Summer 2013 update

1 August,2013

After a really amazing and wet season last summer and the winter just gone, the water has finally died down. Although there is currently a little hope that there might be some summer boating on the horizon!! What do we do in these dry times… Well – living in London, although not thought of as an amazing paddling destination by many, is actually a great base to get all over the place from. I have been filling my time with a trip to Bella Italia:

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This is the classic section of the Sorba that everybody enjoys paddling on after a good day out!! Lazy days filled with Italian wine and Italian gelato and some sun soaked days, makes for a great destination.

I also hopped over to Norway for a bit of festival action, including heading to Voss festival. I managed to bag one of the prizes with a second place finish in the kayaking section of the Horgi Ned multisport race. Luckily my c0-team member was also just as fast on the downhill biking section!!

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I also got time to fit in a quick run down the now classic Money Drop:

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After all that, its back to the UK for the summer…. and while Hurley isn’t running, its a great time to focus on hole-boating… HPP is a great weekend destination from London!!

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New Year New Zealand

12 June,2012

Given that 2011 saw me get a bit “eddied out” in Chile, I decided to use 2011/12 new year to make my plans of paddling on the North Island of New Zealand a reality. I had heard so much about the famous Kaituna, the great weather in the North Island and all those hotpools. With typical luck I had two weeks of heavy rain and the Kaituna on huge open gates for all but my very first day! On the plus side, I got to run quite a few of the creeks around Okere Falls including the Wairoa at many multiples of its normal volume when on dam release.  Some of the highlights of the trip were travelling around with the Norwegian kayaking princess, Nini and hitting some of the really picturesque and a bit more chilled out runs around, like the Rangitikei as well as getting to some of the more challenging ones. Cocktail night at the Okere Falls store, seeing in the new year at the beach and sunrise surf sessions were some of the non-kayaking highlights to the trip.  New Zealand never fails to be one of the most awesome trips with a kayak and I can’t wait to go back again! It was too short!

  


Highlights of 2011

7 January,2012

Its been a pretty big year this year. I would certainly say that my best kayaking moment in 2011 was hucking the middle Palguin waterfall. Its a 70 footer near Pucon in Chile which the local boys said I was the second female kayaker after Mariann to have run… Great feeling running it and looking back up with the adrenalin pumping!

A particularly funny/ hairy moment of 2011 was the Pan-Am that I managed to do off oneof the slides on the Nevados in Chile, also near Pucon…  I was certainly worried about whether I was going to land on my head or not… Apparently the line I took was the “main line” according to the boys, but I didn´t realise that they all paddled the chicken shoot!

As ever, my summer highlight was a trip to Norway, where I had an awesome week, although there were some pretty epic waterlevels! I managed to finally get a gold winners t-shirt by winning the “horgi ned” competition – a team race with downhill mountain biking and kayaking… with me doing the kayaking section obviously!

The British festivals proved as fun as ever as well…. Wet West paddlefest going off in style. Cant wait to see what 2012 has to offer! happy new year!


Upper Palguin

25 November,2010

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 We are now basing ourselves around Pucon – and the local run here is a short but sweet section called the Upper Palguin. As with everything in Chile it is super picturesque and has a waterfall on it! These are a few select pictures from our first run on it.

Apart from that we have visited the local drinking establishment called Mamas & Tapas. Watched the Demshitz run the middle Palguin (a 70 foot waterfall). Other rivers in the area which we have managed to get on are the lower Liacura (class 3 medium volume float), the Maichin (class 4- boulder gardens with one portage),  the Magic Canyon of the Liacura (class 4 with one massive horrific portage and another easier portage), the Truful Truful (non stop class 3 rapids with around 3 eddies in 9km).

 
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Photos: Tom Redd


Chile – Rio Claro

17 November,2010

I have arrived in Chile!

First things first, the boys bought a sweet truck… and we headed 4 hours south of Santiago to the “Siete Tazas” or seven tea-cups… on the Rio Claro. Then we met up with some american boaters who were kind enough to take us down the upper section known as the 22 waterfalls. Here are the pictures in no particular order!

Now down in Pucon where we have rented a house and are hitting up some local runs here. Another update soon!

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Nepal – Wrap Up

17 November,2010

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Local villagers gather to wave goodbye as we leave in the morning

A month goes by quickly in Nepal, and we finished off by doing the ueber-classic of the Sun Kosi. It is a beautiful river – mainly class three. We decided to do a lightly packed multi-day and stop off in the evenings to see if we could persuade whoever lived in the local village to provide us with Dhal Bhat. The Nepal-English language cards I had been given by a friend proved invaluable for getting us food wherever we went! Since most of the commercial trips have raft support, and there is no road alongside the river, most of the villagers very rarely see tourists. As a result we were quite the novelty, and it really felt like we were seeing the “real”  Nepal – and getting a good bit of culture!

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Sara and I help the village children shell lentils for our Dhal Bhat dinner

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Upper Seti close-up!

After a 24 hour bus journey back from the Sun Kosi (!) I did a Bhote Kosi float trip as a safety boater for a raft trip (dam down), since no one else was keen to paddle. Then we met up with Matt Tidy and he and Jake joined us one of the most superb runs around, the Bhote Kosi (Borderlands to the dam). Continuous class 4(+) with lots of big holes and boulder garden style drops.

I had a brilliant time, goodbye Nepal!

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More Upper Seti Close up!

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Sara on the Sun Kosi

Photos by Sara James and Adam Dumolo


Modi Khola, Kali Gandaki

7 November,2010

 We found some random Swedish guys wearing kayaking t-shirts in Pokhara and ended up scheming with them to do some boating. We set off on another multi-day trip starting on the Modi Khola and continuing on into the Kali Gandaki river. We started off with a crew of 7 (6 burns and only one mamba between us!), but Sara was struck with a touch of Dehli Belly and had to walk out after one day – leaving us with a majority of Swedes on the team!

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the Modi!

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Adam boofing on the Modi

 The MRS stove also packed it in, so we were cooking on fires. Luckily we had three vikings to build fires and protect us from the snow leopards which Fran thought might attack any minute! Apparently Maggi noodles are a nepali national dish, and they were very easy to cook and carry in boats!

Other memorable moments of the trip included finding a dead body in an eddy, which wasn’t pleasant! Especially when we had to drink water filtered from the river downstream! We started finding tributaries to camp by from then on!

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Practicing my Ray Meares skill set.

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 camping out under the tarps!

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 The team on the last day!

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Photos by Bjarne Sahlen


Pokhara/ Upper Seti

22 October,2010

After the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, it was a relief for Sara, Adam and I to arrive in the peaceful lakeside city of Pokhara. The mood here is very calm and relaxed, and we settled into a cheap guesthouse costing £1.50 a night including a clean ensuite bathroom, which had been recommended by some scumbag kayakers we met on the day-long busride between Kathmandu and Pokhara. We also met up with Canadian friends, Mark and Michelle who settled into Penguin Guesthouse with us.

The Upper Seti is a classic alpine-style river, only 20 minutes from Pokhara, and provides an excellent warm up. The guide-book says its a grade 3, but it seems a touch more challenging than that… Due to all of the group taking turns at getting slightly ill, and as most of the other rivers were multi-day trips, we have ended up doing multiple runs on this little gem. No less enjoyable each time.

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Arriving in Nepal: 2-day Trisuli

11 October,2010

I arrived in Nepal at 6pm on a Thursday night – more than 24 hours after schedule – and my friends Adam and Sara had already organised a chilled out class 3 multi-day trip on the Trisuli with a local rafting company – starting at 6am!

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The roads from Kathmandu were pretty chocka with traffic. Riding on the roof of the bus made the journey much cooler though!


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packing the boats full of all the kit we needed for the next two days

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me a little shocked by the looks of things!

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Sara and I sporting matching Burns…

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A room with a view! The stars were amazing from our little tarp-shelter…


Summer 2010 Highlights

6 October,2010

Whilst I realise that it is not always the aim of the game… I have about 3 minutes to go before leaving for Nepal, and I still hadn’t updated in relation to my amazing summer, so I thought I would just put up some of the best pictures – and promise to do more commentary for my next updates.

Norway is heaven in a kayak – and as you may have gathered from earlier posts, my first love in the kayaking world. Here are some creeking pics from the summer in Norway, and a couple of playboating pics from Canada thrown in too!

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some random waterfalls near Vetlefjordan, Norway

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one of the classics – the Upper Brandseth, Voss, Norway

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the first rapid on the Upper Brandseth, Voss, Norway

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playboating on the ottawa river, Canada

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the Upper Jordalselva, Voss, Norway

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My favourite river, triple falls on the Lower Myrkdalselva, Voss, Norway

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Lachine Rapids, Montreal, Canada

photos by Nick Pearce and Dave Wortley