Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas everyone, and a happy new year!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wedding season!

Its been a busy summer with no less than three weddings in the last couple of months, all with associated stag and hen nights... Even with these hiccups in the kayaking calendar to work around, we've been able to get out onto some great rivers in North Wales, and managed to make good use of the biblical flood conditions in the Lakes recently.

First up was Robs Stag do... A great weekend in North Wales, Biking, boating and drinking. Rob did exceptionally well to be actually mobile and able to paddle the next day(with some persuasion)
He's normally a bit slimmer, but that is his normal biking gear
The big ramp at Llandegla
Mr Box head made an appearance later that night, or the night after.....
Rob looking surprisingly well, and able to kayak the next day (a major achievement)
The day of the wedding!

The Wedding was also a great event. Congratulations Rob and Bub.

Next up was my brother Mark and Hannah. A great day out in London for the Stag do (no photos survive), then a fantastic night down south for the wedding at a great venue.
Dad and Mark

Hannah and Mark

Granny Wiles's Wedding cake spectacular

End of night shots!!

Finally our good friends Damon and Ashley from Vermont. What better excuse to visit our favorite place in the world. We managed to arrive just in time for hen and stag dos, then had a week to see what we are missing in Vermont, before the Wedding. Unfortunately it was pretty dry which meant no Vermont creeking, but we did get to hike and visit all our favorite restaurants. Thanks to Jonny for putting us up again. We did have to go home to the UK but hopefully we'll be back soon....
Stag do survivors photo - morning after in Montreal!

Cheryl and DamonSimon and Ashley

And finally Cheryl and Simon

We used to work just by that chimney!!
Hiking Mt Abe, near Bristol VT

Beautiful Fall colours!
Hiking with Ed

The weekend after we got back to the UK, the heavens opened. As huge amounts of rain fell, we headed up to the lakes, and found great conditions. We paddled some new rivers, as well as some old favorites. I think that certainly Welsh and Vermont ditches have some rivals for the 'most manky' award in Wasdale beck! (it was great really!) It was great to catch up and paddle with Mark and Heather after so long too!
Backbarrow falls - no head room!
Duddon rockiness
Birks Beck - scary low bridges and wire fences!!!

Wasdale beck - steep with relatively few fences (2)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Summer rains

We've been having a pretty wet summer. So lots of things have been running.

Hurley weir on two gates. Good fun, but it was on three gates when we left home!

Some of the North and South Wales Classics, have been running. I've finally got on the Fairy Glen! definitely one of the best runs in the UK.

We also got to visit a phenomenal 'artifical kayaking spot'

Great fun, but the flat bottomed boats seemed to have a lot more speed than the lead boat (solo).

Friday, August 15, 2008

Shrewsbury Weir

Just been down to Shrewsbury this afternoon, to check out the weir. Looked ok, maybe a little sticky on the far side, but looked fun. Hopefully be back with the boats before it drops out.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Austrian Alps

We're just back from a week in the Austrian Alps. Kev, Cheryl and I headed out to Stefan's house in Southern Germany. From there we made plenty of day trips out whilst we sheltered from the torrential rain. We paddled many lesser known classics in the region, mostly in beautiful steep sheer walled Bavarian gorges.
Highlights were the Brandenberger, Lammer and Salzach gorges. In places these fully enclosed and roofed by chockstones!

Kev in contemplative mood.

The Brandenburger had handy inspection walkways and bridges throughout the most difficult gorges, which came in very handy. We made a highish water run, and a repeat the following day!. Locals run the whole river in an hour or so after work, it took us about 4 hours!!!
When the rains finally stopped, we headed out to Landeck for some of the classic Austrian runs., the Imst Gorge, Sanna, Landeck Gorge, Lower Oetz.
I had visited the area about 10 years before, and was amazed at the runs that we had paddled back then... They are still really good classic alpine runs... We had more water this time, certainly, and this made river choice very important. Many of the runs in the area were too high, due to more rain! and it made the decision easy to stay in a nice guesthouse in Oetz rather than rough it camping!

Hiking up to inspect the Wellerbrucke on the Middle Oetz. Very scarey and steep!

Thanks to Stefan for putting us up, at his lovely place, and for BBQing so well!

UK boating and biking

When the weather gets drier in the UK, we still have a few options available for weekend fun. As well as the Tryweryn, there are at least two more artifical courses which are worth paddling at. Holme Pierrepoint is the oldest artifical site in the UK, but continuos tweaking means that the features are still suitable for pulling off all the latest moves (or at least those we can do). You do have to keep an eye out for rafts and nasty pointy slalom boaters.

Teeside is a bit further away, and dependant on the tides, but again worth heading too when all the rivers are too low. It has an exceedingly sticky final drop, making for some very entertaining viewing.

Failing that, we have some great local biking right from our door.... Up to the Ercall and Wrekin.

We've even been known to take a weekend off now and then......