Posts tagged: whitewater kayaking
PADDLING – Kayakers have largely bailed on a special event just for them.
Whitewater kayak events through the exhilarating but short Chelan River Gorge will become a once yearly rather than four-times yearly event as interest among expert boaters has declined, Chelan County PUD commissioners learned this week.
The PUD and American Whitewater hope the once-a-year release of water from Lake Chelan through the gorge will lead to a more consistent kayaker turnout.
The new plan calls for a water release this year on Sept. 15 and 16 regardless of how many kayakers sign up.
Only about a quarter-mile long, but treacherous with Class 4, 5 and 6 whitewater during spill events, the gorge is navigable only by expert boaters.
The PUD’s federal license to operate Lake Chelan Dam originally ordered four annual releases of water through the gorge for white-water recreation, two in July and two in September. The change comes after a 3-year study revealed not enough interest among boaters to justify four events.
In July, kayakers are spread out among many Northwest rivers, said Thomas O’Keefe, American Whitewater’s Pacific Northwest spokesman.
Even if enough kayakers showed up to run the gorge, Lake Chelan water levels were sometimes low enough in mid summer that it was impossible to release water, PUD officials said.
Flow will be increased to 375 cfs on Sept 15 and to 400 cfs on Sept. 16.
Boaters must register online prior to the event.
“We were the first such park in Idaho, while Boise is opening its park this year,” said park spokesman Dan Gallagher.
Park director, Devon Barker, is a Lewiston native and two-time national champion.
“We had about 4,000 visitors over a couple-day run last year,” Gallagher said. “We have salmon fishing nearby and plenty of whitewater along the Payette and Salmon. The park has been a boost to our former sawmill economy.”
PADDLING — This great action and slow-mo video recap captures the intensity of the paddlers and the power of the water during the recent North Fork Championships whitewater kayaking championships in the BIG flows of Idaho's North Fork Payette River near McCall.
The contest involved 80 impressive paddlers from all over the globe, including 30 of the world's best paddlers. They competed down Jacob's Ladder - a Class V rapid that is terrifying to run, let alone race through gates.
PADDLING — This nifty video is a nicely filmed, beautifully thought out how-to story about kayakers hiking into one world's most famous Class 5 overnighters.
The group is up for running Upper Cherry Creek near Yosemite National Park, a trip that requires an 11-mile hike with their kayaks before they could put in.
You're likely to learn something by watching this full-length video (above).
Here's a short vignette of the paddling.
KAYAKING — They just barely made the 5 p.m. deadline! The six-kayaker minimum was met this afternoon to trigger the Chelan PUD to release water for kayakers out of Lake Chelan this weekend.
The kayakers signed up today for the rare chance to ride the flows shooting down the narrow gorge in a 3-mile series of Class V falls geared to EXPERT PADDLERS.
The Chelan River, although one of the shortest rivers in the northwest, offers some of the most challenging whitewater boating in the nation.
This is the third year of a pilot program the PUD has established to test the safety and interest in the program.
Each year, during the study period, whitewater releases for kayakers are set to occur only on the second and fourth weekends in July and September.
Due to high flows, whitewater boating on the Chelan River on July 9 and 10 was cancelled.
Read on for details and check out the video above compiled by Bellingham kayaker Matt Kuhrl during last year's weekend flush in the Chelan Gorge.