Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gauley and such

Gauley and such

WOW Fall was busy

West Virginia sun set from Rick-O-Shay's ultralight
Commercial raft guiding on Gore Canyon was great until I crashed kayaking and messed up my ankle in Cheeseman canyon, what to hear the whole story click here ouch.

Commercial raft guiding in WV on the Upper Gauley is always rewarding. I have a stealer group of return clients that allow me to play hard and work on new and not so standard lines. Including the Double Death Spiral into Iron Ring, and just letting them go through the Box Canyon on there own.

During the Gauley three day mid weeks it is up to us to find some trouble, like flying in Ultra lights and Caving 

Ridding with the master of all that is sketchy Rick-O-Shay.

Casey and Hammer above a 20 foot drop deep in the cave
Casey and Hammer Checking out some stalactites
Hammer repelling
Tubing the upper Gauley with Casey Tango,
There had been so much shit talk about it after my good friend Mike Edwards accomplished the amazing and definitely stupid feat of tubing the Upper Gauley, we had to follow suit. The next friday we had a bunch of coffee, talked a little more shit, and went down to the local tire store looking for inter-tubes. The guy behind the counter was more then happy to help, what size you need, I reach my arms out beyond my sides, about like this, we are going to go tubing down the river. Well this is what I usually sell to folks that are going to take there kids out. Perfect we'll take two. That was that we had tubes next up a little padding. We stopped over at River Expeditions and grabbed a couple wet suits. We tossed a couple extra beers and a roll of gorilla tape (our patch kit) in our support raft and hoped in the river. It was off to the races, we had solid left lines through Insignificant. When you bump your feet off of Pillow Rock while siting fat man style in an inter-tube there is no doubt you had a great line. Next up the scary one Lost Paddle, Casey and I had lines that would put most raft guides to shame big Hawaii 5-0 hits and supper clean lines into Tumble home. Once in Tumble home the shit talk caught up to us again and we both went through the Mail Box Slot. At this point we were feeling pretty sure of our new found skills and Casey called for a left left line at Ship Wreck. I in turn called out for Death Spirals into Iron Ring, I went a little further right then expected and had some serious down time in the top hole just to pop up right before taking a big Wood-stock hole hit. As we floated into Sweets falls we both under stood what was about to happen, we looked at each other and simultaneously the words came to our lips, MELTDOWN! Tango managed to style it on the other hand I got totally beat down. As I slowly found my way out of my pounding I looked over to see Casey stamping his tube and getting pulled up on Postage Due. I went for the same line and got blown off into the Box Canyon. I had a great line through the Box, and climbed up the back side of Postage Due to celebrate a very successful tubing mission of the Upper Gauley.

Casey Tango getting a hand up onto Postage Due

Upper Youghiogheny, Seems there is always some issue with the damn release on the Youghiogheny, it is early, it's late, There is always some rumor of something usually not true. Last year International House Of Pancakes Falls burnt to the ground, but it looked good this year. Anyways the initial big three day midweek release did get canceled and as Gauley season rolled on Casey Tango and I got more and more restless about missing one of our favorite traditions. So fifth weekend we got the heads up that the river was going to run, unfortunately my personal favorite part of the Upper Youghiogheny was closed. The Riverside Hotel, they do the best vegetarian food anywhere, and it is one of my favorite restaurants any where. O well there is always next year, and the river as always produced some great entertainment.

Let the show begin
B-Real boofing International House of Pancake Falls
Casey enjoying the show
Some of the paddlers even like to pull there skirt and still paddle to the eddy
A small but excited crowd at National Falls
Another great time spent in West Virginia and Marry Land.
Chris Baer


  1. Hey Chris do you have the contact information for the ultralight (phone, email, website)? Would love to check that out next time I am in the areas.


  2. Rick O Shay is his name, unfortunately I think he sold the Ultra Light.