Jan
26

Winter on the Mountain with the XL Burn III

 

Below: Adam Goshorn on Short Creek, photo by Shannon Goshorn

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Fresh off a winter Grand Canyon trip, I probably should be working on sorting pictures and video from that trip.  However, ever since I arrived back to my home the opportunities for great boating have kept me happily distracted!  The XL Burn III was awesome in the big water of the Grand Canyon and really shines back home creeking too!  The past few weeks have included lots of runs down our local favorite Little River Canyon at a variety of levels ranging from 250 CFS to 7,000 CFS.  We’ve also gotten runs on Short Creek, Tellico River, Upper Teddy Bear and Lower Teddy Bear.

Below: Adam Goshorn blasting through holes in Little River Canyon, photo by Ben Bernhard

AG Terminal Eddy by BB 2

 

Below: A mixture of footage from the past few weeks here on Lookout Mountain.  Be sure to set the resolution up to 720 for best viewing!

Below: my wife, Shannon Goshorn, boofing her way down Short Creek, photo by Adam Goshorn

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Until next time…

-Adam Goshorn

Below: Adam Goshorn in the XL Burn III in Little River Canyon at a healthy flow, photo by Ben Bernhard

AG Terminal Eddy by BB 1

Jan
15

Tamur with Pat – Nepal River Trip #1

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Way back in 2014, I spent six weeks in Nepal; a country that has been on my ‘hit list’ for countless years.  Arriving before the rest of our buddies, Erik Johnson and I signed up for a Tamur river trip with Pat O’Keefe and Ultimate Descents.  I didn’t know much about the trip, but a raft supported river overnighter sounded pretty awesome… and it was.

Photo - Pat O'Keefe

Photo – Pat O’Keefe

The crew at the start of the hike – 20 kayakers, 10 rafters, 12 guides (I made these numbers up, but I think they’re close enough…plenty of good people from all over the map)

You can read more about my trip, but if you don’t like reading, you should probably watch this cool video Nicholas Price filmed and edited… It probably does the trip more justice anyways!

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan
12

Meghalaya 2014

This year’s season in Meghalaya has been absolutely ridiculous. For the past two years we’ve ended up paddling into steep gorges with crazy geography that for the most part have offered up awesome adventures, but often not that great whitewater. This year has delivered on the awesome adventures, but now we’re really starting to make headway with finding some gems!

Scouting one of the first rapids on the Kopili

Scouting one of the first rapids on the Kopili

What has become apparent this year is Meghalaya’s two distinct seasons – monsoon runs and lower water multi-days.

In the monsoon the rains hit hard (wettest place on earth hard), which combined with the sandstone and limestone bedrock in the more modestly steep areas makes for some awesome steep creeking.

As the rains mellowed out we started looking for larger rivers. This year we paddled two new rivers that, combined with the already known lower section of the Kynshi, now means that Meghalaya has three accessable multi-day runs that have enough whitewater to entertain any kayaker looking for a jam packed two and a half weeks.

The Umtrew was one of the first we headed to and is an absolute gem of a river! The first descent (which I unfortunately missed) took the guys three days, on the second run we paddled it in a fairly stress free two days, and whilst I was busy Dan, Jamie and Jakub smashed it in an impressive four hours. This is such an awesome find for Meghalaya’s whitewater as the put-on is only three hours from Shillong, the capital.

One river which kept drawing us back over this season was the Kopili. We paddled it first in September, and returned two more times. Each descent was totally a different water level which really changed the charachter of the run, but each time it was nothing short of world class. Great camping, a wild jungle and a shuttle shorter than an hour for those who would like to smash out laps.

In October I flew home for a wedding, and missed out on the only epic of the trip – The Khri Bah, a river that cuts through a very remote area draining the northern platau. Reports from the lads say it could be immense with less water, so who knows, we might be checking it out in future years.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper trip to Meghalaya without paddling the Kynshi, and as we were there for nearly four months this year we made sure we got in a lot of laps. From scary highwater to dirty low water the Kynshi never failed to blow my mind with its incredible scenery, remoteness and phenominally unique whitewater. The more I paddle it the more I love it and it is unquestionably my favorite river in the world.

2014 was an epic season, and I can’t wait to get back next year to see what else is hidden away in Meghalaya’s deep gorges. As always thanks to Zorba Laloo for being a total lad and keeping us away from trouble, Greg Diengdoh for allowing us to convert his house into a paddlers den, and everyone else who makes Meghalaya such a great place to visit year after year.

Jan
11

Sulawesi December 2015… It’s all part of the adventure….

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I’ve been home for nearly a week now, having eaten almost my body weight in chocolate and cake to try and put back on the weight I lost while away, coming to the end of my malaria pills, anti-biotics out of my system, tropical jungle rash on my arm slowly fading away, mosquito and ant bites almost not itching anymore…almost.. and with my cuts and bruises clearing up, I can finally reflect back on what was actually an amazing adventure with some fantastic people.

Many people would probably question my sanity at this point (although being mad often helps) ‘I thought you were going on ‘’holiday’’ over Christmas’ I hear you ask…. Well it turns out my definition of a holiday is not that similar to everyone’s…

When Beth mentioned a trip to the jungles of Sulawesi, Indonesia, for three weeks of paddling I don’t think I really put much thought in to the ‘remote jungle’ bit of it and just figured it’d be an amazing paddling adventure with stunning scenery, and it’s only class 4 right?! How hard can it be…..

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It’s one thing thinking about the fun of paddling through a jungle… it’s a completely separate story when you’re sat alone on a beach in the middle of said jungle, days away from any help, having seen two of your friends paddle down river after kit and two friends start hiking up through the jungle two hours ago…that’s when you really realise that you’re in the middle of the jungle in the dark with no-one, and all you have are your own thoughts for company.

To say that our first of a four day trip on the Lariang didn’t go quite to plan would be a slight understatement, but what is a trip without a bit of adventure and excitment!

Having had a long day pushing on some high level hard rapids we had to portage up through the jungle, and in getting back on to the water a couple of issues resulted in two boats floating off down river over the next rapid and two members of the group chasing after them. I was the third to start chasing until I got to the lip of the next rapid and had a very sudden back paddle reflex as I saw what I was about to go down through… ‘they can definitely handle getting the boats’ I thought to myself ‘and they definitely don’t need me’…back paddle back paddle…

Having checked the other two were safe, we then made a plan to help me portage the rapid then arrange a meeting place right around the corner, and so they set about their hike up through the jungle in order to get back to where I was going to be waiting.

Once the jungle trekkers were back with me we spent the night as a three, with the other two somewhere further down the river. Dinner ended up being one freeze dried breakfast meal shared between the three of us, and one can of beer (always good to have an emergency can in your boat!). And who would’ve thought you could fit three people into a single person hammock on the floor! Luckily singing Christmas carols in to the night gave us the slight distraction we needed from our situation….I think they call this team bonding?!

It’s amazing how your thoughts on rain change depending on where you are. When at home you get so excited about rain and the rivers coming up, when paddling in monsoon season you spend your whole time praying it would just stop!! The realisation of the daily change in river levels came after a 3 foot rise in an already full river overnight…just makes it more exciting right?!

Once the sun was up we set about the task of reuniting our group! I paddled to the next corner while the others left for another climb up through the jungle. Having got around the corner I spotted all of the boats out on the bank and felt a huge sense of relief that we would all be back as a team soon!…… Another 2 hours spent alone contemplating the world on a rock by the side of the river (there seems to be a pattern here) and we were all back together.

The next three days of the Lariang were spent pretty much trouble free, christmas day paddling down some amazingly big fun rapids with a great group of friends has got to be up there with some of the best paddling days had.

Although I’ve picked out a few of the worse experiences of the trip, this is by no means the overall impression I wish to give, it was an amazing adventure that’s for sure ,but no trip is ever perfect and if you’re after the perfect paddling adventure then you’re probably in the wrong sport!

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The fact that we were in the deepest depths of the jungle and far from civilization and help also meant that we got the most beautiful unspoilt scenery, along with some amazing wildlife that I feel so lucky to have been able to experience. The array of large butterflies was amazing, along with the multi-coloured spiders (great to look at from a distance…), and the lizards ranging between one and three foot long that were happily basking in the sunshine on the boulders then the moment you got anywhere near they would launch themselves into the water in front of you and swim a lot closer to you than you really felt comfortable with! Fruit Bats, wild buffalo, monkeys and snakes, eagles that glide their way down the river with you. Also the beautiful display of fire flies that covered the terraces of paddy fields one evening, such a magical sight.

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There are definitely creatures that we could’ve done without, the red ants have got to be the worst creatures on this earth, but luckily for most of us they seemed to all like to keep Beth M company, she took them for the team! Large snakes that, thankfully, we only saw by the roads when we were travelling between rivers.

Experiences like this make the river trips as memorable as the rapids, admittedly if some of the rapids were slightly smaller I could’ve enjoyed the scenery more but sometimes your attention is required elsewhere!

Off the river we were amazed at the hospitality of locals, everyone seemed to want to help in any way they could; offering accommodation, food, drinks, trucks and whatever they could find to help us. It is definitely a trait that seems to have been forgotten in everyday life at home and when they have so little do we really believe that having more makes us happier people?!

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Before leaving for this trip I decided to take a gamble on the 9R, having paddled it already and loved it the boat still had a reputation for being a ‘race boat’ so when I suggested that I was going to take it to the depths of the jungle and do expeditions with it having not even paddled it with anything more than my packed lunch in, I did get some odd looks and a lot of ‘good luck’ wishes…. turns out that I made the best gamble ever. The 9R outperformed any boat that I have paddled before and actually due to my weight, loading it down with loads of gear probably helped me a little. The change in the way it reacted with 4 days worth of gear in it had only positive effects on the way it handled, and as a result I wouldn’t consider any other boat for trips like this.

Sulawesi has some amazing paddling that I would recommend to anyone that is up for a proper adventure, definitely not for the faint hearted though!! The trip was full of ups and downs, luckily more ups, but even after some bad experiences I still had such an amazing time with memories that will stay with me for a very long time, and some friendships that will definitely last well in to more adventures!

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Thanks to everyone involved! Roll on more adventures in 2015….

Jan
11

New years in Ireland

2014 was an amazing year for me, I spent a lot of time on trully awesome waves and rivers, got to run a couple waterfalls and best of all do it all while hanging out with some of my favorite people!
I couldn’t think of a better way to see out such a great year than to head to Ireland for New Years eve and celebrate with the boys!

I’d been to Ireland early in 2014 and gotten really lucky with the levels and we got to run some of the best runs in the country. (See video below)

Unfortunately Ireland is like the the rest of the U.K and is entirely rain dependant, We didn’t hit the jackpot with water levels this time but still got to run some of the classics and had a great time with the Irish paddling community who are always great hosts and fun to be around.

Huge thanks to Adrian Durrant at Great Outdoors, Dublin for hooking us up throughout the trip with equipment, rides and places to stay!

Next stop Uganda!
See you on the water,
Bren

Dec
29

Simpler times down South

Hola internet, como estas? Gringo Chris here with an update from Chile! Things have been great down south here in the land of flowing pisco and beautiful women…I mean flowing and beautiful rivers. Many different events and crews have been passing thru the Pucon area. I have been living in Puesco which is the headwaters of the Trancura river. The Puesco is an amazing place that is under the attack by companies that are trying to dam the river and its tributaries. This November Puescofest happened as a celebration to raise awareness of this issue and the issues of other rivers being damed in Chile. It truly was a gathering of culture,positive vibes and love for the rivers. Check out the website for more info! www.puescofest.org/

Heres a sweet photo of a hike right in the backyard of Puesco, thats the road from Pucon to Argentina down there.

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The Puesco consists of fast steep creeking with technical and consequential moves. Heres a typical view of the Tres Troncos section on the Puesco.

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Just your typical river rats enjoying the good vibes!

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Ah, good old Puesco loving. As the water gets lower around Pucon the kayakers journey south to follow the water. This year I got on the Rio GolGol for my first time. It is an amazing mix of scenery and waterfalls! What else do you need?!

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Pluggin er in! This is one of the most fun drops on the run, in my opinion. Its the only drop that doesn’t give you any airtime, but rolling down a tongue of water into the softest,deepest hit is a special feeling. This next shot is from the drop called La Princessa, the most challenging drop on the run.

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One more week in Pucon to enjoy the rivers, the people and the parties. Its a great scene here but the water is getting low, so its time to move south. The plan is to live on the banks of the Rio Fuy with LJ Groth, come hang out and kayak with team ESCAPE! Providing classes in kayaking, and life styling! Check out our website for more info! www.patagonia-escape.com Cheers for now internet, back to the mountains and the rivers! Chao!

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Just hanging with the locals of the Maichin valley. Peace for now!

-Morelli

 

Dec
17

Video: 9r on the Green River, North Carolina

Hey ya’ll just a quick post here with a little video from a fun fall lap down the Green River in North Carolina in the 9r. I have been loving this boat! As you can see, the bow rides up and over features super easily and retains speed very well making for a super fast, sporty, fun-as-hell to paddle kayak. Enjoy!

Dec
08

Rey del Río in México

We just got back from the Rey del Río in México, an event organized by Altius and River Roots founded by the Mexican Government and the Board of tourism of México. 

I was stoked to meet team mates Sam Sutton and Egor who had also flown in for the event. With another 25 of the best kayakers in the world, good organization, huge prize money and waterfalls it was going to be an awesome weekend!

We flew in to Villahermosa (Tabasco) and drove to Palenque (Chiapas) where there are awesome Maya ruins. From there we drove to the río Tulijá commonly known as the Agua Azul due to the turquoise blue color of its water because of the minerals it contains. 

We did a few training runs on Friday and a time trial to seed everyone for the boaterX. Saturday started early with the first rounds of the boaterX. The course was really narrow with only one deep line so it was really hard to pass anyone, the time trial played a huge role on the boaterX as choosing your starting position meant a lot. In the end I didn’t make the final (top 4) but I did manage to win the losers heat and ended up 5th. Not a good result but that’s all I could do with the seeding I had (6th). Congrats to Pat, Dane and Egor and Isaac for going fast and taking the top spots.

Here’s a sick video by RiverRoots from the BoaterX event on Saturday:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5ntMHtSyEM 

On Sunday we all headed downstream to a set of three waterfalls, a 30ft, 50ft and 40ft. Every paddler had one run and he was judge on his technique, style, progression… There were sick lines, tricks off the waterfalls and all sorts of cool stuff. 

Personally I didn’t have a good run and even broke my paddle on the second drop… Anyways it was a fun day. In the end I ended 7th 1 point from Sam. Pat Keller took the win followed by Rush and my bro Aniol.

Overall it was a great event, well organized and the media that Jared, Matt and Polly took is amazing so looking forward to see all the great footage they shot. This is a great step for kayaking to attract some main stream media and portrait our sport in great way.

After the event my bro, Benny and I drove north east for 8h or so to Tlapacoyan, Veracruz. We stayed at Aventured and had a great time going paddling every day. Big Bananas, Jalacingo, Tomata… There’s a lot of quality white water and a lot of fruit too so it’s a great place to hang out and spend some time.

After a week it was time for me to head back to the city and fly back to Chile where there are a lot of river waiting, so stoked I made it out to México, learned a lot and hope to do a lot better next year! Now it’s time to paddle some rivers, head south and eat empanadas.

Dec
08

My top 5 tricks of 2014

5. Lunarzilla, One of my favorite combos of the year. Spinning back on yourself and then launching a godzilla out of it to finish the trick of just feels awesome and we ahve a lot of potential to link more tricks onto the end of the Godzilla.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9HtPjiwyng&index=6&list=UU3fmUyuCPnu4xl…

4. The no paddle Tricky Whu. In my opinion one of the best ways to improve your kayaking is to go hand padlding for a couple of days, Me and my buddy Matt Anger originally started hand paddling this fall to improve our hand roll so we could throw our paddles on taller waterfalls and be a little bit more cnfident about hand rolling in the couldron below, By the end of the week, we could nail pretty much every hole move between us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8f8nysd1pg&list=UU3fmUyuCPnu4xl4-3sd2mi…

3. The Lunar Tricky Loop. This is a James “Pringle” Bebbington original. I always used to watch Pringles videos and be mind blown by the combos he threw but never thought I would ever be able to throw one, Pringle took me under his wing for the summer of 2012 and after seeing him throw them down every day and the occasional tip I started throwing some of the basics. This trick however was the bane of my life for that entire winter season. Feels so good to be able to stomp it on demand now. Thanks again Pringle!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDK2Ho9IMrs&list=UU3fmUyuCPnu4xl4-3sd2mi…

2. The Panam. The biggest I have ever gone on a wave. Ever.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-XtZjOc2Fg&list=UU3fmUyuCPnu4xl4-3sd2mi…

1.
The Airscrew – Blunt – Mcnasty. The blunt was pretty lame and I would like the mcnasty to rotate more like a pistol flip but i’m still really happpy to land a 3 trick combo on a wave and stoked to build on this trick at next years Stakeout.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mu_zWUrIYbo&list=UU3fmUyuCPnu4xl4-3sd2mi…

Thanks for reading,
See you on the water,
Bren

Dec
02

Chile Trip part 1

On late November I started a three day journey to Chile. Departing from Bracelona to New York and to Panamá for a couple days layover as my boat wasn’t allowed in the plane after making it all the way there… a day of paperwork and 400$ less and my boat was on its way via Cargo with the same airline… thanks Copa Airlines!

Anyways made it to Chile and went straight to the río Maipo just outside of Santiago where my good Astorga friends live and fight against the Alto Maipo Project the Government and private corporations are trying to put on their river and land. The plan is to divert the river and all it’s tributaries into 70 km of pipes to produce energy for the copper mines in the north. This means drying a whole region with multiple valleys and rivers and taking all of the drinking water for Santiago polluting its waters and mixing them with residual waters from gold mines and others to be purified later on… I really hope that the Government and politicians that rule Chile can see further than their own pockets and decide what’s best for Chile and for its people, NO ALTO MAIPO!  Learn more about the Alto Maipo Project here: https://www.facebook.com/NoAlProyectoAltoMaipo

After settling down and paddling the Maipo for a few days we started the drive south with a first stop at the río Claro. The Claro is one of the most amazing rivers in the world, clean water and the most beautiful lava canyon you can imagine with all kind of drops and rapids, it truly is a kayakers dream. 

The last time I was there was in 2007 together with Chris Korbulic on what we thought was the first descent of the ‘Garganta del Diablo’, my favorite section. It took us a long day to scout as much as we could from the canyon rim, and I think we only saw the 20% of it? Anyway we put on the next day hoping everything would be fine and we discovered one of the most awesome places on earth. It was such an awesome  feeling to go back and remember everything from that tip… We got there late afternoon and put on straight away. 

The water was low but we paddled some of the best white water ever so we war so stroked!! The next day we ran the ‘Cocina and 22 saltos’ into Garganta and finished off with the 7 tazas. Such an awesome day of kayaking surrounded by the most polished and smooth basalt walls you’ll ever find, its amazing, you have to be in there to understand it and  experience it by yourself. After another day of some more paddling we started to long drive south to Pucón. 

The levels in Pucón were still good when we got there so we rushed on paddling the Nevados, Trancura, Palguin and Puesco at good flows. All this runs are really close to town and it’s easy to paddle three rivers in one day so within a couple days I was already pretty sore but so stoked to be down there after so much time since I paddled any of this runs, for me it’s like a rediscovery trip as the last time was 7 years ago and a lot has changed since then, the rivers, the rapids, the gear and myself so its an awesome personal experience to live it all again. After a few days of great weather levels started to drop and we decided it was time to head south.

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