Saturday, March 29, 2008

Vermillion Demo

Brrrr...the wind was blowing up top but the river was pretty cozy. Lots of paddlers trying boats or just playing their own and having fun. Bryan did some body surfing in Donut. I didn't take many photos today but Bryan Z. took some great ones with my camera while we were at Donut.

Bryan body surfing Donut.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Winter is Over!

Just to recap the's been great! I was able to try several new sports and found some that I really love. Telemark skiing is the best! I did get to go out several times this winter and can say it rules in powder! I even tried off trail back country and wow that was a workout! Maybe some skins would help that out ;-). I'll have them for next winter. The feeling I get with telemark is more natural movement for my body than regular down hill.
Another new sport was climbing. I am finding I love climbing! I'm good with routes that work my legs and over hangs challenge me! I've taken some classes at VE and Midwest to learn more and there is still so much more to learn. My partners have been a huge help also! The real love that I can't get enough of is ice climbing! I have some big plans and ideas for next winter!!
Kiting went well this winter but it never seemed to be enough. With my mid range kite it seemed like I was waiting for wind or I knew the wind would trash me. I have added a large kite at the end of the season and will be picking up a smaller kite so I'll have the quiver I need to go out anytime. Sessions ranged from easy cruising to "We're just lucky niether of us was injured today" which was said by a very experienced kiter as we left Pepin. But that day stood out as exciting fun! There's something to be said about being tethered to a huge kite in gusting unpredictable winds screaming across ice with six inches of snow for cushion and just a bar and your capabilities for control...Yeah you've gotta love it!
My raquetball partner Shirley and I have been playing together for quite awhile now. We both have progressed at the same level and it's just pure enjoyment! This year we've really been getting in some good power sessions!
Things that bombed for me were skate skiing...didn't care much for it though it may have been the boots. I'll stick to cross country skis. Speaking of which I had planned to ski the rivers on the North Shore which I didn't do this year but I did hike and canyoneer up them which I think was just as fun. Kind of a climbing and hiking mix. All in all it's been a great winter but it's time to hang it up and polish my paddle! Spring is here!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sunny Verm!

Spot and I broke in a Verm Virgin today. Dave's first run on the Verm went very well and he was tearing up Donut at the end. Donut is still moving fast. The water was about 2 inches higher than yesterday. IMO Donut right now is the place to play. The ice bridge is melting fast. Dave and I used it today but I don't expect it to last much longer. This has been a unique treat this year as it goes just as soon as the spring flood waters come. So far on my days off I've only missed paddling on Monday. Anyone free Thursday? 2ish??

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Great Evening!

After paddling today I hooked up with my son Shane and had a great dinner in Hudson. He's doing great in life and for a parent there's nothing more you can ask for!

08 Second Verm Run

Using the ice bridge for a put in was a great way to start the run! We had a audience of about 15 people watching from the bridge as we launched one by one and ran Triple. Aaron, Andy, Bryan, Caleb, Dennis, and I had our second run of the Verm. Huck and Mike were also paddling today. Just another fun day on the Verm. Some people get hung up on the "size" or "gnar" factor but for me the Verm has always been about the good people that paddle and fun! Right now the speed of the water is creating some very good play and if gnar is what you want just try paddling under the ice bridge...someone tried it today and it was almost a disaster. Lucky he only came away with a lost paddle. Ice is dangerous! Day two of what is looking like a great spring!! Photos were taken by both Bryan and I on my Optio. More great photos were taken by Lisa and Karthik and can be seen on Bryan's blog.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

08 First Verm Run

What a great day! Aaron, Bryan, Caleb, Dennis, Graeme and I hit it up for our first run of the season. The water is moving FAST but yet it's only around 120cfs. The ice bridge above Triple is still there and that's a good thing because four of our group seal launched off into moving rapids. They said it was the best put in ever on the Verm! I hope it's still there tomorrow!! It should be. I'll be there around 12:30 Sunday for round two. Get some this weekend as the level is going to fade away fast unless we get some rain! BTW sorry about the water spots on the lens. Bryan has a FANTASTIC shot of our group on his blog. Check out Graeme's custon painted hemet also!

Verm Today

S- Bend

Looking down at Donut

Friday, March 14, 2008

Verm is open!!

This is the falls at noon today. I stopped on the way home tonight and looked off the bridge and it's open and on the rise!! Watch out for ice chunks and ledges. Get some this weekend as the snow pack is just about gone and the "bump" isn't that high...yet.