into winter & Beyond

What more is there to say, in the depths of Winter, as the cold bites, fresh snow falls, making chaos on the roads and some of the runs become too low or inaccessible, the moment in time is bleak, dark and uninviting, much like the state of the economy at present.

Dartmoor Snow on the road to Holne

Yet, like any moment of near darkness, like the hour before dawn, where all feels lost, the bringing of the new day is the very essence of why mankind has hope in every new dawn. And on the 9th February, my birthday, the snow started to melt and the glory of highwater was there as the best present I could have at that moment. Here is Mike Mixon is his 3D and myself on a 2 steps covered Upper Dart day.

Mixon enjoying his 3D
Upper Dart High water fun

At 37 years old, the mind is certainly willing yet the body has a few small problems, and just does not always work so well, especially as my lifestyle is bearing down on my bodies maintenance. A few years back I must of taken a head shot impact, as slowly my left eye lid is closing, as the nerve has been damaged. Plus, this year my GP said I have a “divarication of recti“, which is a vertical split in the upper abdomen, and was probably started from the early days of freestyle grunting those big moves on the large boats, and now will years of loading boats on to car roofs has given myself two odd bumps just below my rib cage, and a split in between. Its a mere reminder of my mortality.

Daniel enjoying the runoff

The day after the first snow melt, the local boys fired it, and we hit the pool drop classic of the Erme on South Dartmoor and another smooth Upper Dart run. Check out the smile of Daniel’s face, it says it all, happy days.

Simon Westgarth, at the take off

It has certainly been fun in Devon this Winter, although the season has been either all or nothing, not the normal topping up on a solid ground water table that brought paddling everyday, hmmm, or is it just the way I wish to remember it? There is a new crew of Devon boys on the river, and as their skills heighten, its always a great feeling that as older boater drop out of the scene, fresh faces fire up their charc and head to the hills. For Gene17, it was the busiest so far with work every weekend for Deb Pinniger and I, plus lots to do in the week days as well, good days. At the RDCP this Winter, it was peaceful, so much so it looks like I will finish my DVD project in the coming days, this has been a labour of love, and I am happy to see it complete.

Simon on the Erme slot

The following weekend, we had a 5 Star Assessment, and here is our fun on East Lyn. Its a great run, full of good moves for the technique boater. Here is Spyros, from Greece, finally on his assessment, amazed that the UK has white water of such quality, fun that, Kaja Stein who came to the G17 APWE in December also said something along this line, as well. where do you think all these UK & Irish paddlers learn their boating?

Our Greek visitor
Watchers on the East Lyn
Double Drop East Lyn Gorge
5 Star Paddlers under test

Since leaving the UK, I have packed all my things from my mothers to relocate with my wife in Slovenia, this meant, driving everything from the UK to Slovenia, then meeting a truck driver with all Satu’s stuff in Munich, before flying to Helsinki to collect my wife, my car and the rest of it. We have fallen a little short of the destination of Munich for Saturday’s flight to Uganda, as my car decided to to stop in Northern Germany, so as we wait the repair bill, here is the road warrior getting a ride………it just shows, it’s always better to be lucky than good.

Car pick up

PS, don’t forget, we’re starting up in the French Alps this Summer, Deb Pinniger will be in residence for June and July, plus myself for June, so for all your guiding needs, coaching solutions and great paddling, you know the score.

“How much did you say it will cost for the car to be repaired!!”


9 responses to “into winter & Beyond

  1. Is that a deck chair on the roof Simon?

  2. Nope, that is my wife’s clothes rail for drying the laundry, she has brought all but the kitchen sink and shower from Helsinki!!!!

  3. yeah, couldn’t get those off the wall although I tried….

  4. The car is all fixed, thus it’s time to drive to Nussdorf and finish the editing

  5. Pingback: Ask the leadership coach » into winter & Beyond « the life and times of simon westgarth

  6. Have a great summer and the winter was a mix of fantastic days and dry days. See you in the Alps in June, if not catch you back in Devon next season?? Or when theres water!!!!

    • indeed, I am sure I will see you in the Alps, looking at the Piemonte snow pack, I’ll need France for a rest, for the real deal of every Summer, Norway she always awaits

  7. Jan-Henning

    Sounds like a mission, have a good and busy season!

  8. Joe Pulliam

    Read your blog on Playak. Good to know you’re still alive! Its been a long while.

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