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Go hard or Go home in the Gorge

Posted Aug 07 2009 12:07pm

A positive correlational coefficient has developed between our intensity and the temperature. Last weekend as the heat index climbed, ORT’s own internal regulator appeared to follow suit in an apparent attempt to achieve homeostasis within our environment.

A head to head raft race at high water on the White Salmon wasn’t enough, we simultaneously sent an R2 team to Eagle Creek to attempt a first raft descent. Adversity can build you or break you. On Saturday May 30, 2009, ORT grew as paddlers and brothers.

Wet Planet sponsored the race and also provided some very stiff head to head competition in the form of their R4 crew. The event took place in two stages, a timed race from BZ Corner to Husum Falls with the following results:

First Place: Oregon Rafting Team (Red) 29:05
Second Place: Oregon Rafting Team (Grey) 30:31
Third Place: Wet Planet Whitewater 30:39

The head to head race from immediately above Rattlesnake Rapid to Northwestern Lake resulted in the same finishing order yet was full of much more excitement! At the start the ORT Grey Team pinned the Red Team on some rocks as Wet Planet “escaped” through the big hole at Rattlesnake for a commanding initial lead. Two rapids downstream the Grey boys pushed passed Wet Planet for first with our Red squad still following closely behind in third. The Grey Team then went wide on a sweeping right hander as Red dismissed attempting to turn and simply T-boned Grey at full speed into a rock wall and slid by. Wet Planet followed suit with a successive slam keeping what was the first place boat on the mat and sneaking into second. After cleaning up their lines Red eventually began to pull away as we heard shouts from the teams behind us. Wet and Grey literally rammed and scolded each other for a good part of the next mile and a half.

Montana, Dirty, and Young Gun had their own set challenges which started with a 4 mile hike in under the blasting sun. With Ryan Scott, Paul, Hans, George and Jean providing support in the form of film documentation and safety, ORT’s Diabetic Duo of Dirty and Montana fried up the infamous 40 foot Skoonichuk Falls in a 14 foot Aire Raft! The Diabetic Duo were also fortunate enough to land Punchbowl Falls later that evening.

ORT travels to Idaho this weekend to compete in the 3rd Annual Payette Boise River Festival wrapping up the “spring” season which started back in March.

Big thanks to Paul Thomson for his Eagle Creek shots and to the beautiful White Salmon support crew for the race photos!
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