FRONTIER OF FIRSTS-Tyler Allyn and Cooper Lambla

snapdragon wrote 430 days ago:[/youtube

Frontier of Firsts follows the experiences of a whitewater kayaker and an Alaskan bush pilot during a kayaking expedition in Southern Alaska. Similarities in their respective passions emerge as the two work together to explore three previously unrun rivers.

DIRECTED – Tyler Allyn and Cooper Lambla


CAMERA SUPPORT – Cooper Lambla, Todd Wells

MUSIC – Luke Atencio, Makeup and Vanity Set, Beats Antique

ARTWORK – Kimberly Hall

FEATURING – Alaska, Insects, Todd Wells, Jay Mahan, Eric Parker, Chris Korbulic, Cooper Lambla, Tyler Allyn, and Jeff Shelton

THANK YOU! — All Alaska Outdoors Lodge, Lynn and Don Welty, Jay Mahan, Ben Mastre, and Rene and Jeff Shelton

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Kyle Smith on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River

snapdragon wrote 479 days ago: the early morning of May 10, 2017, three Idaho kayakers pushed into the Middle Fork of the Salmon River at Boundary Creek put in. Their initial intent was to set a 24-hour high water speed record 300 miles away at the confluence of the Snake River. The Middle Fork is known for legendary paddlers and boatmen pushing themselves purely for the passion of it. Although the team knew the levels weren’t quite high enough to secure a record-breaking descent, they chose to paddle on and forge a new bond with the river that taught them how to paddle.

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Where is Baer….and what is he thinking about now

snapdragon wrote 496 days ago:

I knew I was kicking the bee hive on this one, but it has brought up a ton of relevant points and is grabbing a fair amount of traction very quickly. Pretty cool to see an article get so many people talking again and thinking about the hazards their getting themselves into.

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Emily on the Grand Canyon

snapdragon wrote 544 days ago:

“You’ll never guess what?! We got another Grand Canyon Permit!!! Are you interested?”


Um of course I am interested!


“K because the launch date is in two weeks….”


This was the beginning of my recent adventure down the Grand Canyon. I wasn’t even home when the first wave of texts started coming in from the Holcombes.  I was visiting my in laws up in Canada in several feet of snow and couldn’t quite fathom what we were agreeing to go do.


I had been down the Grand Canyon almost 10 years before, only that trip was a commercial trip where we were royally spoiled and I paddled a playboat the whole time. Nicks first piece of advice was to not think this trip would be anything like it.


Not quite sure what he meant I agreed to the trip, because I had turned down one trip into the Canyon before and I wasn’t about to let that happen again. My kids are 17 months and 4 1/2. Both are incredibly social, can be on any schedule and love spending time with their Grandmother and Uncle KC.  I selfishly also thought this might be the perfect weaning opportunity for my daughter as I was ready to stop breastfeeding her and she loved the boob.


On came the next wave of texts- “Here is our friends packing list- trust me you’ll want to review it and base off of it.”


I was like YES this is exactly what I needed as I had no idea how to live out of a kayak for 15 days. Then I looked at the list and my response was more like “what the heck?!” They forgot to mention the creator of the list was a rocket scientist, and had thus created a list that was too perfect for me to even review. It was down to the last drop, and had so much information, I couldn’t even process the list. (this guy weighed the weight of the food, and the weight of his poop at the end) it was VERY detailed.  He also managed to pack 3 pairs of shoes? Who does that?!


So I wrote the list out in doodle style and tried to pretend like it was my own , in hopes of assisting the chaos of preparing for this trip. Oh, and now we are home with 5 days till departure.


Finally I decided I couldn’t pack off this list- handed it to my husband and began to pray he didn’t skimp us on any necessities.


Now only a couple days left, and I had to pack for my kids to be off with Grandma as well. With them not needing to weigh any luggage I simply rolled two bags into their room, and hail mary’ed just about every item of their room into the bag. Now that’s how you pack.


Nick had carefully laid everything out and then told me I needed to pack my clothes, as he didn’t want to do that for me. So I said- “that I can do,!” and ran upstairs and came down with about 5 too many outfits. All of which were for every type of climate. Then we checked the weather, I cursed under my breath and went back upstairs. Down coats, hats, under layers, and fleece, lots of fleece.


The bags were now packed. I had no idea what Nick had packed but I knew I had my clothes. We dropped the kids off, hopped on a plane. And we really did hop on a plane with no hassle- flying without kids is cake!


The Holombe’s picked us up in true style- their RV and trailer loaded with more kayaks then I could imagine. This was going to be my first time really packing out the Karma Traverse. You could sense how prepared they were, lists upon lists and asking my questions I knew nothing about- like allum, bleach and groover wrenches. I said Nick had it under control and then Nick asked us to be driven straight to REI. Lucky for us they needed to go to.


We got our stove fuel, (as you cant fly with it) and a few other missing necessities, like that groover wrench, allum and so on.


That evening we stopped at our local dealer, Desert Adventures- picked up the remaining boxes of stuff, and headed to the RV Park to pack…. Now, in the dark…..


I couldn’t believe we were packing to live out of our kayaks for 15 days and I needed a head lamp to see what I was doing. If I wasn’t stressed out enough already I now have no fingernails left and I have already stressed eaten several of my snacks that were for IN the canyon… Crap…


So then Nick took one look at me and said, don’t worry I got it, you just lay out all of our food and only do that. SWEET, something I can do. Kathy also told me how to do it, by day, by meal… So sure enough I had each day laid out and 15 days is a lot of food when you lay it all on one tarp.


My food choice was 90% Heathers Choice meals. With each one being dairy, gluten free, and almost 40 grams of protein per serving, I knew it would be the perfect fuel for me. We also had Heathers Choice Packaroons, which I was excited about, but didn’t know how excited I would be about them until later… and I’ve already ordered more of the Smoked Salmon Chowder as it was the best thing ever (don’t judge me for backpackers food at home)



Now I had to pack it into bags, and into a kayak… still in the dark…. Luckily Las Vegas gives off such a warm orange glow that you can basically see way more…. (yuck, but was an advantage this day)


I popped off the bulkhead in the Travese and slid 50% of the food for Nick and I into my bow. It fit perfectly! In the other side I had my Thermarest pad, pillow and bathroom bag. It fit just right. Behind my seat I kept two dry bags, one with my down jacket and hat, the other with that days lunch, snacks, lip chap and extra hair ties.


In the back hatch I had my first week of food, my chair, my Thermarest Sleeping bag that snuggled into an AWESOME SealLine compression sack (basically I never needed to pack my sleeping bag into any other bag then the actual dry bag!) I had a stove, and cooking stuff, my clothes and journal, flip flops, and camera. Nick carried the tent. Then on top of the hard hatch I had my Groover tube and all its necessities tucked inside.


Somehow I had WAY more then I expected, including two pairs of shoes (was not expecting that) and it all fit perfect. We then laid our kayaks next to each other, and it was a team effort as the kayaks were HEAVY!


Now it was time to get picked up and delivered to the Put In… Pick up was at 6am and it was already past midnight!


I didn’t sleep well, I wondered if I made the right choice, I thought of my kids, the challenges ahead, the time away from the usual grind… But I also looked forward to the experience of just being with my husband, away from the kids. The thought of big waves crashing into my face over and over again, this made me excited, and ultimately chose for me.


I fell asleep for the last hour and when I awoke- I was ready!


We climbed in the car, drove the fastest 6 hours- I think I slept for almost 5 of them, and the other one hour I was eating delicious cookies. I arrived at Lees Ferry ready for action. We had our check in, our orientation with the wonderful Penny, set up our tents- which is always awkward the first time, and that was it- we were officially launched! Now we kinda cheated the first nights dinners and hitched a ride up to the lodge and ate a gazillion French fries, burgers, chili and beer… hitched back to our tents, cursed the cold that was already much worse then I anticipated and slept, hard… Ready for the days ahead, or simply because I didn’t have two children who sleep like drunk octopuses looking for car keys in my bed…..


Now, kayaking….


The first day I was slightly intimidated at the weight of the kayak- how was rolling this beast? The cold simply kept me from even trying, but I was curious what rolling that amount of weight would feel like.  I couldn’t begin to tell you how excited I was, and the idea of paddling 280 miles, I was cruising the first ten… We were told we were going a little too fast so we backed off and ended our day at 18 miles.  I was not sure how stopping 2 miles short was going to work as I knew it meant picking up more miles along the way but everyone was a bit sore from not being used to paddling this weight and the weather was COLD so we wanted to make camp before it got too late.

The first day didn’t have much for rapids, but our crew was doing a great job. It was Nick and I and the Holcombes: Peter, Kathy and Abby. We all were in Traverses, Abby and I in 9 foot Karma Traveses, and the rest in 10 foot.


I couldn’t believe how well this kayak, floated, drove, and maneuvered in the bigger rapids, ALL while being insanely loaded down. I could get the kayak where I wanted and when I did hit huge breaking waves and holes it was stable throughout the entire hit. I found my confidence after the first two days and then I enjoyed taking the wetter lines. Now at times I avoided wetter lines and put my hands in the air for the sheer thought of being wet and adding to the cold… But otherwise, the bigger waves were calling!


I was also impressed with how packing became a flow. Each day I would wake up and the routine of being in the canyon seemed to happen without my thinking about it. Nick would go make coffee while I packed the sleeping bags and pads. Then we would have breakfast and coffee together. I would bring the bags to the boats and he would take the tent down. I don’t remember being so vocal in asking for specific help or taking turns doing certain responsibilities and reminded me that often I have that silent expectation for Nick to do what I want without me even sending him any hints. By learning and becoming vocal on us helping each other, we felt much more like a team and I was reminded how much easier my life and raising the kids would be if we could simply carry that communication home.


We had so many high moments in the canyon (and low temps) and I couldn’t wait to share the experience with the kids. From hikes, to caves, to that incredibly blue water in the Havasu River, from fish to eagles, deer and sheep, arrowheads, shooting stars, lizards, ice, and waves, OH the WAVES. Each one that hit me was a reminder of how much I love kayaking. Each day was a reminder of the simply joys in life. Each day taught me that nothing is for granted. I cant tell you how much we laughed and clamored over each other for the idea of a bite of a Packaroon after a long days paddle.


The disconnect of being in there is a wonderful feeling, I never realized how much I loved music or missed it until the last few days, when Dave Matthews Band, Aerosmith, Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, the Cranberries, Alanis Morisette and Nirvana popped into my head if any word reminded me of a song.


I also thought of how much I missed just engaging with my kids, not necessarily doing anything, just simply interacting.


I have so much appreciation for the opportunity, the strength I found to go, my husband for coming along, the Holcombe’s for inviting us, my parents for watching my kids and my boat. My boat, was my home, my safety, my vessel for the 15 days down there. I have much love to my boat and its ability to carry me through those big splashy rapids day after day.


I hope everyone has an opportunity to see nature in some of its rawest forms. To connect with the outdoors, disconnect from everything else and to use a river to carry you through your adventures.


Happy Paddling

Emily Jackson-Troutman



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Sam Grafton

snapdragon wrote 552 days ago:

Great Kayaker, Greater Person


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Hyper Hands

snapdragon wrote 647 days ago:

With  Winter setting in, don’t forget to throw a pair of HYPER HANDS Paddling Mitts into your gear bag.

A wide cuff allows easy entry and exit.


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Gregor Unterdechler

snapdragon wrote 730 days ago:

YouTube Preview Image


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Jessie Stone

snapdragon wrote 825 days ago:

What’s New: 2017 is off to a busy start! During the first quarter, we had a number of visitors and volunteers coming through the Clinic, including non-medical as well as medical volunteers, which was great. We received an amazing donation of an ultrasound machine from the Gould Family Foundation. This will significantly improve patient care by eliminating the need to refer patients to another facility to get ultrasounds performed. We are also on our way to solving our space problem after receiving an wonderful donation from Marc and Jane Rose to help us construct our new building. Among other things, the new building will have a room dedicated to providing ultrasonography services for our patients. Three Mt. Sinai Global Health residents, Dana, Emily, and Kersha, volunteered with us in the months of January, February and March. They were extremely helpful in improving our triage at the clinic, adding to what Mt. Sinai Pediatric residents Genna and Liz had helped us begin last year. Additionally, the residents analyzed and aided in the improvement of our treatment of malnourished patients. This has been extremely helpful, as our area has already experienced two cycles of crop failure this year due to extreme weather (i.e., too much rain followed by drought conditions). Consequently, the Clinic has been seeing and treating even more malnutrition than usual. This quarter, we also had an extra special visit from Dr. Laura MacIsaac, an Ob/Gyn from Beth Israel/Mt. Sinai in New York, where she runs a clinic for underserved women. She has also had great experience working in Ethiopia at the famous fistula clinic. Dr. Laura worked with us both in the Clinic and in outreach, and she even did a terrific continuing medical education session on IUDs for all staff at Soft Power Health. Clearly IUDs are the wave of the future for birth control and family planning in both the developed and developing world. Our new country manager, Mary Prendergast, started work with us this quarter, and we are thrilled to have her as part of the team. Mary is a trained occupational therapist from Ireland and has lived and worked in Uganda for the past several years. We are very lucky to have Mary’s help. Finally, coinciding with the visit of epidemiologist Kate Zinser, and PhD student Margaux, who work both with Soft Power Health and the Ugandan Ministry of Health on malaria control, we had a commentary piece about mosquito net misuse published in the Lancet*. This was a really wonderful collaborative effort and we are thrilled that it finally got published after a number of years of trying! *see Lancet article at the link:


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Sup in the Bluegrass State

Aaron wrote 872 days ago:

If you dont think there is surf in KY you are mistaken!  Ky has more navigable waterways than any other state.  When the spring rains come it sends the Spring Tides down the rivers!

sup ky river surf

surf the river

While the long boatmen of olden days used to ride boats made of lags lashed together we get the luxury of riding high tech inflatable SUP boards. has a complete line of new boards from NRS this season.

sup kentucky


When the water gets muddy we like to get out and get on the waves.  We can surf for minutes at a time without falling off the wave.

sup kentucky

surf the brown water

Come join us on the river or in the lakes of this Bluegrass State.

See you on the water


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An international team of elite kayakers enters the unknown amidst a newfound peace in the once volatile Colombian Amazon.

snapdragon wrote 873 days ago:

Southeast, Colombia,  March 28th, 2017 – The expedition down the mystical Apaporis River will take an international team of kayakers through one of the least explored territories in the Amazon basin, cutting through the heart of the Chiribiquete Mountains deep in the southern Colombian Amazon. The waterway snakes 700 miles through virgin rainforest, dropping over seven distinct waterfalls on its journey southeast towards the border with Brazil.


This roadless land is the definition of isolation and insecurity. Vast wilderness and more recently, the guerrilla group The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), have kept the area secluded from the outside world. On the heels of the recent peace accord ending fifty-two years of civil war, it is only now possible to attempt this epic mission.


In navigating the challenges of this environment, the team will interact extensively with the indigenous communities who maintain ancestral knowledge of the river.  Their wisdom and guidance will be essential to understanding the wonders and the region’s endemic hazards: ten feet of annual flash flood-inducing rain, disease-carrying mosquitoes and flies, venomous snakes, spiders, electric eels, caiman, and jaguars.


Amazon Unexplored, the name for the expedition, is comprised of the world’s most experienced expedition kayakers.  Ben Stookesberry, Chris Korbulic, Aniol Serrasolses, and Jessie Rice will be led by Frenchman Jules Domine, the leading force behind Colombian river exploration and conservation who founded Fundación Yumaná to promote and protect communities and their free flowing rivers. Talented filmmaker and visual storyteller Ben Stookesberry from the United States is a two-time National Geographic Adventurer of the Year who recieved a Best Film Award from the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Fellow American and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Chris Korbulic was also named one of the world’s 50 Most Adventurous Men by Men’s Journal and has completed more than 60 first descents in 20 countries. Spaniard, Red Bull Athlete, and reigning Extreme Kayak World Champion Aniol Serrasolses is known for running the biggest whitewater on earth, including a seemingly impossible  descent 130-foot tall Keyhole Falls in British Columbia. Jessie Rice, from the United States has been a top expedition kayaker, extreme-race competitor, international kayak instructor and guide for more than 20 years and brings a uniquely female perspective to the team.


The team’s collective mission, in its simplest form, is to paddle the 1,000-kilometer Apaporis River.   Ben Stookesberry is very honest about his goal of wanting to see his team reach the Brazilian border safely after what he anticipates will be a very long month with a largely unknown level of risk. For Jules Domine, the trip presents a one-of-a-kind opportunity to document a river corridor where flora and fauna unknown to the outside world still exist. Chris Korbulic sees the expedition as a combination of pushing mental, physical, and creative limits in experiencing one of the planet’s greatest natural amphitheaters. Aniol Serrasolses has been pushing the limits of extreme kayaking more than anyone, and recently paid the price with a significant shoulder injury and subsequent surgery. In this 1000 km paddle he sees not only the chance for rehabilitation, but also the opportunity to descend massive rapids and falls situated in the most far flung place he can imagine.  Jessie Rice is the group outlier, not only as a female but as mother of 8 year old son, Fletcher.  She certainly takes with her a maternal responsibility of returning home safely; but like the rest of the group, she signed up for this mission as an opportunity for a profound spiritual journey on a sacred river. Ultimately the team hopes to promote a new peaceful chapter for Colombia and celebrate its native cultures and still undisturbed ecosystems. But as to what story will ultimately unfold, only the Rio Apaporis knows.


You can follow the Amazon Unexplored expedition in realtime at

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