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!

Eternite - The river of eternal happiness

So with there being so much water in Quebec and the snow pack still holding strong all the normal creek runs like the Valine too high or to low, BUT it has made some of the cool continuous classy runs perfect and with the local knowledge of Pat Levesque we set out to do the rivere eternite. With the continuous Nature of this river I didnt manage to get any pictures, the river is class four, with some cool moves and some wicked eddie hopping, this definitely tests the team, but with a solid crew we got down with no trouble at all. At the end whilst we were enjoying the beautiful scenery we were stopped by a park warden shouting things at us, good thing that tyler and I were ahead of group because we didn't understand a word he was saying.  Pat eventually came to the rescue and talked to the warden who actually spoke perfect english, and he said that he was the Park Warden and we were participating in unauthorised activity in the park and told us to vacate the river and meet him at the car. With that we got out, and walked to our cars where we were greeted by a few more rangers with warm smiles and polite hellos which definitely settled the nerves. We eventually found out that kayaking was not allowed on the river as it was too dangerous, originally thinking that we just needed to pay for access, the ranger did the rounds asking for ID, lucky I "left" mine at home and that I was a traveller. Any who, here are some pictures of the take out.


Tyler dwarfing the 1000 metre high cliffs

Money shot!! tyler getting his details taken down

The Crew

Tyler drinking the nectar of the hills

Keep the Flow!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Detonator and Upper Cyriac

So Quebec has started of with a BANG, with the huge flooding that has been going on the dams are realeasing a TONE of water, which means that most of the big waves have come in, which is where the title detonator comes from . Being from NZ I have never experienced a big wave, and this was unreal, the pure, raw power of these things is incredible. Its super fast and out of control. So before my ferry glide out I asked Nick Troutman for some advice, all I got back was, Don't wait to get in control, cause you won't get it. With that I set of for an epic big water ferry glide to catch the biggest wave I have ever surfed, and after a few goes I managed to hold quite a long surf. Here are some pictures. (P. Tyler Fox)

 Sunsets are beautiful, add a massive rapid...Stunning

Bouncing out of control!! YEAOOHH!!

 Rapid above detonator, feeling pretty dwarfed

The day after this epic surf session we heading into the upper cyriac, very late and freaking out about the fact that the only beta we had was that it was going to be solid, continuous class 5, but shortly after we arrived we realised that it was going to be a goo chill day :)

 My boat, ready for some action

 Tyler and Frankee

 Tyler routing the first rapid

LP getting that nose up

Blake on the Entrance

 Frankee demonstrating the boof!

Lining her up!!

The Steep section.. next time?

So the Cyriac was a good warm up, as it is getting warming and the steeper creeks should be coming in sometime this week or next week. Keep the Flow!!!

Arrived in Quebec

So lucky for me, my very very good friend tyler managed to organise a lift from montreal airport to Dolbeau, which saved me 6 hours of driving plus probably another 3 hours of being lost in montreal with absolutly no way of asking for directions cause I speak no french at all! After that a pretty epic 6 hour haul I arrived to what was already a raging "day off" Grand Prix party where a live Skunk had been thrown into one of the rooms. This was not only my first experience in Quebec bu also my first experience of smelling a skunk! (if I see one, im running away, FAST!) Anyways, I managed to tag along with lou and Tyler for the last two days of grand prix, paddle the race section on the Bras Louis (after the race) and also run safety for the slalom event. After this I watched Lou Dominate and collect her prize for the first Women Title in the Grand Prix!! YEAOOOHH!!! After this, partying on an epic scale with some of the rowdiest, coolest bunch of people ever!! Check the pics out! (P. Louis Urwin)

Bra Louis... SICK!!

 Scouting the Funky Slide

 Tyler Styling the last BIG drop

 Lining her up!

 Oh yeah!!! Sick, made it to the bottom

So after the partying and shenanigans of Saturday night we slowly came in to fruition and headed out for some Poutine (chips, cheese and Gravey, EPIC hangover feed) and too watch some of the biggest names of kayaking shred one of the BIGGEST and BURLIEST waves I have ever seen. Epic.

 Dam in Full release!

Casual Walk..

 Looks Small from here....

But from the River Side... BURL!!!

Keep the Flow!!!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Catarac Creek

So its my second day in Canada and I have been paddling twice, and I am pumped. Today Mitch, Dean and I set out to Catarac creek at a low flow, but apparently all good! I have found the awesome thing about being in Canada is that I have know Idea what I am getting myself into so every drop, rapid or slide is new and exciting. Mitch and Dean are awesome to paddle with and have good memories so it makes the trips run a bit smoother. The most memorable rapids are titan, zig zag, notch and Leviathan (the names are even epic here) Here are a few pictures from our day mission.

At the put in, snow every where!

Catarac Creek

Firing the first drop of the day


Dean railing the S**T of of the nomad

Casual Frozen water fall

Dean checking out Zig Zag

Mitch showing the line

Dean following suit

Dean on the "knotch"

Mitch doing what he does best.. styling it


Me getting that last stroke in before the hole


Mitch nailing the entrance

And continues his good form 

Caronas at the take out. Nice

Everyone fired everything during the day which was wicked and the weather was perfect. So hot that Mitch and Dean saw big chunk of ice at Leviathan break of and fall in, just before I ran it! Would like to quickly thank blair for letting me use his boat, your a legend! So off to Quebec tomorrow...pumped! Keep the flow!