Want to hear great stories from our members and learn new stuff about the wonderful sport of whitewater kayaking? Well you have come to the right page! Here you will find stories from our club members about different rivers, paddling techniques, experiences, etc. These are ordered by the most recent blog post, but if you wish to see some of our older posts, just use the handy-dandy sidebar menu to find an interesting blog. Furthermore, if you are interested in posting a cool story, feel free to email it to us and we’d be happy to include it in this section.
End of school year wrap-up
Hello there fellow kayakers!
Another school year of CUKC paddling is wrapping up. For those of you who have been working hard at achieving your roll WAY TO GO! It’s always great to see new people in the pool (and joining us on the river).
April 8 marked the final pool session of the 2012/2013 school year for CUKC but spring is just giving way to what should be a superb season of paddling.
The annual CUKC Spring Trip is coming up at the end of April. If you have your roll and want to join sign up here
The weekend will be packed with a whole lot of silliness and jubilation! Plus we have a cabin because it will be chilly.
After Spring Trip, there is always Hell or High Water May 10-12 on the Petawawa river (http://www.hohw.ca/) to look forward to. As well as summer trips to the Ottawa.
However, for a few of us the end of April means the end of our Carleton/ CUKC careers.
Enter the new reign of CUKC exec!
After 4 brilliant years, Mat Tasson is handing off his hat as president to Alberto Martel. (Although Alberto will not be the recepient of the infamous cowboy hat Mat breaks out specifically for Fall and Spring Trip)
Alberto’s been part of the executive team at CUKC for the past 2 years. This guy’s got some mad organizational skills, lots of big ideas and some seriously speedy looking sunglasses. As the man who organized CUKC’s very first Rideau River Race, we’re excited to see what he’s got in store for CUKC next year!
Emmett Proulx has been paddling and volunteering with the club for 3 years. Next year Emmett will be stepping up to take over Alberto’s old position as VP of Operations!
The always smiling Emmett is always an excellent addition in the pool and is sure to continue engineering awesomeness as an exec next year!
Continuing her role as VP of Events next year, the lovely lady and queen of school spirit herself, Amy Robichaud, will continue to check you into the pool sessions and teach you how to roll!
The last repeat offender is our VP of Finance, Isaac Verhoeven. Isaac will continue dealing with money matters befitting his business degree and love of gangster rap. For a guy who lives to paddle, you’ll often find him avoiding putting his head underwater.
Wanna help out with CUKC?
You can always volunteer with the club, help teach at the pool sessions OR join the exec!
We have one last position that is yours for the taking. I (Kayla) will be leaving Ottawa and CUKC after 2 years of being VP of Communications. Like to kayak or just write stuff? Let us know and you could be the next VP of Communications!
Keep calm and paddle on.
Your CUKC exec 2012/2013
CUKC River Race
Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday to our 1st Rideau River Race. I would like to thank our safety kayakers, shuttle drivers, photographer and time takers for their time and making yesterday a fantastic event. We had a beautiful Sunny day and a perfect river. I would also like to congratulate our winners.
On our women’s category we had in first Place Meagan Potter and second Place Caitlin Louise congratulation to both.
On our mens category we had a close competition with a separation between first and second of a second. In first place we had Brian Pettinger
Summer 2012 Update
Well CUKC hasn’t been too busy yet this summer formally, but from what we hear our members have been very active!!! CUKC has been running lessons throughout the summer at Mooney’s Bay and have had some great turnouts. Its good to see so many people excited to get involved with the club and the sport. If you are interested in attending a lesson, just go to the main page of our website and click “trip or lesson signup” button. Lessons take place on Friday evenings.
As for the first summer trip: we went up to the Ottawa River for the last weekend in June with about 10 people. A couple had never been in whitewater before, while others had some previous experience. The level was perfect with Babyface, Garb, and Pushbutton all at perfect levels. Everyone had a great time and learned many new techniques. The nights were filled with good times by the campfire at Curtis’ awesome cottage right on the river! Great location. If you missed the trip, don’t worry, we are going to try and get another one going in August, but if that doesn’t work out then we always have the big Fall trip in September. Stay tuned to our website for details and updates.
Lastly, CUKC has entered the Level Six contest to win some gear for the club!!! All you have to do is vote for us and whoever has the most votes by August 15th will win. We hope for your support, and if you would like to vote just follow this Facebook link.
That’s all for now. Keep on paddling and enjoying your summer CUKCers!
Spring Trip 2012 Wrap-Up
Another Spring Trip has come and gone, but as always, it was a fun filled couple of days! This year we had about 20 people attend the trip, with about 5 people who have never seen rapids before. This year we also had everyone paddle together and the beginners learned from the experienced members of CUKC. We headed up Wednesday evening and paddle Thursday and Friday during the days.
The river was at a very good level of around 12 to run the middle channel for both days. The one take-back was that the water and air were frigid for the duration of the trip. Waking up Friday morning, parts of the gear were frozen solid!! But luckily everyone had dry tops or full dry suits so we were all well prepared for the conditions.
It was tough to get out in the mornings onto the water due to the cold temperature, but once everyone was out the days seemed to go pretty well. We had some good swims and some very happy faces after each rapid.
The nights were great as well: we stayed in a nice cozy rented cottage to keep warm, exchange horror stories of the river and, of course, party all night long!
Another great trip, good memories, and more people who are interested in the sport! For anyone who missed this trip, don’t worry there will be more during the summer. Thank you everyone who help organize the trip and help out during the trip. Pictures will be posted as we receive them, as for now, please enjoy the boatercross we had down Lower NoName on the trip. (edited by Shawn Tobin):
Fall Festivals South of the Border
This summer I came back to school after spending an amazing season working on the Ottawa River. As great as a summer working as a Raft Guide could be, I got to paddle everything the Ottawa has to offer, which in a full spring to fall season is quite a damn lot (note that I could of easily made a pun but chose not to!). However, I got back to the city this September and had an itch that needed to be scratched. This summer I didn’t get to go out on nearly enough new rivers as I was hoping to, and knowing that the fall has some epic festivals going on down in the states, I decided to make it my mission to get down to two in particular. Gauley Fest in West Virginia, and Moosefest in the Adirondack Mountains in New York State. This blog is going to be sharing some of my stories from those two festivals. Now some of these stories might be leaving out a few things, so if you want the whole story you’ll have to get them some other way.
Every year on the second weekend of September the Gauley River hosts the world’s largest white water festival. The campground is based at a baseball/football field in the town of Summersville. Now stating that this is the world’s largest white water paddling festival, which includes kayaking, canoeing, and rafting, doesn’t give you a whole lot of context. To put it more in perspective, the local highschool football game draws about as much attendance as this festival, but to be fair, West Virginians loves their football. So needless to say, there were a few familiar faces down on those country roads.
Now all this beginning said, my adventure really started off the night we were leaving for the road trip. It was about 8 o’clock at night on Thursday by the time we collected everybody from Ottawa and the surrounding area and loaded our trailer with 8 boats for 5 people and all of our gear. At this point we were ready to make the 12 or so hour drive down to America’s near south. There are a few things in particular that pop out in my memory as I sit here writing about the drive. The first thing we did as soon as we crossed the border into Ogdensburg was stop off at the Wal Mart 15 minutes from the bridge crossing, a case of “when in rome”. We indulged our selves in cheap junk food, memory cards (which made the few photos of the trips possible) and prepared ourselves for the late and long drive ahead us. The cashier found out we were from Canada and asked us why we decided to stop off at the Walmart 15 minutes away from the homeland. My response was that Canada closed at 8:00 pm, and well, she seemed quite content with that answer and didn’t ask any more questions. On a side note the parking lot at the Ogdensburg Wal-Mart has horse hitches for buggies. Apparently the Amish shop at Wal Mart too. About half way through New York we managed to take out the king of all porcupines with the front bumper of the Honda Pilot. However, the thing that stands out the most in my mind from the drive is a gas chain that we stopped at while heading down to West Virginia. It was about 3 or 4 in the morning and I was sleeping in the back seat until I was woken up by blaring polka music coming from the speakers of some gas station in The Middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania!
We rolled up to the town of Accident, Maryland at about 5 in the morning where we made camp next to some sort of silo guarded by barbed wire fences in a field off of a sideroad. By camp I mean we slept inside the car. After everybody got a few hours of shuteye, we woke up and continued our trip to the first stop of Friendsville, Maryland where the plan was to run the Upper Youghiogheny (upper yough) river. This turned out to be my first real creeking experience since I pretty much figured out how to actually kayak. The river was continuous class III-IV, and weaved its way through boulder gardens. I had an absolute amazing time on this section of river. Never having run anything as continuous as this before, the challenge came not from the difficulty of the white water but the consistency of it. You could only find rest in the eddies you would catch. Don’t get me wrong, this section wasn’t cruisy boogey water it had some serious drops and features that could get you into quite a bit of trouble. This was for me a totally different experience than the Eastern Ontario runs where it’s drop-pool style and if you screw up you can pick up the pieces down at the bottom. Here the bottom of the rapid was a couple kilometers down.
After the rapids were over we floated down the rest of the way into Friendsville where we parked our cars and with a bit of confusion as to where we could ‘legally’ exit the river (Americans really really don’t like it when kayakers use private lands to get back to their cars) we managed to get back to our vehicles. We got back onto the road but not before a town counsel representative rolled up on his yellow Kawasaki crotch rocket and reminded us that the street infront of the town’s local gas station was not a change room (oops). Also on a side note there was a ‘Phil’ spotting… Yes the same Phil who is responsible for the naming Phil’s Hole on the Ottawa River!
After we used the mean streets of Friendsville as our own public change room we got back into our car and drove off to our final destination of Summersville, West Virginia. Along the way we stopped off at yet another Wal Mart, enjoyed American fine cuisine at Burger King, and I purchased an infamous jug of corn whiskey at an American drive through liquor store (who knew those actually exist!?). We got to the festival grounds at some point in the night, that whiskey made my memory a little hazy, and continued in our night of merry making. The festival itself was nothing like I’ve ever seen. Hundreds of white water fanatics camping out in whatever patch of grass they could find, and tens of promoter’s tents set up (in terms of paddling festival that’s a lot). Fuelled by whiskey, that night got very hazy so for this blog that’s about as much as I’m gonna share about the night’s festivities.
The next morning we woke up groggy/sore/light sensitive/and still a bit ‘fuzzy’ and we got ready to paddle the upper section of the Gauley, the main reason as to why we came down to a region where something called ‘grits’ is actually a breakfast food. Before I came down to the Gauley River I was told that the river was very similar to the Ottawa, so I was expecting big wave trains and not much else. Turns out that what I’ve heard about the Gauley was all lies! In terms of volume, yes the Gauley is like the Ottawa. However, in terms of technicality the Gauley has so much more going for it. The most intimidating thing about the Gauley was that above every rapid the person who was leading us down would stop and explain the line (btw there was no scouting on this river, ‘ignorance is bliss’), but in every description of the major rapids it included something like this, “Stay away from the side walls/rocks they are massively undercut, people die there”. Then there would be a final head nod to reassure everyone understood, and we were off. It was pretty much understood to assume all the rocks and all the walls, which there were a lot of, were undercut and you should stay well the hell away. Despite the river’s very serious consequences it has become probably my favourite run to date, with 2 rapids in particular, Pillow Rock and Broken Paddle, being on top. Unfortunately I have no pictures from that day due to the fact we put on at about 3:00 pm and we were chasing sunlight the entire time.
The next day I was hoping we would be running the same section again, however, with three loooong nights and 2 long days of paddling the group opted to run the lower section of the Gauley river which this time was not as challenging but was equally, if not more gorgeous than the upper section, and was a definitely more relaxed, which was a good fit for what everybody was feeling. The day started off with a bit of a gongshow on our group’s part. During the extended amount of time it took our group to wake up/get ready/get packed the other groups which we were paddling with had left to go run the river. They did however leave us a map on how to get to the put-in, which we followed to some sort of success. We ended up putting in on the ‘middle’ section, which extended our run by an hour or two. We got on the river by ourselves, hoping that the person in our group who ran the river 5 years ago remembered where the take out was. Turns out he didn’t, but luckily we met up with the others, and after a 2 hour surf session we stopped surfing and realized we were at the point where we would be chasing sunlight, again. We took out with about 30 minutes of sunlight left (success!). The unfortunate thing was that it took about 2 hours to run shuttle for everyone so it was 9:00 pm by the time we left the take out. Once the shuttles got back we drove out of the put in, stopped at a Wal-Mart, got some Taco Bell, and spent the night in motel. The next morning we bailed on our plans to run the New River Gorge (Which is a gorgeous class III run). We decided it was in our best interests to drive the 12 hours back to Canada and get home at a reasonable time. And so ended my first Gauley Fest. I had an amazing time considering everyday seemed to be a gongshow, which was pretty much typical of most paddling trips.
And so few weeks passed until last weekend (Oct 15-17), when I got all my gear packed up and we yet again hoped back into our cars and drove down south of the border, only this time the destination was a little closer to home. The 4 hour drive down into the Adirondack Mountains got us to the town of Old Forge New York, where we stayed in a motel for the weekend of Moosefest. It’s a pretty sweet experience staying in a small town during a paddling festival. During festivals like Moosefest it seems just about every car has a roof rack stacked with Kayaks and every one is there for the same reason – run some gnar and have a good time. I have even fewer photos of this weekend because well just about every rapid I was seriously worried about swimming/some how eating shit, so I didn’t bring my camera. So yeah, that should give you guys an idea about the style of river. The Moose River is a class IV-V run, especially at the water levels we had that weekend of the festival. The following morning we woke up and heard all sorts of rumours about what level the river was running at. From what I gathered that morning it was some where between 5 and 8 on the gauge, normal running flows for the Moose are around the 3 mark. That in itself was not making feel any less nervous about running the river. As it turns out the river was at 5.3ish. We were running the Bottom Section of the Moose and this section does not start off with a warm up.Fowlersville Falls was the first rapid and was the biggest thing I’ve run to that point, so I was a little bit more than scarred. The great thing about festivals is that if you’re worried about running a drop you can watch as many people as you want run the rapid and hit the line so you can build your own confidence, or watch people not hit the line so you know what not to do. After watching about 15 people run the massive slide with most people nailing the line I decided to hop into the eddie above the drop and wait with about 20 others till it was my turn to run it. That being the downside of festivals, when it was my turn to go I hoped that I still remembered the line and went for it. Since I don’t have pictures of it, I found these videos from this year’s festival on youtube,
This one has a lot of go pro footage which is really cool!
The first drop is Fowlersville and then it has a bunch of the other rapids. We continued down the river where the drops got bigger and scarier. My fears of swimming held up and I ended up swimming at the bottom of a rapid called Sure Form. The drop was another Slide type rapid and the line I picked had me going over a bunch of manky rocks and rooster tail kickers in which you had to paddle over to get to the left side which set you down a chute and that was the end of the rapid. I however, underestimated the speed at which I would be going down this thing so I didn’t set my angle soon enough and it sent me into the middle where it dropped me over sideways into a very large very sticky pour-over hole. I managed to keep myself in a controlled side surf but after about a minute of battling this thing, and have 3 other kayakers ride over me while I was getting pounded, I decided it was time to pull the shoot. I crossed my fingers hoping that it wouldn’t suck me back in and I swam to freedom.
The highlight of the day came at spot called Ager’s Falls. Apparently its tradition (at least with the group I was with) that if you’re running the river for the first time you have run the rapid blind (i.e. without scouting) and so I did running the 20 ft drop into more waves and holes down below successfully. I had an awesome time running it so I decided to hike back up and run it again. This time with less than perfect results as I ran the second half of the rapid upside down on my head sliding on rocks, but I was perfectly fine (thank you full face). This is a lot more than other people can say. After we ran the drop we hung out at the bottom and watched a shit show of swimmers run the rapids below the falls. Now I know it may be bad river karma to laugh about people swimming but we were down at the bottom for about 30 minutes and watched about 20 people swim. People ran the drop ducky style and it seemed that one by one they were all pulling their skirts and swimming. As boats and people floated past we did our best to help with the clean up effort down at the bottom. There were people bumping and grinding their way down rocks and slides. There was another spot with a 6-7 foot drop that people were swimming over, some headfirst. At one point there were 3 people sitting on rock ledge in the middle of the river with nowhere to go.
After realizing the only way to go was down and with what seemed to be a communal understanding of “Fuck It!” they jumped down the drop and swam the rest of the way. But my favourite group of swimmers were those that held onto their gear, hopped onto top of their upside down Kayaks and rode them the rest of the way down the rapid. They only needed a cowboy hat in one of their hands and it would have been perfect. All jokes aside though, after all was said not everyone’s day on the river was as successful. After witnessing a very serious and scary near drowning further down stream it put a bit of a damper on the rest of the day. After we took off the river, tales of carnage started to be told at the take out and at the bar. More than 5 hospitalizations, a bunch of dislocated shoulders, knocked out teeth, a few more near drownings happened the day we ran the river, however saddest of all, a death on the river occurred the following day. Going out on the river is great fun and pushing and scarring yourself is incredibly rewarding, some people get unlucky, but knowing your limits should always be in mind.
The night was continued with bar shenanigans that paddlers always seem to provide. The next morning the moose was running even higher and it was decided to go run the Independence River which was short 1-2 hour creek run. The day was more of a relaxed for me, as I opted to walk a big stacked slide called “The Fat Lady” and we headed back to Canada yet again.
So now that I have these two festivals checked off my list and its started to get cold outside I can finally stay in the city and maybe start focusing on some school work!
- Juraj Kobzik
Fall Trip Wrap Up 2011
Fall Trip 2011
This September CUKC splashed its way into a new school year with our biggest trip yet!
We left the CU parking lot Friday night to barge our way onto the River Run camp site. River Run happened to be the chosen setting for a wedding. Yes, we are all certified wedding crashers and, being the classy kids we are, we shared a bag of wine with one of the guests and yelled the chorus of “500 miles” into the late hours of the night.
On Saturday we awoke to a lovely breakfast of bread, bagels and milk-less cereal set out by Amy and Alberto. Some of us opted to snag some coffee and tea from the wedding party.
After breakfast, 40 of us hit the water while Farzona and Dave travelled down the river hunting for photo opportunities.
We had 16 rookies brave the Ottawa River under the wings of Billy Harris, Graham Ball and Cheryl McGregor. They spent the day at the put-in learning the basics and playing in the mud. The rest of us ran the main, catching surfs and cliff jumping. We definitely had more swims than the beginners – although a lot of that was me having disagreements with the rapids and my boat… not to mention loosing my paddle at Garb.
I did get it back after the river thanks to Dave but Juraj let me borrow his paddle while he ran the rest of the river without one – no big.
When we got back to the take-out the wedding party had kicked us out of our camp site and we were forced to carry tents on top of cars up the road to a new location.
We got a little bit of rain Saturday night but nothing too big to scare off the partying, booty beers, star-spinning and guitar playing.
Sunday morning was a foggy one but that didn’t last long – much to the dismay of a few rosy noses.
The beautiful weather made way for a stellar day of kayaking with less swims than the day before; YAY! And the beginners got to test out some whitewater on the middle!
After all was said and done I saw nothing but smiles leaving the river, chatting about their adventures. We packed up camp, ordered up the well-earned booty beers, and headed home from a successful weekend of paddling.
Welcome to CUKC + Fall Trip
CUKC would like to welcome all of our new Frosh students to the university and to the club! We have a big and exciting year upcoming for everyone so make sure you stay informed. CUKC will be running two major trips to the Ottawa River again this year, take people out to movie nights, and attending many community kayaking events throughout the year and especially in spring time.
For all of you who don’t know, the main form of communication with our club members is through the mailing list and this website. If you haven’t already, please take the time to sign up to the mailing list.
We can also be followed on Twitter and Facebook, just search the Carleton University Kayak Club and you’ll find us in no time.
So you’re part of the club, now what? Well we have a couple events planned already that are right around the corner: We have our big CUKC Fall Trip weekend at the Ottawa river on September 23, 24, and 25th. It is a whole lot of fun and very affordable. For more info and registration please see our events page.
If you cannot make the weekend trip then no worries. We will be running a beginners lesson day at Mooney’s Bay in September. We will also be starting up our Saturday evening pool sessions on October 1st. There will be many other small events run throughout the fall and winter to give everyone an opportunity to participate and learn the sport or meet new people.
All the info for the above mentioned will be sent out to our mailing list to remind everyone. However, if you have any questions before then please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com and we’d be happy to answer your questions.
We hope to see you all paddling soon!!!
The Summer Trip
Well another trip has come and gone for CUKC, but as always, it was an amazing trip. It was full of booty beers, sweet surfs, smiles, and some good swims
We stayed at Owl Rafting for the weekend with our good old exec Juraj. It was a great location for camping because it provided breakfast in the mornings, free lemonade all day, good night parties, and good campsites. From the campsite we only had a short drive and then we were at the river ready to put-in!
The rapids were enjoyed by all during the weekend. We had some people run McCoy’s Rapids and punching straight through Phil’s Hole…way to go guys!! Then we had one of our awesome beginners go right into Horseshoe, get flipped a couple times, flipped back over with half his skirt on and surfing without a paddle! You’re our hero Emmett!! Awesome moment that we wish we had on camera. We got some good surfs and relaxation at Babyface, but eventually the rafts got annoying enough that we headed downstream.
Events downstream were amazing for the rest of the weekend as CUKC saw huge improvements in the beginners and intermediates that were on the trip. We had some great first surfs on Garb (Mitch, Emmett, and Alberto!!!) which were also on video for the proof. We had some of our new beginners also surf Pushbutton (way to go Bryana); and we had everyone make it through Normans rapid without flipping. Very good job everyone!
There were also some good swims, but the best were the intentional swims without bailing from the kayaks: We stopped at Braindusche for a little while and had some people pencil diving in to see how far the current would take them. For those who don’t know, this rapid consists of whirlpools that suck whole kayaks underwater, so you can imagine the downtime someone would get diving into the whirlpools….especially while holding rocks to weigh them down (Juraj and Mitch you guys are crazy!!)
Our other good swim was in the pour-over at the Garborator wave. Again, this is fast moving water coming over a rock (pour-over to be exact :p) and if you get close to it, you’ll be sucked under and pop up downstream a bit further. It was good fun, and good practice for seeing how a undertow/hole feels.
All in all, good weekend as usual and we hope to have many more. Upcoming next is our trip back up to the Ottawa River for the King of the Clubs weekend on Sept 2nd. Hopefully many can make it, but if not, we’ll keep you updated with another story
Until then, Paddle Hard CUKCers!!!
On August 21, 2011 Carleton Kayak Club made their first Tunnel mural. Last weekend on our first CUKC Summer trip our president Mathew Tasson informed us that the club had been approve to make their collaboration to Carleton’s artistic tunnels.
Yesterday Mat and my self (Alberto) went down to lay the fist layer of white paint, we though it was going to take a couple of hours for it to dry, but due to the high temperatures in the tunnels it dried in no time. So we though that today it was going to take us about 3 hours to finish the whole painting.
The day began at eleven a.m as Mat, Caitlin Lousie, Kayla Bear and myself met in front of the Uni center and headed down into the tunnels. We started by projecting the CUKC logo onto the wall, because of the size, the logo was split into four quadrants as proceeded on sketching the outline. After 45 min later the logo was starting to take shape.
Then, the unanticipated long painting began, we first started with the red color which involved many, many, many small time consuming drops around our mascot the raven and our sweet kayaker. Time continue to pass as the temperature kept rising. Finally at six thirty the logo was finish and just detail finishes were being apply to erase the pencil tracings, meanwhile Caitlin was writing “Carleton University Kayak Club”. Hard work and exhaustion was slowing the crew down but then Bryana Beange arrive with lots of energy and enthusiasm which push everyone else to continue working on our pice of art.
At nine p.m sharp the mural was finish , after 10 long, hot, sweaty hours the hard work had paid off. Final pictures were taken and the closing of the video was recorded ( expect a fast forward making of the mural video soon). After enjoying the new CUKC logo for a while our five members: Mathew Tasson, Caitlin Lousie, Kayla Bear, Bryana Beange and myself Alberto Martel headed out to rest.
Summertime with CUKC
Schools out for the summer, but CUKC is still running strong! We have run a couple of summer trips so far for 2011 and will continue to run more up until September. Here is a recap of what CUKC was involved in throughout the past few months:
Hell or High Water (HOHW)
This year CUKC formally put a trip together to get people aware of the Hell or High Water event. In brief the event is an initiative to bring awareness to the Petawawa River in attempt to save it from the proposed hydroelectric dam. This year we had many of our members come out to see the event. We even had our very own VP Events Juraj Kobzik participate in the kayak race down the river. He did a great job and represented our club well!!
The event was a huge success bringing out many people and clubs to the event. CUKC had a great time watching all the carnage and “relaxing” around the campfire during the evenings. For more information on saving the Petawawa River please visit: www.savethepetawawa.ca
CUKC @ Palmer Rapids
Our next trip was off to Palmer Fest which takes place on Palmer Rapids on the Madawaska River. This is a fun festival that is known for its great bands that come on the Saturday night and the great clinics and instructors. The rapids are mostly class III rapids which help with the whole learning environment of the festival.
CUKC took some people to the festival this year to learn how to kayak and try out some new whitewater. We got some people to get their rolls for the first time ever and got some people to learn how to surf river waves! Then, what better to end the day relaxing in a hot tub, eating steaks, and having milkshakes!!!! It was definitely a good day!
Then for the second part of our trip we headed over to the Ottawa River where we all ran the Middle Channel. The weather started out a bit gloomy, but then it cleared up to yield a very nice day. The larger rapids of the Ottawa River did send some nerves through people, but all in all everyone very much enjoyed the day and all the swims Our most notable swim of the day (which should be given an award) started after a bail at the top of Lower No-name. The bail occurred on river right, so our fearless swimmer had to boot his way across the entire width of the rapid to avoid the nasty Vampire Hole and other features. After making it across and down the whole rapid, he was tired, but ok…….and now he has an epic story to be told everywhere!!!
CUKC Hits up the Gull
Our most recent trip occurred this past weekend with a trip to the Gull River in Minden, Ontario. This is a very technical Class III+ river with some very interesting features. It is also a very shallow river (watch out for those rocks!!). CUKC spent 2 days at the river teaching some people how to further improve their whitewater skills and teaching some brand new beginners how to whitewater kayak.
Despite having such a wide variety in the skill level of paddlers that attended, everyone learned something new by the end of the trip. While some learned how to throw down some moves in Earl’s Hole, others learned the techniques to entering and exiting the current with a kayak. Lastly, some people improved their rolls and got them pat down even in the current!! Bravo!!
Yet again another good trip and some more good carnage. Due to the shallowness of the river the group had some cuts and bruises from different swims, but nothing serious and everyone was still happy by the end of the trip! And, as always, CUKC ate well during the weekend with a feast of steak, souvlaki shiskabobs, chinese, roasted potatoes and lots of ice cream throughout the weekend!! Also, as a side, we got to do some other water sports too which included water skiing where Mitch and Shawn showed us how its done with slalom skiing while holding the handle with one foot!!! Well done guys!!
So that is what CUKC has done in the summer thus far. Don’t worry if you missed out on the above, because there are still lots more trips to come for the year. Keep updated on our Facebook page and we will let you know when the next CUKC summer trip will be. Or feel free to email us with any of your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some photos of the trips for your enjoyment!!!
Spring Trip 2011
About 2 weeks ago (I know its a bit late for posting a blog, but its been a busy couple of weeks for me) CUKC held our annual spring trip. This time we decided to have the trip over a 2 day 2 night period which turned out to be a great success and probably our best spring trip to date. The trip started off in the parking lot of Carleton University in perhaps what was a less than speedy exit, either way were off to our destination, the liquid skills cabin on the banks of the Ottawa river just up stream from the first rapid on the river. After we showed at the cabin we continued in the skiddish manner in deciding how were going to go about getting food into everyone’s stomach. It was Good Friday in the Ottawa Valley, and finding a restaurant that would be open was thought to be a bit of an issue. Either way we decided to head out and check out the nearby town of Cobden to see if the standard “go-to spot” was open. The crew headed out all in convoy, minus a few exceptions who chose their own adventure to the restaurant, and upon arrival sat down to a banquet hall sized table and proceeded to get fed. We got back to the cabin and opened the nights festivities with a bon fire. Now, the thing with the fire pit is that it was also combined with a mud pit, with the days leading up to the trip being very rainy the low lying fire pit was very bogged down. In the scramble for seating around the fire pit we used the white wicker patio furniture as seating around the fire pit, and it seemed like a great idea the time. The night progressed smoothly with the added lubrication of the slick mud. Guitars, drums, and harmonicas made appearances, bets were won and lost… and that’s as much as I’m saying the subject, and all in all the night was a muddy good time.
The morning after, we woke up to grey and wet conditions that were not very conducive to newbies going out on the water and having a good time. It was cold and wet and miserable, and although some of the newbs were very keen to get out we decided that it was the best idea. After breakfast was served and conditions looking like they weren’t going to improve any time soon, we decided that we would all take a mini field trip to check out high water coliseum and see some our more experienced members run the gnar. As soon as we got back into our cars the weather broke and the sun and the blue sky emerged and what looked like a day were the first day of kayaking was going be canceled it turned into a gorgeous afternoon perfect for an intro to white water lesson. That night after we got off the river we flipped some burgers got the crew fed and the night which was looking like it might turn into a bit of a mundane night at the beginning due to a recovery from last night’s festivities turned into one of more merrymaking and rowdy good fun. Starting off with a threepeat of the whitewater paddling classic “valley high” which turned into a pretty great drinking game. Guitars were then busted out, songs were made up and rollers were steamed. If you’re wondering why the bon fire didn’t happen the second, the patio furniture that we used sunk into the mud and we may have broken the legs on it, but more on that later. We spent the night inside the cabin, laughing, singing, and steamrolling. The morning after the second night we flipped some breakfast burgers and went on getting everyone organized for their second day on the water. Before we got on the river, Mat and I were dreading the talk that we were going to have to have with Joey Hitchins, the main guy at Liquid Skills, and the guy’s whose white wicker patio furniture we no longer made white and stable. Joey came by to check in on us at some point in the morning and Mat and I went over to give him our sincere apologies and receive his words of ‘what were you guys thinking’. Much to our surprise and relief, Joey didn’t care! instead of ‘what were you guys thinking’ we got ‘I’ve been meaning to remodel the place, burn em’. So burn em we did. After the patio furniture fire we had everyone run the middle channel of the Ottawa. After the first day of lessons with Billy Harris and Graham Ball, we took the crew out the next day with Billy and Michele to run the river. We had every one put-in with Billy and Michele at the cabin while those more experienced would set up shuttle and meet up with them. The shuttle run was a little bit of a gong show, with blame on my part, a weekend of partying and sun took its toll on my personal organizational abilities and gear was forgotten at camp, but in my defense I was not the only one! So myself and the others who already knew how to paddle ran down once all the gear was collected and we met up with the crew of newbs down below butterfly, the third rapid on the middle section of the river.
Up until this point the crew only had 1 or 2 swimmers. Which was excellent because those who were supposed to be cleaning up swimmers weren’t entirely missed. We made it to Garvin’s rapid where Jared nutted up and ran Elevator Shaft and the Dragon’s Tongue lines on the rapid and the others played below on the Garvin’s waves. After our break/play session at Garvin’s we ran down to Lower No Name, where those low swimming numbers sure enough expanding and we made up for all those people managed to stay dry. During the swim fest at Lower No Name, I went to go for a heroic rescue which involved me ferrying out after the swimmer into the current and as soon as I got into the current flipped over, carped on my role attempt no less than twice and then with my tail between my legs went back up the eddy and stayed behind with some others to surf big smoothie while I got some space between myself and everyone who saw Rescue Hero Juraj in action. Getting back to shore we had the swim team do their rightful booty bears and then we headed back to the Cabin clean it up so that it would be in some sort of respectful condition. After which we headed back to the city and so was another weekend of getting a wonderful group of newbs introduced to whitewater and everything it has to offer.
A big thank you has to go to Billy Harris, Graham Ball, and Michele from OKS for helping out instruct our Newbs and get them safely down the river. Also another big thanks to Joey Hitchins who let us rent out the Cabin and be super cool about the destruction of his patio furniture in the mud pit. And one last big thanks to everyone who came out and helped make the trip run as smoothly and perfectly as it did!
Please email us your photos and we would love to hear your story so please add a comment below
Winter Paddling @ Sewer Wave, Ottawa River
With no pool sessions in sight over reading week many of us at the Club had to get out on the water.
We all met up on Sunday February 26th in the afternoon @ Sewer Wave right across Champlain Bridge on the Quebec side. We got lucky with the weather (sunny and a high of -10C) much better than last year’s -30C paddle.
This event was reserved to experience paddlers only and as short of a paddle as it was we all had a blast.
Thanks to Meagan Potter and John Rathwell for taking pictures. If you’d like to see more photos please check out John’s website.
Carbon All Star Meets The Pool
Go Pro Timelapse Jan 8th
Here’s a little timelapse video Richard and Jean-Nicolas made of the first pool session of 2011 with his Gopro!
Thanks Jean-Nicolas for posting this!
Almost every Saturday night Carleton University Kayak Club host a pool session at the Carleton pool. We typically have a kayak polo game in the last 30min of each pool sessions. Enjoy the video and see you next Saturday.
Halloween @ Hogs Back Falls
Here is a video of our annual run of Hog’s Back falls on Halloween aka Halloween at Hog’s Back. A fun weekend of drinking beer and meat hucking. Enjoy the video! and here’s a link to some pictures.
Thanks to Dave Petrasovic for taking photos! and Lindsay Los for video
CUKC Weekend on the Ottawa
This past weekend the Carleton University Kayak Club held its third annual fall trip to the Ottawa River, and well, the weekend was safe to say pretty great. There were about 30 friends (some old, some new) that came out for the weekend to play, kayak, and of course swim the Ottawa River. The weekend started off on Friday when we left the parking lot to head up to the River Run Rafting Centre where upon arrival we were greeted by a group of friendly Americans with the international greeting of “Canadians come skinny dipping!”. After our initial hello’s and hi’s our tents were set up and we were ready to join in the celebrations of Canadian / American / German / Dutch togetherness and we exchanged songs that we all kinda knew around the camp fire, played games such as no-pants-volleyball, and just all together hung out at River Run’s awesome base.
In the morning we set off for the river and had Ben Fraser and Cheryl McGregor along with others, instruct our group of newbies to the ways of the kayak, while those more experienced played at Push Button, Babyface and The Garborator. After our day on the river we all returned to River Run, mowed down on burgers and hot dogs, played with everybody’s favourite puppy Steve, and the nights festivities began. Which were more of the same as night before, singing poorly and loving it, and playing around enjoying life.
On our final day we packed up our campsite and headed back to the river were we had a little more excitement in store for our beginners. We ran McCoy’s and the Lorne (Black’s Chute) as a club, at McCoy’s we had the crew run Satler’s Line where a glorious gong show of boats and swimmers ensued. Some of us went for a different line deciding to punch Phil’s Hole, and as I’m sure the pictures will show it may have turned into a mini Phil’s Rodeo, at least for some of us. After we picked up the pieces we met down at the bottom of McCoy’s and played around at Babyface introducing everyone to river wave surfing, and the party surf. After everyone was all surfed out we headed down to the Lorne (Black’s Chute) to have everyone run through the Garb and pretty much swim the Wi-ki-ki waves.
Thus concluded our weekend on the river and after hanging out for a while at the take-out including a pair of bootie beers we said our goodbye’s to the river and each other and headed back to the city. All in All we had a great weekend introducing people to whitewater and a great new community
Make sure to check out the pictures on Facebook: Album I & Album II and full quality pics are posted on our Gallery to download.
Please add your stories and comments by leaving us a reply right on this page. Thanks!
- Juraj VP Events
A German in the rapids
“Did you know that the Germans brought kayaking to the Ottawa River”, a kayaker asked me while we were preparing to jump with our boats into the rapids of the Ottawa River. I didn’t know – and I’m German, more precisely: a German exchange student taking summer courses at Carleton University. So to my surprise, the middle-aged white-haired man with sunburned arms then told me that in fact Germans were the first to discover the rapids of the Ottawa River two hours upstream from the capital city. Knowing that it was my folks who kayaked here first, I was even more motivated for my adventure. Mathew the president of Carleton University Kayak Club planed to take us from the starting point called “McCoy’s” down to the rapids called “Push Button”, where the paddlers wait in lines to catch a standing wave.
It was my second time out in the river and only my fourth time kayaking – which was pretty amazing for me. To “be safe” in the wildwater, we had to learn the Eskimo role, where you pull yourself out of the water with your paddle after your boat flips over. I learnt the role within two lessons in Mooneys Bay. I was really proud of myself – until I could convince my roommate Steve to take summer lessons too: He was able to roll himself up on the air after only one lesson. But Mat assured me that we both were really talented and that some people never learn it.
I didn’t believe it before I went for the first time in the rapids but you definitely need the Eskimo role a lot. It is quite difficult not to flip over – even crossing only a small rapid. I remember, that I was almost more time under the water then above the water, when I went out on the river the first time with Mat’s crew and some other beginners. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t fun out there. It is awesome to fight against all the little waves. Everytime, when I was able to keep my head out of the water, I paddled out of the rapid with a big, happy smile.
And besides, I never felt unsafe: Mat and his crew always had an eye on everybody. They know how to fish struggling and anxious beginners, with no breath left to do the roll and have to get out of the boat and swim, out of the water.
I didn’t only enjoy the paddling, I also enjoyed the great Canadian outdoors which we were surrounded by. On my second trip, we camped next to the river and had a fire in the night with some beers and kayaking adventure stories. While we were running down the river, we were the only paddlers on the water – it was such an awesome, relaxed time.
The highlight of the trip was being able to surf one of the standing waves the current forms on several points of the river. I can tell you, it is really hard to get in, but when I surfed it, it was an amazing feeling. I was jealous of the people who were able to stay for minutes in the waves. But that was also inspiring for me to go on – and as I learnt that Germans are big paddlers, I’m sure that I will find some waves in Germany too.
Finally I just want to thank the Carleton Kayak club and its awesome people. Me and my roommate had a great time paddling out in the Ottawa river. Merci beaucoup!!
King of the Wave!
A bunch of Queens U folks drove up to the Ottawa last weekend and we made sure they had a good time. The water level was around 0 and we spent most of our time at Garb, Push Button on the Ottawa River.
Martin Cayouette, Matt Tasson, Quinn Richardson, and Stephen Slipp
Hell or High Water
Hell or High Water is one of the best paddling event of the year. 180 paddlers tackled class III, IV rapids and the rainy weather to support a good cause and raise awareness of how precious the Petawawa River really is.
“Whitewater enthusiasts worry that the river, which has remained untouched from commercial development, will be drastically altered if two hydro dams are constructed upstream. Xeneca Power Development is seeking to build a station at the Big Eddy rapids just west of the CPR bridge with the potential to generate up to 10 megawatts. Mr. Kompass noted the weekend tournament was an chance to show off the river and what it can offer.” – The daily observer
Hell or High Water Petawawa, Lovers Rapid”
Thanks to organizers Phil Kompass, the Petawawa River Rats and all the sponsors for making Hell or High Water one of the best kayaking event near Ottawa.
In the end the race was won by Bryan Buttimor with a time of 7m, 30s.
The top woman was Pamina Vitta (from Springfield, NJ) with at 7m, 58s.
Top raft was “All Meat all the Time” (Zack Boles, Dan Drost, Pete Darrah and Andy Atkins) coming in at 8m 22s.
In the short boat it looks like Marc Audette and Cody Videto tied at 8m 09s but I am missing some info on the boat lengths, so that is entirely unofficial.
The whitewater community – was today offered a seat on the advisory council for the damn project. – Phil Kompas Follow the story.
top row (left to right) : Simon DeNure, Mitch Broughton, Ben Fraser, Ronnie Farrell, Brandon Fasan, Will Poelstra, James Heard, Allesha Mullen, Cheryl McGregor, Peter Mazereeuw bottom row (left to right): Martin Cayouette, Kevin Charland, Laine Shaw, Meagan Potter, Alana Speranzini, Conor Smith, Juraj Kobzik, Matt Tasson, Billy Harris.
The club this past Thursday the 22nd headed out the Ottawa River with 9 new paddlers who had learnt their rolls over the winter. It seemed we had chosen the only day where it wasn’t sunny and 20 degrees for the week, the day was started off being overcast, cold and windy with a bit of snow that made an appearance in Arnprior. Temperatures luckily warmed up a tad bit and the sun did make an appearance periodically. Jamie, Mat, Brandon, Lani, and I grouped up with Ben’s group of guys and with our sense of adventure and optimism that came from everyone in Ben’s group running a solid line Mccoy’s, we decided we’d take on the Main Channel for better or for worse. The day progressed with people practicing surfing at pushbutton, and swimming through a couple of the rapids. One of my favourite memories was running Butcher’s Knife and the team of beginners following behind Ben but each one was progressively more and more further over to the right. Eventually to the point where the last few people ended up going directly into Chopping Block. Might sound pretty mean, but I thought it was quite funny watch people paddle into the hole kinda like lemmings. while the temperature could have been a bit warmer, especially since we had a team of beginners with us, but the day was more than successful. We got 9 new people introduced to whitewater and severe hypothermia was avoided!
Super Pig Wave and Hogs Back Falls
A little study break today, went to Hogs Back falls for a little fun. The water level of the Rideau and the Hogs Back barrage being completely open forms a wave just below the barrage, above the falls! At this level there is a foam-pile right across the wave and we (Adam Scott and myself) were lucky enough to enjoy it before dropping the falls a few times… and I think we will call this wave “Super Pig Wave” … Watch the video!
Hogs Back Falls really much of a different beast. In my books its just not worth it Here are some pics from the spring time! Definitely not advised to run it at this level.
View of Single Drop
View of the Canyon/Double Drop
Back Bacon, Rideau River
Airborne Athletics @ CUKC Wave, Rideau River
It was good to see Airborne Athletics at the wave yesterday! Seemed like they had an amazing time! They paddle the CUKC Wave and found it a bit steep so they ferried across and played on the other smaller waves on river right and they were able to throw big loops, backstabs..
Kalob Grady, CUKC Rapids (far right wave)
I went and scouted Hogs Back Falls and Back Bacon and they are both not in at this time. I also heard the level is rising and Champlain Bridge might be a worth checking out this weekend!
If you’re sitting on your couch and bored out of your mind you should spice up your life by heading down to Carleton University Campus! There is a perfect hole for ya! I would vote this hole as the second best spot in the City… Heavy D (a.k.a the Ruins) obviously comes first.
CUKC hole is only good at high water approx 4m on the Rideau at Ottawa gauge typically for a few days in the spring. CUKC Wave is located on the Rideau River down stream from Hogs Back Falls and Back Bacon basically it’s right on Carleton University campus by Stacey Building and definitively worth checking out! (map available below) Remember you have to pay for parking during the week… We just found out there is free parking at Vincent Massey Park off Heron check the map below for more details. It’s a fairly easy ferry across and the best part you can save some money! I had the chance to go paddling between my classes today and wow was it ever worth it! and its LOOPABLE!!!
Please note there is no eddy access… you have to walk up every time… that’s the only downside.. the hole is super nice currently with a nice green shoulder.
Experience required because of the strong current and the water is still cold.
If your in Ottawa GO PADDLE the CUKC Wave!!!! WORTH IT!
Myself, Brandon and Adam went for a little paddle on the Ottawa River… more specifically Sewer Wave! Pretty nice wave for winter paddling… but you have to keep an eye upstream for the ice though! Sewer is nice because there is shelter from the sewers
Here are some pics from the weekend.
the level at Britannia Gauge was at 3.44 and we found it to be an excellent level.
Remember that it is cold out there… we were paddling at -32C with wind chill gotta dress up appropriately and keep safety in mind when you see ice coming down its a good time to take a break
To offset academic stress before returning to university in January, I decided to search for a new winter get-a-way destination. It came down either to ‘snow or water’, but the decision was never in doubt.
The requirements were simple; surf waves with a temperature above freezing. A destination with spectacular waterfalls, plus a wide variety of water in a wilderness setting being an added bonus.
I had heard that there was such a venue in Tennessee. My friend Adam Chappell and I, Brandon Fasan, decided to take a chance and started on a two-day road-trip from our home in Ottawa, Canada to Rock Island State Park in Tennessee, USA. Rock Island State Park, located about halfway between Nashville and Knoxville, was named after a small island that once existed just upstream from the confluence of the Collins and Caney Fork Rivers prior to the construction of the Great Falls Dam.
In addition to our basic requirements, Rock Island was selected also because in December the temperature there is reported as usually above freezing.
Leaving a snow bound Ottawa (3.6 m (12 ft) average annual snowfall) and our Carleton University Kayak Club (CUKC) friends behind, nine hours later we arrived at our mid-way stopover, Windsor Ontario. After visiting my family, we headed south on Boxing Day and despite a Jeep fully packed to the roof with two kayaks on top we had no problem crossing the Canada-USA border in Detroit despite the nearby terrorist airline bombing attempt the day before.
After a full day of driving, we arrived just before sunset at Rock Island State Park and were so tired that instead of pitching a tent we slept in the Jeep beside the river.
The next morning after a greasy breakfast at the nearby gas station restaurant, we eagerly rushed to the river put in. That first day getting into our kayaking clothes and gear outside in an unaccustomed warm and balmy 11°C (52°F) already seemed to make the trip worth the drive.
Only a week earlier we had been in an air temperature of -17 °C (1°F) for a four hour surf session at the Odyssey wave on the Ottawa River. When we exited the Ottawa River our helmets and paddles had a 2 cm (½ in.) thick layer of ice, with a row of icicles hanging down the brim of my helmet.
That first day kayaking at Rock Island was spent below the Twin Falls on the upper surf waves that are comparable to the Upper-no-name wave on the Ottawa River, except with the added thrill of a spectacular fifty-foot waterfall pouring into the eddy beside us.
There are three main waves that one can surf with decent eddy access, and while none of the waves were all that big, I was able to do simple moves such as blunts, backstabs and even managed to stick a few wave loops. Later in the week, I watched Nick Troutman manage some airscrews on those same small waves, which gave me a great example to follow, a big challenge and added incentive to train harder.
Just below the upper waves is the infamous Hell Hole, where the Jackson Kayak Team had demoed the awesome looping abilities of the dynamic duo.
We spent a lot of time there trying hard to throw bigger moves that occasionally worked. It was like trying airscrews in a much narrower version of Phil’s Hole on the Ottawa River. The shoulder could be surfed like a wave but the middle of the hole while powerful was very inconsistent, however, it was still a good time. Unfortunately Brave Wave wasn’t in, but we had other options such as ferrying into Hell Hole by going through the Twin Falls from the eddy behind. We also climbed up and dropped off various ledges free-falling about 6-7 meters (20 feet) into the river below.
We met another kayaker, Alex Barham from New York, who had the same idea for the winter break in warmer weather.
The next day started out great and we didn’t contemplate that danger was lurking closer than we appreciated and would pay a visit. After making our own breakfast Alex, Adam and I set out to run the several waterfalls below the Great Falls Dam and then the rapids known as Sieve City. Alex and I got into our boats above the first falls’ while Adam shot video, and was on standby for safety and rescue from shore.
We all had agreed Alex should go first since he was the only one with a creek boat. I impatiently waited my turn as he disappeared over the edge of the 7 meter (20 ft) waterfall directly in front us. I then immediately observed Adam frantically waving me off. I luckily managed to find an eddy, barely avoiding the falls’ edge.
After getting out of my boat I could see that Alex had seriously “indented” the front of his boat from hitting bottom on the shallow circa one foot-deep waterfall landing site below. Luckily, the only injuries were to Alex’s boat. I had selected and ran another waterfall to get down without remodeling either my boat or myself. Clearly, our practice of having a safety spotter was a good move.
Dane Jackson dropped down the same waterfall behind me, followed by the rest of the Jackson and Troutman families and the entire group proceeded together. It was fortunate that we encountered the Troutmans and Jacksons.
Before we had put in on the river, Adam and I had hiked to scout the rapid known as Sieve City. I had convinced myself that although there was a very serious looking sieve, we perceived it as safe and that I was going to run it.
We all arrived at Sieve City together. Before anyone went through, Eric Jackson (EJ), Nick Troutman and I went river-right at the top to scout while the others found the portage trail to walk around. We contemplated various lines down Sieve City. The crux was a very dangerous sieve isolated in the river-center halfway down the rapid with little to no rescue access. Just above this major sieve there is a boof-drop onto a boil that pushes over another drop and into a wavelike diagonal hole that very likely could push a boat sideways underneath a huge jagged boulder sieve that had a submersed outflow about 5 meters (16 ft.) downstream.
To make it through would require a perfect line from beginning to end exactly like the kayak-sized piece of foam we found and managed to test float down. Even after watching our apparently talented piece of foam float a perfect line, and although Nick, Eric and I each had selected the same line, in the end we all reluctantly agreed it was safer to portage that section of Sieve City.
Later in the week Adam and I generously were invited by the Jacksons to spend New Year’s Eve celebrating with them and their friends on top of the Great Falls Dam. After a shopping excursion for midnight toasting champagne, we headed to the dam. On our walk down the trail we met up with Clay Wright, Stephen Wright (unrelated) and their friends. The Jackson and Troutman families soon arrived.
At midnight, Clay Wright set off a fireworks barrage while several of us found interesting ways to launch bottle rockets. It was a fireworks, star studded (in several regards) and boating stories night both with great new and old friends.
We boated about 7 hours each day. To be near the water we roughed it by living in our tents and cooked in the open. All of the Tennesseans we encountered that week were extremely hospitable and exhibited a level of kindness that was far more than anyone could have expected.
Our final verdict is that if anyone is looking for a destination with numerous waterfalls that will drop your jaw and a lot of play waves, we totally recommend a Rock Island State Park kayak road-trip – and like us, you will not be disappointed.
At 7:17am this morning I received a wake up call, reminding me of the previously made plans to run Rideau Falls (located in downtown Ottawa). My initial mood was slightly less than “keen to go” as last nights Halloween shenanigans kept me out pretty late…But never the less, I quickly dressed and drove to downtown to Rideau Falls. As I arrived, I was happy to see Martin Cayouette ready with his camera, first aid kit, and throw bag; within minutes the rest of the team arrived.
After some quick scouting and last minute details, like what to do if the cops show up, were figured out myself and Cooper Lemkay got in the water below the falls to provide safety support and a from the water camera angle for Kalob Grady. It seemed like an hour and a million bystanders came and went before Kalob finally dropped the 40-ish foot drop. Kalobs run was farther river-right than planned, which blocked all but his helmet from the view of my camera. And being ever so slightly over vertical in his creekboat, Kalob penciled in surfaceing underneath the curtain of the waterfall for over ten seconds before he made his way out with an expression of accomplishment on his face. Paddling over to him congratulating him, I felt totally excited and ready to run the falls myself.
By the time I had carried my boat back up to the top of the waterfall and looked off the bridge at the falls below I felt that nervousness starting to come back. After giving Adam Chappell and Martin C. the “I’m ready” I proceeded to put in above the falls. My mind at this point was racing so fast that it might as well have been blank.
A Run Down: From the top of the falls in the flatwater of the Rideau River all you see is a horizonline that is formed by a 8-ish foot drop off the weir that controls the waterlevel of the falls and Rideau river. As I approached the boof at the weir, aka point of no return, I could see Adam C. shouting out something like “GO!, You can do it!”. Shortly after that I was paddling full tilt toward my target; the left side of the third gate from the river-left. Paddling over the point of no return with a perfect boof and lots of speed for the forty foot fall in front of me all I could see was another horizonline and a rainbow in the mist. I dont remember thinking anything except that the end of the rainbow was the line I was aiming for. This may sound corny, so go ahead and laugh, but it just so happened that the line I scouted was marked by the rainbow. As I came to the edge of the drop my mind was empty and all I saw was flashes of my surroundings, as if i were dreaming. I dropped forty something feet into the Ottawa River, happy to really feel life and live. I can’t describe how it felt going over, but it was truly awesome. The sense of accomplishment after going over a big waterfall like Rideau Falls is a great feeling.
Cooper Lemkay was next in line to run the drop. He quickly went upriver and got in his boat as I took over camera duty again. Cooper went over the falls without a problem. Probably having the best technical form of all of us; which was interesting since he has the least amount of experience with waterfalls. Never the less we called it a day and hurried back to our vehicles and drove away before any authorities realised what we were up to. We were all pretty happy to not have any authorities show up, as yesterday they cut-short our Halloween HogsBack Huckfest.
Again Thank you to:
as well as to LevelSix for providing sweet gear that keeps us on the water in all seasons and conditions.
Halloween at Hog’s Back
Today I learned a valuable lesson. Kayaking in a bear suit is not as easy I as once thought. On another note, Homer Simpson cleaned the double drop, pirates have expanded from the seven seas to white water, and the clown had a run in with the strong moustache of the fire department. Today was Halloween at Hog’s Back and a bunch of kayakers trick or treated the pants out of the waterfalls. Needful to say the day was an eventful one, involving white water fun, concerned civilians, and a down river chase scene.
First off, the water falls were lots of fun, that goes with out saying. Our very own Mr. President ran the falls for the first time, yay Matt! (Hopefully everything on the home front blows over for you buddy). Simon ran the double drop perfectly, which was super sweet, made even sweeter due to the fact he did it as Homer Simpson.
My own challenge came from my costume. Dressed as the man bear I ran the falls, however the soaked fuzzy cotton of the suit acted as an impediment to my rolling capabilities. The section under the falls was more or less run upside down by me. The costume got super heavy and I wasn’t able to get my roll, each time I got to the surface the soaked man-bear suit flipped me back over. While it was happening I thought I had boat full of water. The water pushed me to the left undercut wall, Luckily the river-gods smiled upon me today and nothing bad happen, I was up-right enough for the rocky hole to by pass it on the left side, and everything worked out from there. So to sum up wet man-bears equal no good.
Now to the meat of the story, prior to this all happening a concerned citizen thankfully decided to call the Ottawa rescue authorities. Now, Mat and I were hanging out in the eddy above the falls waiting for the others to come and run it with us. At this point a big red fire engine was spotted by the three of us from the banks of the river, the pre-huck jitters that were present were completely left and were transformed to fear of being fined. The three of us dropped the falls, fleeing from fines (alliteration!) some more up right than others. We continued the escape down river towards Carleton.
Now since we were fleeing by river it wasn’t all that hard to track us, and all the Fire Marshall had to do really was drive along the road that followed the river. We were eventually apprehended by the guy at Carleton, and given a very stern tongue-lashing, and called us stupid! But I digress, we got off with a slap on the wrist and we went on our merry way. The boys up stream also got a stern talking to by the chief fire guy in charge, a burly white mustachioed terror who had some very stern words indeed. The entire time the chase was going on I couldn’t help think of some kind of white water ‘Bond’ scene where Bond escapes from something terrible, a.k.a a fine, by going over waterfalls and danger. But to make things even better, everyone should keep in mind that while this chase was going on, the Fire Marshall was chasing a bear and a pirate down river to yell at them.
Running Hollywood is the pinnacle of every run down the Kipawa river, Passing in front of the cheering crowd on the porch of the lodge and ending the run in beautiful Lake Temiskaming.
Dream Result Trailer
Phil’s Hole Rodeo, 2009. Open Canoe Beatdown
Don’t forget your parking break
according to neal from boatwerks “”For a little background… This is on the North Fork of the Payette in Idaho. The kayakers were out of their car to scout the rapid, and forgot to put the parking brake on. The car rolled across the road and into the river. Props to Subaru, the car was still running when it was towed out!”