Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kayakers Up the Poudre!

Don scouting while portaging Poudre Falls on the Spencer Heights Section

Don and I spent the weekend paddling the Poudre River, and I'll bet you can guess that Poudre jokes abounded!

The river is actually named the Cache La Poudre, meaning "hiding place of the powder" in French. The name comes from the 1820s when French trappers were caught by a snowstorm and were forced to bury part of their gunpowder along the banks of the river. My sister, now a Fort Collins resident, still can't help but snicker when her kayaker friends say, "let's go do the Poudre this weekend."

Don approaching the big hole in the Lower Narrows.

Saturday we arrived pretty late, but still had time to squeeze in a fun play run down Poudre Park and the Bridges Sections where we met lots of other kayakers who like to take it up the Poudre. (Fort Collins paddlers have even made up bumper stickers proclaiming this). The Poudre paddlers we met seemed pretty psyched about Ecuador--for good reason too, seeing as there isn't much mid-winter kayaking in the Fort Collins area. Ecuador is an incredible place to paddle when all your backyard runs have dried up, so you should definitely come check it out with us this winter!

Don punching the big hole in the Lower Narrows

Sunday we rallied a bit more and ran the Narrows, Spencer Heights and Joe Wright Creek. When we were finished we had a full on battle with the insane swarms of mosquitoes that inhabit the Upper Poudre. We camped one more night up there hoping the Forest Service would open the gate up to Long Draw Reservoir so we could paddle the Big South on Monday, but it didn't happen. The latest report we heard is that they are aiming to open the road Friday morning.

Don getting creative with his veggie washing technique in mosquito territory

Such a gentleman, Don let me hide in the van while he braved the mosquitoes long enough to clean our veggies for burrito night.

Don and Lacey enjoying the sunset Poudre-style

Don and Darcy on day 5 of the Middle Kings last summer--loving our Jetboil!

And, speaking of Jetboils...we are giving one away on Thursday, July 1st! If you haven't entered our contest yet, make sure you do so! Go to then scroll down our homepage, click win and enter your information. The Jetboil is, in my opinion, the best stove out there for multi-day, self-support kayaking trips. It's small, compact, lightweight, and super fuel-efficient. Even if you don't win one on Thursday, you might just have to go out and buy yourself one!

We are headed to the Arkansas river for the 4th of July weekend, and we hope to see lots of you out on the rivers. After that, we are thinking, Wyoming, Idaho, California or Washington...anyone have any ideas for us?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More Colorado Fun--Vallecito, Oh Be Joyful, and FIBark!

This past week in Colorado has been packed with good friends, good boating, and good Hooligans.

I'm about to inundate you with videos so I hope you are viewing from a fast connection so you can enjoy all of Don's recent handy work. We've had a great tour around Durango, Crested Butte, Buena Vista and Salida. I'll write more below, but first, here's the video from last week's trip down Vallecito Creek. I already wrote up the trip report in my last blog, but here's some video footage that Don shot with his Go Pro HD.

After Animas River Days we took a day trip over to Crested Butte to check out one of the area's most famous (or infamous) creeks--Oh Be Joyful. My high school friend, Anders, came with us to huck his first waterfalls. Being that he's a badass, cliff-hucking skier, the transition to dropping waterfalls in his kayak went very smoothly. Here's a few shots of Anders hucking his meat.

Anders dropping the big falls (AKA Oh Be Joyful Falls).

And here's Anders on the "10-footer."

I've never been too good at math and triangulation and crap like that, but I think this one is a little taller than 10 feet?

Zach in the fold.

And here's a couple shots of our local guides--Ethan and Zach--showing us the lines. These boys rally OBJ frequently after work and really have the run dialed. Thanks guys!

Ethan stomping the "10-footer."

Don had some fogging issues with his camera on Oh Be Joyful, but still got some somewhat descent shots. Here's a little video he put together of the day.

The Beveridge Brothers soaking in some Colorado scenery.

Typical Hooligan Chaos

After hucking ourselves off the slate around Crested Butte we headed over to Salida to enjoy a little FIBark action. Don and Larry have lived in Salida in years past, and the town holds many roots for Small World Adventures (including our post office box).
It was fun to get back to hang out with old friends, meet new ones and, most importantly, to laugh at the hooligans.

While we were there, we got to paddle the Royal Gorge--Don's old stomping ground--with our friend Stacey. His wife Cindy couldn't make it due to a VERY recent ACL surgery, but she's already plotting her big comeback tour. We were flattered to hear that it's going to be in Ecuador with us. Can't wait to paddle with you guys down there. Keep up that PT, so you are ready for some good, old fashioned mud hiking on the way to the Jondachi!

And, for the last video of this blog, please, kick back, relax and enjoy some sweet Hooligan shenanigans

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Animas River Days, Durango, CO

Don Beveridge styling the line at Fuzzy Bunny on Vallecito Creek--Durango, CO

Last weekend we hit up the Animas River Days down in Durango, CO. We drove over from Glenwood Springs Saturday morning and paddled the Upper Animas "on our way" to Durango. We had a wicked head wind, rain, hail, sleet, and even a little sunshine to round off the day. It was a cold but nice 26-mile float down the river, but a sad and cold 2.5 hour hitch hike for Don's brother Bill in the pouring down rain at the end of the day! Needless to say, we were all stoked to get back to the civilization that is Durango for a nice dinner afterwards.

Bill and Don Beveridge running the lead-in to "Paddle Bitch" or "No Way Out" (depending if you're old school or new school)

Sunday we checked out the events which included a downriver race, a kayak rodeo, and best of all, an inflatable rodeo--fun for everyone at the park!
After watching the fun we went to check out Vallecito Creek which the Colorado Rivers and Creeks calls “the best mile of whitewater in Colorado.” It truly is a little gem of a creek. There is some amazingly smooth granite down there—a rarity for Colorado. Although the run is only 1 mile, it’s packed with fun, and mostly clean, rapids. The fact that you are down in the bottom of pretty deep canyon with polished granite walls adds to the overall coolness of the day.

Looking back upstream on Vallecito.

Bill B. dropping entry falls--it's his first test run of the Villain.

Don’s brother Bill is in town visiting and wanted to try out the Villain so Don lent him his Villain, I lent Don the Villain S, and I borrowed a different boat from a friend. Overall, Bill loves the boat! He psyched to get one of his own (and Don is psyched to get his boat back)…
Don and I are excited to bring the Villain and Villain S down to Ecuador next season. They will make really nice additions to our already “pimped out” fleet. I think our guests will enjoy them on Ecuador’s creeks which are characterized by fairly continuous boulder-garden rapids. The boats hold a line quite well, resurface easily and will do well on Ecuador’s classics such as the Oyacachi, Piatua, Misahualli, and Jondachi.

Next weekend we are off to Fibark to enjoy some more kayak rodeo. Plus, we are all really looking forward to the Hooligan Race—Fibark’s trademark event that always draws a huge local crowd.

AND...we have a June 15th winner! Della Rosa has won the Snap Dragon Spray Skirt! Congratulations.
Next week's prize is a Jetboil Flash Cooking System. This little stove is perfect for self-support kayak trips. Go to our website to win!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Puntledge River Festival Vancouver Island

The Puntledge River festival is a sweet event put on by the Vancouver Island Whitewater Paddling Society. They have worked with BC Hydro to release water in the 65-110 Cubic Meters per Second range for the festival (for those of us using cfs, multiple the cms by 35 and you'll have a pretty good idea of the cfs). There are 2 runs on the Puntledge--the Lower is a fun Class III/IV play run and the Upper is a Class IV+/V- creeky, slidey, waterfally run. Also nearby is the Brown River which happened to be running while we were there due to all the rain.

Don testing out the boof on his 2010 AllStar. This is the waterfall on the Lower Brown River's "play run"

Hey, Shayne told us this was a play run--he didn't say nothing about no Waterfall!

Darcy, first time paddling her new 2Fun--it's pretty sweet for boofing 10-footers, now I just gotta find me a surf wave.

Shyane, our trusty Vancouver Island guide.

Shayne and Carrie came down to Ecuador on a trip with us a couple years back to enjoy some warm weather paddling. Vancouver Island definitely has some awesome whitewater, but even hard-core British Columbians like to get out of their drysuits every now and then. So they spent a week with us checking out Ecuador's best whitewater. This weekend Shayne was returning the guiding taking us around to the festival's best runs.

Kayakers waiting to get shuttled to the Lower Puntledge for a play run.

There are no races or other competitions at the Puntledge Festival, it's just a bunch of people who want to get out on the water. The festival organizers had shuttles running all day long for the Upper and Lower sections of the Puntledge as well as the Lower Brown river. It's pretty awesome to have so many people out on the river doing lap after lap until their bodies are too tired to take it anymore. Then it's time to drink beer and huddle under the tarps to meet new friends and hide from the rain!

The Upper Puntledge is a very unique piece of whitewater that, unfortunately, doesn't lend itself very well to photography due to the lack of eddies and super thick and bushy shoreline.
So, we have no photos, but Don put together a video from his Go Pro camera. It was mounted on his boat instead of his helmet so the perspective is a little skewed, but I'm telling you, it's a lot bigger than it looks! The river, at the best flows, is roughly 3800 cfs. The river is 200-500 feet wide, often splitting into 2 channels, and is full of slides, waterfalls, and ledges. It's a pretty crazy experience to be "creeking" on almost 4,000 cfs.

Anyhow, enjoy the video: