Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Good years of World Class Kayak Academy...

Check out some of my favorite photos and videos from Years as a WCKA student.

Spring Semester 2009- China

I went in to the China semester having no idea what to expect. I was a very inexperienced kayaker, it was my first semester, and I did not know anybody a side from my good buddy Ben Dann. To say the least, I was really nervous. But Ben and I had been anticipating China for months. Aside from China being my first semester at World Class, it was also my first international trip. I couldn’t have been more excited to go...

The whole spring semester crew on raft support overnighter of the great bend of the Yangtze. Photo By Adam Elliot.

The Yangtze is my second favorite river trip I have ever done, coming in second to the beautiful Cotahausi in Peru. We spent over six days making our way down the great bend, one of the last descents the river had ever seen. Sadly the Yangtze is no longer flowing due to a massive hydroelectric dam, which was completed this year. RIP mighty Yangtze River.

Me throwing my first blunt On "Kim Jong Ill". We came across this feature on the second day of the Yangtze trip.

The crew enjoying a nice fire on a sandy beach along the mighty Yangtze.
Photo by Adam Elliot

On the final day of river trip we all hopped on the raft for a day scenic and relaxed day.

One of the several monasteries we visited throughout the trip

During our stay at the Mekong River we did a day hike in the secluded Tibetan village of Yubeng. Yubeng sat at the base of a massive 22,000 foot sacred Buddhist Peak. While in Yubeng we hiked further up the mountain to snow level and along the way we passed through this enormous field of prayer flags. It was an amazing experience that I can't do justice through words. It's an experience anyone in the area should see for themselves.

The infamous and beautiful Tiger Leaping gorge. To this date it stands as the biggest white water I have ever seen. I will admire the first kayaker ballsy enough to First D that.

Here is a quick clip of me running the first rapid of the Magi section of the Salween River.

Taking out at one of the many sections of the Salween. We loaded up our kayaks in the large cargo bus we used for the transportation of our kayaks during the trip. Our bus drivers were polar opposites. I would describe Clark the cargo truck driver, our favorite driver, as a lovable teddy bear that always had a smile on his face while "whey-sher-fu"(bus driving master) as a small angry Chinese man that had two interests; hookers and cigarettes.

West Coast 09

Coming into the West Coast tour I had very little creeking experience and was very nervous. But I was way stoked for the rivers that we were going to be paddling. Of all the quarters during World Class I feel that I improved the most during our two month tour from California to Missoula, Montana.

Me crankin' a boof on the S. Fork of the Tule

Me on the Lower 5 on the Payettes at high water

Me dropping in for a surf on comp hole in the Alberton gorge

Me running my first waterfall. Punch Bowl falls in Hood River.

Fall Semester-East Coast '09

Night surfing at Corner wave on the Ottawa

During our stay at Lachine we took a day off to walk around the historical city of Montreal

Husdon Moe dropping in for a beating in Iron Ring on the Gauley River. We were lucky enough to time our stay with Gauley Fest which was the biggest and most fun kayak festival I have ever been to. The Gauley stands out as my favorite part of our East Coast tour.

Erik Johnson boofin' like a champ at Tygart Falls in West Virgina.

Peru 09

The crew at the put in for the 5 day multi-day down the Rio Apurimac. Peru offered an opportunity to experience some self-support trips, while checking out some of the most beautiful scenery and rivers that Peru has offer.

Here is one of the several shanties that we made during our river trip to hide from the nightly down pour. The Shanti consisted of all our kayak gear, our bivys, and a big stack of Bamboo.

Griff Griffith Packing his boat before another day of whitewater paddling. Self suppport missions our the way to go. There are not many feelings quiet like being completley secluded, after 2 full days of paddling, in the deepest gorge on the planet, The Cotahausi Canyon...

Ben Kinsella charging through Upper Pergatory on the Aupurimac

Capo Retting, World Lit and Spanish teacher at his finest.

Olin Wimberg, Cody Wasuta, and my self goofing around at "colo de mono". during the first two weeks of our stay we didnt have any kayaks so... we had to get creative to keep our selves entertained.

Taking a group shot at Machu Pichu.

Peru was logistically the most frustrating place I have ever been. We didn't have boats for the first two weeks, we had mulitple 10+ hour bus rides, and having to leave a bus at 2 in the morning and walk through riot of angry Pervians blocking the Pan American highway. But in the end it is also the most rewarding and memorable places I have ever been. We saw the scenic Machu Pichu, did a 4 night multi-day starting at the head waters to the Amazon, Completed a mulitday trip from the through the deepest gorge on the planet, and surfed some giants on the Pacific. Peru was an amazing place...

Spring Semester 2010- Chile

Todd Wells Throwing a T Dub singnature free wheel. The upper palguin was our bread and butter run of Chile.

Some carnage in the butt crack. What a dirty place...

Once again, getting creative to keep ourselves entertained while we waited for our bus driver.

Olin and Todd throwing up a WC

Me charging down the middle of Throne room on the Inferno section of the Futa

Me snapping some shots in Pucon

And last but not least "Baby". Baby was are mascot of our chile trip. Ben picked it up off the side of the Rio Maipo one day and we towed it around ever since. Baby followed us through the highs and lows of chile. Day in and day out we boated classics around Chile. As far as whitewater goes Chile was the best place I have ever been. I love the culture and the people as well. I can't wait for my return...

The Best Coast 2010

Me running money drop during my spring break with the Wells brothers

Taking off from a great day on the Feather River

Risto Beatty paddling a new prototype

Me Cruising down Hospital Rock

Seth stoenner layin' it down on the upper hospital rock section.

Josh rocking a fresh shave
Todd Wells free Wheeling Boulder sloose
Me getting spiritual on the Little white

Olin Wimberg Charging down Jakes ladder on the middle fve of the payettes

Me boofing on the clear water in Idaho.

The clear water is classic run filled with quality little boofs. It was a great way to wrap up the trip. We spent some fun nights down by the river in the big green giant. Idaho is a sweet place with some fun white water.

The past two years have been the best of my life... WCKA has lead me from the early days of kayaking in jackson hole to around the world. I have seen rivers all overs the states, China, Peru, Chile, and Canada. My love for kayaking has grown more than I thought possible. World Class has Given me more oppurtunitys than any program I have ever done. In the past 3 semsesters I have met many people and made many friends along the way. I am stoked to finally graduate highschool and to continue my travels for years to come. World Class was the best decison of my life.

Thanks to B Dann, Frazer Tear, JHKC, my family, and every one who has every been involved with World Class.

Photos by

Eric Parker, Jason Cohen, Adam Elliot, Ben Kinsella, Link and Conor Jackson.

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