A standard winter time Robe trip, with a cold snap chasing away the week's allotment of rain. Clear blue skies, frosty fog in the lowlands, and that invisible glassy ice that coats all the boulders along the Landslide Portage. And today I portaged Garbage. I don't like its current incarnation. A fabulous day though, at a fabulous level: 5.3'.
We had great runs all the way through Conversation. Rob bombed off the left side of Mrs. Robinson
and I was more or less right behind him going off the right side of the ledge.
There's that glassy hump that protrudes out over the ledge. I always boof off of it, and I've had some sticky entanglements with the hole below. I've seen people get chundered there, too and have to swim out or get bagged out. I often have wondered when my number was gonna come up. Today I was lined up with the left half of the glassy hump. Today my number was up. I guess I know now not to boof the left half of the glassy hump*. When I landed where I did I knew instantly that I was gonna be stickin around for awhile. I was starting to rodeo around a bit.
stroll around the grounds until you feel at home
Tried to work out of the hole but it had a firm grasp on me. Being in the left side of the hole, I was quickly drawn to the central pocket where the two channels converge. From there it's an uphill climb in every direction over a steep wide foam pile. I tried to engage my bow to get out. I got window shaded a few times, rolled up, tried to throw some ends. At some point I felt like I was really close to being able to dig my way out when I got flipped again. I sorta took an underwater stroke that was almost effective. Hell, this strategy got me out of the hole at the Bottom of Entrance exam in the chelan gorge, but it didn't work here: I was still stuck in the hole. I decided here to pull while I still had some energy left to swim around in this hole with my boat.
heaven holds a place for those who pray, hey hey hey, HEY HEY HEY
As soon as I was out of my boat, sure enough we were sharing a surf together, for the forseeable future. A grabloop next to my cockpit rim found my hand and I grabbed it. I climbed up on my boat which was full of water, doing the Rodeo Clown, my specialty. My dangling feet were scissor kicking in the foam as I rested on my boat gathering my breath so I could bust a move and get out of this hole. That's when they found a ridge of rock. Presumably the tip of the granite iceberg that backs up that portion of the hole and makes it so sticky and seemingly inescapeable.My feet were barely touching the underwater rock, but liked this sudden purchase they had. From my toes to my heels, up my legs and back through my arms to my grip on my boat my muscles caught on to the sudden plan. At a point when I bobbed down against the rock, I pushed up at a downstream angle, tugging hard on the boat. I was able to get the boat to move just far enough over the pile for it to grab the outbound current.
The current pushed me left against the undercut wall, but all was calm in the depths of the flatwater pool here. I justed relaxed on my boat, and yelled to Rob to look out for my paddle. My elbow pads were also floating about. There's a mostly submerged rock in the center of the river where the flatwater pool gets wider. I kicked my feet and aimed my boat to broach up on it, declining Rob's suggestion to go further down to one side of the river or another. I got me and my boat up on the rock, and Rob handed me my paddle before chasing down my elbow pads.
As I caught my breath I became quite satisfied with the outcome of my swim. It was rather invigorating, in fact. It only served to enhance an already awesome day on Robe. My second swim of the year, I relished my booty beer at the take out!
* I guess I've had more sucess being on the right half of the glassy hump. It lines you up better for the pillow that piles up against the River Right bank. That pillow has a lot of energy that can carry you through the hydraulic. Too far right though and you could hit some submerged rock agaist the wall. Not sure I trust the extreme right line.