keskiviikko 18. tammikuuta 2017

Pari ruutua Storalta ja Altasta

Ilon kautta. Täytyy sanoa, että on tässä vähän muitakin tunteita koettu viimeaikoina. Kyllä mä sen ymmärrän, että jos haluaa takuun voi  ostaa vaikka vedenkeittimen, mutta riittävän monta hutia alkaa mennä tunteisiin.

Jatkettiin Joonaksen kanssa siitä, mihin viime kausi lopetettiin. Kahlattiin lumessa. Storalla tuli joulukuun alussa lunta ja sitä tuli paljon.

Lyngen vaihtui lumen takia Altaan, jossa päästiin kiipeemään pitkästä aikaa jäätä. No, ainakin edes vähän. Eka reissu moneen vuoteen, ettei tarttenu hakata spectrejä turpeeseen.

perjantai 23. syyskuuta 2016

Åre Forsfest 2016

There are times when you have this feeling of wanting to test your abilities in new surroundings. Times when you feel confident that you can get out of the box momentarily, to reach something whole new into your...hobby? Not just hobby, I think, more like to your life as a whole.

With this philosophy in my mind I headed to Åre with Jari and Sanna, where local kayak club Årekanotisterna (Lars Larsson acting as a master of seremonies) held a meeting on 16.-18. of September at Åre Camping for all whitewater fans, covering all classes of whitewater. We took an epic drive of total 17 hours from Finland, but it was totally, totally worth it!

Organizers decorating the festival tent.

At each morning we were divided into groups where we had signed in beforehand, and on Friday I eagerly wanted to join to Handölan team: I had once seen a part of those beautiful slides and definitely wanted to see if I was up to it! A group of four paddlers, Marcus Junkka as "Vägvisaren", Fred Milne, Håkan Andersson and I packed into cars and off we went to see the delights.

Put-in , just carry to the river
Take-out, just remember to take out before the gigantic slide...

A true class five run, short but powerful. Lack of self- confidence? May be just a lack of true class five experiences: I took a bit of carnage at a slide, which wasn`t even close to those hard one`s here.
First warm-up. Photo: Marcus Junkka

Third rapid, the end of it...nice line to go in. Photo: Marcus Junkka

Not so nice to capsize and have a swim, though. Photo: Marcus Junkka
 Made me humble again, an important experience, I guess. I had to abort and have a visit at local Vårdcentral: they did a really good job and made my finger work so I could continue the next days. Fred and Marcus continued firing the whole section, below a few pictures.

The monster slide above can be seen here. Doable, said Marcus, but not this time...Photo: Marcus Junkka

Fred Milner styling it in the double drop. Photo: Marcus Junkka

And more good lines. This one is called "Väggen". Photo: Marcus Junkka

Put-in, the walk-in side  (if you can get the bom open, then from the other side of the river) Luckily we managed to get the bom open.
Take-out, naturally above skrjaekfossen...

On Saturday I didn´t feel confident to enter Forra, which was in a somewhat perfect flow of 13 cumecs, but instead I wanted to test my confidence at a river called Skrjaek, which lies nearby a village called Vuku in Norway. Marcus Junkka again showed how it`s done and with a group of nine kayakers it was a fast trip down. Two portage falls, otherwise class 4-/4, a perfect place to be in a multinational group and have fun! Not so many pictures here, no time to get your camera out ; ) Flow in the river was 20 cumecs, gauge can be seen from here. It has been paddled at 25 cumecs, and I think it can hold a fair amount of water. In the area itself has many more rivers like Inna, Helgåa and Kvarna, being paddled by hardcore swedish kayakers. Definitely a place to visit in the future!

Marcus getting ready to nail the boof. Photo: Erik Garmo
Afterwards there was some barbequing at the festival-area and Lars introduced some real gems at Jämtland-area with pictures and videos. True pioneers these guys are! Oh yeah, and the title for the best carnage, thank you for that ; )

Put-in and Take-out 

On Sunday I felt like wanting to scout the Ristafallet properly.  Håkan, Marcus Sandqvist, Marcus Thörn and Fred (and Marcus J. as a responsible father to do some photographing this time) went to search possibilities to go down in a good line. Well, Fred had done this already on Friday, and also Marcus S. and Marcus J. had ran it before. Watching the line from the left side rocks it seemed ok. In the end of this clip you can see Fred doing two different lines in this one. Despite the carnage before I felt good about this one, and after careful scouting I personally had an epic experience of sitting in the last eddy. Hard to describe.
Keeping the line...Photo: Marcus Junkka

...and learning to Tuck! What an experience! Photo: Marcus Junkka 

Marcus Sandqvist nailing it in a proper way. Photo: Marcus Junkka
What a trip this was, up`n downs, wonderful people around, epic rivers...thank you all fellow kayakers to make this happen! If I wasn´t in love with Åre before, now I most certainly am! And there were rumours around that this kind of an event could be held in the future also, so prepare your calendars.

tiistai 6. syyskuuta 2016

PoksHöstutflykt III


Ajettiin Jannen kanssa viime vuonna ensimmäistä kertaa Låktatjåkkan lenkki ja oltiin aika fiiliksissä. Tänä vuonna tarkistettin ylöspäin tunkatessa/ajaessa Låktatjåkkan tunturiasemalle vievä sommarleden, mutta viime vuonna ajettu reitti osoittautui paremmaksi, joten ajoimme sen uudestaan. Melkein uskaltaisin suositella kyydin hankkimista trollsjön -polun alkupäähän ja sieltä tunkkausta/ajamista Låktatjåkkan tunturiasemalle ja sitten kovaa ajoa kohti Björklideniä pohjoisempaa polkua pitkin. Tuskin petyt.
Ruska-aikaan poluilla on  muitakin käyttäjiä, joten huomaavainen käytös on suositeltavaa. 
Trailforksista löytyy tällekin reitille koordinaatit
Reppuun kannattaa pakata muutakin kun Mars -patukka ja trippimehu. Keli voi muuttua nopeasti ja yleensä huonompaan suuntaan.

Vanha sotaratsu ansaitsee välillä vähän rakkautta


Pakkohan sinne oli pyörä tunkata. Alla jo useampi tunti melontaa, mutta siitä ehkä joskus myöhemmin lisää. Nuolja on alun losottelun jälkeen pääsääntöisesti jyrkkää ja teknistä. Sekin on ihan jees, mutta jos haluaa paukuttaa read & run polkua, ehkä käyrät saisivat olla vähän väljemmässä.

Me roudattiin full facet, mutta avopotalla pärjää

Maisemat on ihan kohdallaan.

Abisko Perfect

Bongattiin Trailforksista lyhyt Perfect -niminen reitti. Nimi lupaili paljon ja juu, ihan ajamisen arvoinen reitti.

tiistai 30. elokuuta 2016

Buga-buga in Siberia


Banja (sauna) with traditional Russian spanking therapy

Traditional Mongolian throat singing

Big volume rivers in beautiful surroundings

Committing runs in remote canyons

Russian cartwheels
(Unintentional vertical freestyle moves performed with a creek boat)

Russian flatwater
(Usually considered as non-stop grade III wave trains)

Russian runout
(The Russian flatwater section between the rapids a.k.a. portage and the takeout)

Nights around a campfire with simple food and simple people
('Simple' meaning non-complicated and beautiful)

That is what you get when traveling with your kayak in the Altay mountains near the border between Russia and Mongolia. A story worth reading in the Paddler magazine (click the link) pages 60-82.

tiistai 2. elokuuta 2016

Poks at Gausta & Hattfjelldal

The PoksAdventure summer main trip  headed to Gausta. We were hoping to see Gausta as it had been for a few stable days: 15 cumecs. But no, it dropped into nine and below. The place where to look at the gauge is Ankarvattnet, just search the place from  Too dry now for most of places, but of course few highlights had to be run…

Just had to put this here...thanks for Aapo Halonen Photography!

Grand old man pushing the limits. Photo: Tommi Lyttinen

...And on and on. Photo: Aapo Halonen
Kayaking is such a great sport: you drive 1000+ kilometres by car, check the gauge, may be huck a few places, and by the campfire the group will have to make some hard decisions on what to do next day, and finally after well slept night the plan is perfectly clear: let`s move the camp 300 km, one river out there seems to be on fine level! 

After driving it´s good to have a dinner, and afterwards...Photo: Jyrki Kuisma
For us the river was Susna, lower, or middle.Well, anyway the leg that is printed in the guidebook. Powerful class 4.  It somehow seemed in the evening that gauge was quite near the 20, which would have been perfect level according to guidebook (link), but after we started the day at work it seemed a bit bigger (the oracle from western part of Finland was the very first person to doubt the matter…props!). And yes, after nine hours of kayaking and portaging we checked it up: almost 30. Ok, it seemed hard enough for us flatwater finns. Gauge can be checked here, find Nervoll (great website by the way!). This river really has the potential to blow your mind,  and you must not forget the upper part, which would have been too dry at these levels. Wonderful package! We paddled from the put-in to the first take out, can be seen from the very helpful guide above. can find the treats of middle Susna. Photo: Aapo Halonen

Fine line. Photo: J. Luomala

Power is on! Photo: Aapo Halonen

Roughness and beauty. Susna. Photo: J. Luomala
Sometimes the river gods are favourable, sometimes not, sometimes they are bearing a  two-folded face. Stavasselva was at good level (no known gauge, but again great help from the guide), and off we went to have a real adventure, mostly read and run-style rapids but a lots of different style also... And for the brave and for those who are having a healthy young back there`s a real treat at the take out bridge. Not this time for us, bro, not this time. But yea, at what point did the rivergods let us down? Perhaps when some odd force moved one of our kayaks to the moving water while inspecting a curious spot? Beware of the mighty kayak thrower of Stavasselva!
This time not read and run. Photo: Aapo Halonen

Artistic view. Photo: J. Luomala

Sea kayaker training to boof. Photo: Aapo Halonen

One can have fun under the bridge, no matter where the bridge is. Photo: Jyrki Kuisma
Krutåga was a run that we just had to do. There were two reasons: double drop and triple drop. For some reason last time being here at this powderlike river we were in a mood of not so eager to run these gems. Well, ok, this time waterlevel was low, but we just had to…a few cumecs would have made it a bit more faster. Again, no known gauge but the guide helps you a lot! 

The first one of the triple. Photo: Aapo Halonen

The last one of the double. Photo: Aapo Halonen

Meanwhile, under the bridge. Photo: J. Luomala

And, finally, the second one of the triple. Photo: Janne Varonen