River lingo 4/4

This is the fourth in a series of four posts. Many of these glossary terms are used in the whitewater community, along with some that are specific to LEAP and our sister company, Orange Torpedo Trips (OTT). This week we have more LEAP-specific terms. Let us know if you want more!

Sinus cleanser: A fast, hearty swim that may have gotten water up your nose.

River ready: Geared and suited up to get on the river, often a command to make sure people are in their swimsuits, PFDs, and with sunscreen on.

Paddle raft: The raft that comes with us on programs carrying lunch items, some gear, and participants who want a paddle raft experience.

Mr. Kitty: The catamaran type raft that that runs ahead of us on programs to set up camp and carry gear.

Johnny: The portable toilet we use on programs made of a metal box and a standard toilet seat- very comfy, always has a great view.

Jane: The portable pee tent we occasionally use on programs for the ladies made of a bucket and a standard toilet seat- very convenient for nighttime bathroom runs.

Carl: A pump used for inflating IKs, named for the brand Carlson.

River lingo 3/4

This is the third in a series of four posts. Many of these glossary terms are used in the whitewater community, along with some that are specific to LEAP and our sister company, Orange Torpedo Trips (OTT). This week we have some verbs for you!

Boof: To launch over a rock/pourover/etc. such that the boat lands flat and the front of the IK doesn’t go underwater. A fun maneuver if done correctly.

Bleed: To let air out of a seat or boat.

Ferry: To cross the river (often with gear or people in tow or in your boat) such that you don’t end much further downriver than you started.

Surf: To position your IK facing upstream so that you remain in place on the crest of a wave.

High-siding: When the side of a boat tips upward against a rock, should be avoided so that the raft or IK doesn’t tip.

Swimmer: Someone who has fallen out of their boat, often yelled so that guides know to go get that person.

Dumping: When you fall out of your boat!

Yard sale: When everything (human included) falls out of their boat, equipment is strewn about the river, resembles an actual yard sale.

Gratitude

I have been awestruck by the past four weeks of guiding folks down the river. Each night as I lay in my boat, I look up at the Big Dipper (the only constellation I know) and feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude — gratitude for the people who have opened their lives to me each week, gratitude for the river and what it teaches each of us, gratitude for the incredible team I have the privilege of working with, gratitude for the wilderness and the people who protect and cherish it, gratitude for the entire experience. This river has been a happy place for me for several years, but I’ve previously only had four days a year to learn from it. Now I have the beautiful privilege of sharing this place with others, particularly others who seldom encounter the raw wilderness.

Each group we’ve paddled with has presented unique challenges, lessons, and gifts. These past two weeks I was lucky to connect with some incredible young people who re-learned what it means to be a kid — to play, to laugh, to live without cares. I can’t explain what it is, but the river unlocks an innocence in people. The river teaches us humility as we enter each rapid, unsure of exactly how we will come out the other side but trusting that we will (in or out of our boat). So too life is unpredictable in its rapids, but we can trust that we will come out the other side one way or another.

On my final night on the river, I listened to teens who have faced challenges I can’t pretend to know declare their worth to the group. “I am strong.” “I am brave.” “I’m a fighter.” “I am a scholar.” “I am confident.” “I am beautiful.” I can’t always be sure of how these kids are feeling as they take a swim or enter a rapid, but hearing the participants affirm themselves brought tears to my eyes. I am so incredibly grateful for the vulnerability of every participant I met this summer. Thank you for allowing me glimpses of your lives in this beautiful sanctuary of transformation. I can only hope to encounter some of you again, but know that you have touched my life as I know the river has touched yours.

-Carly

2017 LEAP Guide

River lingo 2/4

This is the second in a series of four posts. Many of these glossary terms are used in the whitewater community, along with some that are specific to LEAP and our sister company, Orange Torpedo Trips (OTT). This week we have some river feature and equipment terms!

Confluence: Where two rivers meet. The Salmon ends at its confluence with the Snake river.

Eddy: An area that flows counter to a main current or is flat, generally what follows a larger obstacle in the water, what we catch when we don’t want to continue downstream.

Hole: A spot after/below a rock where the water recirculates, often dangerous and should be avoided.

Riffle: A small “rapid” usually caused by shallow water with some rocks underneath creating small waves, generally what we call something under class II.

Pourover: When water flows over a rock and drops immediately after that rock, creating a hole or a fun rapid.

Standing wave: A wave formed when swift water slams into slow water- the crest remains in place while the water under it continues forward.

Feathered: Refers to a paddle with perpendicular ends, rather than facing each other.

Guide clip: The leash attached to a guide’s boat to be used for towing another IK behind them (after you fall out).

‘Biner: Short for caribiner, the clips used to attach things like a water bottle to a D-ring on a boat.

D-ring: A D shaped ring often on the side of a raft, easy for attaching straps or a carabiner.

River lingo 1/4

As the river season is underway, we wanted to share a small glossary of river terms for those white water aficionados out there who want to understand “guidespeak”. Many are terms used in the whitewater community, along with some that are specific to LEAP and our sister company, Orange Torpedo Trips (OTT). This is the first in a series of four posts- we're starting with the basics.

Torpedo or torp: Our name for an inflatable kayak, also known as an IK.

Bow: The front of a boat.

Stern: The back of a boat.

PFD: Personal flotation device, also known as a life jacket or life vest.

Class: The difficulty of a rapid on a scale from I-VI, with I being the easiest and VI being the most difficult. The rapids on the Lower Salmon range from class II-IV. Read more about classifications here.

CFS: Cubic feet per second, how we measure the water flow. We can run the Lower Salmon below about 19,000 CFS, but it gets above 80,000 CFS at its peak.

Put-in: Where we put the boats in the water to start a program. Our put-in is typically at Hammer Creek.

Take-out: Not Chinese food, but where we take the boats out of the water to end a program. Our take-out is at the confluence of the Salmon and the Snake.

River right: The right side of the river when facing downstream.

River left: The left side of the river when facing downstream.