Friday, October 26, 2007

Times to Remember: Lower St. Mary's

There was many trips that were taken down the Lower St. Mary's river this year. It is extremely accessible and only like 30 minutes away from Lethbridge! Its a great river for confident beginners, because most of the river is class 2, but the class 4 sections (run-no-run and Hairpin) are very easy to walk around!

Anyways a great memory on this river was when Jon Low got home from his mission for the LDS church, so we took him out and invited a few others. We barley put in and was playing on the "fishing hole" right at the put-in when David was having a blast playing on this surf wave when he went for a brace hitting some rocks with his paddle. I noticed that he was struggling on his roll, which left me a little concerned that something was wrong. I finally noticed that the side of the paddle he was rolling with had NO blade on the end. I believe he figured it out as well and rolled up on his left-side. Jon and I raced down the river to catch the blade. It was hard to get because it would surface and sink again and again! BUT we retrieved it and lucky for Dave he was only about a 5 minute walk to his truck so he just packed up and left to buy a new paddle! It was too bad he couldn't paddle with us, but its better that his paddle broke at the very beginning of the run than in the middle of the run. Another great memory of that day was when Jon finished the 4 hour paddle. He hadn't paddled in 2 years and he was stiff and sore. He could barely walk and when he climbed the fence I could do nothing but laugh and laugh and laugh!

Another day we had Stew Rood write a comment on the ORCKA blogspot about taking a white-Water raft down Lower St. Mary's. A lot of us joined this trip bringing kids to go on the boat and a lot of others brought their kayaks. It was a lot of fun.
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David had a new paddle and was finally going to get his chance to run the Lower St. Mary's stretch. We paddled for almost a total of 7 hours. A LONG TRIP! It was really good though. I met a lot of new paddlers that I have never met before, so that was good for me! The kids had a blast in the raft and the rest of us had just as much fun playing on the surf waves and running "Hairpin" again and again and again.... It was a really hot day and a few of us got a good burn being in the sun for about 7 hours, bu tit was worth it.

Another trip involved Nathan, Jeff and I. We made a pretty quick trip, but spent most of our time playing on the wave hole right above "run-no-run". We were all working our spins and side surfing skills. Nathan was using Ethan's old play boat (because he was waiting for his new one to arrive), so we had some fun watching him struggle with Ethan's boat. Nathan used throw bags as make shift hip pads to keep his hips tight in the boat, but they didn't work so well. So when Nathan was surfing you could tell that his boat was really loose, but he managed well getting a few spins in for the day. Jeff forgot to close his plug a couple times and spent a bit of his paddling time on the shore emptying his boat.

All in all the Lower St. Mary's had a lot to offer for the short amount of time that it was flowing. But when it was flowing we were out on it having a blast!
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Times to Remember: Cameron Creek

videoCameron Creek was probably the most intense adrenaline rush I have ever had paddling! The section that Nathan and I paddled is about a 30-45 minute run (depending on how long you scout rapids). When I dropped "Something Nasty" I got flipped vertical and over backwards then thrown into the rock bank banging up my elbow (which hurt for a good solid month). Nathan dropped Something Nasty nice and clean (see video above). When we got to "Wild Thing" I ended up scouting (looking in fear) this rapid for about 30 minutes. I believe I said about 10 prayers on my walk back to my boat. It was an extremely exiting feature on Cameron Creek (see video below), but my adrenaline was pumping for so long that I only had enough energy left to flop out of my boat on the shore below, and not enough energy to even yell in excitement back to Nathan, who was extremely excited for me. "De JaVu" seemed easy peezy compared to what I experienced with "Wild Thing". A great ride... Oh did I mention that it snowed on us while we paddled this creek!
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Times to Remember: Lundbreck Falls




Max, Jon, Nathan and I took a quick trip down the Castle Canyon section to start off the day. It was a really good trip and will always be in my books... I landed my first air loop on the canyon section of the castle. It was a suprise to me that I actually pulled it off, but made for alot of screaming and giggling! he he. After enjoying this great adventure we continued our journey to the Crowsnest river. Nathan, Jon, and I all dropped the river left side of Lundbreck Falls (about 30 feet). It was a lot of adrenaline pumped fun! Nathan and Jon both dropped the falls with style, but when it came my turn... I didn't drop it as clean as I wanted to. I ended up doing half of a barrel role landing upside down in the pillowy fluff of the boiling water below. After the Falls Jon had to bolt, but Max, Nathan and I paddled the rest of the Crowsnest river down to the bridge. It was a day to remember.

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Times to Remember: Carbondale


Mark, Mike, Nathan, and I took a quick trip down the Castle Canyon section of the Castle River... loaded up our boats and headed to the Carbondale. We met Chris up there who became our guide because it was some of our first times and others had only gone once before. It was alot of fun. Five-Alive was a nice little drop and continued down many other monuvering rapids which brang us to the last big rapid. The river narrowed into a little canyon and dropped over a ledge that created a pretty squirley hole. We all got out to scout the drop. Chris, in his creek boat, did the drop first to show us the way, and landed a very clean boof stroke keeping his momentum to safely clear the hole. Nathan, who also had his creek boat, decided to go next. He came to the drop, but was not as successful with his boof stroke. When he hit the hole it stopped him dead in his tracks. Chris was right there to push him out of the hole, but Nathan's spectators that were paddling smaller play boats were quick to say, "We're walking!" We figured that if Nathan's bigger longer boat had a hard time making it through, our littler boats would have been stopped pretty quick with any mistake of ot making the boof stroke to get across the hole. But all in all the whole day was a blast. 2 rivers in one day!

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Times to Remember: Castle River



This was one of our (Nathan, Janson, David, Mark, Mike) first big trips of the season. It was a blast. We learned alot from this trip! The entrance to the falls was closed so we put in at the bridge that crosses castle river and experienced the extra hour and a half of paddling time. Also that dropping off the ledge of castle falls on river right you need to have a lot of momentum to make sure you drop into the pool, because David dropped too soon and penciled in to nail the front of his boat on rocks then hit his helmet connecting with rocks as well. He was a bit soar from it, but at least now we know! By the time we got to the end of the trip we were all really worn out and ready to get out of our boats. And Mike ended up straining his back carrying his boat out to the take-out shuttle. We all had a good giggle at his pain, but Mike was not laughing.

Times to Remember: Belly River






Being able to get permission from the landowners by Belly River we were able to go a few kilometers south of the highway bridge and paddle for a while longer. The flows were at a good level for fun paddling. It had a good amount of rocking waves (for a class II river) that made the extended trip a little more exciting. I had my first experience with Jolene and Claudia in their White water canoe. I was impressed with what they could do it that big ol' boat. They were catching eddies that weren't much bigger than the canoe. They make a good team! At the end of our journey we scouted the class 5 shuttle and figured that all of us could make the run. A few of us got pretty cold, but Stew Rood was a trooper, holding on to boats and sacrificing the feeling in his hand for the safety of us all!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"KAN"- CELED

This morning, to our great dissapointment, when we were about to get ready to go kayaking up at the Kan Nathan looked at the Trans Alta site (below) at the flow schedule and found out that they had changed the Saturday flows from 2pm-7pm to 11am-4pm. By the time we would have left Lethbridge and gotten onto the river we would have had only a few short hours to paddle so we decided to NOT go. Hopefully we will be able to go again here very shortly and have a much longer chance to paddle for a much longer time. So keep updated on this site for future trips this fall/winter!

http://www.transalta.com/transalta/river.nsf/.vwriverweb/river+flowby+schedule?opendocument

Monday, October 01, 2007

OPEN KAYAKING starts this month!!!

We are now having the Public Open Kayaking hour at the University Pool! Starting this October we will be holding it on Wednesday nights from 8:30-9:30. It will begin this first Wednesday the 3rd. You will need to show Student Identification at the new front desk, or you will need to pay a fee for the use of the pool. Remember that if you are not a member of ORCKA you will need to bring $5 for boat rentals for the hour. The entrance to the pool is at the new recreational facility of the University. So come and join us and bomb-proof your roll for next season. ALL ARE WELCOME TO COME.

To see the Pool Schedule go to:
http://www.uleth.ca/sportrec/aquatics/schedules/schedule.htm