Archives for December 2011



The Alzar School, owned and operated by Sean and Kristin Bierle; truly helped me become a better leader and develop as a
paddler. I was Sean’s camper for two summers at camp Mondamin and then I did a summer with W.I.L.D. Idaho which was a three week expeditionary camp put on by the Alzar School. W.I.L.D Idaho stands for Whitewater Immersion & Leadership Development, the program I attended was just phenomenal it not only helped me develop as a paddler, but as a person
and  leader. Sean and Kristin develop leadership in their students by educating and demonstrating to us the planning
that was involved in a trip. Then letting myself and the other students lead for a day and experience the dynamics of leading a
group. Furthermore as students we were given the task of planning and purchasing all the food  items needed for a day. These programs and tasks allowed all of us to grow as leaders. On top of all the amazing opportunities to grow as leaders, all of us became endorsed as Leave No Trace Trainers.

Learning at the Alzar School


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Upper Youghiogheny and Big Sandy Creek two phenomenal runs! So two days ago Sam and I were able to put-in about 14 miles of paddling with a dawn patrol at 7:00am on the Top Youghiogheny with Andrew Miller, who then had to go off to work. While grabbing some breakfast we were alerted to yet another group of friends just to about to set off on a run down the Top Youghiogheny. So we booked our buts back to the put-in and got another stellar lap in with Jack Carter and Casey Beall, also along the way we got to see a guy striding Swallow Tail Falls and it was awesome! After we finished up lap two we headed back into town and where we had been talking to John Regan and he was thinking of doing a late run down the Upper Youghiogheny and we asked him if we could join and he said sure. So Sam, John, Roger and I literally raced down the river not just because Roger was interested in doing a fast lap but because we had put on at 3:00pm and we were losing light quickly. So we literally flew down the river racing the light and it was one of the best rallies I have done down the river this trip. The next day we called up John Regan and were talking to him about what might be running, do to the front we had just received that past night. We learned that Big Sandy Creek was at a great level and decided that was were we would go. So Sam, John and I headed over to Big Sandy and it was a blast! It starts of with Wonder Falls a super fun 18 footer.

John Regan and friend double teaming Wonder Falls

Sam 45's it on Wonder Falls


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Top Yough

Today started off with a visit to the Immersion Research headquarters in Confluence, PA. A big thank you to John Weld: for a tour of the headquarters and a complete breakdown on the manufacturing of gear. We learned about the whole process from start to finish. It was really incredible to learn all the hard work and thought these guys put into every piece of gear. Jon Harmon: thank you for the awesome beta of paddling in the area, and the biggest thank you goes out to Andrew Miller, after talking about our plans to camp out, Andrew offered up his house without hesitation as a place to stay while we are paddling in the area, that means warm dry gear every morning! If you get the chance to stop by IR. Stop in and thank them for making such quality gear. Thanks ya’ll for the hospitality!

With a hand drawn map from Jon Harmon we set off to find the Top Yough. Before long we arrived at the put in with plans to scout everything and take our time on the run. At the put in we meet some local paddlers: Jake, Dustin, and Ian. all of whom saw our Georgia license plate and asked if we would like to paddle down with them. Max and I exchanged a quick glance and looked at them with smiles and gladly accepted. Little did we know we would be putting on to a super high quality section of creek.

Pictures from the 2 laps on the Top Yough.

Max on Swallow Falls, geting his gradient fix


Dustin grabbing some air time



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