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By Eric Seymour

Subject: Ben Stookesberry Stomps right side Mesa Falls

I love it when Ben comes to visit. He rolled into town last Friday night to
show his latest film, Hotel Charley IV, as a fundraiser for the Jackson Hole
Kids Kayak Club. His new film is awesome. There was a great showing with
tons of raffle prizes and a lot of support for the kayak community.

The next few days were spent running my backyard river the Gros Ventre.
This river is awesome when it is running high. We had it over 4 feet and
there are a lot of action packed rapids and great catch on the fly surf

Currently Ben is working on an article with the Wall Street Journal on
"extreme kayaking." A reporter flew from New York City to interview Ben and
watch him run a waterfall. He had been looking at a big one in Montana, but
the flows dropped so that one was out. Luckily, Lower Mesa Falls is only a
couple of hours away from Jackson and it runs almost year round because it
is controlled by a dam.

Ben claimed the first decent of the right side in 2001. It has been run by
a handful of paddlers with varying degrees of success. If you have not seen
the falls, it is rowdy with a small margin for error. You must be perfectly
on-line off the slide up top and then freefall 20 feet to reconnect with a
rock and then freefall another 40 feet. Many of the paddlers who have run
this falls boof the top 20 feet and when they reconnect bounce over vertical
and land on their head..

Ben swears the key is to let your bow drop and get out as far as you can. I
am now a believer as I saw him stomp his line, not even getting his hair
wet, landing the falls at a perfect 45 degree angle and paddling out.

I then ran the two stager falls on the left. The top falls is pretty
technical and I had a perfect line. I guess the vibe in the air was
contagious because professional freeskier Jess McMillan
ran her biggest falls to date in her new purple Hero. She ran the left side
with a perfect line and rolled up at the bottom with a huge smile on her

We had a great week with Ben and Lower Mesa Falls was the perfect parting

Eric Seymour

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