Monday, June 3, 2013

Cougar Canyon

We moved here for the mountain biking and hiking, but have discovered that this is an immense, outdoor playground, and there are so many different ways of exploring it. We both love moving water and waterfalls, and I was able to convince Heather to go on a canyoneering trip with me, with Joe, the founder of Pura Vida Adventures.

We tagged along on a trip this past Saturday, and it was a great experience. We can't wait to do it again!

We met at PV HQ early in the morning, and once everyone arrived, we headed south of town to a wet and wild section of National Forest that Joe refers to as Cougar Canyon. (If you want to know the exact location, book a trip!) We parked, and started our very mild hike to the falls we would be descending. The trip we were on was an introduction to canyoneering, and wasn't truly canyoneering, but more just rappelling down the side of a 75' waterfall, as opposed to actually working your way down an entire canyon. It was a great way to introduce a person to the sport without overwhelming them.

We were a group of four, plus Joe and Andy from PV.


Our waterfall for the day.


We took a steep trail to the top, and then played around up there for a bit.




After some words of wisdom from Joe, we were on our way.



I was so proud of Heather. She just started going without hesitation, and was probably the best out of us all.




I was comfortable, but the first time I went down, I leaned back too far at the ledge towards the bottom, and my feet slipped up, causing my left foot to get caught between the rope and the rock face. I was stuck upside down for a bit, which was pretty comical. Nailed it the second time down, though.


Easily the best time I've had in the Forest in a while. We both loved it. If you have any interest in trying this, book a trip with Joe. You won't find a more knowledgeable or nicer person in the sport. Seriously. Book a trip. Now.

I have been riding some, too, but not a ton. I did my first ride into Pisgah from my house, via Bracken Mountain Trail. 475C was a bit long, but I probably won't notice it as my fitness improves. I haven't really been documenting my rides much, because my camera's lens is shot and I can't exactly afford a new one right now. Maybe over the summer sometime.

Also, I just ordered the ingredients to brew an American Pale Ale, and hope to start brewing more often. I'll post more on that later.