Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The team's thoughts on the Stikine.

Kayaking presents itself as both an individual pursuit and a team endeavor. When faced with any expedition, especially one of such a committing nature as the Stikine, these aspects are personified on both ends. The team is there to ensure a safe and well thought out descent down the river, but in the end a swim in big water can leave one alone and relying on no one else to help bail him or her out of the canyon.

Our crew has been interacting as a cohesive unit on and off the river for several years now, and we each possesses an in-depth understanding of what makes the others tick.

Fred and Toby portaging Atom Bomb Falls.

Photo by Alex Ransom

Nikki giving John the thumbs up for a blind run of the Double Pothole drop on Upper Cherry Creek.

photo by Tommy Hilleke

The crew at 'Pothole Camp' just before dropping in to the Crucible Gorge.

Here are some pre-put-on thoughts from the crew.

Nikki Kelly
The longest, and most anticipated river I’ve ever put on. Lethargy overtook me on the long drive to the put in. The mammoth task ahead, the amount of work we were about to have to put in to survive the Canyon, feels like a solid weight on my shoulders.

Fred Coriell
I’ve wanted to paddle this river for 10 years, since I was 15 years old. I distinctly remember that moment in my life, it was the 1st time I paddled the North Fork of Payette, we went down to Cascades and they were watching the Rob Lesser video on the first D of the Stikine, to me that was the shit. Now I am here, and we are going to run the shit.

Toby MacDermott
This is my first trip to BC, I hope it is worth it. Everybody tells me I’m a bitch cause the Stikine is my first BC river.

Tommy Hilleke

Excitement… Nervousness… Freedom….my mind is filled with images of home, people I love and work to be done. There are so many other aspects of life that are important. What is it about a trip like this that is so deeply connected to the core of us that we would drop everything else to experience it? With all of this overloading my mind , I welcome the challenges of this river and the paradigm shifting, ultra-simplifying focus required to Journey through this place. I’m on fire.

Daniel DeLaVergne
I have feared the commitment of the Stikine ever since I started paddling big BC rivers. First it was the Dean and then the Homathko. It wasn’t until the second time surviving the Homathko mighty gorges that I felt like I was ready to tackle the commiting walled in, big water of the Stikine. I’m still not sure if I am ready, but here we are and there we’ll go.

John Grace
This is the hardest river we could drive to and put on (except the Tsangpo, more about that later). I can’t wait to put on.

Polk Deters
I’ve been here once before and the water level doubled to 20,000 cfs and it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. The level was like this, and the weather was like this, and I swore I would never put on under these conditions again. In fact I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to come back to the Stikine. But here we are, and there she is.

Justin Beckwith
I feel humble venturing to the Stikine—but I also know the potential this remote river offers. It is a great pleasure to be in such strong company. Trying to maintain an open mind. Looking forward to the challenge.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walt Blackadar was the first person to yak down the Stikine, to the best of my knowledge.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the oversite,you are correct regarding Rob Lesser; W. Blackadar is known for the first solo decent of the Alesk.

10:48 PM  

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