Can kayakers learn from this?

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Can kayakers learn from this?

Post by Poke »

OK, it's not our sport, but how often have you watched a video of someone taking a beating, had a chuckle, then forgotten about it...

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Scuba Dave
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Re: Can kayakers learn from this?

Post by Scuba Dave »

Poke wrote:Can kayakers learn from this?
I think the same general principals apply-

Have the correct safety equipment with you - know how to use it.

Understand the principals of whats happening to you - ie you may need to swim down.

Make sure the people your with know how to conduct rescues if required.

Its an interesting video whether you think it applies to our sport or not.


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Re: Can kayakers learn from this?

Post by SimonMW »

What was interesting was that the potential danger signs were all there but he ignored them due to being so stoked for going up there, along with bowing down to peer pressure despite clearly being an experienced skier.

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Re: Can kayakers learn from this?

Post by morsey »

The indicators of potential danger were all small! Same with kayaking, small factors with little consequence need to be viewed as they can have an accumulative effect.

The expression "when I see a rapid it is either yes or no" will be often be said by those who subconsciously note the small factors and are experienced enough to know when things are good to go. Problems can arise at the extremes, high water/low water for example when paddlers are keen to paddle without noting all the indicators. People will often play down the accumulative effect of the small factors and go with the "It will be all right approach."

It would be helpful to create a similar "Munter Scale" (I know the connotations for ugly boaters is not good!) for canoeists.

Think on this:

1) Four boaters all fit, well slept, fed and hydrated arrive at a new class four river (medium flows according to the guide). They have all boated hundreds of class four rivers before. Sounds all good.

2) Same four boaters, one has a shoulder strain from rolling, one stayed up all night drinking, the breakfast pastie shop was closed and they are standing at a new class four river (high flows according to the guide). These boys and girls are getting more munter points even before getting on the river. The guy with the shoulder injury could be one capsize away from taking a bad swim! Is the hungover chap likely to make poor/good decisions! Are lack of food, dehydration and tiredness going to effect later on in the day.

On the river with number 1 scenario. One lass capsizes and rolls on a stiff section and takes a minute to compose herself. The next hard section she walks. One of the chaps capsizes and rolls several times on both sections, having a bad day at the office, normally he will not capsize on class four. The munter points are going up, two of the paddlers are not on form and there are potential consequences from ignoring the factors. The guy who is catching edges will most likely be burning loads of energy and tiredness could have a big effect towards the end of the day. The lass might not be able to commit to paddling more sections and could slow the rate of descent to such a degree that daylight might be lost. Time to think about the factors! Maybe cut the trip short if you know alternative get outs, call it a day, split the team* and two finish the trip to get the car and come back and pick up the others.

*Split the team. I have done this hundreds of times, often it comes after something has gone wrong, broken boats/injury etc. I have a default rule that applies when this situation occurs. The team that stays on the water does not paddle the hard stuff, if it requires inspection then just portage straight away. This will buy back time lost from whatever situation lead to the change of plan. It will lesson the chances of anything escalating and the team is not at full compliment so the starting factors (munter points) are higher. I got on the Mellte river recently with the full intention to run everything, have done it loads of times, run all the falls in all levels. Broke a boat on the first fall and took an age to sort out the effects, we agreed straight away to just paddle down and hop round the rest of the main features. I have solo'd this river and would have no problems doing it again, but the factors were different. Paddler off the water, broken boat, time dragging on, lots of munter points!

Personally I keep count of capsizes and swims on a river. Most class four paddlers, will brush off a roll and it will not effect the rest of their paddling, often it will aid their focus. Many less experienced paddlers will be wobbly after a capsize and especially after a swim, how many times have people seen a person get back in their boat and then trip over the eddy line whilst getting back on the river? I have seen it plenty of times. I hear people say they have swum three or four times on a river, clearly the river level is too hard or they are not focussed, or they are too tired/cold to keep control. Two swims and I would be taking action to avoid more capsizes, and adding up the munter points.

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Re: Can kayakers learn from this?

Post by BigPhil »

Great post Morsey.

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Re: Can kayakers learn from this?

Post by Sickboy »

For sure, great post, he's made the same decisions on snow as many make on water, similar consequences no doubt to many.
I've been avalanched once, not a biggun thankfully, icefall climbing in a small valley, did have to fish 6 rucksacs out of a glacier glacier run off though, could we see it coming, only once we were under the ice fall, the avalanche warnings said good to go over most of the area, but at the local level, the signs were there, How much snow could there be on this little ridge?
Hopefully you live and learn, some don't though.
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Re: Can kayakers learn from this?

Post by Anorak »

Thanks for the link Poke! Olli Grau has adapted the 3x3 method for paddling - see his WW book. Sorry haven't got details at hand.

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Re: Can kayakers learn from this?

Post by chrism »

morsey wrote:split the team* and two finish the trip to get the car and come back and pick up the others.
Interesting suggestion. The one real epic I've been involved in was on a river in NZ, several miles through the bush from the nearest road, where "drive back to pick up the others" wasn't really an option (fortunately solved eventually as light was fading by somebody going to get the helicopter to come back and pick up the others!)

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Re: Can kayakers learn from this?

Post by DaveBland »

Great post Morsey.
Hey has anyone come across this footage of a log pin rescue? ... -4311.html

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Re: Can kayakers learn from this?

Post by Croft »

It is good to see that Munter's 3X3 method is still going strong.

Several years ago I saw Munter talk in Martigny and then get savaged by some Chamonix mountain guides.

I think that they were worried about Munter's empirical method which enables mere mortals to make a crude assessment of avalanche risk.

I guess that they thought that this might eliminate guides (and their experience) from the process.

For me any method that makes people look at what they are doing, think about it for themselves and take responsibility for their own actions and decisions has got to be a good thing - rather than just following sheeplike behind a trusted guide.

In reality both empirical methods and experience are important tools in optimising safety.

If you aint got the experience (or the money to pay for it) then empirical is better than nowt!
Ian Beecroft - old-timer amateur boater

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Re: Can kayakers learn from this?

Post by Alec Ferris »

morsey wrote:Think on this...
Very good. Thanks for sharing it.
Hey don't worry, jus' live 'til ya die- QOTSA

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