Kibler Valley, Virginia
June 16th and 17th, 2007 7500KW
(photos of Delane courtesy of Jeff E and James C)
Click here for the video.
It seemed like all my Kibler photos were starting to look the same, so my goal this weekend, as far as the camera goes, was to get some shots and footage from some new angles. For the first time, I took photos from the other side of the pool at the hydro station, at the Powerhouse rapid and from river right below the island just below Basketball Falls. Jeff helped out with this project on Sunday and even climbed the big rock at Basketball Falls to get some new angles of that much photographed rapid. I think Jeff's photos from the Powerhouse Rapid were especially good.
As far as paddling goes, my biggest highlight was probably running a new line at Public Enemy. That's one of the fun things about getting to run the same river a lot, you get the chance to try lots of varying lines. After years of running Public Enemy on the right, last Summer I started running the river left chute. On Friday night while thinking about Kibler, I started wondering if there was a way to boof that rock. On Saturday morning I stopped to look at it more closely and noticed that it's really a set of three rocks, not one big one. One square rock on the right, one triangular rock on the left and one lower rock in between those two. I hadn't noticed that before. At Saturday's level, the middle rock was the only option, so I ran a line over that one. I ran this three times over the course of the weekend and it definitely added some butterflies back into a rapid that used to make me pretty nervous, especially after having to "brace, brace, whoa, brace on the other side" following one of the landings. I didn't find a great way to hit it, but I'm sure there's a good line in there somewhere. I did find that catching the small eddy thirty feet upstream helps with getting it lined up. Speaking of Public Enemy #2, I wonder where it gets its name from. The Powerhouse Rapid is the first thing below the powerhouse. Makes sense. Basketball Falls is behind the old basketball courts, definitely makes sense. But why Public Enemy #2? If you know, drop me a line.
Before stopping at our rented rental house, I drove up to the picnic tables to see if anyone was already there. Bev, Joe and another paddler were getting ready to make their run, but we had to get unpacked and get settled in. Just about the time we were ready to head upstream, I saw Cat and Sammy's Elements drive by. We jumped in Jeff's shuttle van and met Sammy, Cat, Bob, James, David, and Woody at the picnic tables. I was extremely happy that the hydro station released water and enjoyed every minute of the paddle back down to the river house. I paid a lot of attention to how Sammy, Bob and Cat all played in their Jackson Funs. That's definitely the next boat for me. Cat caught every single eddy and played in every single hole, laughing the whole time. I'm sold. And if that wasn't enough, Cat let me paddle her new Jackson Fun at 7 Stitches and I LOVED it. The group on Saturday is one of the best and always a lot of fun. Everybody got lots of playing in and, in short, Saturday was awesome.
Sunday morning I woke to find the river back down to its normal low water level and fully expected it to stay that way. But the very next time I looked outside I was shocked to see water. It didn't take Jeff and I long to suit up and head back up to the hydro station. In our quest for some new footage, Jeff setup with the camera at the Powerhouse rapid, then again at Public Enemy. After my fun of trying new things out at that rapid, Jeff setup again at Basketball, but this time, rather than standing on the river bank, he crossed the river and climbed the big rock. He told me that when he got on top of the rock he found a snake sunning and that's just what Jeff looked like sitting up there with steam pouring off of him. The sun was out and hot, making it a great morning for playing. After lots of eddy hopping and surfing, we pulled our boats out at the rental house a little before one. Then I got back into the water after supper for some rolling and playing around the house before loading the GT up and calling it a day.