Sunday, September 30, 2012

Huckin Perspective

Well less than one week now and we will be in the land of big clean waterfalls MEXICO. So I thought I should do a little update on the huckin (waterfall running) aspect of kayaking. For me huckin is my favourite aspect of kayaking, there is no better feeling than dropping a 70ft+ drop and styling the line, you cant beat that free fall feeling it just keeps you coming back for more.

I ran my first big waterfall back in 2010 Metlako Falls I was so dam scared, since then I have run many big drops. The more stouts you hit the better you get and yeah you do learn the hard way. I have taken some huge hits gone over the bars boofed etc......There is definitely an art to huckin and every drop is different. Its such a fine line between taking too little of a stroke or pulling a little hard on your paddle. Its just not hit and hope stuff there is total control to running big waterfalls.

In my opinion Evan Garcia has the art of waterfall running down better than anyone on this planet so styley so smooth, you very rarely see Evan mess up a drop.Yep that's why we call him EG the Killer!!!!

(Wabena Fall 70ft Royal Gorge North Fork of the American)
This is the last big one in Royal Gorge 9 off us fired this stout of that day,with some good and bad lines.I went over the bars and took the biggest hit I have probably ever taken, felt rather dizzy at the bottom all  was good though

(Heath 2 Royal Gorge)(image Robby Hogg)
Fred Norquist having a sick line off heath 2, going for the boof stomp
Fred is a stout master for sure!!!

(Twin Falls 65ft Fostall Creek BC) (Image Mathias Fossum)

(Skookum Falls BC 60ft) (image Mathias Fossum)

(Wainui 65ft) (image Greg Thomas) 
This river would have to be my favorite run back home.This thing only flows after very heavy rain fall. I first D this drop back in august 2010. Cant wait to get back in there!!

(Round 5 Sutherland Falls 60ft Revelstoke) (image Mikkel St.Jean Duncan)

( Ram Falls Alberta Canada) (imaged Bradley Lauder)
To date this is the largest drop I have run. Ram Falls is around the 90ft range. As soon as I laid my eyes on this stout I was pretty keen to give it ago, such a nice Roley lip, just couldn't walk away from this one. I managed to stick the line, held a big right stroke, got my monkey arms on felt it out tossed the paddle and slowly tuck and braced for impact.
Peter Thompson fired this thing off first and crushed the line big ups bro, followed by Dylan Thomson and then myself!!

 Started working on this post yesterday and today I found out that Peter Thompson had lost his life on the Cheakamus River."I am stoked I got to no you bro, your such a nice chill guy, your a hard charger for sure bro, had some sweet times paddling together bro. I will never forget when we were at the lip of Ram Falls and you called it out "I am fired up bro I am ready to go" You and Dylan paper scissors rock off and you won, walked straight to your boat and styled the shit out of the Falls

I know your out there somewhere still charging bro, you will never stop"!!!

RIP Peter Thomson
Will run a big stout for you bro!!!

This is hard to put into words. All extreme sports have high risk white water kayaking falls in this category. If you paddle at a high level you are going to be taking calculated risks.You can get away with alot paddling hard white water but you can also get unlucky and get caught out in so called freak accidents.You try to do everything possible to stay safe on the river and not let theses things happen. But for me you have to put it in perspective that what we do is very risky and if you run hard white water and push the limits your running a risk and that risk could mean drowning. Anyone out there can get caught out I have had 2 friends now drown within the past year and a bit. Paddling is my life and I am willing to take theses risks. If some freak accident happen to me tomorrow and say I drowned, I would be stoked in what I have have achieved so far in my life!!!

Well cant wait to get to Mexico I have been dreaming of making it there for a few years now and now its happening. Starting to get real excited, one whole month in Mexico then Chile, its going to be an epic one. Hopefully my body holds together!!!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Squamish Creekin

Well after another long drive we made it to Squamish for some quality creek boating.This would be my 2nd time creekin around squamish,  I sure do love this place. First Creek on the hit list was Fear Canyon of the Elaho, such an epic short run!!

Benny running the last big one Fear Canyon (Elaho)

Benny and Parker cleaning a sweet pinch
Fear Canyon (Elaho)

(Erik Johnson aka baby nips) dropping into the last big on Fear Canyon Elaho

EG crushing 50/50 Ashlu Box Canyon. Between the hole crew we ran around 30 laps of this stout!!!!

Fred getting balls deep, 50/50

The beautiful Ashlu Canyon.Such a sweet run full of classic moves and sick white water!!

 Fred on the 2 cleanest boofs the Ashlu has to offer!!!

Hike in to Tatlow Creek,so beautiful!!!

Few of the boys chilling below the first clean 20ft

Hector getting amongst it

Sam Ricketts on Wall drop

Ricketts dropping the 40ft slide

Directly below the 40ft slide is this stout 15ft log drop with a shitty cave on the river right.I portaged this one last year so was keen to firer her of this time!!

About to drop it!!!

 Airing the biggest boof I could and coming clean out the bottom!!!

Well man I love Squamish boatin Cristal clean water, clean stouts, amazing canyons and just a beautifully place to be yep they don't call it Beautiful British Columbia for nothing. Stoked I got Tatlow creek again such a good run!!!

Well less than 2 weeks now and we will be making the long drive down to Mexico Huckin paradise, cant wait to drop every stout left right and centre!!!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Grand Canyon of the Stikine

The Grand Canyon of the Stikine is one of those rivers I have heard about for years. All the crazy stories of what has gone down in the deep dark gorges over the years.
Three weeks ago I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to put on Stikine. I have never been so scared putting on any river and I really had no idea what I was in for.

After 30+ hours of driving we made it to the put in of the Stikine, as you can see EG is ravingly stoked!!!!!!

Really nice sunset,at the put in

We camped at the put in that night and put on the next day

The classic Stikine photo.We had such a sick crew. Stoked to put in with such a good bunch of my friends, who are all fired up!!!!

Benny Marr in the crux of 3 Goats.This is the first big one we scouted!!!

EG making his way down 3 Goats

When scouting the rapids they don't look too big from a distance, but once you are ballz deep in them, they feel a hell of a lot larger than expected!!!

Eric Parker making his way down 3 Goats, Fred is also in there somewhere!!!

This is the entrance rapid above Pass Fail. This is a pretty scary one! Punch a big V wave then book it back to the river right eddy. If you miss the eddy you will be running Pass Fail blind, which is one of the harder moves on the river. I got a little rocked in this one, took a roll, and just managed to catch the last chance eddy above the main rapid, rather scary!!!

Evan passing and Benny Failing

I decided to take the easy move and portaged the crux move of pass fail
(Imaged Evan Garcia)

Wason's Hole. Most of us took the easy option on this one and ran the hard right line. Benny and EG were on fire and ran the crux!!!

Day 1 camp

Site Z. This thing is so scary. Four big must make moves. I had a good scout of this beast of a rapid...and I could see a line for sure, but there was no way I was going to step up to it. Benny had that look in his eyes! After a long scout he came up to us and said (''I am going to give it ago, only if that's okay with you guys'') This shows Benny super laid back style and chill approach to everything...

Down stream view of the last 2 holes(site Z)

Benny Marr about to style the crux hole of site Z. I have never been so scared running safety for anyone. Was so stoked to see Benny style the move!!!

Benny stoked on life after the first decent of Site Zed. I felt like Benny was the man to step up to this rapid on the day, I totally knew he had that shit in the bag ha!!!!

They don't call it the Grand Canyon of the Stikine for nothing!!!

Evan and Benny making there way down one of the many huge Rapid's the Stikine has to offer!!

EG dropping in!!

The crew dropping into Wall 1 one of the many must run rapids, such a scary horizon line. So huge!!!
(Image Mikkel St. lean Duncan)

Day 2 Wolf Tracks camp.Always stoked to get to camp and relax!!!

Can you spot the fat chief, wolf tracks camp
(Image Mikkel St. lean Duncan)

Wolf tracks camp down stream view

Erik Johnson running Wall 2

Erik J,Eric Parker and myself bombing in Scissors 
(Image Mikkel St. Jean Duncan)

EG styling the hole that ate Chicago

So stoked that I got the opportunity to paddle the Stikine. It was the biggest most pushy whitewater I have ever paddled, definitely an eye opener. One of the best or if not the best ever river trip!!!! And it couldn't have gone any better! To top it all off, I think we had the best weather ever on a stikine trip warm and sunny.

Big up to Benny Marr who completed the first ever full descent, paddling every single rapid with style! There is a lot of epic stuff going down in the world of white water kayaking theses day!!!