12/27/09

Mexico... we are alive!!!

he trip started with a 28 hrs marathon thru ice and snow. trying to beat the storm, SURE!!! with the help of our loyal Dolphin and our great ice pilot, joel we made it safely to phoenix where good beer, friends and the mexican market set us up for the country of the "topes" (bumps), Mexico. Down thru Nogales and all the way to Mazatlan things weren't all that exciting, although the places where we slept were definitely better than any 5 star hotel you can put us in. As soon as we left Mazatlan we got onto the most amazing road I've seen so far. Steep cliffs right off the road made the landscape even greater. At times it felt as if the Dolphin all of the sudden got wings and we were suspended a couple of thousand feet up in the air, but the feeling only would last until the next dangerous turn (there's a reason they call the road the "spine of the devil"). To do this couple hundred km of sierras took a whole day and one of the main reasons for it was the amount of accidents. one of the most impressive accidents we saw was a semi that had rolled over. The roof of the trailer came off and some how the merchandise, shortly after the incident, was "gone." We drove thru some beautiful cities until we got to Ciudad Valles. Here we ran our first river, a very short section call Cascadas de Micos, and couple of days latter a Argentine named Che from Fede's home town brought us to the rio Tampaon. After some asado and vino we rode down to Jalcomulco, Veracruz, where we meet with Pitico, Alfa and our new best friend, Rio, their 4-month-old boy. By now Joe was three days sick, so there was not gonna be any Night surfing at the olita or running a class 3+, 4 section call Pescados. That didn't stop Joel and Fede from tearing it up. By the time we left Jalcomulco our next victims fell. Joel got a mild case of food poisoning and then Fede, with a little bit of the same. And on the 23 rd, that same night, the dolphin got some disease called Bad Alternator Syndrome. We made it to a gas station and soon after that Fede found a electric Mechanic but obviously was closed, probably because it was 11:30 at night. The very next morning, as Fede is working on getting some charge to the battery a very short guy call Sergio show up at the dolphin saying he was... THE MECHANIC! We manage to get the car to his shop after got lose and ran out of battery. The shop had a tool box smaller than ours, but with his three tools Sergio manage to get the alternator out and found the bad part. The best came when Fede ask him if he could accompany him to buy the parts, his answer was almost not surprising, "Not a problem, lets go catch the bus." They rode the bus for about 20 minutes until they got to the city where we would find the parts. After one and a half hrs of walking and riding buses looking for the parts they decided to buy a new alternator and head back. This was the day Fede got sick but so much work made him forget about it. About a half hr of amusing drama went on around the dolphin, first Sergio trying to fit the alternator, then a neighbor, than a friend, even a little kid came over to try to figure out the dilemma. finally Fede with almost less than a clue got underneath of the car an got it on. then Sergio though the belt adjustor screw wasn't going to be necessary, but we got that on to. definitely, one of our highlights of the trip. Spent christmas eve somewhere in the mountains next to a corn field and on christmas day rode into Guatemala. That night we got lose once again after the dolphin got altitude sickness and made us push it up a hill, barley made it to a camp. we woke up to the sound of the indigenous riding donkies right by camp from where we could view a maya village and behind it an imposing volcano. We're here in guatemala, in the half-gringo town of Antigua eating bagels, and we'll be heading southeast, continuing through central america.
hasta pronto, syotr, gdtrfb...

12/12/09

Preparation: Colorado!


Having finals this week my kayaking was at a low, but with the weekend I was able to squeeze in some snowboarding in preparation for my winter break trip to Denver. Paul Butler was able to make the trip up to Boone to also get in some training, as he plans to travel to Colorado as well. Paul, my roommate Rhett, and I traveled to Sugar Mountain and had a blast. We all got some good air off the jumps and had our fair share of wipeouts. One more final and Im heading back to Robbinsville to get back in my boat. While in the past week Western North Carolina has received plenty of rainfall and gifted us boaters with high waters and good times. This up coming week I am excited to get in some quality boating! I will keep you updated! Thanks WRSI! Ty Caldwell

12/11/09

Southeast Fall Report

So this is my first check in and we recently had a good bit of rain down here in WNC. Recently due to this rain Joel Bostic and myself had the opportunity to get on the lower 1 to 1.25 miles of Upper Snowbird and the upper 2 miles of Lower Snowbird. It was some good class IVish exploratory creeking as there was very little beta on the creek other then some info from a friend who had hiked into the creek. We had the opportunity to name some of the drops which was fun and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to get way out into the woods and experience a very pretty creek with some good action to it. After that it was about 2 and we headed on out to Lower Santeelah as we figured most other stuff had dropped out. So we got a bit more class IV in before calling it a day. The next day I headed with Ben Hineman over to the North Fork of the French Broad which is also a solid IV and we caught it at what we were told was a bit over medium which was an amazing level. Boxcar falls is a great drop which can offer a great boof or stern squirt at the end, and Submarine is a nice drop as well with a hole that flushes into a cave which offered up a good boof on the right as well. I leave you with some pics from "Middle" Snowbird. Sadly however Tyler Caldwell was unable to attend all this due to finals. Also Tyler Caldwell and I recently got up and hit up high water Cheoah which is oh so good. So heres a little video as well with some pictures of the goods. Have a good one, Peace Paul

12/2/09

Lord of the Fork Race Report


I made it down to Kentucky for the last Russell Fork release of the season. I flew from New Hampshire to Tennessee on Friday, ran the Russell Fork 6 times in 2 days, and flew back Sunday night. It was a quick trip, guerrilla style. The race was not the impetus for the trip, but it was a good time. I came in under 11 minutes. Not a great time anymore-but respectable. The competitive edge of Southern creek racing has pushed the sport to a new level. It is exciting to watch as I fade to the middle of the pack. Stephen Kimmel took this picture of me getting my race on in Liquidlogics Hungee. Full results here.

Party and Paddle away!!!

Dear friends and followers, today I got a hold of the mechanic that's taking care of the Dolphin. The bill for getting the dolphin ready is a bit unexpected, Well, kind of unexpected. The mechanic started by asking me if I was sure I wanted to take the Dolphin to South America. Of course I said, he looked at me, strait into my eyes and started talking a language a never heard of. I thought for a second he was possessed by a demon, but soon after that I realized he was just mentioning different parts of the Dolphin that needed to be replaced. After a few moments of discussing the situation we agreed that only half of it will do. At least for now. there for, with the Dolphin being done and us being some what packed, we believe is time to party. This is the last chance to say "hasta la vista," or at lease for a wile.
We are hosting a little Party-Fundraising for Paddling Latin America. The gathering is happening this Friday in McCall, Idaho at Joe's place, 279 Buckcamp Ln, McCall, at around 7sh. Everyone is invited, my friends, your friends, the friends of those friends, and anyone that call himself a friend. There will be "refreshments," appetizers and lots of great people. Now, fill free to bring more people, "refreshments," more appetizers or anything you thing we may need in this expedition.
We'll be departing on our adventure the very next day. We would love to see you there.
This Friday, December 4th of 2009, don't forget.
Safe regards


11/25/09

Training in Durango, CO

Well, never big fans of turkey, Kristin and I packed up the car and headed for Durango, Colorado. She had been invited to participate in a slalom training camp with Alzar School Advisory Committee member Cathy Hearn, and I couldn't resist the doughnuts of Doughworks (seriously, they're that good).

The Animas is super low, as you'd expect, but that doesn't stop those slalom athletes from getting in a great workout. They've been paddling three times a day, honing technique and strengthening muscles. The river is frigid, the air not much warmer, and you know Kristin is hardcore for doing it, and loving it! There's a good group of athletes out for the week, and the spirit of training is contagious. I watch some of the workouts in between logistic planning sessions.

Also, I've been sneaking down to the river at least once a day as well. Previously, I had only been in D-town during May when the Animas is cranking. Because the fall whitewater is not optimal, that has meant some technique touch-ups for me, as well as attainment work outs and sprints. My goal for the week is to get the shoulders and abs into shape for the upcoming Rivers of Chile 2010 expedition we'll be leading in December/January. I'm realizing the importance of taking care of those shoulders in the off season... makes for a much easier transition to daily paddling. I've been really excited to have my WRSI helmet with ear protectors on... super warm in the chilly air.

Look for more blog posts as we get to Chile and paddle with our amazing group of students. We have a very amazing group of young leaders, and they're pumped to test themselves on some of the best whitewater anywhere.

Paddling Latin America

This will be the story of three "budget boaters" an Argentine, two Gringos and a blue Dolphin, getting involve with the rivers, the community, and some non profits as they cruse along the spine of Latin America.

We'll be posting news here as often as we can but fill free to check out our blog at http://paddlinglatinamerica.blogspot.com There you'll be able to subscribe to our news letters, Donate and much more.
By the way, we appreciate if you share your knowledge with us by letting us know of rivers we should check out along the way.

Welcome to the journey,

Fede, Joel & Joe

11/19/09

Mat Coldbella checks in with some killer vids

A small video of my summer trip on the Gatineau River. A full camping week on the sand next to the High Tension wave, grilled fishes, sun and friends. Perfect life, you shoud try it !!!

Fluid High tension from Mathieu COLDEBELLA on Vimeo.




Also, here is the video of our Corsican trip last April. The video won the Jury Price of the 3rd Kayak Film FeSteve'al organized in the French Alps beginig of July, check this out!

The Gipsy Family in Corsica from Mathieu COLDEBELLA on Vimeo.

11/14/09

Jay Panther Early Season 2009

Hello,

I am pleased to write this update after a couple of solid weeks on snow. We have been in Colorado since November 2nd and the training has been great. The first week and a half of our stay we skied a single groomed run working a lot of turn technique. It was a great way to start the season, get my ski legs back, and really fine tune my skiing. The last three days, however, I am ecstatic to report we have been jumping! I have been really anxious to get in the air and the adrenaline has been good for the soul. As you know I worked very hard this summer training a D-Spin 1080 (California Roll) and have been excited to bring it to the mogul course. Yesterday I tried my first ones on snow and had nerves comparable to a competition day. I embraced those nerves as moments like that are what I live for, and I am happy to report I landed all three attempts. Today I did six or seven more with the same result. It feels great to see hard work come to fruition and I feel confident this new trick will be ready to help me win Selections! I have attached a video of a California Roll (D-Spin 1080) I did today so you can all enjoy it with me.

We will be in Colorado until the 22nd of this month and then I will return to Park City because the mountains will be opening there. I was extremely excited to find out my Mom will be going to Las Vegas for a few days in the beginning of December so I will certainly be taking a few days off at that point to be with her, my little brother and dad. Thank you all for your love and support. I will keep you updated as we get closer to U.S. Team Selections event December 16th.

Love

Jay Panther


video

11/12/09

Rivers in Chile

Hey Everyone!

Chile has to be one of the most beautiful whitewater countries out there. The rivers I have been paddling are all in remote mountain regions with snowcapped volcanos and such in view. The whitewater itself is beyond amazing.

Waterfall on the Yeso in Chile.

I started this trip on the Rio Maipo in northern Chile. It is an awesome river, with an upper big water class V-IV and a fun playboating lower section class III-IV. There is also a tributary creek running into it called the Yeso. It is fun Class IV-V creeking, with a 25-30 foot waterfall at the very beginning of the river right below the glaciers and snow it gets its water from. It has a tricky entrance, and needs lots of water, but it is really photogenic.
Punto Del Lobos in Pichilemu Chile

Right now I am in Pichilemu, a well known surf town right on the ocean. One is called Punto Del Lobos (point of wolves) and is some class V playboating. The waves are anywhere from 15-25 feet on any given day. It is terrifying! But you can go HUGE. There is a smaller point break a block from where I am staying, with waves that are a good 5-10 feet smaller, but still super fun! It is a great place to work on things. Yesterday I got my first Panam to Back Blunt. While in the water you will see seals swimming along side you, and even a shark or two. Hopefully none though!!
A wave at Punto Del Lobos

Tomorrow it is off to the Sietes Tazas, seven perfect and clean drops. It also has a section of I think 22 waterfalls above it. I get to spend a week there. Should be awesome!

-Tracy d'Arbeloff

10/27/09

Leaving For Chile!!

Thursday I head out for Chile to catch spring water. I am unbelievably excited. New River Academy is starting out on the Maipo, seeing the Fuy, the Siete Tazas (including the intro waterfalls), and The Trancura, and so many more rivers. Last year, we had reallly low water. The Fuy was almost too shallow in spots to run. Anyways, I am busy packing and getting gear laid out. I have no idea what the weather will really be like. Hope It is not to extreme, because I am packing sort of...in the middle of hot and cold. Fingers crossed.
I'll be posting shots of all the sick rivers we run, so keep a look out!!

-Tracy d'Arbeloff

10/25/09

Grand Canyon Surf


















I was lucky enough to go on my first Grand Canyon Trip this month. I showed up for my ride with 2 boards and a kayak. The driver said "1 craft per person" So I brought the board. It was the best decision I made. I was able to run every rapid and we found some incredible waves and had some long 8 minute surfs. People on the trip said it was the 1st full decent since Laird hiked out at Phantom (above the largest rapids). I don't really care though, it was just FUN.

























And Prom Night ruled as well. The girls burned their Prom Dresses when the party crescendo'd.


The Lesson: If you get invited on the Grand...... GO!

10/20/09

Jay Panther

Hello,

I hope that your fall is going great as mine has been awesome. I just got done training at the water ramps in Park City last week. The training was really productive despite 40 degree water and having to shovel snow off the ramp several days. I have been working on my California Roll (3 off-axis rotations/D-Spin 1080) and am very excited to bring it to the mogul course. I can hardly wait until we head to A-Basin, Colorado at the end of this month to get on snow and start my season.

I am in Vegas for a few days working out and mentally preparing for the season. I am really excited to watch my brother, Shane, play his senior soccer season. Shane has lead his team to one of the top spots in the state and is personally among the state leaders in goals and assists. I am sure he will continue to play well as he looks forward to figuring out where he will play in college.

There is also some news regarding the reality TV show. They meant with five stations, including MTV, VH1, and CW last Tuesday. Now we sit and wait to see if anyone calls with any interest. Keep your fingers crossed and I will keep you updated on any news that comes in. Think snow!

Love

Jay Panther

9/23/09

Fall

Hey Everyone! Sorry for slacking off so bad with blog posts. I really will try to do them more often. Right now I am in the New River Academy Van driving back to West Virginia from the Ottawa River in Canada. The past couple days on the Ottawa River were awesome- Garb came in. That was definitely fun, and everyone was throwing down huge. Even when garb was not in, Baby Face and Corner wave were awesome, and at great levels. You could go big on both. The weather was a bit chilly, but always warmed up enough for the afternoon paddle session.

So now it is back to beautiful West Virginia, home to Fayetteville, and New RIver Academy’s base camp: David Hughes’ house. We are just in time for Gauley season. Although unfortunately we missed the festival. Hey, I got to surf Garb instead, so I am not too broken up about it. I think during the week we will be surfing Fleet Flicker, which is a fun hole on the New River. Should be a kick. And a lot warmer weather!!!


-Tracy d'Arbeloff

9/13/09

New York whitewater
































I went to New York Labor Day weekend for some classic Adirondack releases. The Raquette and Beaver are a stout 5 hour drive from New England, but well worth it. These shots are all from the Beaver. The first one is one of the slides on the Eagle section, a steep but relatively easy half mile section. The other two are from the slide above the put in for the Moshier section, which only runs once a year. Photos by Kenny Unser.














8/11/09

OR Activities

Check out the 2010 WRSI Online Catalog:

http://wrsisafety.com/catalog.asp

The river was fun for a little River Blading.

video

7/28/09

vermont, new hampshire and quebec


This summer I ran more creeks and rivers than expected. New England is usually pretty dry in June and July, but we had consistent rain until August. The Middlebury Gorge is my favorite backyard run. It features the birth canal, an intense, sheer walled minigorge. It does not take much rain to run. Here is Greg Hanlon after the Fallopian Tube, the entrance drop. The scenic shot is from the Quebec's Taurea, which I was lucky enough to run again last week.








These pictures are from some of New Englands finest steep creeks. The first two are Greg and myself on the classic Upper Pemi, hidden deep at the bottom of Franconia Notch. The last one was taken of me running mushroom on the Big Branch on my 30th birthday. Pics of me taken by Greg Hanlon, and Nick Gottlieb, respectivly.




7/22/09

Big in BC



A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to catch some Big Water and Big drops here in BC. I spent a few days near the town of Clearwater messing around with big waves, holes, boils and whirlpools. Kinda felt like home.




After heading back to Revelstoke and reality (rafting) I managed to get a crew together to huck Sutherland Falls again. For those that don't know it's the best 60 footer anywhere (except for the sketchy run out). Anyway good times and good lines.

Keep on the ready for another vid soon,

Dan Caldwell

7/17/09

Training Training Training

Hello from the Ottawa!
It has been gorgeous weather the past few weeks up here in Canada, and McCoy's Rapid has been full of play spots. Corner Wave and Right Side are both really good right now. I am up here training for World Championships in Switzerland. I leave August 23, so time is running out! I am working my butt off, and hopefully it pays off!
The levels up here are annoying though. Garb was SO CLOSE to coming in when the level went up again!! So frustrating! Hopefully it will drop again in the next few weeks. 
Hope everyone's summers are going great!
-Tracy d'Arbeloff

7/8/09

Lots of wood, a swimer or two, and me and my WRSI hailmary are tight!

What up all. Checking in here from the north west US in Montana. Are creek season is winding down and the water is dropping. It has been a good season though. Due to a lack of funds from recent trips my spring exploits this season stayed within one tank of gas. But, after all my travels, it was just what the river doc ordered. The following pictures are from my back yard creeks in the bitterroot mountains south of Missoula, Idaho, and the crazy mountains east of Bozeman.
















er
Matt, Pj, and myself lassoing out another piece of wood then z-dragging it to the side. This is a common practice in heavily wooded creeks of Montana








More wood on Big Timber creek. Its all worth it though for the goods.












7/7/09

Hello,

I am writing today with a lot of really exciting news. First and foremost, probably the coolest thing I have ever done, I completed my Olympic Registration for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. This does not mean I am going to the Olympics, it means that as a U.S. Team member I am a potential competitor. I also got fitted for all the Olympic outfits. Those two experiences really opened my eyes to the job ahead. It was the first time I thought about the Olympics as a real possibility as opposed to a distant dream. Game on!

We filmed again last week for the reality TV show. The crew came out for four days and filmed everything we did. They were extremely accommodating to me because I had to leave a day early. The crew crammed three days of filming into two days but we got everything done and all parties involved are very excited. Hopefully we will know in the coming months whether or not a Network is interested.

I had to leave the shooting a day early for Zach Recine's, one of my best friends, wedding in Lake Tahoe. I meant Zach as soon as I moved to Las Vegas and we were instantly riding partners in every sense of the word. His wedding weekend was easily one of the best weekends I have ever been privy to.

I escaped Zach's wedding unscathed and have just arrived in Mt. Hood, OR for three weeks. I will be doing some guest coaching and a lot of training. In addition to moguls and jumping, I intend to incorporate a lot of Giant Slalom (GS) training to strengthen my skier cross abilities.

Thank you so much for sharing this excitement with me. My drive is stronger and focus clearer than it has ever been before. There is a set path laid before me and the first step is winning U.S. Team Selections in December. Thanks again for your love and support.

Love

Jay Panther

6/30/09

High Scores !!!

This french freestyle season was a crazy one. The level is going higher and huger.
I let you see :

My second final run at the last national team trials event : 1370 pts




My first final run at the second national team trials event : 1560 pts (french best score ever !!!)





Keep training to do better now...


Mathieu

6/10/09

Kayaking in the North Country

As I rolled across the New Hampshire state line, I turned the windshield wipers up to combat the rain pounding my car. "This could be good" I thought. I moved to Lebanon about 2 weeks ago. So far the Northeast has delieved some excellent whitewater. The first series of pics is from Downtown Hair on the Mascoma. I walk there from our apartment!



The pictures below are from the classic Taureau in the Jacques Cartier Park (Quebec). I spent last weekend there. We did two laps in as many days on this burly wilderness run.