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12
Jun

2017 GoPro Mountain Games – Steep Creek Challenge (Homestake Creek Class V)

Pyranha Team Paddler - Henry Hyde

Pyranha Team Paddler – Henry Hyde

Well, I finally got my butt in gear and confronted a run that while I have ran most of it in the past, I finally raced it in my new Machno. You can see a small indentation in the bow. That happened on my second run, I had a piton on “Leap of Faith”. It should be easy enough to knock out with some hot water and a closet dowel.

Pre-race lecture

Pre-race lecture

No, I don’t have a headache. I was trying to replay in my mind a mistake on the drop into Birdbath. I missed my boof stroke and gave everyone a good scare 🙂

Safety Meeting ARGH!

Safety Meeting ARGH!

My goal for competing in this race was to A) Not get killed B) Run clean lines and C) Not get killed (that would be awkward). Really though, just to be able to do this race is pretty amazing. This isn’t like paddling Shoshone or any other milk run. This is serious stuff and after last year, when people got hurt and lost boats and other assorted gear, you really have to be on your “A” Game.

I thought I was the only Pyranha Team member racing, but Gerd Serrasolses was there too. I couldn’t talk Rowan Stuart into it, so I still had to represent and at least finish it.

The start of the upper mank

The start of the upper mank

The upper mank section is always a little bit weird, depending upon the level. I’m still not sure if I like it lower or higher. Either way, you’re going to leave some plastic on the rocks to appease the River Gods. The trick to this section is to study it well beforehand and know where the green water is. Even then, you’re likely to run afoul on a rock somewhere along the way. The middle of the upper mank is where you need to establish your line to the right and start to set up for coming into the top of Goal Posts. At the level we raced at, a mistake anywhere in Goal Posts will cost you either time, or your elbows, or a nasty pin that could have epic consequences. Safety set up is marginal at best as there aren’t really any good spots for assists.

Goal Post Section

Goal Post Section

Slightly below Goal Posts

Slightly below Goal Posts

Coming out of the Goal Post Section

Coming out of the Goal Post Section

Coming out of the Goal Posts section leads you into the the drop into Bird Bath. Nothing super tricky here, but you need to watch your line and where your bow is pointing. A good boof stroke here with your bow pointing slightly left is going to help you keep your speed up for when you hit the slow water in Bird Bath. From there you need to drive hard across it.

Leap of Faith

Top down on Leap of Faith

Leap of faith pretty much sums it up. At the level we raced at, there is a nasty rock at the bottom. I happened to get a bit off my line and pitoned it. The dent like I said before isn’t too bad and I can fix it pretty easily. Coming off of Leap of Faith, you need to have a few hard driving strokes. You don’t need a ton of them, just precise and clean strokes. I took a couple of Duffek strokes in here and it helped immensely.

I’m sure I will be racing it again next year, likely in my 9R Medium. It’s a bit faster than the Machno, though I love paddling both of them.

SYOTR

Henry