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Old 10-17-2012   #1
 
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Ammons rant?

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Doug Ammons On Jeff West's Death, and on Ben Marr's First D of Site Z

I like Doug Ammons and I like reading his articles and I don't want to add to last years drama. I just can't figure out why does it make him cringe so much just to give younger guys props? Why does an article that is supposed to be about Jeff West turn into 2 paragraphs on Jeff and multiple paragraphs that Benny's Site Zed descent hardly counts since it was'nt at 25,000 cfs (even though Doug's solo run was at 4,000 cfs, the lowest it has ever been run)? Every time he belittles others accomplishments he tarnishes his own legacy. My generation put up with it because he was still a legend, but this new generation is having none of it. They have turned anti-Ammons in a way that makes me sad, because those that paved the way deserve respect.

If I could give Doug advice I would say to be at peace with yourself and your accomplishments Doug and Respect the current generation of kayakers just like you Respect nature and the power of the river. Then life will be more enjoyable, more peaceful and full of a bunch of rowdy young friends that look up to you.

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Old 10-17-2012   #2
 
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I did not get the impression that Doug was downgrading Ben's run. He applauds the first D of site Zed but points out that there will always be new challenges on the Stikine.
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Old 10-17-2012   #3
 
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I agree with the gist of your comments. Ammons is searching for an objective metric that says "this accomplishment is better than this one", however, he recognizes that these are relative (flow, rapids changing, support, etc.) and therefor subjective. It is too bad he can't accept that subjectivity and complement achievements without trying to rank them.
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Old 10-17-2012   #4
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First of all it's pretty far from a rant. Second Doug said what he always has said about site Zed that it is totally feasible just highly exposed. He gave a detailed analysis of why people haven't run it and all the things that came together to open it up. Sure he could have given more credit to Ben, and as always his ego shows through a little. I think his point was the Stikine is far from "finished". Water levels still play a huge roll as they always have, group dynamics, the changing river bed etc etc etc. I think he was giving props in the only way he can while still retaining the respect he has for the river. It would be silly to ignore how tied up his ego is in all of this. Whenever the Stikine is somehow made more accessible or achievable he shows up to tell us how scary it is. When the focus of the community shifts to big waterfalls he dismisses them because it has little to do with his accomplishments. I don't see it as a disrespect towards Ben. You can certainly argue there could be more praise, but he's not nor will he ever be the guy to trip over himself to pat someone on the back for being the best. His focus has always been admiring rivers not people.

As far as "it was supposed to be about West"... I'm not sure where that comes from. Someone published an article he wrote. He had the opportunity to write whatever he wanted. He provided the community with some last moments with Jeff and some closure for some like deepsouth. What more did you need him to say?
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Old 10-17-2012   #5
 
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Glenn - well said.
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Old 10-17-2012   #6
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Old 10-17-2012   #7
 
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Old 10-17-2012   #8
 
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Ammen glenn.... Ammons is a genius in terms of respect for the river. He doesn't go around calling it a creek specially after loosing a friend. That's what it comes down to how much respect do you have. I'm sure respect had to do with heli,n out of the stikine.

My view is some young bastards have no respect for the river and Doug makes up for it. He may be bitter but than again we would rather have a WWGP than save rivers. and I can see why. The respect for the river should always be greater! Regardless of how good you are. Humility can take you a long way!
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Old 10-17-2012   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craporadon
Latest:

Doug Ammons On Jeff West's Death, and on Ben Marr's First D of Site Z

I like Doug Ammons and I like reading his articles and I don't want to add to last years drama. I just can't figure out why does it make him cringe so much just to give younger guys props? Why does an article that is supposed to be about Jeff West turn into 2 paragraphs on Jeff and multiple paragraphs that Benny's Site Zed descent hardly counts since it was'nt at 25,000 cfs (even though Doug's solo run was at 4,000 cfs, the lowest it has ever been run)? Every time he belittles others accomplishments he tarnishes his own legacy. My generation put up with it because he was still a legend, but this new generation is having none of it. They have turned anti-Ammons in a way that makes me sad, because those that paved the way deserve respect.

If I could give Doug advice I would say to be at peace with yourself and your accomplishments Doug and Respect the current generation of kayakers just like you Respect nature and the power of the river. Then life will be more enjoyable, more peaceful and full of a bunch of rowdy young friends that look up to you.
You might want to re-read the article, pretty sure he gave out plenty of props. Good advice about being at peace with yourself and your accomplishments--you might try applying that closer to home?
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Old 10-17-2012   #10
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The article is titled, "Doug Ammons on Jeff West's Death, and Ben Marr's First D...", so that's probably what gave the impression that it was foremost about Jeff West's death. I tend to agree that his comments on Ben Marr were delivered as a backhanded compliment and the article seemed to follow a pattern of Ammons' articles that he was more interested in talking about himself than the subject he's presumably writing about it. It's too bad because he's obviously a truly accomplished paddler and has some insightful things to say.

To me, it's kind of analogous to someone criticizing a guy's mistakes at his funeral. There may be some truth to them, but that's not the time to talk about them. Everybody I've talked to who has laid eyes on the Stikine firsthand seems to think running Site Zed was an amazing accomplishment, which is probably why none of the best big water paddlers in the world over the decade have stepped up to it until now. From what I've seen, the past couple of years represent a huge leap in the normal rate of progression of the sport and this descent is at the forefront of that leap.

It's lame that Ammons can't seem to acknowledge and celebrate that without all these qualifiers. From what I've read and heard from him, I get the impression that he can't stand the fact that a bunch of young guys who like to party and talk in Demshitz colloquialisms are stomping shit he can't and never could. Doesn't seem like a graceful way to pass the torch.
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