BC Spring Boatin'

 Despite a relatively lame snowpack in Northern BC this winter, things have definitely begun to pick up around the Northwest area as of late. After spending February to April on Haida Gwaii doing a work stint at the hospital and a few epic exploratory surf missions with my brother, I've been back in Terrace a few weeks living in my truck and boatin my face of with some radical compadres.
marshmallow touring
On Haida Gwaii I was working 4 days on, 4 days off which allowed me plenty of opportunities to get my hair wet in the ocean and put some time in to finding new stuff along the West Coast. This included a 2 week ocean kayak trip in Gwaii Haanas National Marine Park, where the only thing bigger than the wildlife was a few rogue swells which almost ate Kye alive... to much amusement by myself. It is nice to see the little guy unsettled. 
The 'Shovel'
sunset in narrows
west coast and slabby, one for future planning
In addition to the new spots, we also managed to get some stellar days at some of the more well-know local breaks:
photo: chris ashurst
Francois Tremblay getting an introduction to haida surf
photo: chris ashurst
photo: chris ashurst
After finishing up on Haida Gwaii, we hopped on the ferry back to the mainland and 8 hours later we were parked at the put in to Butze Rapids in Prince Rupert, BC. There was a 20 foot tidal exchange that day and a few buds from Terrace had drove up to meet us to get a good day of surfing in. There are three channels with surfable waves which means about 5 hours of consistant surf. At high flows, a wave forms in the main channel called hawaii-5-0 years ago by some local boaters. She's a beaut.
Once we got Butze out of the way, it was straight off to Terrace for some more big waves and some steep creeking. Enjoy.

PG boys come to Terrace = pepperspray,  blackouts, and big drops
granite falls, 20 min. drive + short hike out of Terrace
photo: diana oliveira
Louis Bissonnette gettin firey
photo: diana oliveira
Falling off Wesache, safety first!
backyard arsenal
jeremie drouin, Dogdish

Teacup Falls, Granite Creek

Until next time...


What does a flow of 134,000 cfs look like? Katie Quinn

Picture this, 134,000 cubic feet per second of water charging through the dams, down the Ottawa River like a freight train out of control. This phenomenon has the approximate weight of 3,200 Honda Civics’ coursing through the dam each and every second. This is a mind boggling image to picture, even when humbly standing witness at her banks.

The Snow Gods had a blast this past winter in Northern Ontario and Quebec dropping several shrouds of snow accumulating in a significant way throughout the winter. Now that the snow melt is on, paddlers are enjoying riding the “wave” of awesomeness that 134,000 cfs brings.

The Ottawa River always seems to have water, even during the driest of summers. So, how does it look when her banks flood, when her cup runneth over?

True to the nature of Rivers, each rapid has its own unique quality that changes with each new level. Some rapids on the Ottawa are swallowed whole, turning into fast moving swifts, with the ominous promise that still waters run deep.

Other rapids turn from relatively tame, safe passage chutes at most water levels into bottlenecking-raging death grip re-circulating eddies that do not forgive.  They are to be avoided always when the river is running high.

Then, there are of course the features that surface that paddle-porn videos are made of. With high water, features such as Bus-Eater, Colliseum and Gladiator are born.

While pictures and video and really helpful in allowing us to capture an image or an idea of what a section of river looks like, they rarely do justice for how large or how technical or challenging a section of river actually is. 
When negotiating these sections of river, absolute chaos is the descriptor that comes to mind.  These waves are massive, crashing and intimidating. You are often able to catch a glimpse of whats ahead when you are at the peak of the wave (if you're not getting smacked in the face with it), just before sliding back into a 25 foot trough.  Its sometimes tough to know if you are on a good line.  Boils and Eddie lines become ravenous at times. Boils rising and forming above your head certainly catch your attention (insert many paddle strokes here). A seam may open up, literally ingesting you and your boat for some downtime. Mystery moves can be pretty scary when they are initiated involuntarily.

Katie Quinn


Minnesota is COLD! But the rivers are RAGING!

another cold spring day on the North Shore, Chris Baer, Minnesota Lake superior surf
another cold spring day on the North Shore
Early season paddling in Minnesota started off with some flooding creeks. Temperatures in the Twin Cities jumped in early April, and the surrounding rivers flashed all at once. Mobilizing was unique, there are only a few kayakers based in the Twin Cities that really fall into the class V-caliber. Nonetheless, I was introduced to a hand full of dedicated paddlers, and early season kayaking commenced.

May snow storms bring June flowers?, red and yellow flower close up, Chris Baer
May snow storms bring June flowers?
The first snow to melt was in the vast farm fields to the southwest of the Twin Cities. A few of us felt the early season itch and made our way to a small drainage: Sand Creek. The river was packed full of debris; logs and ice were abundant, the class 2 creek was feeling a little intense. Luckily the river had a redeeming feature; an unmaintained Dam that was creating a fun eight foot pourover. It allowed the local paddlers to practice their delayed boof stroke and even let one of them get in a little swim practice.

Todd Dammitt trying to dial in his boof on the dam, sand creek, minnesota, Chris Baer,
Todd Dammitt trying to dial in his boof on the dam

Originally, when I packed for Minnesota I stumbled upon my self-support equipment. Being the tallest peak in Minnesota is Eagle Mountain at 2301' and Lake Superior is at an average of 591', I knew that the sustained vertical needed for a typical multi-day trip was lacking. Funny enough, on Easter Sunday, my second day of paddling in Minnesota this year, we put on the Minnesota River for an overnight self-support adventure. Thankfully, the weather stayed relatively nice as we paddled through the beaver and eagle infested flat water.

not that skittish, Chris Baer, Minnesota deer
not that skittish
Bald Eagle lurking in his perch , chris Baer, minnesota
Bald Eagle lurking in his perch
Next up was the mighty Vermillion, a stock low-volume (200cfs) training ground for the city boaters. Lucky for me, the sun was shining and upon arrival I was greeted with approximately 2000cfs. A quick inspection led to the fact that the run still worked at huge flow. There was a couple of monster hydraulics that needed to be avoided. The 2000cfs four minute espresso tour went exceedingly well.

making my way down the Vermillion river at 2000cfs, water is way up in the trees, Chris Baer, Minnesota,
making my way down the Vermillion river at 2000cfs, water is way up in the trees
charging past one of the big holes on the Vermillion River, Chris Baer, Minnesota
charging past one of the big holes on the Vermillion River
Upon wrapping up the Twin Cities metropolitan whitewater tour, it was time to head North to Duluth. If you have never been there, Duluth is classic Minnesota. The accents are more prominent and wearing a fur hat is not just a trend. Upon arrival to Duluth, the snow started; It would accumulate another two and a half feet during my stay. As the snow continued, the Duluth crowd showed off one of their very odd, but rather respectable surf spots, Stoney Point on Lake Superior. The water is COLD! but the waves were fun. The fact that there were a dozen people on the break during a snowstorm attests to the core nature of Minnesotans.

Scott Ewen showing off the North Shore break, stoney point, minnesota kayak surf, Chris baer,
Scott Ewen showing off the North Shore break

adventure brought to you by Chris Baer


A wonderfull trip to Morocco

Morocco !!!

After 7 years of delay, the trip is finally on !! The plan is to stay on location to scout and organize as well as possible. So Alex and I drove with the 5 boats on the roof and the rest of the crew meets us by plane in Marrakech later.

45h of driving and ferrying gets us to Tilouguite, further up Lake Bin El Ouidane. Amazing landscape all along the way. The village of TIolouguite was our base camp for the whole trip and it is a great starting point.
Bin El Ouidane LakeMorocco !!!
Tilouguite Village
Traveling around

One thing we learnt in Morocco : don't try to stick to a plan or schedule !!! You'll loose time, energy and money. Moving is slow and weather changes quickly. We've been super lucky and within one day of driving plus one day of donkey hiking, we've been able to spend 4 days on the water along 100km of class IV-V kayaking.
Classic Moroccan view
Awesome blue sky

From the top of Akka Tiflout, merging on the Assif Meloul, then on the Oued Ahensal. It's easy to get food on your way, you find many villages on on the riverside. Though, it is always good to have water filter, food supplies for 1 day at least and a lighter.
Lunch !! Bread and tuna
Easy times

Later on, we got lucky with the rain and been able to first D a small steep canyon in Tilouguite.
Scouting the canyon
And dropping
2Km of awesome slides
Stephane Pion Charging

And as a last mission, we decided to run the famous drop section on Oued Ouzoud downstream the huge waterfalls. It took us 2 days to get the authorization after driving 200km between : The Hydro Agency to the local authorities to the regional authorities to end up at the governmental authorities… But it was worth it and we then spent two days hitting those amazing drops in this amazing (but REALLY touristic) place.
Ouzoud Falls put in
Myself on one of the first drop
Alex going for some freestyle move
The crew enjoying

This has been an awesome trip and we'll come again since there is so much more to discover or rediscover !!!

Thanks to Beyo for accommodation, Moha and Lahoucine for guiding, Momo for the Ouzoud help !!!

Videos are coming soon !!!

Photos : Hugo Clouzeau, Stephane Pion, Louis Hetier, Mathieu Coldebella

Thanks guys for the trip


Spring 2013

Last year, we had been very often on the road in February but this year unfortunatly there was no thinking about it. There was still winter at home in austria and the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup was in full swing.
Finally in early March it has been getting warmer in Central Europe too. But then there was to much water on the rivers so we had to go to secondary streams. So we drove the known  Roman case , this river normaly has just enough water that frogs can live there.

Photograph: Robert Machacek
River: Taugl/ Austria

A week later we wanted to make altitude, since all standard runs had too much water anyway, so we went to Upper Austria to improve our Boof technology.
Photograph: Gregor Unterdechler 
River: Weissbach/ Austria

For some time a good friend, Lukas Strobl, and I are seeking for another project, we want to drive together with the Dynamic Duo my home run the Untertalbach. For this project we had to learn to deal better with our boats. So we drove on a standard waterfall to see how we manage it.  

It went very well and so there is nothing in the way for a soon run on the Untertalbach.

Photograph: Christoph Strobl 
River: Laussafall/ Austria

Photograph: Christoph Strobl 
River: Laussafall/ Austria

We had a great photo shoot with the photographer mirja geh. I had already two photoshoots with her last year and it's always nice when you see the pictures and think WOW thats me.
Unfortunately we were unlucky with the water level this time and we had to avoid to old Classics. But Mirja can get great pictures from any spot.

After this super photo shoot spring has finally started and the streams were becoming fuller and fuller. During the week I tried as often as possible to paddle, cause I live in the midst of very great rivers and on weekends I drive through Central Europe to enjoy the nature and the streams.
Photograph: GoPro HD 3 Black
River: Untertalbach/ Austria

So the saison can start now and photos and videos will follow. At the end of May I'm driving to the U.S. and wanna to run as many streams as possible.

Thanks to all my sponsors without them all that wouldn`t be possible.

greetings Daniel Egger