Day #10: Tuesday, September 16-Elves Chasm

After an easy float through the wave trains of Hakatai Rapid, we encountered Waltenberg Rapid, which proved to be a “spicy line” as kayakers like to say. It is interesting how there is a sport specific lexicon associated with kayaking, for instance, a hard and violent line through a rapid may be called “sporty” or “spicy”. The water is not cold but chilly, and waves are not smooth but glassy or crashing. I love the uniqueness of the language but occasionally have to dig deeper to know exactly what taking the “sport” line may entail. In the heat of the day we hiked up into Elves Chasm, which is a damp and lush creek bed with several small waterfalls created by boulders that choke the channel. I was able to climb up behind one to make the jump into the pool below. We camped at Dune camp (119.4 miles), just a tiny spit of sand. The weather has been mostly friendly, but at Dune Camp we are blasted by wind and of course the sand all through the night.

Photo credits to James Q Martin

JQ5L121The first pool and cliff jump at Elves Chasm9

The first pool and cliff jump at Elves Chasm

Erik taking the plunge

Erik taking the plunge

Safety Kayaker and guide Timmy O’Neill ascending the newly formed spout in Shinumo Canyon

Safety Kayaker and guide Timmy O’Neill ascending the newly formed spout in Shinumo Canyon