These photos are a spotlight on James McLeod, dirtbag extraordinaire. He'll cut down christmas trees for weeks on end or please the idiosyncratic demands of moviestars or whatever it takes to buy a few weeks to doggedly pursue that mix of volume and gradient. He was the one on the trip who had been in the Royal Gorge before and knew of its inner recesses and wonders. The hope of getting on this trip and catching this exquisite, way too steep piece of whitewater was the reason I drove straight on through to California from Minnesota. Jared Nocetti and Brent Idaho rounded out the 4-pak. Definitely cool to do this run and check out the giant waterfalls of Heath #2, Rattlesnake, Chuck Kern Falls and Wabena, even if the vantage point I got was from the hellacious portage routes. The outlandish scale of those drops almost made the stretches of river that we did run seem like boogie water. Crazy fun boogie water. Blitzing the 30 miles of paddle out on Generation/Giant Gap in one day gave me temporary jello arms and a lasting feeling of having done something.
The bicycle shuttle to put-in was necessitated by a stretch of snow on the road that prevented vehicular passage.
Wake and huck on Heath #1.
Going "shredder style" off rattle snake falls.
Railing it out at mini-curtain.
A beam of sunshine on the split falls.
The team below our portage of Chuck Kern Falls.