Tuesday, September 18, 2007

SUMMER RAP UP PART 2: Wyoming Challenges California

After an extended stay in my home state of Colorado, I found myself heading up to Wyoming for the wedding of Eric Seymour and Jess McMillan. Unlike many traditional marriage processes Eric planned to enjoy his "bachelor party" not only after the wedding, but also on a little known multi-day river trip deep in the heart of state's largest mountain range: The Wind Rivers. This situation arose due to the unique employment of his wife to be as the world's preeminent Freeskier (extreme/ big mountain). As I was already looking forward to spending that time kayaking with Lizzy English, his proposed trip would work out perfectly.

Rivers throughout the Southern Rockies (New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming) where recently thrust into the limelight by a sping 07 release of the Mccutchen/ Stafford Whitewater of the Southern Rockies guidebook. This 600 page photo-filled compendium had already led Lizzy and I to a 2nd descent of a Colorado multi-day classic called the Los Pinos River located directly next to the well known classic of Vallecito. Now the "New Bible" was giving us just enough enough to give us the low down on what it claims to be "the toughest run in the Guidebook."

With a few late night calls to first descentour Evan Ross and Guidebook Author Kyle McCutchen we not only recieved all the beta we would need, but also gained one more team member to give us an even number of four: Eric, Lizzy, and I would be joined by Leif Embertson of Ft. Collins, CO who had apparently developed a taste for the biggest and scariest that the Southern Rockies could dish out. Check out Leif's beautiful photos and writeup of our BLC expedition at the rangelife.com.

For my part, I present you with a video of the only expedition that I have done in the Continental USA that rivals California's Middle Kings. As should go without saying, please approach a BLC expedition with the utmost respect, both for the pristine environment and for the tribal land that you will be treading across... Incidentally Lizzy English is the first female to complete the trip, and her story of the 20 mile no mule support slog into 25 miles of full on class V expedition paddling will be worth the wait... Stay tunned.