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Last Friday couldn't have come soon enough, Mt. Baker had just opened and I couldn't wait to get up there and take my first turns of the season! Taryn Ricketts and I arrived around noon and rode hard for 3 hrs. There is not a lot of snow, but it was a glorious bluebird day with secret untouched powder stashes all over the place. We wanted to hike up the Shuksan Arm, but with the thin coverage and closed areas this was not a viable option. Can't wait to send new lines this season and take many waist deep pow turns!

Later on I drove out to explore the Middle Fork Nooksack River off Mosquito Lake Rd. I've had my eye on this class V run for a while and had very little idea of what to expect without going to look at it. I walked down to the dam and stood out on the bridge, I was in awe of the beauty of the gorge. There were 90 ft canyon walls with narrow, steep boulder gardens and long technical rapids. Upstream was the dam and further up river I found difficult to access. I also ran into my friend Jaime Klein who was out with his family, he gave me some great info and a spot to scout from down river. I can't wait to come back and paddle this run in the near future.

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On Saturday I headed up to B.C. to check out Norrish Creek near Mission. I got to spend the day running around in the woods, along river banks, taking photos, and kayaking with Adam Frey. It was incredible, B.C.'s beauty never ceases to amaze me. I cannot wait to explore more up here, I have a whole list of creeks I would like to get on...time to start!

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Steep creeking is a relatively new skill set I've been working on, it's my favorite style of boating so far. I can't wait to continue to progress into more challenging creeks and develop a more solid presence. Waterfalls, huge boofs, slalom turns, technical moves, reading horizon lines, and tight canyon walls...I look forward to paddling the rest of Norrish Creek. I'm keen to give her!

The adventure continued into Sunday as flows peaked and the N. Fork Nooksack was pumping at 1100 cfs, she was brown and juicy! Kirsten and I ran our first ladies only trip down the canyon together, boofing and surfing everything in our paths. I love paddling with her, the encouragement, adventurous spirits, and the fact that we always have so much fun are many reasons why we love kayaking together. We had a blast! There were so many people at the put in and surf wave watching us, it made us a little nervous! It was awesome to see all these folks out there in the rain and to see other kayakers as well.

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All in all the weekend was a ton of fun and over far too quickly. Hopefully it will start snowing soon, until then we'll keep paddling and then with the snow comes double days....wooh!!

-AL

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