Home, Sweet Home - "Rain on Snow"




As part of the Home, Sweet Home series this movie shows the Ötscherbach, a small creek that flows through an impressive gorge at the eastern end of the alps. As this area is usually very dry this river needs snow or rain or preferably both to have good flows. But when it rains on snow be ready for raising levels and a fast flowing current that is hard to stop in and dangerous if avalanches or wood block the way.

enjoy, re

Short Trip to Portugal

Valley of the Upper Laboreiro

This winter Robert and myself decided that it was finally the time to go to Portogal and Galicia to run some of the winter classics europe has to offer. It was a little gamble because this winter was dryer then usual and the rivers there are mostly rainfed. Manuel Köhler decided to join so end of february we boarded our plane to Bilbao, got our rental car and of we were.


there we are...

Galicia was dry by now so we went straight to the valley of the famous Laboreiro. On our drive it was raining hard so we had good feelings to catch a perfect waterlevel. And so it was...



First look at our first goal... what a beauty!!

The lower section of the Rio Laboreiro contains the famous three waterfalls that everyone who is interested in kayaking in Portugal has seen. We had an perfect level, scouted and ran everything together.


Robert at the edge of the world... First drop of the triple combo

me on the same drop... photo: Robert Machacek


Manu testing the big one first


how sweet can it be?   photo: Robert Machacek


Robert flying...

This section is one of the most special places I have been to in an kayak. After the portage Manu went back up on the trail the get our car (the shuttle on the road is almost 40km) and Robert and myself continued with three kayaks to the takeout where Manu was allready waiting.

 looking back at our first day of portugese whitewater   photo: Robert Machacek

Next up was the Rio Vez. We had hoped for a little more water because of the rain two days earlier but the river looked very dry. The falls were still fun but the stuff inbetween got really manky. This river must get really awesome with 10cm more water.


Alto Vez... to the Put In of the Rio Vez

its a dog owned village





fun drops at the start

photo: Robert Machacek

Seems like this area has dog and cat owned villages. Put in was dogs, take out cats ;)


takeout is Cat owned. No dogs here!!




Our next stop was back at the Laboreiro to run the upper section. Very nice whitewater with slides and drops, and although a little low still very worthwile.


Manu, Robert and myself on the first rapid of the upper Laboreiro



photo: Robert Machacek



Backbreaker

photo: Robert Machacek


Manu enjoing the sun

Pasta? or rice...

Our plan was to go a little south to run a section on the Paiva described as one of the classic whitewater sections in Portugal, the Garganta gorge. On put in we were lucky to meet Franzi and Kees from Germany and Holland. A scary situation occured when Kes got stuck with his boat in the fourth rapid. Luckily he got out uninjured and only with a scare. A little reminder that class IV can be really dangerous sometimes.


Paiva... Garganta gorge




Manu running "the Drop"... the harderst rapid of the Garganta



The last river we went to was the classic Cavado. It was suposed to be really low but the level was ok. This river, although much shorter than it used to be due to hydropower, is a truely special place. Bedrock wherever you look, slides and drops, a true playpark for creeking.


camping on the Cavado


low but bedrock heaven






photo: Manuel Köhler


slides!!!




We finished our trip with some surfing action between Bilbao and Santander and a little stroll through the roads of Bilbao. 



last campspot before our flight home


Guggenheim, Bilbao







thanks for reading ;)

cheers, re



























Every year we are desperatly waiting for the snow to fall. Eager for fluffy treeruns and fast big mountainlines we check weatherforecasts and snowreports. When the day finally arrives we check our gear, call our friends and then something like this happens...

Stikine


In August 2016 waterlevels on the Stikine dropped into manageable flows and several groups made their way up north. I started my drive in the desire to meet up with Adrian Kiernan and Billy Thibault in Prince George. In the morning Adrian decided to wait another day, so our crew consisted Billy Thibault, Rob Murphy, Hector Darby Maclellan, Louis Bissonnette. I want to especially thank the crew for the fun, mostly safe and awesome time on this river and Miranda for driving our shuttle. 

cheers, re

The Wild and Beautiful - the Pacific Northwest & British Columbia


Manu pluggin`one of the most photographed and filmed waterfalls - what a special place this is - Spirit Falls on the Little White Salmon

This summer I decided to spend two months in North America, to be more precise in July I started of in California and made my way up to the Stikine in August. My posts until now were about the two big projects the MFK and the Stikine, but there was a lot of whitewater and scenery inbetween and after. Our first stop our way up north was at Crater Lake National Park near Bend, Oregon.

Crater Lake National Park - awesome views everywhere

the views in Bend are not too bad either

The next day we made our way to the Columbia River gorge to get some lovin` on some PNW classics, mainly the Truss Section of the White Salmon and (since late in the season) low water sessions on the Little White that were still beautiful. The views and outdoor possibilities of this area are hard to grasp. Windsurfing, kiteboarding, mountainbiking, kayaking and skiing, you name it. Not to forget, good beer and very nice people everywhere, truly a place to stay for longer.

Mt. Adams

that one again ;) myself and Manu in B&W


For me travelling and kayaking is a lot about getting to know new places, new people and new rivers. So I rather prefer running not so good but new whitewater over lapping the same sections over and over (if I can`t do both). So besides lapping the Truss which we found perfect flows for, we also did two low water runs on the Little White Salmon that were really worth it in my eyes and ran the Wind River which was not as great as the others but still nice.


the Wind River Cascades - some nice drops and some amazing wildlife


Its crazy how much whitewater this area has to offer, our next stop provided with one of the highlights of the trip, the Cispus River north of Mount Adams. This river is hard to reach these days (most access roads are washed out), but once we were there provided us with some superb creeking in an awesome gorge. A low water run on the classic Ohanapecosh section ended our little stay in Washington. Sadly we didn`t have cameras with us that day since the scenery in this valley is spectacular. 

Mt Adams again - our way back from the Cispus turned out to be an 4 hour odysee around this beautiful volcano

Behemoth on the Cispus is an awesome ending to an awesome river

Before going north to British Columbia, Manu and I decided to visit Idaho to end his kayaking trip with the North Fork of the Payette, a roadside 25 kilometer stretch of continous, fast and pushy whitewater.


Jakobs Ladder - the steepest rapid on the NFP - home of the annual NF race


After the Payettes it was time to say goodby to Manu and I made my way up north to BC to do some more biking and kayaking. The area around Squamish and Whistler provides some worldclass kayaking and biking. A friend from Slovenia, Andraz Krpic, moved here a couple of years ago and we had some nice runs on the Cheakamus sections, the Fear Canyon of the Elaho and the Mine and Box Canyons of the Ashlu. On my way back from the Stikine Billy and I squeezed in a sweet little lap on the Rogers Creek.


Andraz, Darby McAdams and Ben Jung on the must run in the Fear Canyon


The beauty and wildness of this area is stunning, so much high quality runs in a relativly small area surrounded by glaciers and bears. There are big, pushy runs like the Elaho Fear Canyon (that lives up to its name at higher flows), low volume creeks like Rogers, easy access roadside whitewater on the Cheak and missions like Tatlow, Clendenning or Dipper. 


Rogers Creek, Billy Thibault styling the second and third drop of the driple combo



myself on the same combo - photo: Billy Thibault

The Ashlu river is most famous for its box canyon below the dam. There is another very good section above the dam called the "Mine". I find it actually a little harder than the box and also provides some world class walled in whitewater but also one portage and a rough road to reach the top.


Andraz Krpic on the first rapid of the Mine. This rapid is right at put in, has a thin line and is not portageable. A good start into the day. Ash Bullivant is watching Iztok Zuber below.


Ash doing his thing after the portage

playing with my camera, Kiah Schaepe and Iztok Zuber on the same drop

The box canyon is the classic weekend run for the locals, it has a regular dam release that kayakers can vote on online (vote for 32 cms!!). It starts of with a waterfall called 50/50, which kind of describes perfectly your chances of having a good line. The rest of the canyon is just pure perfection. When god created a river for kayaking...


trying to get to the right side of 50% - photo: Ali Glanz

myself boofing the first drop after 50/50 - photo: Nick Burke

Iztok in the heart of the Box - driple drop - photo: Nick Burke

The Cheakamus is part of Whistlers "Triple Crown" (with the Soo and the Callaghan). We did multiple runs of two sections, the upper and the "Balls to the Walls" which together were my favourite run of the area. The Soo is cold and fast and sadly the Callaghan dropped out before my arrival.


Cheakamus starts with a bang, Blake Hornblow and Andraz firing up the classic left and the right line


Balls To The Walls Falls - myself on my last run in this area for this summer, it was a pleasure!! - photo: Andraz Krpic

A huge shoutout to Andraz, Ana, Iztok, Ana, Ash, Ben, Emanuelle, Ben, Blake, Darby, Billy, Rapha, Nathan and Heather, Colin and everybody else who made my stay in the gorge and Whistler so worthwhile. Great company and awesome times in this beautiful area.

Stay tuned for some biking and Skook photos ;)

cheers,
Re