Name: Mikkel St.Jean-Duncan
Hails From: Nelson, British Columbia, Currently Living in Calgary AB
Favourite River: Pingston, Tatlow, Cameron, Elk, Kootenay, St.Leon, Cataract, Red Earth
Story: I grew up in a kayak, my first experience was on the Kananaskis River at age 4 and I never looked back. From the young age of 11 I have competed in various aspects of the sport, the slalom nationals at age 11 and 12, freestyle worlds at age 17 and many extreme races since. I spend a large portion of my time teaching kayaking with both Endless Adventure in Nelson and Aquabatics in Calgary trying to share my passion of kayaking with others. I especially enjoys exploring the creeks around B.C. And Alberta trying to find those hidden gems.
Why I love kayaking: There are so many reasons to love kayaking. You can make it whatever you want, a class 1 float or a class 5 adventure, It's a team sport and an individual sport. It takes you to all the best places in the world and when you get there the local paddlers welcome you like friends. When I'm on the water nothing else matters. I forget about work, school, the unfinished house. It's the one thing I've tried that really forces you to focus on where you are right now.
Plans for this summer: With any summer in Western Canada there is a certain amount of exploring to do and 2010 proves to be no exception. There are a number of exploratory descents on the radar ranging from huge drops to tiny but crack canyons. One river in particular stands out because for each of the last three years there has been a scouting mission out to this mysterious drainage and not one paddle stroke yet but that all promises to change next year as we finally have a good idea of what lays below in the depths, I can't wait. Each year it seems I add to my to do list so this year with water levels agreeing hopefully I can shorten that list. Other goals include getting back to Cameron Creek, paddling the Ram River in Alberta and heading out to Whistler to paddle Callaghan Creek before any construction happens there.
Claims to fame (other than being a level six athlete):
- Kananaskis Whitewater Festival 2010 1st place, in all of the Rodeo, DR race, Ball Race and Boatercross
- Clearwater River Festival 2010, 1st in the rodeo, 3rd in the DR race
- “The Endangered Creeks Expedition” 2009 Film Release
- VIMFF award, National Paddling Film Festival award
- Little White Salmon 2008 Giant Slalom 2nd place, 4th overall
- Rapid Magazine Cover Photo, Spring 2008
- First Descent Upper and Lower Bonnington Falls
- Mission Epicocity 2006 cameo on Fosthall Creek
- World Jr Freestyle 1999 (New Zealand), 2001 (Spain)
Other Blogs/Sites: http://kayakhotdogs.blogspot.com/