Friday, 17 May 2013

A wonderful trip to Morocco !!

Morocco !!!

After 7 years of delay, the trip is finally on !! The plan is to stay on location to scout and organize as well as possible. So Alex and I drove with the 5 boats on the roof and the rest of the crew meets us by plane in Marrakech later.

45h of driving and ferrying gets us to Tilouguite, further up Lake Bin El Ouidane. Amazing landscape all along the way. The village of TIolouguite was our base camp for the whole trip and it is a great starting point.
Bin El Ouidane LakeMorocco !!!
Tilouguite Village
Traveling around

One thing we learnt in Morocco : don't try to stick to a plan or schedule !!! You'll loose time, energy and money. Moving is slow and weather changes quickly. We've been super lucky and within one day of driving plus one day of donkey hiking, we've been able to spend 4 days on the water along 100km of class IV-V kayaking.
Classic Moroccan view
Awesome blue sky

From the top of Akka Tiflout, merging on the Assif Meloul, then on the Oued Ahensal. It's easy to get food on your way, you find many villages on on the riverside. Though, it is always good to have water filter, food supplies for 1 day at least and a lighter.
Lunch !! Bread and tuna
Easy times

Later on, we got lucky with the rain and been able to first D a small steep canyon in Tilouguite.
Scouting the canyon
And dropping
2Km of awesome slides
Stephane Pion Charging

And as a last mission, we decided to run the famous drop section on Oued Ouzoud downstream the huge waterfalls. It took us 2 days to get the authorization after driving 200km between : The Hydro Agency to the local authorities to the regional authorities to end up at the governmental authorities… But it was worth it and we then spent two days hitting those amazing drops in this amazing (but REALLY touristic) place.
Ouzoud Falls put in
Myself on one of the first drop
Alex going for some freestyle move
The crew enjoying

This has been an awesome trip and we'll come again since there is so much more to discover or rediscover !!!

Thanks to Beyo for accommodation, Moha and Lahoucine for guiding, Momo for the Ouzoud help !!!

Videos are coming soon !!!

Photos : Hugo Clouzeau, Stephane Pion, Louis Hetier, Mathieu Coldebella

Thanks guys for the trip

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Corsika 2009

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

2007/2008 Chile trip

Paddling In Chile has been on my wish list for years. Finally I’ve done it! Emigrating to New Zealand was just the excuse I needed to fit in a wee bit of kayaking. I did a night school class in Spanish before going which was fun and proved to be essential. Me gusta mucho!

We started with creek boating around Pucon, where one can find many exciting creek runs with waterfalls aplenty. With a fuming volcano for a backdrop and easy access from Santiago, Pucon is a great centre for adventure.

Venturing to the very southern point of Latin America we made our way back through Patagoniaby bus,plane,ferry and foot. We trekked to some very spectacularglaciers, rock formations and senderos (view points). After covering some huge Kms by bus, taxi and boat we finally made it to the famed Rio Futaleufu. This river is reason alone to visit South America. The Futaleufu’s reputation was surpassed despite unprecedented low water, clear skies and fine weather for most of our stay.
We spent nearly a month in this remote, rural yet alpine valley. We spent some time at Cara del Indio campsite. This is theauthentic budget kayakers campsite where we fished, drunk cheap wine and chatted around the camp fire with a multinational mix of shoestring boaters.

In contrast the other half of our trip was courtesy of Bio Bio Expeditions luxury campsite where we rose with yoga,drunk flash wine, and ate gourmet food.I enjoyed the opportunity to entertain affluent American tourists with Latin Guitar playing and when we weren’t in the hot tub or sauna we were developing a taste for slightly off beat salsa dancing on the moonlit riverside bar.
So there we have it one almost broken nose,some slightly lose teeth, many rivers a lost paddle and a somewhat dented wallet- Latin America ,Muchas Gracias

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

West coast mission

Emma and I moved over to the US earlier this year and we've been checking out more of the boating on the West Coast. We hooked up with friends Simon Wiles and Cheryl Robinson who are currently on a driving mission all over the States to re-experience the pleasures of living out of a back of a van together with the usual suspects from the UK.

Snow pack in California this year came a little late in the season. When I came over first of all back in December Heavenly only had 4 lifts open, but that meant a bargain season pass price of 350 bucks. Herr Steve Rust joined us in South Lake Tahoe earlier this year once we'd had a decent bit of snow come in for a sneaky session.

The knock-on effect was a slightly more low water season than usual in California, but that gave us the opportunity to get in a couple of runs down classic multiday trips such as Fantasy Falls and Upper Cherry Creek.

However if anyone ever suggests cutting short the walk in by dropping straight into Cherry Bomb Gorge next time, we may have to have words... Only a short 9 hour walk in with laden boat down a 45 degree slope ;)

Once the water ran out here we headed up to BC / Canada where the snow is still pretty good in places.

Whistler has good pack this year and rivers up that way are still pretty high. We just got back from a multiday trip down the Stein river for which we managed to get hold of a float plane as shuttle vehicle... Involved some cool slides, epic BC logjam portaging and bear avoidance measures, and ends up in a continuous section for a good part of the last day. Drop us a line if any of you intend to be out here on the West Coast at any point - will be out here for a while...
Marc & Emma Musgrove

Thursday, 5 July 2007

7 Weeks in Tibet preview

Well it finally happened, the master went off for duplication last week.

You can see a trailer of the film here:

Friday, 8 June 2007

IR Vacation to Hell

Roger at IR has asked me to mention their Vacation to Hell competition.

The Concept of the VTH is simple. You and your buddies submit a video application to win a grant to paddle in some exotic location.
The Catch? We decide where the location is, and we're going to keep it a secret until we pick a winner.
Will you be crossing an island in the South Pacific? Will you be exploring a gorge near the arctic circle? Will you be dodging bears in Siberia?Who knows?
Interested? Take a look at the basic rules, and keep checking the site for more resources, and to see who has applied to win this years grant.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

World Champs

I have just got back from competing in the World Freestyle Championships in Ottawa, Canada. I was in the squirt boating contest and I got a bronze medal.
Before we went there were a lot of negative feelings, like the river being frozen, the threat of being beaten down by icebergs, and the levels being all wrong. On the contrary it was a great trip, the weather treated us well and the levels were fine. With a dry suit on it was relatively frost free and I was disappointed not to get hit by any icebergs!
I started off the trip by getting a squirt boat ‘float cut’ This is the highest level of customisation possible where you try the boat in two halves, taped together at the seams with duct tape. The builder then gets out a big saw and chops bits off until the desired level of comfort (enough) and floatiness (not much) is achieved, the stuff of dreams. Far out! At the end you have a boat that is perfect for you!
The competition was held on ‘Smoothie’ a world class mystery spot. I have seen squirters get 30 second rides there under good control. There was some controversy as one Japanese paddler entered in a cut down plastic boat. He was able to get an insanely high technical score by performing cartwheel type moves in the eddy at the expense of losing some of the mystery multiplier. After the heats he was in the lead and I was in second place. It caused some ructions amongst some of the more traditional thinkers in the squirt boating fraternity and will probably lead to the rules being changed with more weighting on the mystery move. It was with delight that Ben White (GBR) took the world title having performed a very timely long mystery move at the right point in the knock out final. I was delighted with my third place. (All photos courtesy of Pete Meares)