you, two significant accomplishments with one river trip.  Powerful moments in a special place.