Sunday, 19 June 2011

Sweet Sensation Trailer

Here is a short trailer of an edit called sweet sensation that will follow paddlers around BC, Quebec and New Zealand. Enjoy!

Thursday, 16 June 2011


Ever since the decision was made to travel to Quebec with Tyler and Lu, there was one video that was played over and over again. Tyler's Edit of the Mastigouche was not only awesome, but it fueled the addiction to this river. After an awesome afternoon on the Petite Bostonnaise, we continued to drive west to the Mastigouche. We arrived late, at around 12.00, found a lookout and set up our beds to sleep under the stars (it was clear out and we thought that it would hold off) At around 4am in the morning I was woken up by a drip of water in my eye, now at first a hungry bear drooling over its morning feast ran through my mind, but as I slowly woke up I realised it was just a light drizzle... which quickly prompted the the wake up of Lu and Tyler.. we got the tent fly out and just lay it over us with the hope it wouldn't bucket down... It did. So this more or less made for a pretty slow start to the day, all gear was wet and it was cold... but alas we were about to paddle the sickest river ever! So after an awesome omelette made by master chef Tyler we geared up and headed to the put in. The first rapid was a tricky one, Tyler fired first and styled it, setting the standard for Lu and I to follow, I was next... bit far left and had an interesting brace spin line... way below standard. Lu was next and she proceeded to show why she is the Womens Whitewater Grand Prix Winner, styling!

Tyler on the first rapid of the day 

Getting that nose up! (P. Tyler Fox)

Left - Sideways = (P. Tyler Fox)

Brace! (P. Tyler Fox)

Straight and centre =  (P. Tyler Fox)

Styled! (P. Tyler Fox)

After the first rapid there is a small raid in between to pools and then another horizonline which holds the next sick rapid. Upon arrival Tyler had already digressed that this rapid had a tight line.. but was the coolest rapid ever! And with a quick look, set up of cameras I was back in my boat ready for action... and Tyler was right... It was awesome! Tyler followed close behind and we continued  down the next two very clean drops.

Steep and Fun! (P. Lu Urwin)


Tyler enjoying yet another Mastigouche run adding to his tally. (P. Lu Urwin)

Clean drops....beautiful (P. Tyler Fox)

After the 3 tiered slide came another drop, this one was a bit manky and pushing hard into the left hand wall, with time running out we quickly took the hard right line on the bank and continued on to the next set of rapids which was the Slide. The slide had a smaller rapid above it, a small flat section and then it was all on after that.  Now this slide was already famous and there was already some idea of what lay ahead. And with a long scout, Lu and Myself eddied out above the slide whilst tyler shot photos. Lu went first and from seeing her paddle it, I knew it was going to be fast and It was..... but clean... so clean. One of the steepest slides I have ever seen and paddled... and the most fun I have ever had in a kayak.. what a day. So good that Tyler and Myself did four runs altogether... EPIC!

Lu charging! (P. Tyler Fox)

Run number 2.... Elbows high! (P. Lu Urwin)

Tyler claiming... yeah boy!!! (P. Lu Urwin)

Round 3 blue angel Stylers (P. Lu Urwin)

Round day ever! (P. Lu Urwin)

 The Mastigouche was a perfect way of topping the trip off, and has set a solid foundation for the start of my first overseas Journey, this was my last day in Quebec for the trip but it will not be the last trip ever... and I have been blown away by scenery, people and whitewater... what and epic trip, and in the famous words of Arnold Swazernegga, "I'll be back"

Keep the Flow, DHC Out!

Petite Bostannaise

Now these rapids have recently become infamous in the kayaking world thanks to the time trails they had on this section, now this up to this point has been the steepest slide I have ever run, and it is steep, but to give you an idea of how stout it was in the grand prix, the lowest recommended flow is 5, the highest recommended flow is 10, tyler and myself ran it at 17, and the day the time trails were run for the WGP, the river was at 32. Stout. Now from what tyler had said, i new it was going to be a sick afternoon, and one that will never be forgotten, we arrived from a long drive from Dolbeau - Mistassini at around 2ish... and after a scout we decided we would fire it up. So Tyler and myself headed of, after an epic left overs lunch to the put in. The first section contains a sick double drop which was nice, and the 2nd drop was an amazing lofty boof with nice air time. After this came a pretty manky little drop, wit no real lip to pull a boof on, but the light (and the rainbow) made for some cool shots.

Routing the first Drop. (P. Tyler Fox)

Getting ready to fly! (P. Tyler Fox)

Tyler Stomping it


Trying to boof... (P. Tyler Fox)

Tyler trying to find a pot of gold!

After this manky little drop it was time to fire the big slide... we walk down the river side, scouting as we went, set up the cameras at the bottom and rock, paper, scissors for the first run.... with that done I began to head to the top... nervously getting one last look at each section with a crux. Once at the top, I sat in the eddy, visualised the line and with a splash in the face I pushed my self off the bank and into the current. The first round didn't go so well, with me being pushed a little further right at the start of the slide then I wanted.. took half a roll.. got pushed where I didn't want to be and hit the piton rock you are not supposed to hit... not so fun... But with that over I continued down the rest of the slide (oh yeah it keeps going) and finished a little better.. got out of my boat and got ready to shoot tyler. Tyler had a sick line, getting to the bottom in one piece with a giant F**k Yeah! grin on his face.

Moments After the horrible line (P. Tyler Fox)

Already thinking about round 2 (P. Tyler Fox)

Tyler found Gold....

After Tylers run I chucked the boat on my shoulder and walked back to the top for round two. More nervous than before I pushed out into the current and began heading down, this time I was left, exactly where you are supposed to be. Came down the "white out zone" and hit the ledge, which gave me some pretty epic air time... 

Look really close at the top of the photo, that small dot is a kayaker (P. Tyler Fox)

At the bottom and stoked, Round two was much better! (P. Tyler Fox)

Fast and Steep would be the words to describe this slide.. but fun on so many levels.. 2nd to last day in Quebec well spent.

Keep the Flow! DHC Out!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Upper Bras Du Nord

Quebec is Full of white water, and of that white water a lot of it has gone un touched, so this trip was very exciting because of the possibilities of first D's, and finding some amazing white water, now this 1st D comes after the trip we had on the Ouitchouion, which turned out to be a disaster, but with that set aside Pat and Tyler made the call that we would mission into the Upper Bras Du Nord, which as we found out was going to be hard work and a little disappointing. So as any mission this trip, we set of a little bit later than we wanted, but still made it to the put in by 12.30ish... ha ha. This drive also proved to be quite interesting as the road had a few very dodgy bridges which looked like they were designed and built for ATV's not pick up trucks or LP's Van, Exciting to say the least. 

One of the bridges, and this was a good one

Where does it lead?

So after we set shuttles and geared up we were on the river, and within the first 200 metres we were greeted by a rather substantial horizon line. Turned out there was a bit more water than we really needed as it turned out to be a bit pushy, but it was all goods, and after about 15-20 minutes of scouting the boys started to portage, but I saw a line and gave it a shot. Starting with a seal launch into the bottom of the entrance rapid (nervous moments as LP gave me the best push ever!) Set me up in the eddie only a few meters above the 2nd drop of 3. With a quick splash to the face a set of down the tongue, stopped for a second in the hole and got pushed further right than I wanted, Luckily there were a few shallow rocks I grounded my self on so I could pull my self back to the middle and set up for the last drop - slide. 

The last drop.. manky and a few trees hanging out.

Lining up...

Slide to...


A quick look at tyler and the first words were... didn't look that nice.. I agreed. We set of after everyone reached the bottom until we were confronted with another horizonline.. which tyler got out to scout....No go boys.. trees.. this first instance of wood set the standard for the rest of the day, with pretty much every good rapid having  tree in the way of the line... After a few more rapids and portages we came to a section of class 3-4 read and run which I got out to scout... I saw and eddie and no obstructions and gave the boys the go ahead. I set of first, and as we came around a corner the hole river was blocked by a tree, all the team got into an eddie.. but I missed my chance so I charged for the right start with the hope that I would go up and over the tree, unfortunately I did not, and I got pinned pretty bad but with my head above the water..Tyler with his amazing speed in those types of situations was out of his boat already and pulling me to safety...Thanks bro! And with a quick search in the branches below the tree i found my paddle... a swim would have been disastrous. Unfortunately I didn't get my camera out much as this strange mist was sitting in the valley making pictures (and boat scouting) pretty hard. This first D was another hard one.. but it was a good day out with some cool people and another sick day in Quebec!

Keep the flow team! DHC OUT!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Ouitchouion - Which one are we on?

Like any mission, it normally starts with an idea, an idea then grows into a plan, and a plan then grows into action. Now normally a Mission starts with a plan to do a river... But in our case it was, which river should we do as Quebec has a plethora of white water that has never been touched by kayak before. Now this mission was thought up by LP, Tyler with the expertise and help of the man Pat Levesque. Now from overhearing talk and what not it sounded like there was going to be a fair bit of water, and from pictures frankee had from a friend of his it looked like there might be some goods. So with a plan set and a wake up time we went to sleep, prepared but unaware of the day that lay ahead.
So a early start saw us set off to St Felicien where the Ouitchouion drained into lake St Jean, but with very little beta and a rather large crew for a first D we didn't get on the river until 12. After we set shuttle geared up and started on our venture we came to what was a very promising horizon line, and from what we saw it was going to be a good day, a class 4 rapid with a cool late boof over a chunky hole as the entrance move. After this it continued on around the corner we began to smile, uncontrollably, until we came to the end, where we were confronted by flat water.... alot of flat water. Now this brought about alot of nerves as we new that it dropped, and the more flat water there was, the more gradient it would drop... So after about an hour of flat water we came to a BIG horizon line which marked the start of the steep section with the 150 ft unrunnable death drop at the end. The first drop was stout.. with a tight line.. to the 2nd drop which was a roll of the dice, poke n hope drop. After this came two sweet little rapids with some cool boofs and moves and then came the scariest most beautiful horizonline I have ever seen in my life... and with light fading, it became quite scary as we new we had to get out of there, lucky it was a national park and there were stairs on the river right.. Needless to say this first D was a LOT of effort for nothing, but like the waikaia, we have to work for the good days.

Vincent - Gnarly C1 Paddler

Vincent checking out the 2nd drop... "I don't think you would come out of there"

What lays ahead?

Vincent going to check it out

Oh, thats what lays ahead.. we had to catch the last eddie 100 metres down on the right.. scary


Tyler Taking it in

The monster... 

Above this mother of a drop we had to ferry glide from left to right and catch the last eddie so we could walk out on a nice stairwell and walk way... scariest ferry glide in the world. So this First D was a lot of effort for very little, but it was an experience I am sure none of the team will ever forget.

Keep the flow

Chutes Ha! Ha!

No this waterfall isn't a comedian, it is one of the coolest drops in the area, with a very odd angle making a boof almost obsolete, it is the smallest water fall that you are supposed to plug on purpose, and it is kind of like getting slapped in the face with a baseball bat when you hit the bottom, but the unique part of this drop is that it is located in a beautiful gorge and at the flow we ran it at was super fun and full of crashing waves. So after looking at the drop for a while myself, tyler, LP and Frankee decided to fire it up. I charged first, and after a few splashes of water into the face and a pretty pushy ferry glide into the current I was at the lip, tucking and hucking, was a little with right and plugged going a bit over the handle bars, but came out all good with a big smile! Getting out and walking to the top proved to be a bit of a mission but overcame that barrier to go back to the top and run safety for Tyler who fired up a very stout left line which went well and he stomped it! LP and Frankee followd with frankee styling it and LP Having the best line of the day! After this hucking LP, Tyler and Myself headed down the rest of the river which turned out to be awesome, full of continuous class 3-4 goodness (aside from a dam rapid that was full of rebar). Here are the shots from the day! (photos by Louise Urwin)

Chutes Ha! Ha! 

Money shot!! run number one, getting my tuck on

Fist pump!!

Tyler getting it done

Round number two, boof - tuck this time!

Frankee getting it done

Lp Lining up...


The gorge, pretty amazing rock formation

The boys at the end, stoked!

Keep the Flow!