Monmouth Canyoneering, Broken Ankle, and Being Searched and Rescued

The day has started off really well, we got to Squamish early, got the gear ready, put on our wetsuits, and were ready to cross the river to reach Monmouth Canyon. The river crossing was fairly easy. We put all our bags into a cheap inflatable boat, and we swam beside it, letting the current of the river take us 1 km downstream where the trail to the top of the canyon began. The hike up was steep and fun! Definitely not a place one would want to be falling from!

Once we got to the top, we took a quick break to get organized, had a few bites to eat, and commenced our way down the canyon!

The Monmouth Canyon is a beautiful place! Most of spots like these are hidden from a normal day to day person, so it feels amazing to be able to go explore them! We rappelled many different waterfalls, some involved cliff jumping, some sliding and jumping. The water was freezing, so even with our wetsuits we were always trying to stay moving to keep warm.

The day was amazing, until on one of the rappels, I have slipped, hit the wall, and let go off my “break” which led me flying down 15 feet onto the rock bottom. Right away I felt something was wrong with my foot. I looked at it and it was dangling sideways. Right away I knew it was screwed, I thought maybe I have just dislocated it, and I tried to ‘pop’ it back together with no success. So now, the challenge was to get out. I didn’t want to waste much time, so I crawled out of the canyon, with help of my friends found a stick, and slowly was making my way down the mountain. Meanwhile my friend got a hold of search and rescue, once we found the most suitable spot for helicopter extraction (there wasn’t much), we called in our coordinates and waited for search & rescue to arrive.

It took over 2 hours for search & rescue to figure out how to extract me due to the difficult location. Meanwhile I was slowly going under a mild hyperthermia. I was contemplating just to make my way down myself while I was still somewhat able to before the sun went down. But before that happened we were notified that the search & rescue have found a spot to extract us and are sending help our way. When they have arrived and stabilised my foot, I felt all the energy came back to me and I felt super excited to get rescued! The helicopter ride was awesome! And perhaps was the only upside of having broken my ankle. I want to thank the search and rescue team for rescuing me, and also to my friends and team members that helped me get out of the canyon safely!

Out in the Squamish Hospital, they took good care of me quickly. They have had to reposition my foot before putting a temporary cast before I get my surgery, so they put me in a semi-conscious state that made me go on a super awesome mental trip! The next day I was moved to Surrey Memorial Hospital where I waited 4 days until my surgery, I didn’t enjoy the waiting part so much, I would have had to wait more but luckily I had a nurse friend that was able to pull a few strings to get me in a little quicker. Thanks for that!

Here’s a couple videos from that day. One has made the Right this Minute internet show, (my second time getting on that show lol). Here’s the link.

What’s going on these days…

Last weekend we had a wind storm that took out power from half of the city for a couple of days. A handful of windsurfing enthusiast were racing towards Centennial Beach to catch some of that craziness. I had to take the long way thru the city to stop at a store and pick up a special fin for my board before going to the beach. It was craziness driving thru the streets, debris was flying everywhere, lights were not working, branches falling everywhere. Most of the people were driving way too slow and cautiously, while some people like myself, where very inpatient. I avoided getting into 3 accidents during that drive. After all that, I unfortunately didn’t make it in time and got to the beach when the wind started to drop… I did however redeemed myself with a good windsurfing session on Monday evening after-work!

So lately, as the summer days are slowly coming to an end, I have been trying to do more scuba diving. I got an unlimited 6 months rental package from a scuba shop, so got to make it worth it! Most of my dives lately have been solo dives, my previous diving buddy has returned to his home country and it is hard to find a good buddy to dive with that has similar experience. So I stick to solo diving, which isn’t as fun and as safe as going with someone, but it does however pushes me to be much more efficient with gear management. I feel that I have gotten much better at it lately from not receiving any help from a partner. Some dives however I get nervous going by myself, the last dive I did it at night at a site I wasn’t familiar with. It was a dive after training and I didn’t felt very well that day and I felt nervous doing it. But everything went fine.

Another area I have been spending time in is Lynn Valley. It’s a great area to cliff jump, but I became more interested in freediving there and exploring the underwater pools. One of my adventure friends became keen on doing underwater exploration with me, and joined me a few times… which is great, I felt much safer knowing that I have someone looking after me in case something happens. It’s amazing exploring the underwater of canyons, especially during the night! Being underwater in spots like that is like being in a different world!

Training is going good, I don’t put as much time into training as I’m busy with other summer activities, but still pushing myself hard when I do. I have also started training someone kickboxing, he is a good guy and I enjoy training him since he puts 100% of effort every time he trains with me and enjoys pushing the limits. That’s what I really appreciate in people, is the effort. Motivates me to train even harder when I’m there!

Other than that, I have decided to be very conservative with money. Over the years of adventuring, I have got myself into a dept. And I feel like It takes away from my freedom of adventuring even farther. So over the next couple of years I will only focus on the sports where I already have my own gear, and be smart with money. This will hopefully allow me to take adventuring to the next level in the future!

Here’s some of the latest videos and pictures of my activities:

Chasing Winds!

“It’s just another day in paradise!” an old man cheerfully replied after greeting me at a coffee shop on my last day of the trip. Oregon is definitely a watersport paradise that I try to get away to as much as I can! This trip had a very different feel to it since I went with a couple of my windsurf enthusiast friends on their old school camper van. That was my home for the 5 days we were on the road, on the road chasing the wind!

Our first stop after a long drive during the night was Hood River. We have arrived at 3 o’clock in the morning, pulled in the side of the dirt road, prepared our camper and fell asleep. Next morning after breakfast, we head to the river! Unfortunately the winds weren’t the best that day, it was either blowing so strong that I was being completely overpowered (which was scary and awesome lol) or the wind was very low that left me mostly frustrated. After a few runs across the river trying to find the most windy spot, we just came back and grabbed our beer.

The next day the water was flat with no sign of any wind, we headed towards Jones Beach that’s closer towards the Oregon Coast since the forecast was much more promising. Being sluggish and unmotivated, we took our time and only made it to Jones Beach around 7pm. There was still wind, and I quickly rigged up my sail and went in the water to windsurf until the sun went completely down, was an awesome experience! We found a spot to park around the trees by the beach, and I was happy that I didn’t have to unrig my gear, leaving it overnight for the next day. We were all excited about that spot and the winds for the next day were promising. I went to bed satisfied that night.

The next morning, we were woken up by an old man who turned out to be the beach property owner. And apparently we weren’t allowed to stay there overnight, and we were told that we had to leave by that following night. So our plan to stay the rest of the trip at that perfect spot was ruined, either way the winds didn’t turn out to be so great that day. But that spot would be amazing when the wind condition is good, it’s such a beautiful spot! I will definitely be coming back there!

That night we have stayed at a city park in Clatskanie, they have overnight 5$ camping with hot showers… It felt great to take a hot shower after a few days without having one! The next morning we went back to Jones Beach to find it completely windless, everyone was disappointed because it was our last day until we had to head back to Canada. Everyone just wanted to stay at the beach, drink beer and chill. But that didn’t satisfy me, so I pushed everyone to get on the road and head to the coast which was an hour way where I could at least do some surfing. Luckily I was successful at making everyone agree to drive to the coast, because right after we passed Astoria (little town right before the coast on Columbia River) the winds were heavily blowing! So all excited and full of energy, we were looking for a spot to launch from. We found this beautiful beach in Fort Stevens State Park, quickly rigged our gear, and jumped in the water. This session was awesome! It made the whole trip worth it! Haven’t had that much fun windsurfing in awhile… Unfortunately I ended up breaking my mast after a couple hours of windsurfing, luckily I was within 500 meters from shore, but it still took what felt like half an hour to swim dragging my windsurf and sail in the water behind me. It would have been a much harder to get back if it broke on me when I was a couple kilometres away from shore. Later on my more experienced windsurf buddy explained what I’d have to do in a situation if I was far away from shore, I’d have to take apart my sail and tie it all up on the board to create less drag, a lesson that perhaps will come in handy one day.

That night we had found a nice open field where we parked our camper and drank watching the starts! Was an awesome trip! Altho it wasn’t all fun, there was much of work that had to be done, mostly by loading and unloading our gear every time we changed location or were stopping to sleep, at the end of the trip we got very efficient at it and it didn’t take us too much time as it did in the beginning. We have also cooked most of our meals in the camper, which is very different from what I’m used to when I do my road trips. It was a different experience overall for me, which was great!

At the hook in Hood River

At the hook in Hood River

On our way to Jones Beach

On our way to Jones Beach

My buddy chilling between windsurfing sessions at Jones Beach

My buddy chilling between windsurfing sessions at Jones Beach

Teaching a less experienced windsurfing friend how to beach start. Jones Beach

Teaching a less experienced windsurfing friend how to beach start. Jones Beach

Windsurfing at Fort Stevens

Windsurfing at Fort Stevens

Never Stop Exploring!

This world is vast with endless new places that one can explore! The idea of finding something unexpected and amazing always excites me… I was cliff jumping over the weekend at Lynn Valley, and as I was marveling some of the amazing geology that place has, I became really curious what was underwater of that rocky valley. So the next day, after a good windsurfing session that ended me being smacked on my face by my own board (cutting my internal lip and giving me a very sore jaw, luckily not smashing any of my teeth out), I decided to go explore that spot. Unfortunately I didn’t find anything unexpected as I was hoping to, It’s still amazing to be diving at places like this! Here’s a short video:

Britannia Creek Canyoneering

This weekend had a chance to join some folks to go rappel down some waterfalls down at Britannia Creek. It was a good beginner spot with easy access that’s a great introduction into a sport called Canyoneering. We had a group leader who did all the gear management and showed us the route, so it was a fairly easy and joyful morning of exploring this spot. Before this weekend I have never heard of that sport, but now I’m curious about exploring some more challenging spots for it. Here’s the vid: