Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Chilean Winter

So it is set.... The variables for the greatest kayak adventure of all times. Well maybe, but I'm headed back to Chile for a large chunk of the next half year. It seems to be a good season to go... big water, big drops, and Pisco's that never seem to end. Our group is set and plans keep rolling in. I'm out of the states come October 22nd, and can say that I can't wait to see that day come.

Volcan Villarrica provides the water for many creeks in the Pucon area.

I-gar slaying the Tres Saltos in November of 2005.

Hope to see all of our good friends and good rivers soon.

Later E.G.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nate-dog's 2007 Promo

My little brother has been boating for maybe 4-5 years now and has progressed tons the past 2 years. He is currently attending World Class Kayak Academy as a senior in High School. This video was put together from the fall of 07 and winter of 08 on his travels around with the school. Thanks to the BDP crew for shooting this and editing it up, I just found this randomly at my house enjoy!

Nate Garcia kayaking in 07' from Evan Garcia on Vimeo.

I can't wait to see what he gets done this next year.

Later E.G.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Grand Canyon of the Stikine

Deep in the darkest corner British Columbia five young men came upon a monster. This beast was no animal, no true terror, yet a beautiful calm river passing under a steel bridge.

The Grand Canyon of the Stikine has always been a very sought after big water adventure. Held within the clutches of one of North Americas deepest canyons this piece of whitewater has always been mesmerizing to those up to its challenge. Rob Lesser an elder legend discovered this places amazing whitewater potential in the late 70's. Trying its first descent in 81', failing, then returning 84' for the complete run of the canyon. Not until many many years later did all the runnable rapids get fired off. This is not due to their difficulty, but rather the shear aspect of being far far from any help.

Back to our story... It was late night after two full days of being packed like sardines in a Subaru, we stopped, paddled out into the darkness to check the bridge gauge to see our flow and then determine our fate. danda, danda, thats like "Jaws"... it was perfect, 4.5 notches showing. Oh baby we were flying high. We soon arrived in Dease lake where we posted up in a small hotel for the night.

The next day we cruised around and found a shuttle driver to help our quest. Trig from the local school gave a helping hand and offered a free ride if we gave a slide show on return. Of course! another night passed with drizzling rains hitting the roof. Anxious, nervous, and worried we all drove to the put in on the morning of the 5th of September. The level held and the skies were looking good. We did the whole picture session with the famous sign and with no time to waste we were off in to the unknown.

All the boys... High on life... scared as hell... and ready for war.

Right at the hi-way 37 bridge 200 meters into the 3 day run.

We didn't say much on the six mile paddle to Entrance falls, only a lot of grunting and barking like the dogs we are. Finally after what seemed like... too long, we got there. With no intentions of scouting this one we all lined up and bombed straight in to the gut of the infamous first rapid. I have almost never felt better.... it was like when someone finally opens the car door releasing your crushed finger. Maybe not the best of comparisons. It was a relief! It was on! day 1 included many classics like; Wicked Wanda, Threes Goats, Wasson's hole, Pass fail, and an uncountable amount of sick huge rapids that impressed me.

They call him Gravy, cuz he's so smooth. -Lane Jacobs Three Goats rapid day 1.

Lane and Evdog dropping into the long entrance of Pass Fail the whole rapid is massive all together.

Gravy "R.D." on Pass Fail, the big move where a bad ferry could be disastrous.

Pass Fail was huge!!! A big long rapid leading into an almost must make move around two boulders. Pushy and demanding we all made it through. 4 passers, 1 failure, but everyone was fine and stoked.

Next was Wasson's hole, which had always been the most intimidating rapid in my mind. A must run river wide ledge with a small window to miss a man eating hole. We chose to run far right and punch a window while also avoiding the gnarl wall. Far away from the biggest hole we all styled it.

Me and Lane buried in Wasson's Hole, Ian droppin' in hot.

From there down to our camp was a section I will never forget. Huge wave trains, ferries, punches, and epic canyon scenes brought us to Site Zed and our lovely camp.

Site Zed camp. What a nice place we had about 7 to 8 hours of light when we got there. We just wondered around and took pictures admiring the place we were in.

Site Zed, it looks small from here, but is at a level and size of rapid I don't get to see very often. This is my favorite shot of the trip, so pretty.

We chilled and talked about our fortune of being able to visit places like this. While we did the whole fire and eating thing the skies cleared and the sun came out. It was a sunny afternoon/evening... just what out sole's needed to recharge.

The bottom half of Site Zed. A maelstrom of nasty muck where a dam was almost put in to place, could have ruined the entire canyon.

I don't know how much all of you folks have heard about the old plans of damming this river. However years ago a hydro-electric company had all the elements aligned to dam the river at Site Zed. this would have flooded the upper narrows and seriously damaged the lower section of river. We all slipped by avoiding a near tragedy.

E.G. the Killah scouting out the biggest hole on the Stikine, Site Zed.

Anyone up for a Hairy Ferry?? First move of day 2.

It was a scary one. We couldn't see the next drop, which looked bad and this ferry was pretty stout, we didn't waste anytime. lane went and eddied up, followed quickly by Ian who flushed into the next drop blind. I went and flipped, luckily I was way out in the middle, with a airscrew-esque roll I was up in the blink of an eye and kept on giving her. Tyler came and finally Rush was down. It was a pretty weird way of running the river because once you left the crew you were so far from anyone else. It was a very individual effort in there for sure.

Day 2: It consisted of many fun read and run drops, that I may have not read if I was leading, Props "R.D.". That was until we arrived at "Always a Fucking Problem". It was a cool rapid infected with many holes that would make you pay if you chose the wrong line. We all paddled hard and killed it.

Ian routing through holes on "A. a F.P."

Some random rapid on day 2. -Lane.

After that was one of the most continuous pieces of the river. A massive committing box gorge which treated us well with boils, amazing sights, crashing waves, and one hole that almost ate us all. The day was getting a bit long when we finally reached a beautiful sight. The Wall!!!

The Wall 1. One of the best pieces of whitewater one can run. No true scouting, just the knowledge of "It flushes down the middle".

It was a huge rapid, the best of the run to that point for sure. We all just said OK and dropped in there. It is a long long section with nothing but the goods.

I remember reading a blog of Tdub's where Danial wrote, "Finally we got to ‘the wall”. Possibly one of the finest big water rapids out there, all of the elements were in play, big holes, lateral waves, gnarly undercut rocks in the riverbed, all that shit. Tommy and myself set out first and it was awesome. Big ass shit. Just a taste of what was to come on day 3." Well said sir.

Then we came hot into Garden of the Gods. It's bazaar to come from the claustrophobic feel of the whole day 2 and the Wall right into an open landscape with big boulders and pourovers. Sick light greeted us for some video and pictures.

Myself and Lane droppin' into the biggest rapid of the Garden of the Gods section.

Stoked to get to the next rapid, beautiful lighting in this section, we were blessed with blue skies.

Right after that beast we arrived at the only beach on the whole river, camp 2. We had less light to spare here at this camp, but still had plenty of time to chill and take in the sights. For all you TDub'ers out there "Follow the Fat Chief to the east as the sun sets and what you will find is pure magic".

Drying gear at camp 2. Best fire of all times, kept us all warm and loving life.

Another good night of unabridged sleep came and went as we awoke to day 3, "The Meat". All I knew is that the Hole that ate Chicago was down river of me and I was ready to look down its gut. It started off with a bang! A long rapid for about a mile ended the G.O.G. section and had us dropping into yet another tight spot.

The first biggen of the day was scary. Wall 2, essentially a huge hole you have to pretty much hit and not get surfed. There was a nice line though. Consequences are extreme on this day because all 4 of the biggest drops are pretty much stacked. Meaning if you swam at Wall 2 it would be probable to swim all the way to the bottom of V-drive. This would be BAD! This is what you have to think about though out there in Deepest Darkest Savage BC.

The Treemista is cra-ZA! Routing into the Wall 2, right above Sissors. We all had good lines here, but it was rowdy!

Sissors had a line, no doubt, but with all the above in mind no one sacked up to give her. The rock was SOOO bad on the left! Big waves lead straight into "The Hole taht ate Chicago". No photos of this one, only video. Lane, Myself, and Tyler fired it off. It was mega sick. I was very very glad to make it through with out issues. That drop kind of defined the run for me. Walled in, huge, holes, boils, paddle hard, plug, fired up!

The truly right below there is V-drive. Now this rapid, I had seen in photos before, but nothing could have prepared me to drop into this monster. The ramp honestly drops close to 30 feet into crashing waves. No joke.

Myself dropping in to V-drive the biggest rapid in mass that is run on the river. These waves are unbelievable. So big!

The Garcia bro's exiting the clutches of V-drive.

We all kind of ran the rapid at our own pace and got to the bottom of the canyon where we reunited with smiles loving our present moment. We had completed the crux section of the Stikine. More amazing big rapids lead us hot into the slot.

Ian finishing it off.

Tanzilla Slot. All of the entire Stikine river + the Tanzilla river (the waterfall in the background) squeezes through a 5 to 6 foot wide slot. It must be very deep in that there canyon. It was a cool place to see, I had heard of it, and even seen it, but never imagined how it would really look. Like putting the whole Futaleufu, Yellowstone, or Snake rivers into something that a boat couldn't fit through sideways. Crazy crazy place. After that we kept paddling through small waves and a cool canyon where we saw so many goats jumping and scaling the walls with ease. What felt like a good 10-15 miles later we reached the takeout. "Talhatan river" not Telegraph creek. We messed that up, but got it sorted out quickly.

The Grand Canyon of the Stikine could have been the best river I have ever paddled. Don't know??? It was so good I can't really compare it with what I have ever done before. It's 3 days of pure beauty and huge drops, plus you are all alone out there. I kept having to slap myself to understand that I was actually doing this, I was there. Hard to believe I was doing it after thinking so hard about it in the past, being so anxious, and growing up having this river as the Holy Grail of kayaking. All the elements fell into place. 5 good friends, all strong confident kayakers, a good water level, amazing weather, that creating the opportunity to do the impossible.

A clear starry night on this river is almost a one in a million chance. The trip of a lifetime.

All Photos by Tyler Bradt, Lane Jacobs, and Ian Garcia

Later E.G.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Ashlu Valley "a liberal article by EG"

The wonderful Ashlu valley.

As we spent out time making our way up the road along with Ben Hawthorne in his small truck we could see all the damage the new dam has caused in the past year. Right above the 50/50 bridge a mile or so the dam is almost fully done. There is more logging, clearing, mining, and human influence in such a natural valley. What I can't understand is how the Squamish nation can stand by and allow this to happen.

"I guess it's all about the bank and how much moneys in it" I quote Classified a Canadian hiphop artist. It's true they are taking the best resource in the world and selling it off for a few million dollars. It could be a good choice for the present moment. However everyone in this ever growing world needs to stop seeing how the "here and now" is affecting them and look to the future. This place is unreal surrounded with high peaks, glaciers, crystal clear clean cold water, and no civilization. Listen to old EG, these will be the most sought after places on earth in a very short time. I leave it at that.

P.S. Tatlow creek is da bomb so is the Box (Commitment canyon) go there before it's all gone. We then left promptly north in the chase of the GCS.

Later E.G.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Skookum Creek praise the rains

After Skook we checked the level at Mamquam... it went, but not really.

Mamquam anyone??? @Ben Hawthorne

After meeting Corey and a few other paddlers that were in the area we went straight to Skookum creek a tributary to the Upper Mamquam and it looked good to go. A long bouncy drive up to the put in + a car wreck thanks to no E-brake we made it. In classic steeze we hiked to the first falls and were stoked to find a Spirit-esque 30-35 footer .

Hiking in with a crew of 8.

It was like X-mus day for me and everyone else. We bombed it hard and good glory was ours. This falls is called the spout and is known as the best drop in the Squamish district. Could be true it was so nasty.

The Grizz Jesse Remixin' the first falls.

Jesse on another good shot by Ben.

A beautiful shot of Tyler. By Ben Hawthorne

Tyler going for the melter.

A few corners later we reached a massive horizon line and scouted it on the left. It was hard to tell what was up but I knew this drop from past vids and posts from TRL. It was a big hitter so sack up and run that shit we all said. Left was good to go reconect to tuck.

Corey on the big guy.

Ty running left looking at a flat landing.

the trees are my friends, you fa-reaks! leave me alone!

Ian Stout stomping scary scrizz.

When shit hits the fan just say...

A few slides and cool canyon turns later we reached our cars at the bridge and were stoked to get some quality drops in. The creek used to be a much more complete run but a huge log has blocked the upper part of the run leaving the best 2 drops for us to give. We lucked out with the rain and got to get on another classic that was new for me.

A long night and next day at the local swim center left us feeling healthy and ready for more kayaking so we loaded up on food and drove up the famous Ashlu river for some sick whitewater riding and camping.

Later E.G.


Skook is always a good time. One of the best surf waves in the world and some great hospitality. Got to send a big thanks to Drew and Emily for letting us crash 2 nights at there various spots near the wave, Y'all rock.

Flying high on an AirScrew righto I'm still in a project52 well that's cuz the new LL boat hasn't yet come my way. Hint,Hint... need one ASAP.

A nice clean when the wave was at a oh so sick flow.

Drew Lyell surfin' on the greens rip and shread for life.

Ty "The Treemister" himself was shredding green like a Johndeer mower on a late Sunday afternoon.

He can also go big.

Two days at Skook with rains left us drooling for big plans as we headed slowly back to main land on the BC ferries boat.

Later E.G.