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Alex Nicks and high water Zambezi

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Long time Bio Bio guide Alex Nicks talks about running the Zambezi at record high water, solo! 

Most people will have seen footage of the Zambezi and it’s
famous huge volume pool drop rapids. 
Of the many facets that makes the river so special a significant one is
its variation in flow. Victoria Falls is Approximately mid way through the
2500km course of the Zambezi and with natural flows rising during the rainy
season or ebbing during the dry season. This means that over 12 months the
White Water section below the Falls is always either rising or falling with a
vertical cycle of over 8 metres in some places in the gorge.

The result is that the world famous run occurs at the low
ebb of this cycle but as rains bring it up the upper section (rapids 1-10)
become commercially un-runnable. There are two reasons for this. Mainly because
the pools disappear and the raging, thunderous volume of water causes huge
boils and whirlpools that would swallow rafts and paying clients. Specifically
because the level means that the one portage (rapid no 9) can now no longer be
portaged. Putting in at rapid 1 commits you to a class 5+(++) rapid.

It can however be run by a kayak. And after finding myself
in the Zimbabwe for a shoot it’s too hard to pass up a run on this upper
section. Unfortunately I can’t find any one to go with me. Most of the river
staff are working in other countries as the commercial rafting is closed due to
the level and the locals are perhaps just too wise.

It’s always a dilemma deciding to solo. But sometimes
opportunities like being next to the Zambezi are just too good to pass up,
curiosity outweighs wisdom and I know this section too. So on the 18th
July I put in at rapid one on my own. The Porters who carried my boat in wish
me luck and wander off squabbling over the fist full of Kwatcha notes I’ve
given them.  I know their look,
they can’t quite work out if I’m mad but they’ve seen me here before so are
expectant that they’ll at least earn some more money carrying my boat out of
the gorge at the take out.

These huge flows mean I can’t even see the falls as I push
away from the boiling pot as spray 350ft high drifts though from the cascade to
the head of rapid one. It’s a quick hop across the cushion wave at rapid one
and I’m on my way, buoyed in confidence by the feel of the warm water across my
face and the rainbow formed by the mist from the falls. There are major hurdles
along this run, rapids 5, 7, the narrows at 7and a half, but at every stage of
this run Rapid 9, the commercial portage is at the back of my mind. If getting
there is a challenge, then certainly rapid 9 is the gauntlet.

It’s clichéd, but life is nothing without taking risks and
finding challenges. And none are more valuable than calculated risks based on
years of skill, experience and the odd arse kicking. Today I run Solo but I’m
with everything I ever leaned, I’m carrying all the confidence from years of
paddling with a huge array of paddlers on diverse runs around the world. Today
we’ll find out if that’s worth anything.

To see how it went …watch the footage from my head cam on
the short film ‘Solo’ at

http://www.kayaksession.com/best-short-film-awards-2012.php

Princeton Alumni Association, Annapurna Circuit and Sarah Ferris

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Bio Bio
Expeditions,  Princeton Journeys
Alumni Association  & Bodhi
Tree Foundation with Sarah Ferris.

Not long
after giving birth to two beautiful children and “settling down” in Truckee,
California, Sarah Ferris realized that she is not really the stay at home
type.   In 2006, Sarah &
her husband (Mark Ferris) decided it was time to start traveling again so they
took their 2 & 4 year old daughters on a 16-day trek around the Annapurna
Circuit in Nepal.   Shortly
after returning from that trip, Sarah & Mark co-founded a small non-profit
organization, Bodhi Tree Foundation (BTF), which promotes and supports
Maternal-Child Health Projects in the hidden Himalayas of Humla, Nepal.  BTF provides safe motherhood
educational classes, clean delivery kits and pre/postnatal vitamins.  Sarah’s passion for helping the women
of Humla stems from her experience as a Labor & Delivery and Postpartum
Nurse and the seven months that she and her husband spent living and working in
Humla in 2000.  You can learn more
about Bodhi Tree Foundation at: www.bodhitreefoundation.org

When
she is in Nepal, Sarah usually spends most of her time in Humla, overseeing BTF
projects and working as a Trekking Guide but she also loves traveling to other
regions throughout the country. This spring she went to Annapurna Base Camp
with a Princeton Journeys Alumni Association group as the Head Trekking Guide
for Bio Bio Expeditions. This was an amazing group and a beautiful trek!  Bio Bio organized a unique trekking
experience that included not only breathtaking scenery, culture and camaraderie
but also impressive and highly educational daily lectures on high-altitude
medicine and geology by some of the world’s most knowledgeable professors. This
led to stimulating conversation on every step of the trail all the way up to
4130 meters! The trip was a huge success and everyone was able to complete the
entire trek, including a truly inspiring woman with Parkinson’s disease.  This was the trip of a lifetime and is
highly recommended for everyone!

 

Where in the World is Bio Bio Expeditions?

By in Guides Comments Off on Where in the World is Bio Bio Expeditions?






It is no secret that Co-Founders and owners of Bio Bio Expeditions Worldwide, Marc Goddard and Laurence Alvarez-Roos, have lived an adventurous life.  Where in the world do two men who’s drug of choice is adrenaline, lifelong passion is thrilling whitewater rafting and kayaking, and home away from home is on the spectacular Futaleufu River in Chile, find suitable to call home here in the USA?  It is none other than the “Jewel of the Sierras”, breathtaking Lake Tahoe!  

Truckee California, Marc and Laurence home, is a small town with a great deal to offer these two adventure seekers that grew up only three hours away in the San Francisco Bay area of California.  Truckee offers all four distinct seasons, and is situated about 15 minutes from Lake Tahoe.  The Lake Tahoe area is well known as a winter destination that boasts 7 world-class ski resorts, including one of our favorites- Squaw Valley.  This is where you will often find Marc and Lars, when they are not rafting with clients on the Fu!  Squaw Valley was the home of the 1960 winter olympic games, which brought the mountain resort into the spotlight.  

In winter, there are plenty of outdoor pursuits to enjoy around Lake Tahoe, on blue bird and powder days alike.  From alpine skiing and cross country skiing, to hardcore back country skiing, you will find plenty of fun in winter.  BUT… with rivers rushing, and temperatures nearing the mid-70’s; Summer is Calling!  We wanted to share the paradise you will find in the Lake Tahoe area during the summer- what really draws us to this beautiful place!  

In summer you will find kite surfers, kayakers, and stand up paddle boarders enjoying the lake, and plenty of lakeside beaches perfect for a day of fun with family and friends! The Bio Bio family spreads far and wide, and it is not unusual to find a Bio Bio lakeside barbecue going on with folks from several different countries, sharing a fantastic meal Bio Bio style (with plenty of libations)!  You will also find miles and miles of world class mountain biking, and some of the most challenging single track in the states.  


Even with all of this to experience around the lake, some of the best whitewater in the country can be found within an easy drive from Truckee…the REAL reason you will find Bio Bio Expedtions here in Lake Tahoe!  Within 2 hours of Truckee California you will find an endless choice of amazing class V creeks and rivers right in our backyard, including the South Yuba, North Yuba, North Fork American, South Fork American and many others. There is also a whitewater play park just 30 minutes away in Reno.  

It’s pretty tough to glue Marc and Lars to their seats here at the Bio Bio office, and with all Tahoe has to offer, who can blame them!  But if you ever find yourself in the area, please look us up and lets go paddle and have some fun!  Have a fantastic summer- you know we will! 

-From all of your friends at Bio Bio Expeditions

Awakening the Soul – Futaleufu Yoga Retreat

By in Futaleufu Comments Off on Awakening the Soul – Futaleufu Yoga Retreat

    Awaken your soul in the
heart of Patagonia!  A 9 day
immersion into deep yogic practice featuring 3 of the Lake Tahoe areas most beloved yoga
teachers, delicious organic cuisine, our beautiful riverside adventure camp,
incredible heart opening adventure activities, our amazing staff of guides, and the prana of Patagonia – This will
be a yoga retreat like no other!  As one of the premiere adventure travel companies in the world, we
are delighted to offer a yoga retreat at our signature destination in southern
Chile.  The Futaleufu River is the
place where we discovered and developed that magical alchemy of adventure,
rivers, culture, camaraderie, and unique touches that have come to represent
who we are at Bio Bio Expeditions. 
Blending a yoga retreat into our signature trip will truly unite
everything we stand for and will be the Yoga Adventure of a Lifetime! For more information please visit the following link –

January 9th – January 17th

https://www.bbxrafting.com/awakening-the-soul-futaleufu-yoga-retreat

Featuring the following Yoga Teachers –

Shari
Beard
– Shari grew up in St. Louis, MO and found yoga in 1995.  Yoga has been her faithful tool and “friend”
ever since!  Her first teacher
training, at the Nosara Institute in Costa Rica in 2002, confirmed that Shari
was on a spiritual quest.  Being a
passionate student, and wanting to learn as much as she could, she did
subsequent teacher trainings in Ashtanga with David Swenson, Maya Yoga with
Eddie Modestini and Nikki Doane, and a year of training at the prestigious
Iyengar Institute in San Francisco. 
After a 100 hour immersion into Anusara she found the style that most
expresses the joy and gratitude in her heart.  She has almost finished her Anusara teacher training with
Abby Tucker.  Besides yoga, Shari
is a passionate outdoorswoman with rock climbing and skiing being two of her
sports loves.  Shari is an
inspiring, graceful teacher who has committed to helping people dedicate
themselves to a daily yoga/meditation practice.  She gets so much joy watching the shift in others when they
commit to a daily practice.  Shari
is also the mother of a beautiful 4 year old daughter.  She warmly invites you to learn and
grow on this retreat and looks forward to providing you with guidance, support,
and strength in your practice.

Shaelah
Morris
– Shaelah is the founder and director of Yoga Studio Tahoe. She is known for her
transformational Bhakti style yoga classes. Her deep devotion, wisdom, and
energy are evident in all her classes and are uplifting to all.  Shaelah
has been committed to sharing the gift of yoga since 2000 when she did her
first teacher training. She has been blessed to study with some of the
world’s best teachers including Janet Stone, Baron Baptiste, Rusty Wells,
Bikram, Stephanie Snyder, and Dharma Mittra. She has over 1200 hours of
certified yoga training. Shaelah discovered her passion for yoga after
traveling the world as a professional skier. Yoga not only healed her injuries,
but took her on a journey far beyond anything she could have imagined. She
leads workshops and teacher training’s all around the world, including the
Wanderlust Festival, and bases herself in Tahoe for her love of skiing and the
lake. Shaelah’s yoga classes are designed to open your heart and transform your
life. They are vigorous, playful, full of sweat, sweet beats, and incorporate devotional
chants.  She is very excited to
bring all these elements to the Patagonia Yoga Adventure in January, 2013.  www.studiotahoe.com
 

                                                                                                                                                                               
Emily
Weer
– Emily is the owner of Summit Lotus Yoga studio in the heart of the Sierra. Emily’s heart opening classes are inspired from over 15
years of experience in bodywork, meditation, wilderness therapy/ psychology,
guiding trips on rivers and mountains all over North and Central America, as
well as study and practice in various forms of yoga lineages along the journey.
 In her teachings, Emily’s deep connection to nature shines as she invites
you to go inside and surrender more fully to your natural rhythm of breath. 
As a competitive snowboarder and Class 5 whitewater kayaker, Emily knows how to
find stillness even in the most adrenaline filled moments.  On the Patagonia Yoga Adventure Emily’s
yoga classes will help you connect even more deeply to your wild nature and the
beauty of nature around you. www.summitlotus.com

Social media – Brave New world!

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We are excited to see you all connect before your adventure and use this fun medium to stay in touch, share fotos after the trip!  If you have fun ideas how to do this, we are all ears! stay tuned!…. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram  : here we come!!

First Raft Descent of the Drangme Chuu River in Bhutan is a big success!

By in The Himalaya Comments Off on First Raft Descent of the Drangme Chuu River in Bhutan is a big success!

Prayer Flags

Bhutan Boys In The Mountains

Rafting Adventure Trip

Guided Whitewater Rafting

On November 14th Bio Bio Expeditions joined forces with Ultimate Descents, to run the first raft descent of the Drangme Chuu river in Eastern Bhutan.

Dave Allardice of Ultimate Descents writes ” Let’s not mince words here: Bhutan is the cutest little kingdom on earth. A gigantic staircase rising from the Indian border to the high Himalayas of Tibet, the soaring peaks of Bhutan are an untapped treasure house of whitewater. The rivers are powerful and challenging. The mountains are magnificent. The people are delightful. The architecture and art is superb. All together, this is a world-class odyssey in a magical land. Far from being a static, restricted environment, Bhutan is a dynamic country whose development is focused on meeting the practical, spiritual and aesthetic needs of its people. Compared with the countries that surround it, Bhutan is succeeding remarkably well.”

 

Bhutan is only 130 miles wide but still takes 4 full days of driving to cross the country and arrive at our put-in. Along the way we visited Dzongs (large fortresses), monastaries, and enjoyed an amazing 20 k raft descent of the class IV Mangde Chuu river. We arrived to the far eastern reaches of the country near Trashigang, Bhutan and got our first glimpses of the Drangme Chuu river. The river was running clear with an estimated 4000 CFS. We spent the next 7 days rafting and kayaking 120 K from Trashigang to the Indian Border. We were thrilled to find one of the finest rafting experiences in Asia. We found big fun class 4 + whitewater, with an occasional class 5 rapid, big beaches, wildlife, very few bugs, and plenty of interaction with local Bhutanese people. Simply put, the river canyon is a gem and we were all excited to have the opportunity to experience it still in its pristine state.

 

The people of Bhutan are some of the most gracious people we have ever met, warm and welcoming, and the country has left us with an indelible image of what is possible in an otherwise chaotic world. Hope for our planet is very evident in Bhutan.

We look forward to running the Drangme Chuu river again in 2010.

Click here for a short video preview – Final video coming in January.