Category Archives: Whitewater

Alligators are Scarier Than any V+ Rapid

Read this story if you have time.  I can’t even imagine the danger involved in the expeditions this guy did.  15′ long alligators! Cannibals!  Africa is such a wild place.  I had a high school teacher who once told me that if you ever leave the continent twice, go to Africa both times.  Here are some sweet photos from my one and only trip there.

Kissing a captive giraffe

high school girls pretending to be on a dangerous expedition

hippos ready to pounce on this sweet outfit


Leave a comment

Filed under Random rambling, Travel, Whitewater

California Multi-Sport Summer Fun

A few years ago, I got a bunch of friends together for a monumental birthday and skied the Hotlum Wintun Route on Mt. Shasta for the first time.  I fell in love with the perfectly pitched silky smooth corn on a route that has been called possibly the best ski descent in N. America.  After skiing, we went swimming in the McCloud River, and with its crystal clear water and numerous waterfalls, it is Shasta’s equally pretty sibling.  When I started kayaking last year, I hoped that I’d be good enough one day to plan a trip where we’d ski Shasta and then kayak the McCloud.  Technically the McCloud doesn’t start at Shasta, it is a spring fed river, but it seems pretty close to a source to sink trip – I mean snow from Shasta must feed those springs somehow… right?

I assembled a crew, picked a date, and as it neared, the weather was looking great and the road to the Brewer Creek Trailhead was nearly melted out.  I just had to get there, which proved to be somewhat more difficult than expected since I was flying back from a visit to the Midwest the Friday before.  After numerous delayed flights, missed connections, some standby and luggage success, picking up my dog and gear from Tahoe, I was on my way to Shasta at 11:30 pm Friday night.  Needless to say, I didn’t make our planned 3 AM start and we started as the sun was rising at 5:30 AM.

Although I was hallucinating from the lack of sleep, at least we were on snow relatively quickly.

Nature’s stairmaster (photo by Greg Mardsen)

We hiked to just under 13,000 feet and thought the snow was softening quickly in the hot sun.  With the late start, we decided to cash in on the corn are we were rewarded with 6,000 feet of skiing (photo by Greg).

Splitboarder Stu (photo by Greg)


Me (photos by Greg)

Done skiing by 1:30, we met up with our friend Tom who was joining us for the McCloud portion of the trip on Sunday, grabbed a camp site, went for a swim, and then set up camp for the night.  I was grateful to get some rest before our next adventure.

The McCloud is a class 3/4 run that starts out at low flows and then nearly doubles in flow a mile after the put in due to some springs aptly named “Big Springs.”  It is known for crystal clear and cold water, some fun and continuous whitewater sections, and enormous river side castles owned by the Hearst family.  It is really unique and did not dissappoint.  All of the following photos are by Greg since I lost my Go Pro in the river.

Thanks to all my friends for a great weekend – living the Northern California dream and STILL skiing good snow on July 23rd!

Leave a comment

Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Whitewater


My GoPro was laid to rest in the McCloud River yesterday somewhere near here:


I should’ve had these accessories.

It lived a short, but action-packed life.  It will be missed.  If anyone wants to go back this fall to look for it, let me know!

1 Comment

Filed under Gear, Whitewater

Weekend Adventures After Work!

It’s always fun to try to do weekend type activities after work and it is more possible than ever right now with the extended daylight of summer solstice week.  Last night I did a solo mission on the Upper Truckee River where I kayaked from Meyers down to the lake and biked the shuttle.

Map of the route: UTRmap

The UTR is raging right now – > 1,000 cfs!

 I left work, dropped my bike with a change of clothes off at the take out, drove to the put in and got on the water around 5:20pm.  The first section is super pretty with lots of wood in the river and a few fun little wave trains – definitely unusual in this meadow river.  The river winds through the Lake Tahoe Golf Course and I stopped to say hi to Pat teeing of on hole 15.  Next up was the more traveled section of Elks Club to Venice and I stopped to take a few photos of the restoration that I worked on a few years ago.

Here is an example of some of the rapids on the UTR (SO GNAR!).

I saw a few more boaters lower down and got to my bike at the take out around 7:30 pm.  If it were the weekend, I would’ve taken my time and maybe paddled a bit less, but I wanted to get back to my bike with a reasonable amount of daylight to do the change and 7 mile shuttle ride.  Here I am back at the car at 8:15, just in time for the Alpenglow!

1 Comment

Filed under Biking, Whitewater

Birthday/Memorial Weekend on the Owyhee River

It’s been a long winter and even though it was supposed to snow up to a foot in the Sierras over Memorial Day weekend, we decided to get out on a multi-day river trip on one of the few 3 day weekends I get every year.  It also always coincides with my birthday, which is pretty awesome… thanks Mom and Dad!

We chose to travel to the Owyhee River, which is known as the Grand Canyon of Oregon, located in the Southeast corner of Oregon.  The Owyhee has seasonal flows and is rarely flowing this late in the season, but due to the late winter it would be, so we jumped at the opportunity to get on it during semi-nice weather.

I kayaked most of it and it is always nice to get a lot of days in a row – 4 days, 3 swims (need to work on that) and 49 miles.  It was incredibly beautiful and had the most fun takeout road ever, but I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Kayak girls!

Campsite 1:

Cool rock formation:

View down the river from a hike:

Kayaking a rapid:

PK at the oars:

Hotsprings at Camp 2:

Birthday celebration… out of control:

Leave a comment

Filed under Whitewater