Video: Going Big on Colorado’s Yule Creek

Q&A with up-and-coming kayaker Trent McCrerey

After stumbling across this video last week, C&K’s Week In Review video curator, Kai Myers, reached out to the filmmaker Trent McCrerey to get the story behind it. McCrerey, a Colorado native, explained the path that led him to his first run down this steep creek classic at high flows. The whole video is rowdy, but skip to 1:45 if you want to see McCrerey’s newfound method for boat scouting–from shore.

Kai Myers: When did you do this run?
Trent McCrerey: I ended up getting to run it right after the Oh Be Joyful race in Crested Butte with my former coach from World Class Academy, Quinn Connell. We arrived in the evening and found that it looked runnable even though it was pretty high. But then it rained all night. We were almost sure it would be a no-go due to high water, but decided to scout anyway. After bushwhacking to the canyon’s rim, we got a look and Quinn summed it up quite perfectly, "It's on the high side of huge…Just the way I like it!" I quickly regained my momentum and was fired up. We rappelled down to the put in and went for it.

When did you start paddling, and how did you get involved in the sport?
I paddled for my first time about two years ago. I was super into freestyle skiing but ended up breaking my hip in a ski accident in 2010. This resulted in four years of strenuous hip regeneration surgeries that ended up failing completely. I was pretty lost for two years wanted to find an alternative to skiing. I bugged my friend Jack to teach me how to roll, and after two days in the pool, I found myself floating upside down in Boulder Creek, swimming about every ten yards in front of all the cute CU chicks. From then on I was hooked. I got out whenever I could and found myself progressing fast. My friends were always very supportive, and I wouldn't be here without them. They would always take me down new rivers and creeks, give me reality checks, let me use their gear, and kept me safe.

Have there been any paddlers that have really inspired you?
Anyone who is out on the river doing what they love.

What is your favorite river/run?
OH BE JOYFUL!

Anything else that has really affected your paddling?
Last August I ended up getting a full hip replacement (yes, exactly what your grandma has), and it changed my life. I was able to regain much of my mobility and kayaking became more fun and less painful. Last summer I heard about World Class Academy, and I quickly put an application. After over four years of surgery and recovery, I didn’t want to injure myself only four months after the hip replacement. It took some logistical planning, but my incredible parents, with the help of WCA and in particular, Capo Rettig, made it happen for me. World Class Academy is where I truly learned to kayak. They have great approach for helping kids progress without having them jump straight into challenging class IV-V whitewater before they are ready for it, and that was exactly what I needed.

–See more VIDEOS from C&K.

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Week In Review: June 19, 2015