Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Water in the Chelan Gorge!

After a week in Salt Lake City I was very anxious to get back in my boat. Luckily, I made it back to the Northwest just in time for the last Chelan Gorge release of the year. What a treat!

There were 24 paddlers from all over Oregon and Washington that turned up for the Sunday release. The river was running at 400 cfs which was just about a perfect medium flow. The gorge is about three-tenths of a mile long and stacked full of class IV, V slides, boulder gardens and waterfalls. The novelty of the run was magnified by bluebird skies and warm water.

Ben Hawthorne @ Entrance Exam

Willie Illingworth @ Final Plunge

Ryan Scott @ Double Slide

Super Boof

The Throne Room

The Chelan Public Utility District and American Whitewater have negotiated recreational water releases for the second and fourth weekends of July for the next two years. If you missed out this time around, put it on the calendar for next summer!

Thanks to all of those people at AW who are working hard to keep the rivers running for us! To become a member of American Whitewater click here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

First Descents

I was lucky enough to spend the last couple of days on the water with First Descents. They are here in the Columbia River Gorge for a week long camp of kayaking and kiteboarding. In 5 years of kayak instruction I have never taught such a determined, patient and dedicated group of people. This is a group of campers who are definitely not afraid to take on a challenge.
Saturday we went to the Klickitat River where we introduced the students to the basics of whitewater kayaking. By Sunday they were all fired up and ready to run some rapids on the Lower White Salmon. We spent the afternoon swimming and surfing at cave wave where one of the girls was able to master her combat roll.
What impressed me the most is the super high energy and positive attitude of this group. Everyone had big smiles all weekend long. What a rewarding experience for everyone involved. Thanks so much for having me along and keep on charging!