Published on November 23rd, 2023 | by Kayak Session

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Swimming Big Falls (Entry #28 Beaters For All 2023)

Check out Isaac Chrisman’s super cool edit from his Big Falls Beater, an impressive rescue from all the crew when things weren’t going as expected!

Swimming Big Falls (Canyon Run, South Fork Payette, 1400cfs) « Started off the day with a big breakfast and a traumatic swim on the only portage on the South Fork of the Payette. I came into the drop with not quite enough speed, pulled a boof stroke that brought my bow up too high, too late, landing on my edge directly into a window shade. Proceeded to fight in the hole, slowly working myself into a pocket towards river center, dropping carp after carp, My leg came loose in my thigh grip and I was certain I wasn’t getting the roll anyway and pulled skirt. My safety crew up top missed their bag and I swam over the second drop getting somewhat substantial down time. I surfaced in a boil on river left where Michael Bone hit me with a dime of a bag. This got me to the lip of the last drop where I appeared to the safety team and spectators to be secure. I fell off of the last drop into another mean hole where I went quite deep. I surfaced in an eddy on river right formed by a crack just within reach of the last hole’s pull. Here, I was hit dead on with two bags from Nate Gourley, one of which, I completely failed to notice. Nate, Song Candea, and Nicky Gallo held my rope up for what felt like several minutes so I could keep my head up in the aerated water until I could think somewhat. Jake Liechty, Filip Dobrek, and Connor Gagliano had prepared a two rope system on river left for rescue out of the bottom hole and after I had caught my breath somewhat, they threw me the rope and pulled me across. Due to the noise of the rapid, another unnamed safety team member failed to pull slack out of the second rope, causing me to be pushed into an under cut just downstream of the eddy I had been in. With Connors pulling, I was able to duck through the undercut and be dragged to safety to be met with hugs, nicotine, and new pair of underwear. As mentioned in the disclaimer at the end, many people in the video were not there to set safety nor did they have the qualifications to participate in the rescue. Every member of the 11 person safety team performed admirably and I am proud to know them. »

By: Isaac Chrisman

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