Apr
16

Mexico 2013 Part III: Veracruz

Below: Must be going the right way, photo by Evan Alfano
Veracruz sign by EA

Below: Adam Goshorn on the Rio Alseseca , photo by Shannon Goshorn
AG Alseseca by SG 5

The day after we paddled the second canyon of the Rio Verde with Team Previa (see: Mexico 2013 part II HERE); we woke up early and broke down our camp at Aldea Huseteca. Eager to get on the road south towards Veracruz, we skipped breakfast, planning to find something to eat along the way. It was raining lightly as we departed our campsite and the rain continued throughout the day, slowing traffic everywhere and lengthening our already long drive to Tlapacoyan. While driving through a small town, the name of which I have already forgotten, we did eventually find an awesome place for breakfast. We spotted fresh bread and pastries in a storefront window along the main road. A couple of blocks later we found a spot to park and backtracked on foot. The storefront was indeed a bakery, but was also a café with a counter and table-service in the back. No one spoke any English, but like so many times before we used a combination of our limited Spanish and pointing at meals being consumed at other tables to place our orders. We didn’t think we had all ordered the same thing, but when our meals appeared they were identical. We each received a big platter containing a slab of flank steak, a pile of eggs, fried potatoes, and a serving of beans. A couple stacks of tortillas also appeared; ready to be loaded with the contents of our plates. We ate to our hearts content and bought a few pastries on our way out the door, beyond pleased with our random breakfast stop.

Below: Matt Beauchamp on the Rio Alseseca, photos by Adam Goshorn
MB Alseseca 10 by AG

MB Alseseca 12 by AG

Back on the road again, we slogged on through the rain. We passed through two state police checkpoints where the officers first asked… then insisted, that we buy them a cup of coffee. Their exaggerated shivering was effective charades in communicating to us that they were cold from standing in the rain… despite if being about 70 degrees outside. We complied, not too put-off by the ten peso price tag, after all the current exchange rate put ten pesos roughly equal to $0.75 USD. It was a small price to pay to not get hassled any further and to move through their checkpoint as quickly as possible. Soon we were winding along the Emerald Coast, catching glimpses of the beach and its waves on our left. Had it not been a rainy, foggy day, it would have been quite a beautiful spot. Eventually we turned right, leaving the coast behind and heading back into the mountains towards our destination, the small city of Tlapacoyan.

Below: Adam Goshorn on the Rio Alseseca, photos by Evan Alfano
AG Alseseca by EA 1

AG Alseseca by EA 3

Over the past few years the state of Veracruz and the especially the area around Tlapocoyan have become the most well known destination for paddling in Mexico. Its popularity is due in part to the many great whitewater runs that are in relatively close proximity to each other, but it’s not just the richness of the whitewater that have made it so popular. In large part, the boom in paddling in the region is due to ease of logistics because of the services provided by a family-owned company called Aventurec. Unlike most of Mexico, where paddlers are pretty much on their own to figure out logistics, Aventurec makes paddling around Tlapacoyan downright simple! Aventurec a eco tourism company that has rafting, horseback riding, zip lines, a campground, hostel, rental cabañas, a restaurant (with meal plans!), a bar (that allows tabs!), and can provide shuttle services for kayakers. Pretty much anything a nomadic group of paddlers could need or want is all right there and coordinated by people who know the area like no outsider ever could. There is also usually a variety of different paddling groups from around North America and Europe staying at Aventurec, creating a great vibe every night at the bar and around the campfire.
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Apr
13

The New Haven Race: A Great Beginning to the Paddling In The Northeast

IMG_2053The paddling season is officially under way in the Northeast!!  In one week we went from full-on winter conditions to beautiful, sunny, Spring.  On Sunday, most of the rivers still had ice and the skiing conditions were all-time.  By the time the following Friday rolled around the rivers had broken free, and they were raging.  As usual, my first event of the season was the annual New Haven Race in Bristol, VT.  This is one part uber-compeititve race, and one part paddler’s reunion.  Most of the people attending the race hadn’t seen each other since the Moose River Festival six months ago.  It was great to catch up with everyone and make plans for the season ahead.

Photo: Scott Martin

Photo: Scott Martin

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I ran out of work on Friday before the race to make it over to the river for a few practice laps and my first strokes of 2014 to find a very high flow.  Melting snow from the top of Lincoln Gap had brought the river up to a level much higher than optimal for the race. Only a small handful eager paddlers were out there, and I jumped in.  We dodged holes, escaped a few near misses and declared ourselves ready to race after two quick laps.

Photo: Scott Martin

Photo: Scott Martin

The next morning the sun was shining, and there was a perfect “forgiving” flow in the river.  The optimal conditions led to a record level of participation and enthusiasm was high.  One by one paddlers got sent off in one-minute intervals off the ramp constructed by race organizers.

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I am extremely grateful simply to have the opportunity to put a bib on and race hard on one of my favorite class IV creeks in the Northeast.   The New Haven Race is a great way to kick off the season.  If the success of this event is any indication of the season ahead, we are in for a good one!

 

Apr
06

South Island and the PNW

For the last 15 days of our stay in NZ we decided to go down to the South Island to paddle on the West Coast and do a couple fun races. Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned with me getting hurt on the first race.

 

 

The day after we arrived was the Citroen race, an awesome BoaterX down a big volume rapid called Citroen on the Kawerau river in Queenstown. A really fun rapid with a cool entrance around a big boulder in the middle followed by some big crashing waves and diagonals, and the walk is not too bad! I got there Saturday morning and did a couple laps before the event to get to know the rapid a bit, then we started the boaterX. I did a few rounds and after a few heats advanced to the final.

 

 

Unfortunately though as I pushed off the ramp and landed in the water another competitor landed on me so the bow of his boat hit my hip really hard. That moment I paralyzed and screamed like never before, so much pain! I tried to paddle but I had no power and the pain was really high, but I was floating fast into to rapid so I had to do something… I paddled/floated down the rapid and eventually ended up at the bottom where I got out of my boat. I couldn’t walk but I did float down to the take out. Thanks Brad for carrying my stuff and driving me around!

 

 

I had to rest for the next three weeks, the pain eventually decreased being able to walk and move around but not able to do any king of effort or sport, and to this day my hip still gets sore after an hour in my boat.

 

I’m now finally back on the Pacific North West, specifically White Salmon in the Washington/Oregon border by the Columbia river. The Gorge is an amazing place, extremely beautiful and wild it offers many awesome runs really close by, and the amount of kayakers in town is huge, so there’s always someone keen to go for a lap!

 

 

Big storms early spring made the levels rise from low to extremely high after a really dry winter, and now we have perfect water levels on all drainages!

 

 

My favorite one is the Little White Salmon, only 15 minutes away offers the best amount of white water per lap; super fun moves, drinkable water and amazing old rain forest.

There are a lot of paddlers here this Spring including my brother so we are always going to the Ldub, it’s really good!

So all in all life’s real good! Stoked to be where I am and doing what I love. Thanks y’all!

 

Apr
04

Why is the New Pyranha Burn III So Good?

Well it is finally here, the NEW Pyranha Burn III!

Everyone has been asking, what makes the new Burn III so great?

Just a few of the many reasons:

1. SPEED. The new Burn III is truly one of the fastest boats that I have paddled. The acceleration is incredible and unlike any other boat I have sat in, due to the slight addition in length and change in rocker profile.

2. LOWER DECK PROFILE. With the lower deck profile you able to sit forward, stay more over your bow, and increase precision while paddling.

3. TRACKING. No matter where you are trying to go, the boat is ALWAYS predicable. The edges are easy to initiate and allow for precise turns and eddy carving even when in crazy/swirly whitewater. Most importantly, the boat goes where you want it to, not where it wants to go.

Photo - Alex Matthews

Photo – Alex Matthews

4. BOOFING. Not only is the hull much faster, but it is super easy to boof!

5. ROCKER. With increased rocker in the bow, a little less in the stern, and the flat hull the boat goes over almost anything you can put your mind to. With the slight decrease in rocker in the stern, you now have the opportunity to initiate the stern in your turns!

6. NEW OUTFITTING. New metal grab loops and the brand NEW 2014 Connect outfitting!

OVERALL. The boat is a fantastic all around. Perfect for any type of whitewater, from river running to creeking, the new Burn can do it all, and it can do it WELL! I have always been a lover of displacement hulls, but I gotta say the new Burn III did change my mind. I am hooked. So what are you waiting for… Go ahead and give the new Burn III a try!

Photo - Alex Matthews

The Gorilla Wheel in New Burn! Photo – Alex Matthews

Check out the burn edit!!

Until next time.
Dylan

Mar
28

Pre Stakeout Trip

SUV camper, small bed + small fridge. That's all it takes.

SUV camper, small bed + small fridge. That’s all it takes.

 

 

As Quebec is experiencing is coldest winter in 20 years. I had planned to do a trip to the US in march.  I’m used to travel with all the Quebec Connection crew. What that means is that when we are going to the US, we are always a group of 10+ boaters (if you saw us at the Beaver fest you know what I’m talking about…) But this time I was alone. The boys are still stuck in school as I’m taking a year off for paddling. I didn’t know what to expect of a solo trip. I almost cancelled at last minute, but I had to pack up and just do it. I took a look by the window and  when I saw the 20ft snow pack in front of my house that was enough to convince me. I packed all my gear, transformed my SUV to a camper and I hited the 20 hours drive to Asheville NC. I did the road in two days. I slept in my SUV camper in a Walmart parking, awesome experience…

 

 

The first thing I did in Asheville was to go to the pyranha warehouse to get my new boats. Unfortunately the burn 3 was not there yet… But I got a brand new Jed and the guys at pyranha have been gentle enough to lend me a Karnali. I really like to go to the warehouse. It’s like heaven. So many kayaks and helpful people. After that, it was time to find people to paddle with me and show me the goods around Asheville. It was time to make some of my facebook friends real life friends. I got a call from Demshitz Paul Butler for the Eternity hole. Finally ! I was going to paddle ! Eternity hole is sick ! Definitely one of the sickest hole I’ve ever paddled. Paul also provided me a place to crash near Asheville. Big thanks to him to let me crash at the Boathouse Brown. Only 15 minutes away from the Eternity hole.

 

Big air in Eternity !

Big air in Eternity !

The next day It was time to hit the most famous piece of whitewater in this area : the Green River ! My first time on the Green was awesome !  This river is so different than what we have in Quebec. As almost all kayakers I had seen tons of pictures and videos of the Green. It was really awesome to finally run one of the most famous rivers on the planet.

Spank the Monkey !

Spanking the monkey

Day 3 in asheville : As eternity hole was running 6 to 6 I decided to spent the whole day there to work on some new freestyle moves. I finally get my phoenix monkey both sides! So stoked about it as I’m not doing that much hole playboating. Got to get a few more moves, linked some of them and been more constant because the Team trials for team Canada are coming this summer ! Hope to upgrade my 16th place from 2012.

The next day, Paul and I decided to fired up 2 laps on the Green. We almost did two racing laps. It’s so good when you can do a class V run top to bottom without getting out of your boat. It just keeps the stokness one rapid to the other and you get to the end super high on life ! (WAIT, you gotta go at your rythm. Do it when you know the run and feel comfortable enough)

This is it ! A bottle of Moonshine for the Chattooga !

This is it ! A bottle of Moonshine for the Chattooga !

On Sunday, it was time to go to Church ! Paul and I met a few more guys at the Chattooga put in. The Chattooga is the Southeastern Classic! More legends exist about Five Falls of the Chattooga than almost any other set of rapids. Taken individually any of the 5 rapids of Five Falls would be significant named drops on any typical Southeastern river.

A few days before I was talking to Paul about this Tv show we have in Quebec about people doing their own whisky in the woods of the south east. In Quebec this show is called ‘’ trafiquants d’alcool’’ and in the US it’s called the Moonshiners. I was wondering if people in the south east were doing it for real. So when we got to the Chattooga put in, Paul had a surprise for me… After a few sip of this strong smoky mixture, we were fired up for the Chattooga. The Chattooga was a super fun run ! Not a super hard run but just a lot of fun, beautiful scenery and many super fun moves. It’s a must if you pass by this area, but stay safe because there’s many bad places, bad undercuts…

Clay Lucas getting the Money$$ on the Chattooga

Clay Lucas getting the Money$$ on the Chattooga

Sweeeeet boof on the Chattooga !

Sweeeeet boof on the Chattooga !

Proof that several places on the Chattoga are dangerous! this boat was severely pined in this undercut . Our attempts to remove it were unsuccessful...

Proof that several places on the Chattoga are dangerous! this boat was severely pined in this undercut . Our attempts to remove it were
unsuccessful…

After that, I spent a few more days around Asheville just chilling and surfing at Eternity hole. After a few days, I decided to go to fayetteville to hopefully do some good playboating. When I got to Fayetteville there was a snow storm ( for Canadians readers, it was some light snow).  So the temperature was cold and the levels were low, but I tought that the ‘’coolest small town’’ had more to offers than kayaking. So I did some hiking and went to the famous new river bridge. It was really awesome, even if it’s not kayaking it was part of a kayak journey.

Beautiful scenery around Fayetteville

Beautiful scenery around Fayetteville

After this quick stop in Fayetteville I decided it was time to head back to Canada. On my way back I did a quick stop a the Valleyfield slalom course to make a few laps. I just wanted to make sure my body hasnt get to much used to the southeast warm water.

Back in the snow...

Back in the snow…

Freezing water, but still a lot of fun in this pretty cool slalom course !

Freezing water, but still a lot of fun in this pretty cool slalom course !

 

More than 3500 miles later, I was back in Quebec city SUPER fired up for STAKEOUT ! Be ready guys because our snowpack is MASSIVE  and as I’m writing those lines it is still snowing…

Sooo stoked about this journey, all the people I met along the way and the time I spent on the rivers !

Peace !

 

 

Mar
28

Chile! Escaping Winter in South America: Part 1

Chile! I have been wanting to take a kayaking trip to Chile since the first time I saw the Demshitz movie my senior year of highschool in 2009. I have been planning this trip in my head ever since then and this year, after graduating from college and having a full winter season at my disposal, I made it happen. So stoked! Shortly after the Green Race, I flew into Santiago, Chile with my trusty travel companion/girlfriend, Hayley. After checking out the big city, we hopped on an overnight bus and arrived in Pucon the next morning.

Boof to Swim - Screen grab from Colin Hunt

Boof to Swim – Screen grab from Colin Hunt

Pucon is prime for straight up lifestyling Chile.  There are loads of great rivers close by, big waterfalls you can fall off everyday, awesome parties and discotecas, ridiculous scenery of snowcapped volcanoes, and loads of international kayakers running around. Highlights for me were definitely the Demshitz drop which I had been thinking about for years, of course the middle palguin 70 footer, and Salto Marrimon on the Trancurra which is a really cool rapid.

Palguin Medio! - Photo Kris Belozer

Palguin Medio! – Photo Kris Belozer

After a few weeks of living it up in Pucon, it was time to move on. Pucon may be close to paradise but Chile has a lot more to offer and you have to get away! Colin, Amy, Kris and Russell had just rolled into town and along with our German buddy Thomas, we rented a few cars and hit the road for 10 days traveling all over the lakes and rivers districts. It is one of my favorite things to be on the road, running new rivers everyday, with a sick group of friends, camping in amazing places, living the dream!

On days one and two, we warmed up on the Llancahue and the Fuy, two classic runs full of good rapids and nice waterfalls.

Llancahue put in drop - Screengrab from Colin Hunt

Llancahue put in drop – Screengrab from Colin Hunt

 

Salto Leones on the Fuy - Screengrab from Kris Belozer

Salto Leones on the Fuy – Screengrab from Kris Belozer

Day 3 was one of the best ever. We had camped at the lip of Salto Nilahue, a really cool 60 footer. We woke up and fired off that beast, then rallied straight to the Rio Gol Gol, another great piece of whitewater, culminating in a stout 50 footer called Salto del Indio which resulted in a few interesting lines! One huge crash, a broken paddle, a skirt implosion/swim, and one pretty good line! It aint everyday you get to run a 50 footer and a 60 footer with a whole lot of other good whitewater as well!

Salto del Indio - Screengrab from Kris Belozer

Salto de Nilahue – Screengrab from Kris Belozer

Firing off Salto del Indio on the Rio Gol Gol - Photo Colin Hunt

Firing off Salto del Indio on the Rio Gol Gol – Photo Colin Hunt

 

All the boys stoked after an awesome day!

All the boys stoked after an awesome day!

The next day we continued south to the Rio Petrohue, a nice class IV bigger water run with some of the most beautiful water color and scenery I have ever seen on a river. It is nestled right in between 2 massive snowcapped volcanoes with striking blue water. Truly spectacular! Then we proceeded on to the Rio Cochamo, which is set in a very remote part of Chile, with a gorge flowing into a fjord close to the Patagonia zone. This one is kind of a mission, and takes a full day of hiking and then a full day of paddling through a sieved out and steep remote gorge. We were there early in the season and worried it may be too high, which apparently you don’t want. The guidebook we had said to run the river “as low as it gets” and “the river should look completely empty at the takeout”.  With that in mind, we decided that it looked pretty low and we would give it a shot. So the next morning we woke up and started the 7 mile slog through mud and rutted out horse trail to the top. We couldn’t see much of the river and got to the top in high spirits. The Cochamo Valley is an incredibly scenic place (isn’t all of chile??) and referred to as the “Yosemite of Chile”. It has huge granite domes, and waterfalls cascading off the sides into the steep rugged canyon. Up at the top we cooled off from the hike on the sweet natural water slide on a side creek and slept under the stars looking up at the huge mountains surrounding us. The girls graciously hiked out our sleeping bags and we put on. It was immediately clear that the river was WAY TOO LOW. We ran about 6 actual drops, portaging almost the entire river due to it being so low that all of the existing water was under rocks. Well it was kind of a bust, but the scenery was amazing the whole way down and it was cool just to descend the gorge.

 

Hiking into the Cochamo

Hiking into the Cochamo

We eventually made our way back to Pucon, and after a few more Palguin, Fuy, and Trancurra laps, we headed to Patagonia for the famous Rio Futaleufu. It was quite a journey to get there involving 2 busses, an overnight ferry and some hitchhiking, but we finally made it to Nate Mack’s Hostel in town and our basecamp for sessioning this big water playground.

On the ferry approaching Chaiten, Patagonia

On the ferry approaching Chaiten, Patagonia

One of my favorite days on the Futaleufu was on Christmas day. We woke up and cooked a huge Christmas breakfast, something of a tradition for me back home. Then at about noon we put on the rio Espolon, right in Nates front yard. Paddling a few miles to the Futa, we were spit out right above inferno canyon, the top section of the river. We paddled through inferno, through throne room and zeta, miracle mile, terminator section, bridge to bridge, and casa de piedra, all 28 miles of river! Wonderful way to spend Christmas.

Seal Launch below Zeta

Seal Launch below Zeta

We spent 10 days at the Futa, a week backpacking around Patagonia, then another few days at the Futa before it was time to start heading back North. Some friends were heading back to Pucon by way of Argentina, hitting up the Manso gorge on the way home, something I had been hoping to get to run but had not yet had a chance. I was stoked for the opportunity! Salto Alerces is the drop at the put in, a super cool waterfall with a blind step down move, you boof off one side and transition to the other, getting your bow down and tucking up! Super fun. The rest of the gorge was full of high quality whitewater as well, then a 5 mile lake paddle. Thankfully we had a tailwind!

Salto Alerces! One of my favorite waterfalls

Salto Alerces! One of my favorite waterfalls! Photo – Hayley Spear

After a sweet day on the Manso Gorge, Hayley and I kicked around in Bariloche, Argentina for a few more days, loving all the good Argentinian food and different culture before heading back to Pucon. I had a few more great days of boating, my last being a Todo Fuy, top to bottom! I had not previously paddled the secret section or middle as they were too high, but those 2 sections ended up being some of my favorites. Stoked to get a sick last day paddling in Chile! We then began the journey back to Santiago, where we had a flight to Quito, Ecuador, where the adventure continues! Stay tuned for part 2 to hear about the jungle rivers and adventure in tropical Ecuador!

Clay

Mar
10

Mexico 2013 Part II: Team Previa

Below: Matt Beauchamp running Puerta del Salto in the second canyon of the Rio Verde, photos by Adam Goshorn

MB Verde 8 by AG

 

MB Verde 10 by AG

Just after dark on the day we ran the Rio Minas Viajas (see Mexico 2013 Part I HERE), we were driving down the narrow driveway into the Aldea Huesteca campground when we met a van going the opposite way.  There were no boats on the roof, so at first I wondered if it might be the campground employees leaving for the night, but then the silhouette of kayak stackers caught my eye.  Windows rolled down on both vehicles and someone inside the van called out from the darkness, “Is Adam Goshorn in there with you guys?”  The voice was Brett Barton.  Our mutual friend Matt Taylor had told both of us to be on the lookout for each other since we would be in the same regions of Mexico around the same time.  Brett and I had briefly corresponded online, but hadn’t made any firm plans to meet up due to both of us wanting to stay flexible and being hesitant to commit to a specific timeline.  However, here we were on the evening of our second night in Mexico already running into each other and staying at the same campground.  The frequentness of such encounters with friends and acquaintances from the paddling community while far from home continues to astonish me… despite it happening too many times to count over the last decade.

Below: Team Previa deep in the cane in route to the Rio Frio, photo by Evan Alfano

Privia in the Cane by EA

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Mar
05

Mexico: The Paradise of Tlapacoyan

Mexico. That was all I could think mid exam week during my fall semester at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. While other students were headed home or to the typical all-inclusive resort with the family, I was headed to the waterfall paradise that is the Tlapacoyan municipality, Veracruz, Mexico. With just a few logistics wrote down on a small piece of paper Ryan McAvoy, Jordan Poffenberger, and I found ourselves in the Mexico City airport shortly after Christmas. After quite a few problems with trying to transport our gear and kayaks with us to our destination we made it twenty-four hours later to Aventurec in Tlapacoyan (long story short we learned it isn’t that easy to travel across a country with kayaks, especially when you speak VERY little Spanish…) .

 

Photo- Dylan McKinney

Children of Jahlacingo. Photo- Dylan McKinney

 

Truchas Lead-in. Photo- Jordan Poffenberger

Truchas Lead-in. Photo- Jordan Poffenberger

 

Photo- Jordan Poffenberger

Photo- Jordan Poffenberger

 

Shortly upon arriving we realized that this wasn’t any typical year for whitewater in Tlapacoyan! The rain was never ending and everything was still pretty high/the high side of good. On day one we started off by heading with a crew that had been there for a couple week to TRUCHAS! With a somewhat challenging hike in on an eroded cliff, a 90+ foot repel, a 50 footer, and the best smoked trout at the takeout, our first day in Mexico was beyond incredible. Over the next few days we were able to get on some of the classics, Big Banana and Roadside. Quickly within the first few days all three of us learned that this high water meant massive, retentive, and frothy holes… After grabbing a couple laps on Truchas and other sections of the Alsescea, Jordan and I headed with some other fellow east-coasters to 60 foot Tomata 1 Falls. A crew of five of us fired it up with good lines all around for the most part. None of us seemed to have any interest in running Tomata 2, due to higher than normal flows, so we called it a day a began the interesting hike out of Tomata 1 that is directly above the lip of Tomata 2!

 

Photo- Dylan Evans

Photo- Dylan Evans

 

Rolling off the lip of Truchas. Photo- Jordan Poffenberger

Rolling off the lip of Truchas. Photo- Jordan Poffenberger

 

Truchas, day one. Photo- Matthias Zeiner

Truchas, day one. Photo- Matthias Zeiner

 

The rest of out trip continued to be incredible, where we got to get on the Upper Jahlacingo, the Diaper Section, and more laps on Big Banana, Truchas, Roadside. Mexico was truly a special experience that I hope to make happen year after year. The whitewater is spectacular, scenery is gorgeous, and the people and culture are incredible. These places and rivers proved to be even more picturesque than all the photos I had seen before. Not only did Tlapacoyan have some of the more perfect waterfalls in the world, but the runs/sections were world class as well. Go ahead, book your plane ticket, and head on down south of border to the Veracruz State!

Check out some more photos and a video I put together from my trip!

Mexico Video: Mexican Waterfall Paradise of Tlapacoyan

Cheers,
Dylan

Peppers in Tlapacoyan Market. Photo- Dylan McKinney

Peppers in Tlapacoyan Market. Photo- Dylan McKinney

 

Photo- Leif Anderson

Photo- Leif Anderson

 

Dylan Evans walking through the Market in Tlapacoyan. Photo- Dylan McKInney

Dylan Evans walking through the Market in Tlapacoyan. Photo- Dylan McKinney

 

Typical food seen in Tlapacoyan. Photo- Dylan McKinney

Typical food seen in Tlapacoyan. Photo- Dylan McKinney

 

Photo- Leif Anderson

Third drop of Triple Drop. Photo- Leif Anderson

 

Jules showing us how to boof a 50 footer Photo- Dylan McKinney

Jules showing us how to boof a 50 footer Photo- Dylan McKinney

 

Mar
04

Weekend breaks out of Delhi

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I’ve never been much of a city boy, so when I moved to Delhi in November I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Fortunately I have been working for a sick new magazine covering all kinds of outdoors sports, had a sweet pad and wasn’t actually that far from the Himalaya. I could finish work on a Friday, jump on an overnight bus to Rishikesh and blast the sweet class III+ big volume section of the Ganga, or carry on up to my good friend Shalabh Gahlaut’s house on the banks of the Alaknanda.

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I was a big fan of the Ganga, but Shalabh’s set up near Rudrapryag is too good, so I spent most trips up at his place. Not only does Shalabh have a sweet house, but he’s also got a playwave IN HIS GARDEN!!!! It was exactly what I needed after a week of work in Delhi, a small paddle-on wave which you could front surf till the sun set, backed up by a wave/hole great for all kinds of tricks, backed up by a sticky shallow hole to punish you for messing up…

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It was so nice crashing with Shalabh, checking out maps and making plans for the future. I’ve always known India has a load of unexplored whitewater, but never really appreciated the scale until we hit the maps. We’ve already hatched a plan from July onwards this year and I can’t wait.

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I’m supprised that India doesn’t recieve more low water kayak tourism, between October and May the Himalaya has some of the sickest super chil alpine boating. Unfortunately its too much fun to stop and photograph so you’ll just have to take my word on that.

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Feb
27

Ten days in Ecuador

I asked a friend a while ago when a holiday becomes an expedition – his answer was that if you come back weighing less than when you left, it’s an expedition. Whilst I like this definition, it was a moot point on this trip. There was no way it could have risked turning into an expedition even if I’d tried. A group of four of us headed out to Ecuador for a few weeks before Christmas, the idea was ten days of paddling, followed by ten days of more generic touristing.

Top section of the Misahualli with blue skies and sunshine.

Top section of the Misahualli with blue skies and sunshine.

Pancho on the Jondachi - jungle classic!

Pancho on the Jondachi – jungle classic!


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