Well the 2011 kayaking season has started. A new year with new endless possibilities. It has started out a little more slowly then then the last few years. The weather just won't seem to warm up enough to get the snowpack converting to water down here in Durango. A non-existant Arizona season and the cold temperatures are making it look like the rust is going to try and stay until May. We haven't gotten our usual head-start on the rest of the state. But despite the delay the hope is, as is everyone's, is that the kayaking year of 2011 will be as amazing as all the memories that we have created over the previous year and cherished over the winter, maybe better. 2010 will be hard to top. A year that started out with a quick trip to Mexico and one of the best spring run-offs in the South-West, led to a great summer in California and ended with a life changing trip to South America. The best part about 2010 was that everything was unplanned and spur of the moment just like being in your kayak and making your way down the river.
Oliver Deshler on the Confluence Slide, Middle Fork of the Kings.
Mexico was a great way to start off the year with the laid back itenerary of kayaking big waterfalls by day and eat great food and drink great beer by night. Spring in the southwest, kayaking great runs every day, reconnecting with old friends and enjoying their company. 2010 also fulfilled a long dream of kayaking the Middle Fork of the Kings. Something that has been a dream since the nineties, admiring those who had made it a legitimate run out of a portage-fest and hearing stories from those who had been there, finally came true. The trip to Peru was the climax of the whole year. A month and a half of some of the best boating imaginable pushing skills and courage while in remote places and foreign climates was a challenge, but the reward was that much greater. Expedition kayaking has a really powerful reward, much different then that of parking your car and dropping off one waterfall or just paddling half a mile.
The Silencer, Rio Alseseca
2011? Not too much concrete planned. California in May and a German Kayak team down the Grand Canyon in August. Some other ideas are simmering, but like 2010, we will just have to wait and see what happens. Something good will.
Rio Huallaga, Peru
Excited about the Pyranha Burn L, Everest and Karnali L. Great boats that got us through the last season. Pyranha has a great line up of boats, especially if you want to run rivers. The Kokatat Ronin Pro was great surprise when we first used it this past year and should be considered if you need a new rescue jacket this year, especially if you would like a little more floatation and an easy to use harness system (teaching). Have a great season.
Matthew & Nathan Klema