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Pinch’o’Crow Rendezvous 2011

Kayaking
Photo by Janson Smith

I went to Castle River Rodeo Campground again this year with my good friend Andy for the long weekend kayaking festival. This was my 6th year participating in the event and once again it was a really good time.

Kayaking
Photo by Janson Smith

Organizer, Chuck Lee, and his crew of volunteers put on a great event each year with all sorts of river runs and clinics available for paddlers of all levels. Andy and I hit up the “Upper-Upper Old Man” and also the section known as “The Gap”. We also ran the Castle River Falls and the Castle Canyon run. Here’s a video from near the headwaters of the Old Man River shot on the GoPro HD Hero 960 that I was given for Christmas. (Which I love by the way).

Near Castle River Head Water

Each year they have a boat stacking competition — we were eliminated in the semi-finals — which is too bad because the winning team each got a brand new helmet. Here we are in a round where we did NOT get eliminated.

kayaking stacking competition
Photo by Janson Smith

This year I helped start a new tradition that they’re now calling H2O Limbo. Just Liquid Sports provided the prizes in three contests — one for men, women, and kids and I came in second in the mens which earned me a new pair of neoprene gloves! (Thanks Rob) The guy who beat me must have been about 65 years old and could limbo better than just about any guy I’ve ever seen.

kayaking
Photo by Janson Smith

Some dude ran Lundbreck Falls again this year — I did not. Luckily there were no injuries at the falls. Here’s the photo I snapped:

Lundbreck Falls Run
Photo by Jeff Milner

And the video from my iPhone (thanks Andy):

Lundbreck Falls 2011

There is a photo of me running the same falls in 2008.

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life Sport

Three River Rendezvous 2010

Over the long weekend my friend, Andy, and I went to the Castle River Rodeo Grounds to take part in the biggest whitewater festival in Canada, the Three River Rendezvous. My decision to go wavered when I read that the weather forecast predicted cool temperatures, variable cloudiness, and sprinkled showers. Luckily we pressed on and, as it turns out, the weather wasn’t actually that bad, and for most of the time, it was actually sunny — I even got a little burned on my face.

Unfortunately tragedy struck on Sunday night. After we had returned from our trip running the Five-Alive feature on Carbondale River a couple of times, Chuck Lee, the organiser of the event broke the news that one of the participants had been taken to the hospital in an ambulance. He explained that a group of kayakers were going over Lundbreck Falls and that on this particular run the boater was held under the falls for several minutes. He was revived once or twice but that’s all he let us know at the time. He emphasized again the need to always be vigilant and to remember that these kinds of things don’t just happen in other places, they can happen here too. We held a moment of silence in respect for the victim.

It was a sobering thought because I had never heard of anyone getting caught in the flow of water under the falls, and to think I, myself, have braved the 12 meter drop and walked away without so much as a scratch.

Kayaking Lundbreck Falls

Jeff Milner going over Lundbreck Falls in June 2008.

I found out later that night who was involved in the accident. I had hoped that it would be someone that I didn’t know but that’s not how it turned out. His name is Jaron and I had bumped into him just the morning before at the put-in for the Upper Castle run. I have paddled with him and his twin brother Dave a couple of times over the last two years.

I looked up some old paddling footage and found some with him in it:

He’s the one in the yellow and orange boat, yellow jacket, and blue helmet. His twin brother is also in the video.

I didn’t know him that well, but it was obvious that he had a passion for kayaking. Both he and Dave are the kind of enthusiastic friendly people that you want to spend a sunny day with floating down the river and enjoying nature. I remember talking to Dave for a long time about his decision to become a teacher and although I have many other influences for my decision to go back to school, it was that conversation that tipped me over the edge.

Kayaking isn’t always considered an extreme sport where you expect to hear about someone dying but every year there are a few news stories where someone drowns in a river. Almost always they are inexperienced or not wearing PFDs, or there is alcohol involved somehow so Jaron’s death comes as a great shock to the paddling community.

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life Sport

Three River Rendezvous

My kayaking friend Gemma recorded some footage at the Three River Rendezvous last May. She’s finished editing and tossed it up on YouTube:


[Three Rivers Whitewater Rendezvous 09 | YouTube]

I make a couple of appearances in the video — I’m the guy with the bright yellow helmet, blue PFD, and red dry top.

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Sport

Setting Forth on the Castle River

Over the long weekend I participated in the Pinch’O’Crow paddling club’s annual River Rendezvous. Here are a few memories from my excellent weekend:

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life Sport

Pinch’o’Crow Rendezvous 2009

May 15-18, 2009

Club info for the Pinch’o’Crow Rendezvous 2009.

This Victoria Day long weekend I’ll be headed to Pincher Creek for some kayaking adventures at the annual Pinch’o’Crow Rendezvous. Organizer, Chuck Lee, and his crew of volunteers put on a great event each year with all sorts of river runs and clinics available for paddlers of all levels.

The Pinch-o-Crow Creekers are hosting the 11th annual WW Rendezvous on May 15-16-17-18, 2009 again this year down in the “Centre of Adventure”. We will be organizing and leading trips on the Castle, Crowsnest and Oldman Rivers. There will also be chances to go paddle Cameron Creek and the Carbondale, Elk, Wigwam, Highwood, Waterton or Belly Rivers while you are down here. Only three days and too many rivers to paddle.

The range of rivers is from class I-II to III-V (but it’s not too difficult to portage around class 5 waterfalls). Speaking of water falls, every year there are a few kayakers that put on quite a show running Lundbreck Falls.

Here’s a photo of me running it last June:

JUNE 14, 2008 — LUNDBRECK, AB Jeff Milner takes the plunge over the 36 foot drop of Lundbreck Falls. Taken with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi by Tom Buchanan. Used with permission.

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Sport

Kayakers Going Over Waterfalls

After running Lundbreck Falls in my kayak last month, the sport of running big waterfalls has been on my mind. I’m not too interested in doing anything bigger or scarier just yet, but the photos in this news story are even more awesome after having experienced my own little 30 foot drop over some falls.

Kayakers going over waterfalls

Just to be clear, that’s not me in the photo, nor anyone I know. See more here.

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life Sport

Crowsnest River Kayak Trip

Here’s some video footage of me going over Lundbreck Falls on my last kayaking trip taken by my friend Janson.

Also, check out Janson’s enthusiastic report on the trip.

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life Sport

Running Lundbreck Falls

Yesterday I went kayaking down the Crowsnest River with a bunch of friends. It was a stretch of the river that none of us had gone down before, and frankly it was a bit boring with very little white water. At the halfway point we came upon Lundbreck Falls. The plan was to portage around it, but after taking some time to study it, I decided to go for it!

The adrenaline rush totally made my day.

Jeff Milner Running Lundbreck Falls
Jeff Milner going over Lundbreck Falls.

Photo by Tom Buchanan (used on the web with permission). Here’s my Lundbreck Falls Run set on Flickr.

Update: You can see me going over in this Lundbreck Falls Drop video on Youtube, compliments of my friend Janson.

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life Sport

Green Tongue

Here is another kayaking video from the Kananaskis. In this one, I’m surfing the feature known as The Green Tongue.

[Green Tongue – YouTube]

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life Sport

Kayaking Drop

A couple weeks ago I hit up the Kananaskis River for some kayaking with my friend Andy. Just for fun I decided to launch myself from the edge of a steep bank. Andy recorded the event for posterity and I uploaded it as the first video I’ve ever put on YouTube.

[Kayaking Drop – YouTube]