Friday, December 21, 2007

Swiftwater Rescue Technican

SRT Level 1

Every couple of years this a course that needs to be redone. Just arriving home from India for Christmas, and leaving for Chile at the end of the month, I saw that Raven Rescue was running a course on the Nanaimo river. Though not the warmest location in the world, it would get me certified through 2010 with Rescue 3 International with the opportunity to audit the course for free within 3 yrs.
We had a pretty cool class of hydrologists, and people who worked around streams, creeks and rivers. This meant the course was geared toward swimming and lots of it. Good practice as always in water that was 2.5 degrees.

Enjoy the photos from this winter excursion. If in the area and interested in a course contact Craig Gerrard or Raven Rescue.

Setting up rescue systems.
The prusik knot.
Typical mechanical advantage system, or Z drag.
The Prussik Brake.
Gearing up for the swim.
Gear heading down to the bank of the Nanaimo river. Running at 30cms for the course, it hit 1200cms a few days before.
Setting up for the start of swimming on day 2.
Aggressive swimming.
Playing at a little hole swimming.

Shallow water crossings.
Live bait rescue and contact swimming.
Photos by David Prothero
Copyright 2007

Return to Vancouver Island

Sunrise in the Valley.

Paddling the Puntledge

I recently arrived back to Canada from India and was lucky enough to have the Puntledge river running. This is a river that because of the efforts of the VIWPS, is one of the only rivers that BC Hydro releases for recreational use. There is a rather large festival here at the end of May, this coming year being the fourth of this event.
With a bunch of fresh rain, I was able to get in one run down the Upper run of the Puntledge which features 9 slides, with with two 18ft drops and another with a 400ft long slide. After that it was a couple of days of play boating in cooler temps of -1-0 degrees. A big switch from India.
We did have a good showing with 12-14 paddlers out each day. Some from Victoria a few hours south.

Enjoy the photos of some of the features.

Looking down toward Denman Is. from the Dyke road on the way to the Puntledge.

No more shorts and sandals for paddling. Snow Boating.

Gillian Luttrell rippin it up on one of the Three Pigs. This is the first set of waves that you come upon on the river. About four like this in a row. Have to hike back to the top, but it is worth it.

Getting the fire going.

Brian Oertli.

Brian tearing it up in his C-1 scooter.

Nice wave, eh.

Carrie Smith enjoying some playtime on the wave.

The cold weather does cut down on wait times for surfing.

Author takes a break from shooting photos to get out on the wave. Photo by Shayne Vollmers.

Shayne Vollmers getting in a blunt.
Photos by David Prothero
Copyright 2007

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Brahmaputra River, Northeast India.

The Brahmaputra River or the Siang river as it is called in Arunachal Pradesh.

The drive to the Put in.

I first heard of this river when I worked with Kim Hartlin at my first rafting job on the Bow river in Banff, AB. I continued rafting and cooking in a variety of locations over the years, then I read an article in 2002 in Paddler of the first commercial trip down the river that Aquaterra had run.
5 years later I got on to a trip as a guide. What a great river. Beautiful scenery, huge rapids, big sandy beaches, camp fires and excellent food.
Just an interesting experience getting to the river. Flying into Dibrugarh along the Himalaya mountain ranges of Nepal and Bhutan, 8 hours on a ferry up the Brahamaputra to Pasighat, and then a two day drive to the put in just below Tuting.
Once at the top of the river, we would spend the next seven days heading down the river, rafting 180kms of this beautiful river.
We had a great group of lads and lasses on this trip, the weather was unreal and though the water was low, there were still those twenty foot waves that seemed to be in each rapid we went down. Some spots that where usually flat, now were big providing great entertainment.
Look forward to doing this trip again in the future. For info please contact Aquaterra Adventures.

Will let the photos say the rest. Enjoy.

Local man fishing with a boom net on the ferry ride up the Brahmaputra.

Local transportation.

The bamboo bridges that cross the river. All bridges were wiped out in the flood of 2000 when the river rose 150ft. Photo by Jam McManus.

Kayaking through Ninging rapid. Photo by Jam McManus.

Locals fishing for catfish and sucker fish. Made for an excellent snack before dinner.

Future Kayaker?

Looking back upstream at the last nights camp. Photo by Jam McManus.

Beautiful flowers.

Gappu enjoying an afternoon cup of Chai.

Local Adi tribes women doing traditional dancing.

Sanjay styling through one of the rapids. Photo by Jam McManus.

One of the kids who came by on the rest day.

Rana going for a nice hit on one of the smaller rapids. Photo by Jam McManus.
Photos by David Prothero
Copyright 2007