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PostPosted: August 28th, 2008, 4:45 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island B.C.
I have uploaded our 2008 Nahanni Trip Journal in PDF Format. It has a link to the image gallery and an 18 minute low res video of our travels. I am currently connecting past trips to these new pages. Some are not yet available.

http://www.waynebarson.com/static_html/ ... llery.html


Our trip started July 14th with an exceptional flight from Fort Simpson with Jacques Harvey (South Nahanni Airways) to the Moose Ponds. I have to say it was an interesting flight indeed... Go high or go home was the theme! Our arrival at the ponds was met by two of nine paddlers from Wisconsin. They had been waiting two days for the remaining members to arrive? Weather is always a factor to be considered when planning an outing. We did mention that we normally bring good weather with us on all trips so their rainwear could be put away. Not long after, four more planes arrived so we stayed two days hoping to put distance between groups.

Though we seemed to paddle a 22 day marathon out to Blackstone Landing, you could not help having a sensory overload. Our evenings were spent purging all the visual stimuli from that day just so we could repeat again el día siguiente.

The rock gardens had reasonable (medium) water, enough to add a little technical excitement which amped the fun factor. One swim, One walk and one backwards paddle down the sequel.

More trip info will be available on my website in the weeks and months to come. I also had a gps unit on my camera so at some point, our trip route, Camp locations and some photo's will be uploaded to Google Earth. Maybe.. if I can figure it out?

Cheers from VI

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Life can be a one way express... Slow down and enjoy the trip.


Last edited by Barson Bud's on December 13th, 2009, 7:28 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: September 16th, 2008, 11:18 am 
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Location: Alabama
Enjoyed the pictures, especially the photos at Mooseponds with the huge mountain in the background. Also enjoyed the video. Makes me wish that we had started up at Mooseponds, but really have to say we weren't up for it at that point. My husband and I have run alot of whitewater, but not in a loaded boat. However, by the time we got off the Nahanni, we were ready for the main fork of the Salmon in Idaho. Paddling a loaded boat is quite a bit different than dancing over water in solo canoes. Man, we really came to appreciate our Northwater spray skirt. I'm thinking of ordering one for my solo boat. Question. How do you wear the Northwater sprayskirt. I, the bow paddler, found it worked best to pull the cover up to my chest, cinch it up and tie, then put my pfd on top. Sounds a little crazy - but I feel that I would have come right out of the sprayskirt/boat if we had capsized. Maybe I'll start another post regarding wearing the sprayskirt.


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PostPosted: September 18th, 2008, 12:40 pm 
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Hi Canajun,

The Moose Pond was very enjoyable due to the great weather and gorgeous sunsets. I was trying to capture a sense of the expanse, and it seemed a panoramic view was the best option. Apparently it snowed at the ponds by the time we got to Moores' cabin?

I suppose we all choose the Ponds for different reasons; Bragging rights, action in the rapids, wanting to paddle the entire river or just because we can , etc. For our group it was a combination of the action and the entire river. Once we entered the river, our focus was running rapids or thinking about upcoming rapids. We certainly have the skills to paddle the upper, but in the back of your mind, one continually questions this aspect. And like most, we tested our abilities daily! Embarking on any unguided remote river trip-being honest about your abilities is the difference between an enjoyable trip or a nightmare. That being said, you never really know until you try? We had one flipped canoe and the group from Wisconsin had a pinned canoe which worked out fine in the end. :D Being as prepared as possible for any scenario should be a prerequisite for all remote trips. In our group we have trained river rescue technicians, First aid , etc., which allows some comfort to that end.

The only difference in paddling a loaded boat is setting up for the next move..... OK, maybe there is a bit more to it but on the bright side... they are far more stable and if you point it down, the weight will usually take you through. Royalex also helps as one uses boulders for spare paddles, pivots, rudders and dry docks. At times it was like a pinball game especially the lower section of bailing rapid. I don't believe there was a space the width of a canoe in one section of boulders! Our comfort level increased as the days went on so we began scouting from our canoe and drop-in relying on our skill to negotiate each drop. Some drops could not be scouted from shore like bailing rapid so it was a "Run & Gun" scenario. Anyway, looking at a rapid too much introduced unneeded doubts hyperventilation and shortness of breath! It worked for us however, to each their own.

Our sprayskirt is custom made similar to north water but better, and much lighter. Two of our canoes used north water as you did with the tube tucked under their PFD's, still, we all seemed to be bailing. I am not recommending this method but the one flip by Jeff and Marcy was not hindered by the adopted system. Besides, where is the challenge if you're not desperately trying to complete a rapid with a canoe full of water? We attached velcro to the tube and used suspenders with the same which worked fine if the water was not too big. In big water rapids like Junction, Sequel, Bailing and George's Riffle, we attached the bow tube to the PFD with a quick release. Finally a dry canoe... almost!

Waiting for our fall paddle season.

WB
http://www.waynebarson.com

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Life can be a one way express... Slow down and enjoy the trip.


Last edited by Barson Bud's on September 24th, 2008, 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: September 18th, 2008, 10:19 pm 
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My personal view of these things is that if a member of my group swamps or tips in a rapid on a river trip in the far north we have had a major failure on the trip. No matter how prepared we are to deal with a problem like that it is always a very dangerous situation and in my judgment I feel that I have personally failed to negotiate the river safely even if it is another member of the group that swamps. Experiences like that have a profound affect on me. It happens, but I really feel bad about it when it does and it colors my memories of the trip in a negative way. I am certainly very glad that everyone in your group is safe.

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PostPosted: September 19th, 2008, 11:17 am 
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I agree to a point that an incident does have an emotional affect on the individuals and the group. However, as I mentioned, the more prepared the group is, the better prepared you are to deal with the after effects. We choose to partake in this exciting life knowing the potential for consequence. Swimming etc. is a real possibility so to that end and others, we prepare as much as possible.ie..

- We have at least two certified Rescue technichians, and everyone else has some knowledge of the same.
- Everyone in our group is practiced with self-rescue. This comes from many days of paddling whitewater which includes swimming and rescue etc.
-There are times when one or more canoes in our group are not comfortable running a drop, myself included. Our group rule is:
If one walks - We all walk! The last thing we want to do is pressure someone into running a drop they are not prepared for. If they run into trouble, it's the groups trouble! That's just another part of our group dynamic. NO Airheads Allowed!

Everything aside, there is definitely emotional baggage attached to an incident and ours was no different. Debriefing the situation at the first opportunity helps to put it in perspective, which helps rebuild confidence allowing us to move on. No one wants or expects to swim, and I suppose we all handle it in different ways, but at the end of the day... It is the nature of the beast. If dealt with properly and safely, we can toast to a successful trip regardless.

Wayne

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PostPosted: September 23rd, 2008, 11:51 am 
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Hey Wayne,

Great photos! Brings back my Mooseponds memories from last year. Our group choose the headwaters for completeness sake and the challenge.

Can I ask what camera and accessories you used to take the photos?

re: dumps. We had some on our trip. Was it a failure on the trip leader? I would say no as we were prepared for rescue (e.g. SRT, rescue gear, etc) and dressed for the cold water. Last year we had high water and to assume you're going to run the Mooseponds without any incidents I think is extremely optomistic. It's challenging whitewater and you go into it as best prepared as one can be and assume a certain level of risk that you're comfortable with.

p.s. are you going to post photos of the Rock Gardens and lower river?

Preston


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PostPosted: September 23rd, 2008, 10:23 pm 
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I guess it boils down to different strokes for different folks which is what makes the world go around I suppose. I guess I just have a different tripping style. I don't take as much risk as you folks seem to. When in doubt about the ability of any member of the group to run something with a 95% chance of success I walk. We do of course take a certain amount of risk - its just a question of degree. And even in my world, it does go wrong once in a while. I agree 100% on the airhead rule.

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PostPosted: September 24th, 2008, 1:34 pm 
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Hi Preston,

It was as you said from the Ponds: As an individual or group, you assume a certain level of risk. From that point it is just a matter of managing it based on the skill and comfort level of the group. We as a group have similar abilities and as such, make the individual choice to join the trip or not. It might just be me, but there is nothing more exhilarating than negotiating a complex set of rapids successfully. There were a few high fives given on that trip. Adrenaline is a wonderful drug!

I don't know how far you went into the slideshow, but all my boulder garden pictures are uploaded on the same site. In the lower left there is a list icon, this will take you into the available albums. Select an album and if you move the mouse over the picture, (if I have a caption attached) a drop-down with the image information will appear. It works best not using the auto slideshow feature. I just adopted this type of presenting so it's a learning experience. If anyone is having problems accessing or viewing the images please email me with the particulars so I can address them.

Unfortunately my grand scheme of capturing images of all the rapids including co-ordinates went out the window when we started running rapids without scouting from shore. Although we discussed this plan, whenever we dropped into a rapid to get down and setup to capture their set, I would turn around and find the other canoes right behind me...? At least too close, not giving me the time needed to set up. I guess I will have to go back at some point. As well, one of our canoes got some unfortunate news about family so we had to shorten our trip and never got any real hikes in.

My gear:
- Canon VIxia HV30 HDV 1080i video camera.
- Nikon D300 with MB-D10 Battery pack.
Lenses:
- f/2.8 AF-S 17-55mm, f/2.8 105 mm macro, f/2.8 70-200mm AF-S VR, f/4.5-5.6 AF VR 80-400 mm
- 1.7x Teleconverter
- Epson P4000 for picture storage.
- Circular polarizing filters (2)
- Expodisc for setting white balance.
- di-GPS Pro attached to camera flash mount.(Hard on batteries)
- Two Induro Carbonflex tripods. One ball head and one fluid for video.
Now to keep all that running as well as the other peoples gadgets on this trip, I have a solar charging system through http://www.modernoutpost.com/
2-10 watt solar panels and a storage battery (Need a bigger battery for the next trip)
AC Converter, although it's not recommended. It's a big drain on the storage battery.
- DC chargers needed for the various batteries.
As seen in some pictures, I have the waterproof panels mounted on my canoe daisy chained to the storage battery and/or other batteries.

Just an extra 70lbs for my canoe... I never leave home without it!

I almost forgot... Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom 2. I had all my ND filters etc packed, but opted to use the new ND filters available in lightroom 2. Unfortunately, when shooting sequences for panoramic's, it's tough to get a consistent tonal match when using a polarizing filter. It is what it is. If somebody has a tip or trick to share about pano's, I am all ears! One day I may be allowed to get a true panoramic camera. In lue of that, I use a Manfrotto 438 bubble level, 302SPH multi-angle pan head with 300n incremental pan head. Too heavy for a canoe trip but cheaper than the Pan camera of my dreams.
Not quite sure if you wanted all this info but there it is.

Rob

Maybe I am being selfish, but depending on the degree of skill and consequence, I will only paddle with others that I know can handle the challenge. Even though they say they have the skill, until I know for sure, I will say no, or choose trips that accommodate their level of comfort. I chose this activity for the challenge, the excitement, and all the other aspects it offered... not the stress. Gone are the days I would stand at the put-in hyperventilating with a dry mouth wondering if I was going to survive the trip. Maybe it's age?


I think it's raining and the house is painted - time to wax the boats!

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PostPosted: September 29th, 2008, 4:34 pm 
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Thanks so much for the detailed response Rob!

I'm a novice when it comes to photography but plan on getting into it much more in the future.

After I posted the question I noticed the other Nahanni albums. They're great.

I always complain that my photos never capture the essense of the moment. I'm now even more inspired to learn more about photography.

Preston


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PostPosted: September 30th, 2008, 8:09 pm 
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Barson Bud's wrote:
Maybe I am being selfish, but depending on the degree of skill and consequence, I will only paddle with others that I know can handle the challenge. Even though they say they have the skill, until I know for sure, I will say no, or choose trips that accommodate their level of comfort. I chose this activity for the challenge, the excitement, and all the other aspects it offered... not the stress. Gone are the days I would stand at the put-in hyperventilating with a dry mouth wondering if I was going to survive the trip. Maybe it's age?


I'm with you 100% on this. I would only add that while white water paddling skill is certainly important, I am even more concerned that my trip mates are able to recognize their own limits and that they recognize when the river may exceed their limits and pull to shore for a look see. I'll never be upset because my trip mates decide to walk something I might want to run. But I do get upset if they run something they shouldn't have run, especially if they read it from the boat.

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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2008, 2:50 pm 
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Hey Preston,

Join a camera club and learn from others. it's an inexpensive way to improve. We all have our little secrets, shortcuts or tricks learned over many years of agonizing defeats.. and from others.

For that matter, the photography forum could improve somewhat by including monthly photo challenges etc. I do not know if this has been tried or discussed in the past, but if one was interested in learning, it would be a great venue. I.E: the pictures of fireworks were good but.. how in hell did he do that? Point and shoot - proper exposure.. could be. Simply open your shutter manually (if you have a bulb function) or at least a long exposure - hold your hand or card in front of the lens and as the fireworks light up the sky, remove your hand(manual shutter) from the lens. The rest is creative! It is that easy! Some may know that little bit of trivia but being told is a lot faster!

Just a thought

Wayne B

I hate the fact I have to log in twice before I can submit to the forum... Is this normal?

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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2008, 4:05 pm 
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Hi Rob,

I took up canoeing for me.. ok my wife too! As individuals we make our own decisions as we navigate life/rivers. However, when you travel as a group one has to be a bit more responsible working within an acceptable parameter. That group dynamic thing!

WB

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