Monday, August 27, 2012

Wyoming Kayaking from the vault !

Was going through photos and video reorganizing and came across this footage from 2009 and had to share. We had a great season which consisted of at least 3 first descents. This is just a taste of the stuff that I happen to use my GoPro on. I remember this first segment of video kayaking with Ben Stookesberry into an un-run gorge and at the end of the day Ben endured one of the coldest moments of his life as I climbed out of the gorge on a throw bag rope and was able to rope Ben and Matt Mcfadden out of the gorge right above a 50/50 death waterfall. Good Times !  Click here for that story 

Wyoming Action from Aaron Mulkey on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spring Reverence

Exploring unknown places has always been an absolute passion of mine. These explorations always    seem to lead to at least Type II fun. If you're not familiar with this scale, let me break it down for you:

Type I fun is true fun. It's enjoyable while its happening, like good food, good sex, Class 3 rapids, drinking with the boys.
Type II fun is fun only in retrospect. It is not fun while it is happening. Usually people are cussing at me, lots of portaging with a heavy kayak, a few good rapids that don't really make it worthwhile, kayaking in a snow storm, drinking with Nathan Danforth and Nate Winning. 

Type III fun is not fun at all, not even in retrospect. Typically this type of fun creates the best stories but the thought of going back makes you puke in your mouth, such as running mandatory class 5 drops that you only ran because you had to. Tom Sunderland, Randy Binder and I dragged kayaks through the snow for 10 hours over 6 miles one day and we never took one stroke. Oh yeah, and don't forget to bring your tears. This is a typical "Mulkey Mission." 

10 miles of unknown into a 1000ft gorge with no way out;
major snow storm with freezing temps; and
putting in on a tributary creek with hopes that other creek (2 miles downstream) will add enough water to make the creek worthwhile. 

Mix these ingredients together and you have the perfect recipe for Type III fun,  a.k.a. "Mulkey Mission." 
Looking up into the walled in canyon, we were all a little apprehensive. 
I remember my Mom asking, "If your friends all jumped off the bridge, would you?"
This mission sorta started off that way. It was snowing and pretty damn cold and I don't think any of us were really psyched to immerse ourselves in these conditions for a day of exploratory kayaking. Nobody wanted to be the wise voice in the group, so we all just put our heads down and shouldered our kayaks to the river.

Surprisingly, the water level wasn't too bad, albeit low, it was doable for an exploratory mission. We had very few portages for several miles and the creek just kept going at a decent pace. Once we entered this canyon, we were completely committed to making it out. The rapids were mostly pool and drop class 3 and 4 up to this point, so I don't have many pics.
We eventually reached this waterfall. From the lip, it was a twister of sorts into a pool that we really couldn't see all of. It looked like it went into a wall, but it looked 50/50. There was no way to set safety and with all of us feeling pretty damn cold, a possible swim could be disastrous. The funny part is, all of us wanted to run it since the portage was gonna suck. All it would have taken was for one of us to say, "Screw it... I'm given'er." and the entire group would have gone. With the temps and no safety, bailing was probably the smartest decision of the day, but also the only decision we would all regret later. 

Basically, after the waterfall, the rest of the creek was class 2 and we were out of the canyon kicking ourselves because we had just walked possibly the best drop on the creek. Part of our reason for walking was that we were unsure how much more serious whitewater we had downstream. Little did we know, that was the end of it all. 

We packed up the car and headed back to Ten Sleep for some much needed warmth, food and celebratory drinking.

Here is Tom Sunderland showing the lady bartenders how kayakers party.
The crew. From the left, Tom Sunderland, Aaron Mulkey, Tyson Bednarz, Matt McFadden, Randy Binder, and D-nuts a.k.a. Nathan Danforth.

All in all, it was a great trip. I will soon return to that creek when it has more water and warmer temps. It's one of the most amazing canyons I have ever been through and there is only one way to see it.. in a kayak.

Spring Reverance from Aaron Mulkey on Vimeo.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Deep Water Dry Tooling

Spent a little over a week at Lake Powell and had a great time climbing and gettin the tools wet!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shell and Ten Sleep Creeks

Its that time of year, I begin my treks across the big horn basin to visit the wealth of whitewater in Big Horn Mountains. This time we were joined by some paddlers on the other side of the mountain Eric Seymour, Brenden Cronin, Chris Johnson and John Whiedie. These guys along with the usual suspect Tom Sunderland and we were missing Randy and Nathan because they got their man cards revoked.
 Shell Falls will have to wait to be run by a different human being

Levels were on the way down as cooler weather was sweeping across the state so we were able to grab Shell Creek at about 600cfs (7inches on bridge gauge) and Ten Sleep over two feet.  
 This is such a great road side rapid that perhaps someone will fire up someday but the last 25 footer is gonna be the crux. 25 feet into a pile of rocks that looked to have been placed in the falls during road construction.
The Fine Dining establishment of the Ten Sleep Saloon. If your going through Ten Sleep its a must stop for a bite to eat or a drink. 

Kayak trash has arrived in Ten Sleep Wyoming!

Chris Johnson gettin his game on in the entrance rapid to the first gorge of Shell Creek

Eric Seymour tickin off one of the unrun rapids in the LTP section of Shell Creek. 

Shell canyon is a pretty rad place

After some rest and prayers for Ten Sleep to lower its water level we heading back up the mountain to check levels. Ten Sleep dropped a little bit but not much. This 300+ft per mile run is unlike any other run I have heard of or paddled. The gauge was a little over two feet and it was sorta like navigating a mine field, one wrong stroke and things are gonna blow up.

Aaron Mulkey looking for the next eddy to catch a breath. 

Eric Seymour wondering where the OFF switch is.

As Eric pulled into an eddy we were both trying to catch our breath and he looked at me and said
 "This is really fun but on the edge of disaster"
Here is Eric Gopro footage-

Thanks to John Whiedie for Ten Sleep photos!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Coldfear Photo Contest is in effect and the voting can begin....

Please go to the Facebook page and vote on your favorite photos by hitting the LIKE button. Make sure you Like the Facebook page first!

The below photos are just a sample of the 40 visually stunning images you will see. Share the page with your friends and family.

Huge thanks to the companies that supported and donated swag for the contest winners. Grivel, Rab, Sterling Rope and Cilogear. Check out links to these great companies on the right side of the blog.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Snapshots Of Norway Ice Climbing

Here are few shots from the Rab Norway Shoot.  I climbed a couple of the local routes and our new line we did which you can read about here. Thanks a bunch to Ben Winston for the shots!

There is also a video Ben made that you can view here

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