Hance Rapid, a class 8. The only rapid I was truly scared of this time around– yes, including the infamous Lava Falls Rapid (more on that later).
Hance, 77 miles from the put-in, is the first in a series of BIG rapids in the upper granite gorge. It’s huge AF, it’s technical, and a bad run could have consequences. We had an “interesting” line in 2017 that I did not want a repeat of.
There’s moves that need to be made in Hance– Enter the left tongue to the left of the top pour over. Pull, pull, pull to enter the duck pond just behind the rock pile. Keep pulling to avoid the next pour over. Then either pray to get left of the wave train, or hang on and hit everything straight.
Nick was incredible. He made all the moves and hit the line he planned. 2015 was probably luck. 2017 was an atempt at skill, but probably still somewhat luck. 2018 was skill. So proud of him.
River Journal Excerpt:
“I accidentally caught a glimpse of the rapid as I was climbing up to the scout. Yikes, it looked fucking huge. I can’t really explain my feelings watching the rapid from the scout. I kinda sorta didn’t care. But I was also a bit terrified.
I didn’t panic. I didn’t cry. I took a few deep breaths, acknowledged I was scared, and said ‘lets get this over with’. As we lined up to enter the rapid, all that fear turned into focus. As soon as we passed the rock pile and pour over I knew we had it. We didn’t make it left enough to avoid the wave train. The first major wave crashed over us, but the second crested perfectly and we sailed over the top. It was a beautiful run.”
🤍 amanda maureen