Friday, November 21, 2014

BC - The Final Push

Well I have emerged from my 2 month hiatus in Mongolia, trudging away at work with Ari and dreaming of the next mission. Barny has been making the most of the spring rain on the west coast of New Zealand and things have been ticking over slowly. The last part of our tour together was a month or so in the Great White Gnarth, more commonly known as British Columbia. Barny had plenty of beta from his 2013 tour, although at times it was hazy at best, and we had time to burn. We kept it classic, keeping busy on the Cheakamus River between Ashlu releases, Fear Canyon, couple of laps of Tatlow and the obligatory nights out in Whistler. But what we really had on our minds was the Stikine, so once there was news that it was dropping in we dropped everything we were doing and began the rally north. But not without grabbing the 'young buck' Liam Fournier to come for the ride. 

Stock-standard check laps

Barny hiking into Tatlow

Tatlow laps!

Pete Lodge cashing in a day off for a Tatlow lap

Wall Drug, pretty damn committing.


The split 40 on Tatlow

Freedom into Nymph Pool


After 20+ hours of driving, sleeping beside the road, hassling Liam and listen the Barny preaching... we made it to the warmth of Tatogga Lodge, a kayaking friendly lodge only 20minutes from the put in of the Stikine. We waited a few days, maybe foolishly in hind-sight, for a good weather forecast and eventually it came. We put on for a 3 day trip, which would turn out to be a trip of the life-time for me! The Stikine was every bit, and more, as good as I was hoping for and really put value to all the time we had spent at the North Fork of the Payette. Barny knew most the lines, and those he didn't he guessed pretty well and we were all stoked. We ate racks of rips, ran a good amount of the rapids considering it was at 420cumec and had a safe and stoke-fulled trip. Sharing site zed camp with 14 mates but all splitting the next day to have the river to ourselves. It re-energized me, motivated me and gave me a new lens through which to look at kayaking. Fired up!

After a good debrief at Tatogga the night we got off, we sent Ari on his way, hitch-hiking the 25+ hours to Seattle to catch a flight. He nailed it and Barny and I managed to bag another lap with Evan and Sven, this time in two days. Then the plan was hatched for a one-day, but I was a bit sore from a beating in V-Drive on our second lap so I drove shuttle for the boys who banged out a 6 hour lap. Epic. And that was it, we were done. We would drive back down, do a little bending and paddling some Ashlu's until it was time to leave. We got a small taste of B.C. and I am pretty sure we'll be back for more very soon.

Sleeping en-route to the Stikine

A view of Wall II and Scissors from our flight over between laps
The team about to commit

 Ari leading me into Pass/Fail, we were 4 from 4

Liam 'Passing' with flying colours


this is what we have to deal with...

Might as well eat well

Kai time

Aniol entering Site Zed

Aniol about to melt in Site Zed

Gerd lining up the main hole in Site Zed

 ABC, the lead out of Site-Zed

 Sven scraping through the "Hole that Ate Team Weed'

Routing into Wall I

Wolf-Den, beware the mice

Me roosting into V-Drive at 420

Barny entering V-Drive at 280-300

Tanzilla's Slot

From here Barny was back to NZ for work and the spring and Ari and I would be working in Mongolia until mid November. This is come and gone and now we're working out what's next, and in a few days time we'll know exactly what we're doing.