Friday, February 26, 2010

Cody Payne Demshitz Made Episode 1

Well for the past few weeks the water has been super low in bellingham, but I can’t just not go kayaking, I have to go. I took my friend out for his first four times, and he is really stoked on it. I love teaching people who are excited about it because they make me realize how awesome of a sport kayaking is. Its so much different than most sports I do, so much more involved, and inspires the passion for adventure that is in all of us. This is why I Love kayaking, in no other sport have I felt like each new day was an adventure, felt like each day could end with me camping next to some river freezing.From the moment Cody sat in my boat, he has been non-stop just plain stoked on kayaking. He walked to my dorm room after the first day, and asked to borrow all my kayak videos. From what I hear from his roomate, he hasnt slept in days and Demshitz the movie has been playing for three weeks now. This guy just loves it. And im stoked to be teaching him because he loves it. I see the same stoke in him that I remember feeling when I started getting into kayaking some 6 years ago. Rock on!

Here is a photo from Cody’s First day on the river.

And here is a video from the days I took Payne to the river.

Demshitz Made: Cody Payne Edition, Episode 1 from Fred Norquist on Vimeo.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A sick weekend in Hood River

The water has been low here in Bellingham, super low. After not kayaking since my last weekend in Hood Rio, I had to go back. Kurt and I rallied down from Bham to portland on friday night, and with no school on monday thanks to president's day we were stoked to kill it. Three days of paddling in hood river is super fun, some of the most concentrated, quality whitewater that I have ever seen. Saturday morning we had our eyes set on Ldub, but after a series of unfortunate events(gear being dropped off etc.) we settled for a lap on the Truss. I shouldn't say settled, the Truss is pretty under-rated in my book, it has some great quality whitewater(just not quite as good as LDUB). A big crew of my buddies from world class kayak academy were rolling in from Montucky to join us. It was gunna be a sick weekend.

Niko while waiting for gear, and waiting to go yakin.. sometimes dems gotta be patient.
We finally got on the river, here are Dan and Niko scouting big brother. Shortly after the stout crew of word class homies rolled up as well.
Chillin above big brother.
Davis Gove running big brother down the left.
Lil Dave Meyers having a clean line on big bro.
Me dropping in on Big bro.
Nate Garcia at the lip of Big brother.
Nate running BZfalls. Nate has a bet with lj to run it untill he swims....... he cleaned it.
Niko Peha on big brother, this guy kills it.
Erik Boomer and some other crazy rubber pushers styling big brother.
Sam Friehofer killin it.
Stylin BZ.
Griff Griffith a fellow CO paddler. This kid kills it.

After a nice run on the Truss, we started an evening of debauchery. The world class crew reunited had a killer night, needless to say lots of brown dancing went down. We awoke the next day not feeling incredible, but we still rallied to go do some kayaking no doubt. We checked out money drop, a nice 50-55ftr with a crazy fast lip. We scouted and decided it looked good to go.
The group hiking in.
Nate went first having a decent line, but landing a little over the bars and ejecting.
The paddle toss.
Davis Contemplating the stout.
He then ran, and ended up going over the bars as well.

I went, had a nice line folding into the seam, and plugging nice, but my skirt imploded and I ended up swimming. Check out the vid for some more footage.

Erik Johnson had a sweet line, but his skirt blew and he ended up swimming.
Sam Friehofer had a super sick line, but a blown skirt again made him swim.
A common sight at the bottom. Out of the 8 of us that ran it, 7 swam due to blown skirts and ejections. The other person boofed it.

Check out the video here

Money Drop from Fred Norquist on Vimeo.

Hiking back up to the car.

We went back to portland that night, went to bed early and got a lovely run on the LDub in the morning, then headed back to Bham. Tuesday dawned, and it only made sense to go get some Robe Canyon as I dont have class till 5. The level was 5.8 and it was super fun. After a wednesday of classes, we celebrated western wednesday, and I woke on thursday for my 8am geology class(which is a sick class but 8am is rough). Then I decided it only made sense to go run robe again before the water was completely gone hit it at 4.9 which is pretty low, I recommend more water. It was a good weekend/start to the week, I paddled 5 out of 7 days so I was stoked!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Avalanche witnessed

I saw a crazy thing yesterday. After seeing that avalanche conditions were consiberably dangerous with pockets of high danger, Berg and I decided to stay in the trees at Berthoud Pass. The snow was great in Floral park, and we were already on our third hike up. When we reached the top, we sat for a minute to get our stuff together. I was looking across the valley at Russell Peak and caught a glimpse of ski tracks at the very top. "Holy crap!", I said to Berg, "there are tracks on Russell." I was very surprised to see that soneone would have attempted that run on a day with such obviously dangerous conditions. Russell is a serious run that is very steep, with lots of cliffs and chutes. There were even two natural slides visible on the far skier's left that had occurred recently. We followed the tracks down the mountain, and they ended abruptly. "That's weird.", I thought. Then I realized that the group was stopped on the run. We waited, and finally, someone dropped in. After a few quality looking turns, the skier was above a large cliff. He went around the cliff on his left, and as he passed the cliff, boom, the entire slope below him let go. "Holy shit, it slid!", I said to Berg. We watched as the cloud of snow built in intensity as it reached the flats below. The skier was able to turn in just below the cliff ban and was not pulled down the mountain. If it had slid a second later he would have been buried. Lucky guy. The group was able to ski down the slide path safely to the bottom. We were sitting in awe that we just watched the entire event, live. Those guys got so lucky. They looked like good skiers, so I hope they knew what they were doing. It was a good solid reminder to stick in the trees and enjoy the deep soft powder on a "considerable" day. There are plenty of days to explore steep terrain, and we gave to be patient with nature.

-Nick Wigston

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fist of Boof Presents - The Sweep Boof

and Sensei Stafford


The Sweep Boof

Photos by Leif Anderson

"If every man would sweep before his own door, the city would soon be clean" English saying

"Sweep the Leg" Cobra Kai Proverb

The sweep boof is an essential stroke in any creek paddlers repertoire. It enables the paddler to be moving in one direction and then to change direction while boofing at the same time.

The sweep stroke is not practiced enough, and just like any good move, whether it be on the mat in the All Valley Karate Tournament, or on a class V expedition, it begins with a little wax-on wax-off, and maybe some paint the fence. If the karate kid references aren't working, I'm saying you've got practice both your boof and your sweep stroke before you can master the sweep boof.

The sweep boof must also not be confused with the fade, and not the 90's hairstyle either. The fade is a boof where the English on the end of a vertical boof stroke tweaks your trajectory slightly to accomplish a small change of direction. The sweep boof is a combination stroke that begins as a sweep at approximately 45 degrees and finishes as a boof at a near vertical stroke to change your trajectory more significantly.

The sweep boof can be used in a number of ways but there are two general scenarios we cover here. The first involves a situation where you are off line or have been pushed sideways above a drop you'd like to boof. In this case your sweep boof would be a corrective stroke to put you back in the direction you need to be going while keeping your nose up at the same time.

The second involves a drop which can only be approached from one direction but where you'd like to land facing a different direction. In this scenario the sweep boof is plan A and it allows you to make a technical move look easy. Whether you're correcting a mistake or using it for plan A, the sweep boof is executed the same way. Below is a short step by step with photos of Kyle McCucthen completing a nice corrective sweep boof, however they are not exactly a perfect sequence to display all of the actions. The descriptions will have to suffice for that.

1. Reach forward with your paddle by rotating your torso to the opposite side you will be taking your sweep boof on. This is your wind up and is where your power will come from. You want to take your stroke on the opposite side of the direction you'd like to be facing when you land. As in the pictures, if you want to be facing left when you land, take a right sweep boof.

2. Put as much of your blade in the water as you can, out near your toes, with a solid 45 degree angle.

3. Begin the sweep part of your stroke by moving your paddle in an arcing motion that will also grab a significant amount of water with your blade. You don't want your blade to cut through the water but you don't want the stroke to come straight back either. The stroke needs to be pulling water, while at the same time you're reaching out, away from your boat. Up until this point we're looking essentially at a classic sweep stroke which will turn your boat. This first part of your sweep needs be powerful because it is going to begin and also propel the motion which will turn your boat where you want to go.

4. As your reaching out pulling through your sweep, and your stroke is about opposite your knees, you need to begin to adjust your sweep into the boof it is going to become. You're going to do this by getting your torso over your blade and reaching your top hand out while pulling your bottom hand towards you. This motion is intended to make the stroke more vertical and to pull your blade back in close to your boat.

5. At this point your body and blade should look like they are about half way through a classic boof stroke. All you need to do now is finish the stroke as if it were such. Lift your knees up to your chest and continue your torso rotation to the side of your stroke, while pulling your blade back to your hips.

6. Finish by pulling your blade with as much water on it, up and out, with your body tucked forward, your top hand alongside your boat near your knees and your elbow bent, just out in front of your forehead in a classic tucked position.

The sweep boof is a stroke that isn't used very often but when you need it, it can be a beatdown savior. Practice this stroke by coming into a small drop sideways that you are comfortable running and where the beatdown potential is limited. You still want speed for this stroke so don't just float into it. As you come across the drop take your sweep boof and attempt to land the drop straight as you normally would. Enjoy. See you at the tournament!

- Sensei Stafford

Friday, February 12, 2010

Take Action-Protect Your Right to Float in Colorado!

Take Action-Protect Your Right to Float in Colorado!
-posted February 11, 2010 by Nathan Fey to the AW website

American Whitewater asks that you Contact Colorado's State Legislators and Urge them to Add Private Boaters to the "River Outfitter Bill".
The Colorado Legislature is considering a bill (House Bill 1188 or the "River Outfitters Bill"), which helps protect the rights of commercial boaters to float on commercial sections of river, and also increases the safety of boaters by decriminalizing incidental contact with land to portage obstacles.

HB-1188 is a good bill, but doesn't go far enough! Navigation and safety should include ALL boaters on EVERY river.

Whether you are a Colorado Resident, or someone who travels to Colorado to hit the peak paddling season each year, we need your help to ensure all boaters have safe access on all Colorado rivers. The state House of Representatives is going to debate and vote on HB-1188 Thursday February 11th and likely Friday, February 12th.

We need your calls TODAY!

American Whitewater is asking our members to help protect our right to float. Here are three things you can do:

1. Call or email your state legislators today and urge them to add private boaters to HB-1188. River access should be for all of the public on all rivers. (Info about how to do this below)
2. Pass this information along to other boaters - send to other lists, post on boating forums, talk to your friends. Help keep the boating community informed.
3. Stay tuned! American Whitewater and Colorado Whitewater are working to amend the bill to include private boaters as it works its way through the legislative process.

For more information, you can go to

You can follow the progress of the bill AND listen to debate through the Colorado General Assembly website.

How to contact your state Senator and Representative:

Find out who your elected officials are at
Reach the Senate offices at 866-2316, and the House offices at 866-2904; ask for your elected official.
You can find email, direct phone number, and mailing address for your elected officials at the Colorado General Assembly website:

Here is a sample letter/email that you can edit or use as a script for your call.



Representative or Senator __________:

I write this letter as an individual who recreates on rivers and streams in Colorado. These waters provide a diverse array of recreational opportunities that are enjoyed by millions of Americans and local families like mine who enjoy rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. In the U.S., 24 Million Americans enjoy paddling. Here at home, 11% of Colorado residents over 18 years old - nearly 400,000 individuals - enjoy these activities

Our state's rivers and streams play a vital role in the everyday lives of our communities. In many parts of Colorado they are the centerpieces of our cities and towns, and safe public access to our waterways is critical to maintaining our recreation-based economy and quality of life.

House Bill 10-1188 is now before the Colorado Legislature. This legislation clarifies that a river guide employed by a licensed river outfitter and the guide's passengers may float on waterways that have historically been used for commercial float trips without committing civil trespass, and may make incidental contact with the bed or banks of a river solely to portage around dangerous hazards and proceed downstream without fear of criminal prosecution. Thus, the bill promotes recreational activities on the one hand and prevents paddlers from having to face life and death hazards on the other.

But House Bill 10-1188 fails to provide these same protections to private boaters on these commercially rafted stretches of river. Private boaters, too, must be able to portage around such dangerous hazards. They, too, should be able to float downstream and enjoy Colorado's recreational resources without fear of civil litigation or criminal charges should incidental contact with the beds or banks of a river be necessary to safely navigate a waterway. The bill explicitly states that it is designed to safeguard the public's health, safety, and welfare, but its limited scope fails to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of private boaters.

As a constituent, I respectfully but strongly urge you to include all boaters within the scope of HB-1188 and enact it into law.

Thank you for considering the comments of recreation enthusiasts like myself as you consider this important legislation.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Treasure Mountain Hut - Silverton, CO

It was my first hut trip, so I didn't know really what to expect. I knew if it was near Silverton, it had to be good. Everything seemed to be lining up nicely though. We knew the owner of the hut, and he was planning on guiding us in and showing us the good terrain. The weather looked perfect, and the avy danger was getting much better. Immediately on the ski in, we started crossing numerous avalanche paths, so we gave ourselves lots of space in between each other. I just got a new Venture Storm-R splitboard, and this was my first hardcore introduction to skinning. After 3 hours of skiing with loaded packs, Max pointed to the top of a peak. "We just have to make it to the top of that peak, and then we are there.", he says. "Uggh", I thought as I looked at the steep, rocky, windblown slope.

When we reached the top, I was beat. Max got us set up in the hut and we got a fire started in the beast of a stove. The hut warmed up pretty quickly. The views from the hut were amazing. We were surrounded by 14ers in all directions, and we were sitting at the top of a 1200 vertical foot ski run that was a steep tree run.

The next morning, we dropped in from the hut at about 7:30 am. The first run through the trees was awesome, and we skinned back up and went to some north facing trees across the gulch from the hut. They were called the bread and butter trees, and it was deep powder every run. Each run was about 1000 vertical feet. The skin up to the top of the B&B trees was pretty easy, not getting steep until the end. We took 4 laps, and by then it was getting dark. We still had the big skin back up to the hut, which was daunting me all day in the back of my mind. When we got back to the hut, we were all exhausted. We cooked some pasta and ground elk meat, and lounged the rest of the evening. After dinner, we had the sauna at full power, so we took turns loosening our sore muscles in the heat.

The next morning was the start of our last day. No one was ready to go home. We packed our stuff and headed out for a few runs before the ski out to the car. Our first run was with loaded packs and turned out to be one of the best runs of the trip. Wide open powder, steep terrain, and the bluest ski I've ever seen made for a great run and some good photos. At the bottom, we lightened our packs by leaving the heavy stuff at the trail head. Then we skiied up and took a couple laps on the B&B trees before skiing out. All in all, it was the best ski trip I've ever done. We had a great crew (Tommy Hilleke, Jules Campbell, myself, and Tommy's brother in law Scott). We skiied up and down about 10,000 vertical feet in three days. no motors, just skis. The Treasure Mountain Hut is the place to go if you want a hut trip with super quality skiing. There are steep tree runs, bowls, couloirs, cliffs, and anything else. This time of year, it's best to stay in the trees, but if you go in spring, a number of big lines can be had. Check it out at

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Metlako Falls

Ever since I first saw the footage of Trip Jennings running Metlako falls, I knew I wanted to run it someday, after 5 years of kayaking, I finally got the chance, and felt like I could stick it. If you want to run a tall waterfall, this has to be the perfect one, its so clean, has a perfect rolling lip and large pool at the bottom. After a sweet day on the Little White, we set our eyes on metlako in the morning. When we arrived, the level seemed really low at the fish hatchery. After a mile and a half or so of hiking through a beautiful canyon with moss covered walls, amazing trees and incredible scenery, we got to the falls. It looked to be on the lower side of good for sure. However after some scouting, we decided it still looked good. We set up media, hiked up, and put on just above the lip. Dan Laham and I sat at the lip while people got media in position. Sitting at the lip of a waterfall like this is pretty cool, the horizon line is huge. The closest thing you can see is the other wall of the canyon, this is when you know you are about to go a long ways down. I watched Dan drop over the lip, silence for a couple seconds, then hoots of a successful run greeted my ears. I lined up, entered the lip, right stroke, soft left rudder, once I felt like I was free falling, I checked my angle to make sure I wasnt boofing or going over the bars, tossed my paddle to the side, tucked up bear-hugging the bottom of my Remix, and waited for the hit. BAM! I got ripped to the back of my boat, it was a big hit for sure, and incredibly resurfaced upright. I was stoked. I couldn't have asked for a better line really. A big thanks to everyone who shot media that day, Ben Hawthorne, Ethan Smith, Niko Peha, and Robbin.

The video footage will be played at 5 Point Filmfest aprli 29th-may 1st Check it out here

The lip, with not as much water as we hoped. Its really cool how much moss is on the canyon walls here, its a pretty amazing place even if you aren't kayaking, really cool hike with lots of vegetation and interesting geology. Shot by Ethan Smith.
Dan Laham having a perfect line in his Jefe, Ben Hawthorne got this cool shot while having an extra paddle to throw to us in the pool.
Sick sequence of Dan by Ethan Smith. Dan had a great line holding onto his paddle, and taking it deep. His paddle broke, but it was already cracked so that is to be expected on a drop this tall. Sick Line!
Me entering the lip of one of the most perfect waterfalls out there. photo by Ethan Smith.
After the paddle toss, tucked up waiting to land, it was a really cool feeling free-falling for that long. Photo by Ethan Smith
Sick shot coming off the lip. photo by Ben Hawthorne.
And about half way down, you can see my paddle next to me right after I tossed it
A shot from My GoPro HD that was shooting video from the back of my boat.
At the bottom stoked to be down there and to have had such a good line.
Gnar Car loaded up for some LDUB.

This wont be my last time down Metlako, cant wait to come back and run it with some Juice!