Apr
23

Scotland in the new Burn

Since getting hold of a new large Burn nearly 2 months ago now Ive been getting out on the water in it as much as possible, spending 2 weeks in Scotland and also trips to North Wales and the Lake District in it too.  I can honestly say that the design is fantastic and all of the subtle tweaks from the previous generation burn all add together to make a very noticeable move forwards from the last design.

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The new Burn is fast and nimble

Ive paddled the new Burn in a range of waters from low volume creeks and slides, to pushy high water runs, through to the big volume rapids and it has excelled every time.  The boat is fast in the water, gathering speed through holes and waves, whilst still retaining control throughout.  The rocker profile is improved and skips easily over the top of the water, with the deck shedding water quickly.  The edges feel good and are very smooth in the water, with a little bit of practice you can get the boat to make some impressive, dynamic moves, with the boat responding well to changes in your body position.  For me the sitting position is fantastic, with lower and narrower knees giving you greater control and better connectivity in the boat.  The new seat is the best version so far and the option to raise the seat and to change the angle all make for a comfy paddler.

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The Burn’s flat hull makes surfing green waves easy

I’ve found that the boat does favour a positive approach to your paddling, responding well to getting weight over the front of the boat when charging for must make moves and eddys.  With the boat being quick, it does like to be driven and I’ve been loving picking up speed and flying through rapids with it.  The boat boofs really easily and the improved bow rocker picks up with very little effort, proving that it is more than capable when the river gets a bit steeper.

Falloch Wide

More than capable on the steep stuff – The falls of Falloch

One question I have been asked a lot is which size of the new Burn would suit me best?  I weigh in at 80kg and paddle the large comfortably.  If I was to be carrying more kit and equipment for overnight expeditions or was simply going through bigger water I could possibly opt for the XL.  If I was paddling more steep creeks or dropping off big waterfalls on a regular basis I would be bringing out my Shiva, but for a boat that I can paddle pretty much anything in, run rivers and coach from the large feels just right for me.

This boat is fast, nimble, accurate and exceptionally versatile!

DCIM100GOPRO

Apr
23

Escaping Winter in South America Part 2: Ecuador

After 2 great months of charging Chile and Argentina, we headed back to Santiago for a flight to Quito, Ecuador to begin the last leg of the South America trip.  After arriving and spending a night in the airport, we headed for Baeza, one of the major hotspots for paddling in the country.

Cascada San Rafael

Cascada San Rafael, a massive 500 foot stout outside of Baeza

While Ecuador does not have the massive clean waterfalls like Chile and Argentina do, it does have some of the most fun whitewater of anywhere I have been. There is loads of steep continuous rapids and huge boofs, set in the middle of lush equatorial jungle, yet mostly with simple logistics.

After a few Casa de Queso laps on the Quijos and a quick run down the Cosunga on my first day in town, we were discussing plans for the next day over dinner and pilsners at Mama Ginas restaurant and decided to check out the Alto Quijos the next day. The bottom part of Alto Quijos has seen a few descents but the top had only been run once before, 15 years ago, so we were essentially dropping into the unknown given the rate of change of Ecuador’s rivers.

Loading up the kayaks for the full day journey to the Alto Quijos put in

Loading up the kayaks for the full day journey to the Alto Quijos put in

Vicente was really the one who made the trip happen, he got us access to the road to get closer to the put in, gave us all a ride in his truck to the top, and helped arrange horses. I think he was really stoked just to get us into the shit and laugh if we had to spend more nights in the jungle than we intended. We planned on one day of hiking to the top, and one full day of paddling out if all went well.

Hiking to the Alto Quijos Put in

Hiking to the Alto Quijos Put in

The first and only glimpse of the gorge from the hike in

The first and only glimpse of the gorge from the hike in

We loaded up the horses and spent the day hiking to the top of this huge gorge on a muddy trail used by the few local who live up in the valley. We arrived at the put in at 2 smaller tributaries coming together to make a runnable river, and spent a fortunately dry night in hammocks. We put on early the next morning and began picking our way down this awesome creek! We found it to be mostly class IV and IV+ with a few stouter sections and just 1 real portage…that is until we hit where they are building a road, just a mile or two above the confluence with the Papallacta and our takeout.

Jay Mahan running one of the big ones on the Alto Quijos

Jay Mahan running one of the big ones on the Alto Quijos

There is a dam going in on the Papallacata and for building or maintenance or whatever reason, there is a road going in thousands of feet above the Quijos river. They were blasting for the road and knocking tons of debris into the river, causing massive landslides and debris piles to block the river and make horrible horrible blast rapids with even worse portages. After about 10 of these we came to where they were working. We tried to get past as quick as possible, and just as we were around 100 yards downstream they sent a barrage of trees and huge rocks into the river behind us! We got out of there as quick as possible rallied to the takeout! The top part of the run was sick, but the hassle and danger of the bottom part makes me unlikely to want to go back unless it cleans up, but it was a sweet adventure!

After a few more days of paddling around Baeza, we headed down the mountain to the steamy jungle town of Tena, home to many more classic Ecuador rivers. One of the most awesome things about Ecuador is how simple logistics are. All of the taxis are trucks, and all the drivers know the put ins and takouts of the classic rivers. They pick you up from your hotel, you tell them where you want to go and they will be at the takeout a few hours later! So simple and good.

Typical shuttle ride in Ecuador on the way to the Rio Jondachi

Typical shuttle ride in Ecuador on the way to the Rio Jondachi

Since we were in Ecuador for a relatively short period of time, we just tried to do as many new rivers as possible, something different everyday. Highlights of Tena were the Jondachi, Hollin, Missualli, and Jatenyacu. Ill just let a few photos do the talking.

Nice put in 20 footer on the Hollin

Nice put in 20 footer on the Hollin

Colin with some take out snacks, Streetmeat, fried plantain and a Pilsner Beer

Colin with some take out snacks in Missualli. Streetmeat, fried plantain and a Pilsner Beer.

 

At the Rio Jatenyacu, the kids at the takeout were stoked on paddling our boats

At the Rio Jatenyacu, the kids at the takeout were stoked on paddling our boats.

 

One of the sickest swimming holes in the middle of the jungle!

One of the sickest swimming holes in the middle of the jungle!

 

After Tena, we headed up to the town on Banos, a major tourist destination but also where some of the best rivers in Ecuador are located. On the way into town we noticed a massive strange cloud hovering above the city. As we got closer we realized that the nearby volcano was having an enormous eruption sending plumes of ash miles into the sky and spurting lava down the side…however no one in the town seemed to be worrying to much, so we tried to get a good night sleep listening to the distant rumbling of this thing erupting. The next morning the eruption had subsided so we went to the Rio Topo, probably my favorite river of any we did in Ecuador. It was 8 miles of class IV/V large boulder gardens and more great boofings than almost anywhere. Super great! However, the top half is in the process of being dammed (same with loads of great whitewater rivers in Ecuador) so if you want to experience this gem, go now!

 

There was a volcano going off when we arrived in Banos

There was a volcano going off when we arrived in Banos, no one really seemed concerned though. 

The last river we paddled of the trip was the Rio Encanto, or the enchanted river. It is a really sick box canyon in the middle of the jungle, which is kind of a danger in itself because of the constant threat of flash flooding. But the skies and forecast were clear (haha) and we ended up having a great day routing this nice little waterfall run. Ecuador was an awesome destination and great cap to the south american summer! I am now back in the Pacific Northwest USA for the next few months, kayaking the little white everyday and loving life!

Cheers

Clay

 

Apr
22

Ladies Paddle Symposium 2014 – Another great success!

On the 5th and 6th of April over 110 ladies descended on North Wales for the second Ladies Paddle Symposium, organised and  run by team paddler and coach Frannie Kohn.

Frannie

Once again it was a multi-discipline event with more than 30 white water kayak, sea kayak, freestyle, open canoe and white water safety& rescue coaches running sessions over the weekend.

Jed Deecanoeing bala

Sea Kayaking Menai StraitsChris Brain

The weekend started on the Friday evening with the ladies on the residential option booking in and picking up their goodies – stickers from River Flair, LPS t-shirts and yummy 9 Bars !

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Saturday morning saw the Ladies collecting their demo boats, which had been kindly supplied by Pyranha and Palm, although some chose to use their own more old school kit, with great success!

Saturday MorningSafety and Rescue

Dee wave 1

Elaine on Ski Slope

For most it was a wet and windy day, but everyone came back smiling for a well earned and delicious meal at Glan Llyn.

Lunch time for the Open BoatersDinner Time

In the evening there were some inspiring talks from Sara James on  motivation and inspiration, and Deb Pinniger on trust and her experiences on the Zanskar river, captured in black and white.

There was also a fascinating presentation from Shelley Broomfield on her Phd into how paddling efficiency relates to seat height (if you’d like to participate in her research study email sbroomfield@bournemouth.ac.uk ) and a raffle raising money for the Womens Sport Trust which raised £616 pounds!

Talks

With so many happy ladies, we better get organising next year!

Happy Smiling Faces

Many thanks to Paul Smith, Fiona Dubber, Susie Walker, Sharon McGovern and Diane Lee for the photos!

Apr
21

Mexico 2013 Part IV: Back to SLP

Below: Matt Beauchamp on the El Salto Section of the Rio Valles, photo by Adam Goshorn
MB Salto 6 by AG

We had been enjoying our time in Veracruz (see Mexico 2013 Part III HERE), but water levels continued to be too high for many of runs we would have been paddling in a normal year. There were a few paddlers around who had done some recent, high-water descents on some of the other sections of the Rio Alseseca. However, the idea of going into the steeper and deeper canyons of the Rio Alseseca or those of the Rio Jalacingo at such high levels was unappealing to me… especially after getting beat down on our high-water day on the Roadside Section, which is easier and the proximity of the road provides an escape route. We only had a few more days in Mexico before we had to head home anyway, so we decided to head back to San Luis Potosi immediately, which would allow us a couple more days of boating in that region before the long drive home. The drive back to San Luis Potosi from Veracruz was significantly faster than the drive down and we were able to set up camp at Aldea Huesteca with enough time to go into town for dinner.

Below: Matt Beauchamp running a juicy rapid in the 4th canyon of the Rio Santa Maria, photos by Adam Goshorn
MB Santa Maria 3 by AG

When we arrived back at the campground that night, we heard that our friend Julian Schafer had been asking about us. Julian is a German paddler who Matt and I had met in Veracruz during our trip the previous year. In 2012, Julian had quickly become friends with our whole group and ended up paddling with us almost every day our of two-week stay at Aventurec. This year, he had been living in Cd. Valles and working as a raft guide, but due to a shoulder injury (on the Rio Minas Viejas) was now recovering rather than padding. We were able to get in touch with him that night and Julian and his girlfriend Karenn ended up coming along with us the following day to run shuttle with Shannon while Matt, Evan, and I paddled the classic 3rd and 4th canyons of the Rio Santa Maria. The watershed of the Rio Santa Maria is amazing! There are fifteen known whitewater sections on eight different rivers, all part of the same watershed. The Rio Santa Maria itself has five distinct canyons that contain beautiful turquoise water and class III-V rapids. As usual, the Rio Santa Maria did not disappoint us and Matt, Evan, and I had an awesome day making our way through the 3rd and 4th canyons at a healthy flow, eventually reaching the take-out at the base of Cascada de Tamul. Cascada de Tamul is a 250-foot waterfall created by the Rio Gallines plunging into the narrow canyon of the Rio Santa Maria. I’ve been told that at very low flows it is possible to paddle through the falls at the confluence., but most of the time it is impossible. So, groups take-out at the base of falls, climb ladders in a steep gully near the falls, and hike upstream to a small parking area at the end of a long dirt road… not the easiest take-out. Shannon, Julian and Karenn had hiked in to the base of the falls to meet us and after hanging out for a bit (and the mandatory photo op) we all hiked out with one thing at the forefront of our mind… finding dinner!

Below: Shannon Goshorn at the base of Cascada de Tamul, photo by Matt Beauchamp
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The day after we paddled the Rio Santa Maria, we broke down our camp and drove about an hour north to paddle the El Salto section of the Rio Valles. The El Salto section starts just downstream of a powerhouse and therefore almost always has boatable flows, making it an ideal run to get on when other things in the area are getting low (although its even better at high water!). The three- mile run starts out in a man-made channel which is the outflow of the power plant. This channel creates a quarter-mile section of fast continuous water that leads into a couple of strong holes as it re-enters the natural streambed at a rapid called El Nemo. The rest of the run is an endless number of travertine ledges ranging from five to twenty feet. The run goes quickly, so we made two laps and then checked into the resort at the take-out. Wanting to have real beds for our final night, we were willing to spend a bit more for the nicer accommodations, hoping that a good night’s sleep would prepare us for the long drive home the following day. However, I couldn’t help thinking about how a single night at this resort cost almost as much as our five-night stay at Aventurec (what a bargain). The next morning we packed everything into the truck, ate a delicious breakfast at the resort, and our 27-hour drive back to Alabama was underway. The drive is never fun, but we completed it without a hitch, arriving home exhausted and completely satisfied with another successful adventure south of the border.

Below: Evan Alfano on the El Salto Section of the Rio Valles, photo by Adam Goshorn
EA Salto 1 by AG

Below: Here is the video I edited from our trip. It is not in chronological order and is not sorted by river either. It’s just a sampling of everything from the whole trip, mixed together for variety. Be sure to stay tuned after the credits for a bit of carnage too! Enjoy!

Until Next Time…

Adam Goshorn

Apr
17

British University Creek Race 2014

British Universities Creek Race 2014

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Glen Etive was blessed with perfect mild conditions allowing snow melt to provide a really nice race level.

This year the race consisted of races on both the Etive and Allt a Choanne with a 2 runs on each. The best run counted from each course.

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For all the none students and old boys there was a Boater X which provided hard racing and incredible carnage especially on the slides that the area is known for.


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This year the winner of the Student Creek category was Callum Strong with Phill Mitchell & Barnaby Prees in close second and third place in the mens. Thewomen’s event was won by Beth Morgan with Fiona Wetherall taking second place.

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The boater X event, which was possibly the most exciting boater X event I have ever taken place in which I managed to win after coming first in both races.

 

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A massive thanks needs to be given to Callum and the rest of the organisers for arranging this fantastic event in such an epic location.

Loads of footage was taken of the whole event and creeking in the area which is being made in to an edit by Joe Ray Dickins so stay tuned for an awesome watch in the next week or two.

David

All photos credited to Matt Cooke

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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 !

 

 

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