Thursday, April 29, 2010

Whitewater fun in the Northwest--Robe Race 2010

The Robe Race 2010

The day after we got to Seattle, we heard it was time for the 2nd annual Robe Canyon Downriver Race. So, we promptly headed out to Robe Saturday to get in a practice run and try to remember just where the hell we were going, and then entered the race on Sunday. Racers must go in teams of 2. Since the river is so difficult, race organizer Todd G. feels it's safer to go in two's. That way when the inevitable carnage happens (I mean, how can it now when you have 32 paddling Class V as fast as they can, totally tired and whupped) your teammate is there to help you out. It was an amazing showing--16 teams in all--despite high water and plenty of mystery about whether or not we could have the race. Above, the competitors are nervously awaiting the start of the race.

Racers hiking down the road to the put in trail. I've never seen to many boaters turn out for a Class V run when the high temperature for the day was somewhere around 50 degrees! The Robe Race really is a cool event drawing people who love to paddle just simply for sake of paddling. All you can win in this race is a robe or gnome, so people definitely aren't out for the fame or money. (photo by Ethan Smith)

So, despite the fact that Don and I pretty much had the couple's category sewed up (we were the only couple to enter), we still wanted to make a strong showing and try for the Robes. We had a really awesome start, and had fast and relatively smooth lines in most of the big rapids. We were feeling great until...I went and blew it in some little rapid that doesn't even have a name:(
I swam and crushed our hopes of taking home the winners' robes...

And then we thought we might have a shot of the DFL (dead f-ing last) prize of the Gnome (only the biggest winners and the biggest losers get a prize in this here race), but we got scooped on that too when this guy and his partner decided to free themselves from their kayaks and just do the back stroke across the finish line--Damn it! (photo by Ethan Smith)

Here's Hilary N. in Last Sunshine. Hilary is one of Small World's guides. You gotta give it up for the bad ass SWA ladies--Darcy and Hilary were the only 2 women out on Robe that day.

Here's another SWA guide--Chris Tretwold dialing in the lines.

From left to right it's AJ, Brian (2010's winners), and Darcy. Brian enjoys a little shot of Tequila after the race. After sprinting down Class V for 30-40 minutes, it only takes 1 shot to make things look like this!

Unfortunately for Chris and Don, their damn partners went and swam, but here's Brock, lucky enough to get his photo taken with DFL winners Chris and Ryan--everyone was super stoked at the end of the day. Everyone was safe, but 1/3 of the teams had swimmers, so it certainly was an eventful race!

Thanks Todd for organizing--you did a great job.
We can't wait for next year! I'm gonna stay in my boat and give Brian and AJ a run for their money!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bear River Festival--huge sucess!

The Bear River Festival in southeastern Idaho was awesome last weekend. There was a great turn out of paddlers, a jamming band, good friends, food and beer--what more can you ask for?

Don and I got to paddle the river with our friends Shannan and Steiner--that's Shannan above at the put in. Shannan was super stoked about this run since he'd paddled for years in Idaho in the Riggens area but had never had the chance to do this river before. Thanks to the releases, lots of local paddlers got their first experience on this gem of a river in the middle of Potato-Land.

You know it's a pretty sweet "grass-roots" festival when the kegs show up in the back of a dude's Subaru! All beer jokes aside, the organizers of this event did a really great job. Everything ran smoothly, they gave out tons of cool prizes, and cleaned everything up afterwards leaving the town of Grace with a good opinion of kayakers.

Norm, Wally, and Steiner enjoying a little food, Red Bull, and sunshine after boating.

And, oh yes, there was debauchery!

We are on our way to the Pacific Northwest now. We'll be at the Robe Race in Granite Falls, WA next weekend, then we are off to British Columbia for the Chilliwack Festival on April 30th.

We hope to see you out there, and remember to go to our website to sign up for the contest.
We'll be giving away an IR Thin Skin on May 1st, so check your emails to see if you've won!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Don and Darcy hit the road this summer, and you could WIN big!


Find Don and Darcy of Small World Adventures this summer and win some awesome prizes! Don Beveridge and Darcy Gaechter will be hitting the road this spring and summer traveling all throughout western North America on their “boatin n’ promotin’ tour.”

What For?

Mainly because we love kayaking, and want a good excuse to do it! Also, we think that our trips in Ecuador are something ever kayaker should experience, so we’re going out there to spread the word. We’ve teamed up with many of the leading whitewater companies to make this tour even more special. We are not just promoting Ecuador, but whitewater paddling in general; and to get you all psyched up about the idea, we’ll be giving away prizes all summer. We’ve got gear from Jackson, Werner, IR, Astral, Snap Dragon, Sweet, Kayak Session, and Jetboil and we want to give it to you! Go to our website, scroll down the homepage, then click “win” to sign up, and to read about what exactly you can win from these companies

The grand prize will be a week of kayaking in Ecuador with us, so you’ll definitely want to get in on this action!

Where will we be?

We’ll be all over the west (and will hopefully extend this tour to the eastern US in the fall) hitting popular paddling areas and local river festivals. The tour kicks off on April 18th at the Bear River Festival in Grace Idaho. If you live anywhere nearby, you should get out there and support this river fest. American Whitewater has worked hard to secure releases on the Bear River, and this will hopefully be the first of many “homegrown” festivals on this run. Read more about the Bear here:

Not only should this be a super cool festival, but they are also raising money for a good cause—kids in Nepal—so get out there and show your support!

From there we’ll be heading to the Pacific Northwest for a few weeks. You can check in with our blog each week to find out where we’ll be going next

We are also open to suggestions on our itinerary, so if you are hosting a river festival, or just have a really great river in your backyard, let us know about it and hopefully we can come visit!

To enter the contest, all you have to do is go to our website, but if you want some cool “swag” in addition to your chance to win, track us down at some point this summer!

See you on the rivers!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

February 2010--awesome winter boating in Ecuador

February 13th was a big week for kayaking in Ecuador! We had a Torrents + trip, a Mucha Agua trip and a Class III trip. Everyone was treated to great water levels and had a kick ass week of paddling. Everyone got a nice variety of bigger water, and super tight, technical creeks.
Above, Oliver from Germany is rocking the Rio Piatua

Chris from New York also on the Piatua. The Piatua has been such a great addition to Tena's already great line up of rivers. This river is quintessential jungle adventure kayaking at its best. First, you have to take a pick up truck taxi to the river so you can fit under a TINY bridge over the Rio Anzu to get to a bumpy dirt road that you'll drive on for 30 minutes or so to reach the small village "at the end of the road." Once on the river you really feel like you are "out there" (because you are!). Then, you are treated to some extremely nice rainforest, rapids, bird and animal life. We often see otters, blue morphos, cuckoos, and tons of other birds on this run. Plus, at 110 feet per mile and with countless boofs, this run will assure you are paying attention all day long.

Harvesting wood is one of the main economies of the little village near the put in. These boards have been hand-hewed in the jungle and are being brought out by horse ready to sell.

Caroline from PA also on the Piatua--she is enjoying a fun rock slide just below "Sabado Gigante."
Here's Tate of Maryland styling "Tres Huevos" on the Upper Jondachi and paddling away from the 'cave of doom."

Peter, also of PA, boofing the heck out of "Dame Su Gasolina" on the Piatua.

John from VA takes the bull by the horns at "Torro Loco."
John, Peter, and Chris all came back for more kayaking with Small World Adventures this season after paddling with us at various points over the past 3 years. One really cool thing about Ecuador is that we have tons of variety which means we always have something new to offer our repeat guests. We get a lot of guests who come back year after year, and we always get to show them something new--whether it's just totally different water levels than they saw before, or completely new rivers, we can always find a way to spice things up!

Jeremy from Montana in his element.
Jeremy's bad ass boater chick wife--Lexie--was down paddling with us as well, but due to some technical difficulties....we don't yet have a photo of her boating. Lexie, I'm sorry!

Don's crew below Typhoid Falls on the Upper Jondachi.

Frank dropping Typhoid Falls, and concentrating hard!

Thanks everyone for a great week of paddling. Hopefully Don and I will run into you all this summer on our "Boatin n' Promotin' tour. Check back with this blog for details about our summer travels.