Mountain River Crag First Aid Logo in green, in a circle with a mountain background of everest (photo taken by robin)

Onwards, Upwards, Outwards

Onwards, upwards, outwards

Happy new year 2019

Onwards

As ever in business its all about upgrade upgrade, so I have been busy at work developing a new online shop for the site. With many options out there to choose from its overwhelming when you begin to look into it! Really importantly for the site was the ability to get course bookings and payments done securely, and easily for anyone looking. Its 2019, anyone who's anyone is looking to research, book & buy these things online. If its not an easy clean experience, people just won't want to see it through. At least thats what I am like with these things!

So after much deliberation, testing, browsing blah blah, we elected to use the shopify storefront and buy button feature. I actually had a scary 24 hours where i accidentally gave complete domain control to shopify...and lost the site! Luckily no-one was looking since it was Christmas. Now it's all done and working its a simple and slick layout, and I like the ease of their system to use. Lets hope it was worth the up-front.

Upwards

Carrying on we'll be hitting out a new google ads campaign to drum up some interest for our first batch of UK courses in a while. 2018 was really a busy year for me. I travelled a lot of miles, from Nepal, France, UK, USA, some multiple times and am now writing this at a hotel in Panama. Anyway, it's exciting to think that now everything is much better running in the company than 2 years ago, that we'll have a busy set of courses over the 17 planned course days in Apr-May.

Why aren't we running more all year I hear you ask? Well honestly I love being on the river. Hopefully the summer will be full of either rafting in Switzerland or touring about in Norway kayaking. The result is pending.

Outwards

Christmas is over, and it turns out if you sit about eating roast dinners, pub lunches and drinking lots of ale you gain a new friend at Christmas. Oh and we're looking for potential staff to deliver first aid out in Nepal for us next winter season. Drop us a line if you're an instructor in first aid & have a whitewater river experience....

Yellow kayak, person smiling giving thumbs up river trees blue water sunshine with mountain river crag outdoor first aid course north wales

Modi Express 2 : Event Report

Event: Modi Express 2 (2018)

Somehow it became normal that when I would go to nepal I'd end up supporting or helping out with all the kayaking events. Over the years this has included Dj'ing for parties, or chatting nonsensicles on the microphone. Well this time it changed up, and we sponsored the extreme kayak championship at the Modi Khola. Afer all, most of the locals attending have been through our whitewater first aid course.

River whitewater kayaker coming over 1 meter drop in centre of river in yellow kayak, signs behind are advertising the event of modi express and mountain river crag outdoor first aid couse north wales

Almost 3 years ago, we taught the majority of the members of the club organising the event. From those early whitewater first aid courses its great to see some familiar faces again. For the festival this year we are sponsoring winners of the event, brand new complete first aid kits.

Kayakers waiting in the start eddy at modi express 2, river sunchine whitewater, 2 kayakers , start line of a race with mountain river crag outdoor frist aid training course

Run by our long time river friends from the Nepal Kayak Club  we were happy to lend our support to this fantastic event. Situated on the river that drains Annapurna Base Camp - the Modi Khola, this is one of Nepal's premier river sports events. Scenic and challenging day runs await upstream of the race course and the camp place.
Kayakers from 12 countries attended, with around 150 people attending on the last day. This is great considering the event is not in any town and by a river in a semi remote spot!

umbrella with a water fall behind, band setting up in the foreground,green plants on the canyon wall with maountain river crag oudoor first aid course north wales

Bracing Racing

It might look all warm and sunny, but this is glacial melt so its freezing cold by the end of the day. Day one was team paddle of the race course and a few laps with one timed run. The rankings of the timed run decide the order for racing the next day.  Top 22 fastest racers (out of 45) are allowed to continue to the boatercross and down river. I blew both runs up at the finish, a fast typewriter of water pushed me away from the take out eddy twice. Not having a fast planing boat also helped! I lost time both times batling to get in and lost just enough to land prestigious 23rd position.

The Upper Modi Khola

Having not done so well on the racing 2 old friends and I decided to flag an early morning jeep. Riding up to the New Bridge Put-on for the Modi, about 20 km upstream from the race course. With an hour and a half hike with the boat down to the river we had a full day. So time for dhal bhat and noodles! Some read and run rapids, some sketchy, some clean, but all a lot of fun!

suspension bridge over river, forest, sunshine, kayaking, annapurna area modi khola river. Kayaker taking a photo of the river, waterfall in back ground with mountain river crag outdoor first aid training.

The upper section down to the old bridge took us about 4 hours. We had to scout a lot, there were a lot of very good rapids in there. All class 5. Down from the new bridge back to the race course we had about an hour and a half of non stop read and run. It's class 4 with some harder spots, but super friendly and fun. Really good to paddle with Joe and Benny again, niether of whom i had seen since 2 years ago in Nepal.

3 people in kayaking gear smiling sunshince forest take out of modi khola wih mountain river crag outdoor frist aid course north wales

Whitewater First Aid Courses

We were here to promote our on going collaboration with NKCC and the rafting industry in general. A really well organised and run event, not complicated and with everything that everyone needed. Big respect to the coffee shop on the road! A unique spot for off river shenanigans were held at a beautiful mini canyon with a 150 ft waterfall by the dance floor! Dhal Bhat was pretty good too, I don't think they were expecting to sell out of beers on the first night though...

 

 

gates, 5 kayaks, jeep, someone brushing their teeth while siitting in the kayak, and a dog chilling in the sun with mountain river crag outdoor first aid course north wales

Back in the Big Hills

The First Aid Couse Sandwich

Heading right off to Nepal after the summer in California was a welcome change. Good as it is cali, because you're British you aren't best suited for the intense 42 degree heat! So off we went with a kayak - first aid course - kayak sandwich of a mission planned.

Kathmandu

Arriving in Kathmandu is always a keep you on your toes experience coming over from the west. So having figured out the groove a few trips back, its easy to get roomed and meet up with whoever is about. A first few days are out on the trisuli, meeting up with a mate from the last Nepal trip who is out again. We decide to hit up the Balhephi and Upper Sun Kosi - its late september and the rivers are medium high and dropping now. Staying at the welcoming and beautiful rafting star camp for most of a week between day runs.

On the way to the trisuli put in - in an oil tanker!

person driving an oil tanker in nepal, and the inside that has been decorated nicely with mountain river crag outdoor frist aid course north wales

On our second lap on the balephi the bus pulls into the lunch place for dahl bhat, and shuts in in a jeep with 3 kayakers about to head up high. Our luck is in, as the boys are happy to let us gate crash their lap on the river  so we strap from the bus too the jeep and go.
We're in for a treat, the upper balephi with the good medium flow we had was excellent, and hard in places. One class 5 rapid stands out, long with a lot of moves.  The rest is boat scout read and run fun! After halfway we get back to where we had originally set out to start from at the village of jalberi. We have 2 hours of daylight and about 2 hours of kayaking left, quickly eat some noodles and get our rally on.

Eggs and Chick Peas at the Sun Kosi Put-in

Hanging out to flag down the morning bus.

gates, 5 kayaks, jeep, someone brushing their teeth while siitting in the kayak, and a dog chilling in the sun with mountain river crag outdoor first aid course north wales

One of many great drops and rapids

Rocks, river, waterafll, kayaker going off the waterfall, nepal balephi river, blue water, trees back ground with mountain river crag outdoor first aid course north wales

Robin:

This years first aid courses

Have been held in association with Babu Adventure International School. We had hoped dearly to teach some more students than we did. Traveling all this way was not primarily for a kayaking trip.
Regardless, we had 20 excellent paragliders to see through the next level of their progressive and high standard training. Outdoor First Aid is required by the state of Nepal to hold the Himalayan tandem paraglider pilot permit.

As before when we taught here, the location is un-real. The views from that classroom are second to none, I honestly think mrc has peaked in that department!
New for this year the 2 day outdoor program we are teaching has been simplified and refined. So we teach people things they are likely to remember when confronted with a first aid situation.
So will we be back in 2019 for refreshing our current batch of students? I hope we will, and can make many more kayak/course sandwiches...

View From Babu Adventure School:

Mountains in the back ground are the himalaya annapurna range about 100km away, mountain nearer with pressure inversion in the valley, cloud, sunshine, blue sky, nepal with mountain river crag outdoor first aid course north wales

several people are practicing a hip and leg splint using imprvised materials for stablisation of the fracture, people, first aid treatment, hip splint practical scenario with mountian river crag outdoor first aid course north wales people practicing the primary first aid survey on a casualty. grass outdoors, sunshine, tree, green, clouds, with mountain river crag outdoor first aid course north wales

rafting first aid mountain river crag ruc a chucky falls first aid course outdoor mountain river crag

Ruckin and Chuckin

The middle fork of the american: a classic californian river

2018 summer: Robin's out rafting in central California on the American river. Taking a break fromteaching first aid for a few months.

Truely a beautiful canyon run, with many great class 4 rapids and varied scenery. Trips are 17 miles in length and take approximately 5 hours start to finish

Although summer weather is boiling hot, water releases from the dam at the put-in mean that the temperature feels low. Because isnt very warm for swimming in, splashing on the first few waves in the first rapid wakes you right up.

Tunnel Chute

A highlight rapid on the river is named the 'tunnel chute'. A uniquely man made rapid formed whwen chinese miners hand dug a 90 ft by 60ft tunnel. The river is diverted around the horseshoe bend because a mining company could extract gold from it. Happening in the 1870's the one mile stretch was de-watered producing around $500 million in todays value of gold!
Either way a wild ride down a unique river feature for us!

Not always upright...

flipping the raftin in tunnel chute middle fork american river california mountain river crag outdoor first aid course north wales

Ruck-a-chucky falls (no rafting first aid please)

Another highlight is ruck-a-chucky falls. Time to wake back up after so scenic of a 7 mile calm stretch. Suddenly the river drops off a 6 foot ledge drop call chunder! Immediately after is the main event. This was an attempted dam for the middle fork so that power could be generated, albeit unsuccessfully. So say the rafting guides 😉

Rafting a waterfall in california of 30 feet tall called rucka chucky falls, a very dangerous drop with mountain river crag outdoor first aid course north wales

Clients have to walk around, because it is too dangerous for amateur descent.
Less weight in the raft with you the better because the bottom of the falls lands almost dircetly on a rock pile. Having only yourself in a raft with all that float to weight ratio, it's far less likely to get hung up.

With all going well you'd kick out of the bottom of the falls rather than stopping. After you have to negotiate the siphon immediately on the left, and make the left line around the big bottom central boulder. If not - end up in a tight squeeze and guarenteed flip.

So hitting it around 3 times a week is keeping stoke high and attention most definately focused! Right hand line on this feature pours into a death seive with no hope of rescue.  Swimming at the bottom of the falls would not be recommended! Doesn't matter how good your first aid skills are if you're in a siphon.

Check out the video

More information

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Canoe club in London

Whitewater First Aid Course with Phoenix Canoe Club, London.

So back down at the Phoenix Canoe Club in London in early march 2017. Its always nice to be asked back to venues, especially for this kind of organisation - fellow river people. Hopefully for us it means we must have done a good job the first time around! This session we delivered a new an improved

Whitewater first aid course

Akeen group of 5 first aiders with 4 first timers among those is small group. With hands on trianing we keep meaningless first aid waffle to a minimum. The students show throughout that they are able to quickly learn new techniques. They work together as an effective assessment team. Repeating of the practical things is necessary throughout both days to avoid skill fade. Fundamentals matter in first aid, getting the order right. So with a few twists we practice scenarios in a building block style. Each time we will add a small tweak or difference because we like our learners switched on. Lots of practice & keeping things moving work best for teaching this content. First aid can be dull, we aim to change that.

Practicing a spine assessment & log roll

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Less people means more time per person, and actually we want to offer the best we can for everyone.

Good humor

for two days with balanced and thoughtfull apraoches to the practical scenarios by the students.

The guys on the course did well in their practice scenarios with the afternoon of our second day spent out on and around the lake by the center. Training in paddler scenarios around the lake really helps to solidify the kind of skills we  seek to teach.
So we would like to wish the club well for their up-coming expedition to India's Kali river in 2018. Hopefully we will see them again.

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Whitewater First aid With Adrenaline Rush, Nepal.

Once again, down at the river

Whitewater first aid course with Adrenaline Rush

So these guys are a small family owned rafting company based in Nepal. Operating on the remote rivers of the himalaya like many other companies here, requires trained staff. Some of the newer staff at the company had yet to be certified. We were happy to set up a 2 day course of Whitewater first aid for them.

Day one

Spent at the river side camp, usually a longer day with theory and practice of primary survey and secondary survey & general illnesses.

And the second day culminated in an afternoon spent rafting a 10km section of the trisuli river. Including a spinal scenario at the end of the largest rapid on the section, the class IV upset rapid.

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The scenario consisted of fishing a swimmer out of the exit flow from the rapid. The team rafted through the class 4 then had to effect a rescue. Once at the bank pateient assessment leads to evacuation plan.

The guys did great work getting everything sorted, really coming together as a slick team under pressure. After the scenarios we drifted downstream back down to camp with a final dislocation lesson on the raft. This was our final course this season in Nepal. It was excellent to relax riverside in the comfy hammocks & sunshine at the camp before re-entering the choas of Ktm.

whitewater course first aid outdoors paddling canoe kayak water 16hr 2 day 2day 16hrs adrenaline white water rafting kayaking Rafting kayaking outdoor first aid annapurna fishtail nepal mountain river crag training cpr class c.p.r

whitewater course first aid outdoors paddling canoe kayak water 16hr 2 day 2day 16hrs adrenaline white water rafting kayaking Rafting kayaking outdoor first aid annapurna fishtail nepal mountain river crag training cpr class c.p.r

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Prithivi Highway Patrol

On the First Aid Course Tour

Well we've been busy touring around Nepal in January and giving courses to those who need.
So much so that it feels like we have completed many laps up and down the prithivi highway in nepal! A short 9-12 hour twisty rollercoaster of a road between the main cities in nepal.

Anyway, mostly its been happening on Rooftops in Kathmandu & the ever friendly Silk Road in Pokhara.
Seemingly endless laps of the highway leading from one course to the next. But no complaints, its great to be offering so many people trianing at a price they can afford.
We've had all kinds of people attending, Whitewater Rafting guides, Kayakers, Paragliding pilots, Volunteers and Teachers.

Rafting kayaking outdoor first aid annapurna fishtail nepal mountain river crag

campsite on the sun kosi river, beach, rafts, kayaks, people, kitchen, river , sand , forest with mountain river crag outdoor first aid course north wales

First Aid Course: GRG’s Adventure Kayaking

GRG's Adventure: First Aid Courses in Nepal

Our final first aid courses of the year were at GRG's (Gorkha River Guides) Trisuli River camp, in central nepal.

Earlier in the season we had been out on the river with the guys. Safety kayaking laps on the Sun Kosi & karnarli were super good because of the crews. The Sun Kosi river was a 12 day trip, with 10 river days. Most of the time we would be showing the client kayakers lines or sweeping up any swims. The long flat sections everyday give you a long nice time to hangout and enjoy the epic scenery slowly change. Its not all float and boat though, with 2 beefy class 5 rapids on the centre day and endless bouncy class 3 waves, holes & boils.

Crewing the Safety Kayaks we were 5 in a group of 12 customers. 4 rafts. Plenty going on as you imagine, a big flotilla of rubber riding smiles. One notable incident we had was at the first class 5 at hakapur village.

campsite on the sun kosi river, beach, rafts, kayaks, people, kitchen, river , sand , forest with mountain river crag outdoor first aid course north wales

A gear raft

...entered a bus sized hole in the centre right of the first rapid. I was sat in a surging eddy with cliffs on the right watching the raft about to get wrecked in the huge hole. The guy guiding realised too and jumped out the raft before the hole, subbed and surfaced 30 m further down on the left. The raft went back in for rodeo, but unusually entered the curtain with perfect angle and subbed out and resurfaced full but upright outside of the boil. 99% of the time it would have flipped for sure!

I saw it

I saw it spit out the raft and immediately charged at it from the eddy. As soon as i got there I jumped out my boat and climbed in the emptying raft. I had to turn it to the flow and ferry left into a large but quickly diminishing eddy river left. Super heavy to turn the raft is a 2 tonne pig, so I’m fighting boils that erupt off  the right. Cranked those wooden oars hard till I hit the other side, to be captured by members of the team. Half way over another lad, Doug, had already gotten my floating off boat, no coms required.

Incidentally this raft was carrying all the food, and i was getting hungry. Luckily it didn’t flip coming out the hole, or lunch would be seen next at the take out!

Karnarli

The take out of the Sun Kosi and the put in for the Karnarli are at opposite ends of Nepal...
A delight of a 2 day 900km shuttle to the put in!
As usual transport proves a solid challenge to all the bones, I’m sure there was lasting nerve damage...!
Randomly this is a trip with the World Class Kayak Academy, quite by accident. Our plan was to hit the Tamur after the Sun Kosi. Because the bus carrying the clients for that trip had big problems the grg staff plus myself carted west.
Waking up a the put in  for  the low karnarli was great - no more overnight bus!
Once, a big sandy beach but now semi depleted for cement. 2 minutes after putting on though all you see is river and trees for next 3 days, and it is stunning consistently.

blue river, steep forest sides, green trees, sky, sunset, calm water, white mist, kayaking beautiful place with mountain river crag outdoor first aid courses north wales

2nd period math

The world class guys were the funniest people on the river, always surfing waves and stopping to session anything good looking. Really fun energy to be around. The school study routine is held everywhere they are, be it a beach on the Karnarli or the hostel. No-one waits for 2nd period math class!
So a chill routine on the river for 10 more days. Truly a beautiful trip, the whitewater is excellent and the scenery is too. Big un touched beaches & there are folks living in a medieval harmonious way there. The side of Nepal that astounds, and has real grandeur to boot.

First aid Course

Some days later and reunited with everyone, we crack on with 2 first aid courses as promised with the whole team attending. Good humour for 20 staff in two 16 hour courses of outdoor first aid. Lots of things learned, some new some refreshed. Glad to be hanging out here

Thanks a lot GRG's, it was a great with you guys.

 

 

2 people watching someone prcatice cpr in a mountain river crag outdoor first aid course north wales whitewater first aid course a team photo just after everyone jumped in the airprcatice cpr in a mountain river crag outdoor first aid course north wales whitewater first aid course

 

Paddle Nepal – December 2016

Our second set of coursees aboard are for one of Nepal’s biggest rafting operators – Paddle Nepal. For these guys we were running 2, 3 day courses. As part of their commitment to helping those affected by the devastating earthquake of 2015 paddle nepal is sponsoring 9 students through these first aid courses who are enrolled on their still paddling programme. We are very happy to be supporting these guys into a whole new career, and if having our training helps, then we are happy to be a part of their scholarpship. You can find out more on their website 🙂
Rafting kayaking outdoor first aid annapurna fishtail nepal mountain river cragRafting kayaking outdoor first aid annapurna fishtail nepal mountain river cragRafting kayaking outdoor first aid annapurna fishtail nepal mountain river crag

Our First International Courses

Our First International Courses

welcome to the himalaya....

This winter we're in Nepal, from October right through to February. Combining many things on this trip such as trekking the Annapurna, Kayaking and rafting multi day expeditions & teaching our first international courses we couldn't be more excited to be here in the wonderful place that is Nepal.

Our first courses take place right after the Himalayan Whitewater Challenge in Pokhara, central Nepal we begin on the 5th of December. We have teamed up with local friends at Silk Road bar and restaurant to host the course, provide us with a delicious dahl bhat and caffiene.

This program is Whitewater first aid - 16 Hour - and is for members from Nepal Kayak Club. We made a friendly deal with the club, the courses here are not for profit as pretty much no one here made any money last year due to the earthquake.  Classroom lessons happen at the Silk Road and the 2nd day of each course is spent out in rafts & kayaks on the nearby rafting section of the upper seti river. As most of the people coming on the course have done a first aid before or if not are already experienced river guides, these courses are an absolute blast! The boys really know their stuff, and it s great to see so many people getting so much out of the training. We have sunny conditions all day on the river days and great classroom environment. In total we put 19 people through  theses two courses - we are very happy to have helped out the whitewater community here.