Sunday, November 21, 2010

A few videos!

A few videos of me paddling over the past few months!

The Zam, video by Sandy Douglas

Sluice, video by Len Kellaher!

Autumn in Ireland

Back in Ireland after traveling I've started working, but I've still found time for some paddling, that despite pretty low levels.
I entered the Sluice Rodeo in October. Freestyle isn't normally my thing, but I reckoned it would be good craic, and it was. Adrian Durant and his crew put on a great show and the turnout reflected that. I entered the men's sport class and wasn't expecting much, so I was pretty happy when I placed and came third in what was my first ever freestyle competition! There was also a no deck boater-x through the sluice. I was one of the few who had opted to not wear a drysuit, so it wasn't the most pleasant of experiences!

Me at the Sluice Rodeo

I've got a few river trips in, mainly club ones on the Boyne and Liffey, but also up to Wicklow. Last weekend a crew from DCUCC traveled down to Waterford to compete in the Colligan Gorge games. It was another great event. The Colligan is a nice stretch and is perfect for botercross. Once again results went my way and I finished 2nd in the Mens Sport class.

Racing on the Colligan

On the Sunday after the Race we explored some more of the paddling options in the South-East and went to do Pollanassa Falls near Mullinivat and the Barrow. Both nice options when in that area of the country. I did get some fotage of the weekend on my GoPro and put together a short video of the weekend!

Colligan Gorge Games and Pollanassa Falls from Kenneth Hynes on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

USA 2010

I'm finally getting around to updating the blog about two months after actually doing this trip!

After leaving Zambia and taking 72 hours of traveling I finally made it to Charlotte, NC, where I met up with Ronan, Waggers, John Judge and John Moore. We were planing on paddling and partying our way through the US southeast.

The Irish Crew in Gauley, Waggers, John Judge, Me, Ronan and John Moore.

After one night in Charlotte (where It took me several more hours to actually get to bed), we headed towards the world famous Green River Narrows. This is a cracking run. The next morning myself and Ronan borrowed creek boats from a local shop (we were in no way inclined to use the play boats we brought with us) and we put on. A slow start then picks up into some technical III-IV rapids. We took our time scouting most things and making our way down until we were met with the option of a either a rocky looking 15ft drop, or a sieve ridden boulder garden (we now believe this rapid is called boof or consequence). Luckily for us two locals turned up and went straight for the 15 footer so we followed (all of us made the boof!). ! few rapids later we were met with a similar dilemma. Thankfully another local group caught us here. They seemed a bit shocked that a group of out-of-staters would just put on without a guide, but they were perfectly willing to tell us the lines down the rest of the river. The rapid we met them at was called "go left and die" so we all opted for the right hand line!

Ronan on one of the big slides after Gorilla on the Green.

The river continues in this vain of technical IV-V rapids. I had an incident on Zwicks falls. After dropping into a hole near the top, I received quite a beating, I hung on for what felt like ages, it was long enough for the lads at the bottom to realise I wasn't coming down, for Waggers to climb out of his boat and come back up. Unfortunately he didn't bring a rope so I ended up swimming. Thankfully both myself and my boat made quick exits from the river as the next rapid up was the Gorilla!

Portaging Gorilla I got back in a bit shaken (and as I realised later a bit concussed too, judging from the bruise on my nose and lip, I must have hit my face during my beating, but I never noticed it happen!). The rest of the river was still epic, some big slides and drops and some fun rapids.

John on one of the many drops on the Green.

After our run, which we only just completed in time as water from the dam runs out after a while, the Locals who showed us the lines very kindly invited us back to their place saving us a long drive to what we later discovered would have been a dry Chatouga (the river from Deliverance). The next morning the lads had another run on the Green and we packed up for the long drive north to the Upper Yough in Pennsylvania.

The next morning we discovered some good and some bad news. The bad news was the dam on the Upper wasn't releasing, the good news was that a falls right in the centre of the town of Ohiopyle which was previously illegal to run would now be open for just one day. So we went of to run that!

Myself, Waggers, Ronan and JJ scouting Ohiopyle.

The falls itself was nice and clean and was followed by a few km of easy rapids which looped around and brought you back to the put in again. So we did it twice. Most the lines were clean, but Ronan did manage to receive a beating at the bottom! We also met up with Lucas from Colorado, who we traveled with for most of the rest of the trip!

Ronan at the bottom of Ohiopyle falls!

Over the next few days we didn't have much to do, there was no water in the dam, so there was no release on the upper Yough at all. We passed the time by hiking and driving around the place, We decided a few days later to head on towards the highlight of our trip, Gauely fest 2010 in West Virginia. pausing on the way to run Vally falls. They look easy but apparently there is an undercut there which swallowed a capsized Waggers and resulted in many photos been taken.

Waggers after Vally Falls.

Then on to Gauley. A massive whitewater festival with people driving from all over the states to go to it has to be experienced. The river Gauley releases for a few days and much carnage is had. Unfortunately after about 6 weeks of paddling almost every day my shoulder had pretty much given up and I never got a run of this river in. Next year!

Waggers on the Pillow Rock rapid.

After the weekend it was back to Charlotte for some beers and our flight back home to Ireland where after traveling for two months I had the depressing reality of employment waiting.

Myself on Ohiopyle Falls.