Monday, November 22, 2010

Seasons and priorities are changing.

The weather changed so quickly here in Utah that I did not even have the time to blog about it. Even though I have already had some great ski days this season, I want to share some of the adventures that were had by the Rapid Progression crew this summer.

We were able to catch the Final release of the Black Canyon of the Bear river. American whitewater has done a great job working with the local dam operators in Grace Idaho to get regular releases for the past few years. Unfortunately, this could have been the last year. Keep your fingers crossed that we will get a few more years of releases.

The run is a great basalt gorge in the potato fields of southern Idaho. It consists of mostly class 4 rapids and one class 5 named boo boo. When it is flowing, Paddlers come from all over the west to get in on the action.

Check out the video of 2 of the larger rapids, Grace Falls and Boo Boo.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My vision is blurred this time of year

The sun has finally come out in Utah and warmed the air. It all came at once this time and the rivers went from dry to flood stage in less than a week. With that being said, there was no time to delay and everything I have to do is put on the back burner for the next little while.
The Logan River, Little cottonwood, Big cottonwood, The Weber river, the Provo river and every other creek that drains the high mountain tops of Utah were all blessed with a torrent of whitewater. I have been able to paddle 3 of 4 days so far this week and hopefully will get more done this weekend.
Unless you are a kayaker, You would not understand the excessive checking of flows, the endless laps walking up and down your local run, or getting up early to get some early morning rides on your favorite surf wave before work.
Some how, my peripheral vision goes blurry and I only have eyes for one thing, WHITEWATER!!
So to all those Utah boaters, Get out and enjoy the water while you can. Before you know it all our rivers will be back to their calm and placid selves and you will find yourself dreaming of ribbons of white flowing from on high!
Be Safe!

Check out some sick video action!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Zion Narrows Update.

Here is the video I told you all about! This gives you an idea of what was all involved in the trip. Again, it was a great trip, great team and spectacular location. Thanks Garrett and Hammers inc. photography for capturing the magic!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kayak Season 2010 Kick Off!

Sometimes you find yourself in a location and you wonder to yourself " How did I get here?". With kayaking I find myself asking that question often. There seems to be something special about having the view from the water instead of from the shore. It makes you see things you have never seen before.

This past weekend I found myself asking "How did I get here?" over and over again around every turn of the river. Fortunately I knew how I got there and it was not easy. But all the hard work paid off as I found myself in the one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring places on earth.

The Zion Narrows are most commonly enjoyed by hikers during the the late summer. There is very little water during that time and people escape the heat of the desert by hiking through the deep slot canyon. But during the spring the North fork of the Virgin river is full of runoff water and allows you to navigate through the canyon in kayaks.

It is a 15 mile paddle that starts up high in the snow covered hills. It was 28 degrees when we put on in the morning so we were sure to put on plenty of layers to stay warm. When we got the permit to paddle the canyon, the ranger asked us to keep our eyes peeled for any belongings of the two men that died in the canyon the week before. They entered the canyon unprepared trying to run it in a homemade raft. They likely died of Hypothermia. As far as we know we were the first kayakers to get a permit this season so we would have to be extra careful for any surprises. We had a great team for this trip that made it even better. The trip consisted of all members of the Rapid Progression Kayak School team, Pitt G, Mark G, Smitty, AT, Curtis C, Jake M, Jake S, and Garrett from Hammers Inc. Photography.

The first 3 miles were spent hiking, dragging our boats, deeper into the canyon. There was not quite enough water to make the paddling enjoyable at first but we eventually got in our boats. We put on at 8am and reached the Temple of Sinawava parking lot at 5:30pm. It was a full day. Every hour was full of the best scenery this world has to offer. It was a great kick off to the 2010 kayak season!

Now this is Kayaking!!

Curtis taking advantage of a little bit of water before entering the canyon

Snow bridge in the desert

15 ft waterfall that would have been a highlight but it was full of logs so we had to walk it.

Jake asking himself "How did I get here?"

Hammers Inc. photography came along with us and is producing a video that will be off the hook. Check back later for that. If any of you have questions about the run feel free to leave a comment or email any of the Rapid Progression team.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The future of Kayaking

Rapid Progression Kayak School is always on the front end of a progressing sport. Kayaking gives us so many opportunities to see great place and try new things.

Last fall we purchased a Jackson Dynamic Duo and we are ready to push the limits of the sport. The Duo is a great teaching tool. We are able to take people down the river with confidence and the assistance of an experienced paddler in the boat with them. Come join us this summer and see what we mean. We are able to take even the biggest novice with us to experience the river.

Here is a funny video about Tandem kayaking to the extreme. I love the quote at the end. Enjoy!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Westminster Roll Clinics

Rapid Progression Kayak School hooked up with the Westminster Outdoor Recreation program last fall and began teaching kayak classes once a week. We have gained quite a following at the school. We have a great turnout each week and are excited to welcome new faces. Ross, a student there has even taken the initiative to get a whitewater club going.

The sessions usually consist of going over basic paddle strokes, play an aggressive game of kayak polo and then finish it off with rolling practice. Roughly 90% of the students end up rolling after one session! I guess college students just know how to snap those hips!

Westminster has a great pool facility and the students are geared and ready for anything that is outdoor related. It is easy to make great things happen with the students.

We hope to go on some trips this spring so all the students can try their skills in the river! Rapid Progression wants this program to continue for many semesters to come.