(Ed’s note: This post has been updated, below.)
If the Internet is one huge smörgåsbord of people’s lives, plus Yahoo! celeb news and other super important stuff, then I suppose it’s OK to just post this little video here. Sure, I can’t tell you much about it, like where Yellow Creek is (my best guess is California). But it’s a tasty dish amid said smörgåsbord ala mundane, tracking into the lives of four dudes (apparently, trusting the Internet here) who are hella passionate about paddling: Ben Stookesberry, Chris Korbulic, Taylor Robertson and Josh Bechtel. So what does it all mean? This, for starters: Stookesberry’s phone went straight to voicemail.
Meantime, here’s the premable ripped straight from the sick vid, which Stookesberry posted on Vimeo two months ago (but only just recently Facebooked about… weird, right?):
“Yellow Creek is one of the most committing in the U.S., and for that reason has only seen two descents in 15 years. Taylor Robertson led the last descent nine years ago with a team of world-class kayakers. A young kayaker named Matt “New School” Sheridan was the only one of the other 12 boaters there that day ready to follow Matt past the point of no return into the vertical-walled gorge. Tragically, Matt lost his life a year later. Since then, Taylor has wanted to make another descent in memory of Matt, and his courage and enthusiasm on the river.” — Tim Mutrie
Updated, Sept. 16
From Kokatat —
Nestled in an isolated canyon where the Sierra's meet the Cascades is a rarely run river that demands respect. On July 1st Kokatat Team members Ben Stookesberry, Taylor Robertson, Josh Bechtel, and Chris Korbulic made the fourth known descent of the canyon in 8 hours.
Near the entrance to the gorge, is the aptly named rapid entitled "Loggins" proudly named by this group. The rapid contains a 25' falls with a large diameter old growth log extending down the entire vertical fall. "I can't believe I was able to hop up on the log and rail slide it," says Robertson. "I avoided a hard hit by performing a 50/50 grind down almost the entire length of the log.” This may be the longest log grind ever performed in the history of kayak, proving that the sport of kayaking is truly in the midst of innovation.
Around mile five, Yellow Creek enters an in-escapable gorge known as Yellow Gorge, that cannot be scouted except from the inside of a kayak. Throughout Yellow Gorge there is evidence of recent volcanic activity, yellow sedimentary material leaks from the vertical walls that surround the canyon hence the name Yellow Creek. Taylor Robertson had this to say, "As we exited the canyon we were all stoked to see that there were no dead end log piles to catch us in there.” We all took some hard hits throughout the dangerous descent."
Josh Bechtel says, "Yellow creek was 9 miles of full on creeking. It had everything from 30-foot waterfalls, steep continuous bolder drops and beautiful vertical walled gorges with ledge drops. A totally committing river. If you want to challenge yourself in all aspects of expedition class V+ kayaking give Yellow Creek a go. There are three must make moves moving to the right in that gorge! It may have been shitty dangerous but at least there was a Rave at the takeout."
At the end of the eleven-mile descent the group was excited to have made it to the takeout in one piece. The team was greeted at the takeout to 300 people dancing at a rave located near the Local Beldon Bar takeout. The team members who did not participate in the shuttle (Josh Chris) helped themselves to libations and dancing. "It was good to make it into Yellow after nine years of avoiding this run. The last time I paddled Yellow I was with a group of veteran kayakers from the East Coast. Within the group were two of my friends Matt Sherridan and Daniel DeLaVergne who are unfortunately no longer with us today. "It was very important for me to revisit and safely complete Yellow to pay tribute to Daniel and Matt," says Robertson.