Whitewater

Mountain Monday: Trinity River Adventure

Mountain Monday: Trinity River Adventure

A weekend on the river moves time only as fast as its current By Meggan Wenbourne Yours truly, descending Hell Hole (Serendipity Snapshots). A couple weeks back, my partner and I found ourselves driving through the night from Santa Cruz to Big Flat in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. With an alpine arrival (ha, I just made that up) of 0230, it was all we could do to actually find our sleeping bags, let alone crawl into them along the banks of the Trinity River. Four hours later we were up and looking forward to a day on the river. This particular section of river is a Class III river with five or six rapids of that class and a handful of other awesome rapids within a six mile distance. Several companies guide on this section of river and coexist with one another quite nicely each season. With one hard shell...
Technique Clinic: Winter Whitewater

Technique Clinic: Winter Whitewater

Tips for cold weather paddling By Haven Livingston Bluebird winter day on the South Yuba Summit (Daniel Brasuell). When Buck Crocket and Brian Banks arrived to kayak the first spring run of Gore Canyon on the upper Colorado River and found that the banks were still iced over and so was one of the rapids, Crocket did what any resourceful multi-sport adventurer would do. He reached into his truck and pulled out his ice axe. Getting into the river would be a slide, but getting out would require mounting a few feet of overhanging ice and snow. Paddling under these conditions may seem like a masochistic task, but consider the benefits: Instead of sitting in traffic en route to the slopes to ski groomers, you sneak off the beaten path to a lower elevation river and have the entire flowing wonderland to yourself. Rivers on the northwest edge of...
Paddle Smart, Paddle Safe

Paddle Smart, Paddle Safe

Preventing paddlesport fatalities By Haven Livingston Fully equipped for adventure. Cali Collective guide Victoria Anweiller heads down the South Fork American River. Photo: Melissa DeMarie In most cases, fatal paddlesport accidents are preventable. Period. This was reported by the National Safe Boating Council for the American Canoe Association report in 2002, and holds true today, for all types of paddlesports. This past August, during a training paddle for the Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge, Andres Pombo, 29, of Miami, drowned in the Columbia River after being blown off his standup paddle board by a gust of wind without a leash or life jacket. Heather Bonser-Bishop, 39, was standup paddling on the Chetco River in Oregon when her surf leash attached at the ankle caught on a submerged snag causing her to fall and be held under water. Jacob Austin, 52, and Mandi Walkley, 39, died after their sea kayaks overturned...
Feather River Festival to Run September 25-27, 2015

Feather River Festival to Run September 25-27, 2015

Feather River Festival // September 25-27,2015 // chicopaddleheads.org California’s largest whitewater festival celebrates its 25th anniversary and raises funds for American Whitewater. Plenty of river competitions at the Feather River Fest. Feather River Festival is California’s biggest whitewater festival, and is held annually on the fourth weekend in September to coincide with the Rock Creek Dam scheduled release. The event originated in 1991 as a party celebrating the dam release, and has grown exponentially over the years. Originally run by the Chico Paddle Heads, Feather River Fest is now presented by both the Chico Paddle Heads and American Whitewater, raising funds for the latter – a non-profit organization that works to conserve, restore, and enhance recreation opportunity on rivers. American Whitewater represents whitewater enthusiasts, river conservationists, and over 100 grassroots paddling clubs across the United States. The 2015 festival takes place September 25-27 at the Indian Jim elementary school...
Women Who Rock the Boat

Women Who Rock the Boat

California Women’s Watersports Collective gains momentum By Haven Livingston Melissa DeMarie powers down Bald Rock on the Middle Fork Feather River. Photo: Eric Petlock. The first thoughts Melissa DeMarie had after landing a 20 foot waterfall on a low brace and feeling her shoulder pop out were certainly not, “Oh, I think I’ll use my down time to create a nonprofit for women’s watersports.” She was kayaking in Chile and as anybody who has traveled for sport knows, the big bummer of seeing your trip cut short by injury was first and foremost in her head, but as healing time extended, she knew she had to do something else. “I moped around for a few months, but then realized that I had had this idea for starting up a women’s community group and it seemed like a good way to channel my energy and give back to the sport,”...
Get Wet Wednesday: Old Run New

Get Wet Wednesday: Old Run New

Finding new moves and skills no matter how old the run By Haven Livingston Seeing your route from a new angle definitely lends fresh perspective. After logging a whopping 115 days of kayaking last year, it’s disappointing to admit I’ve only reached 27 days so far this year. Work, other sports, life; there is so much to do and so few hours of daylight. The adventurous runs are so far away … or so I thought. Instead of traveling to kayak new runs I’m finding myself on my neighborhood run, Chili Bar, on the South Fork American River more often than I thought tolerable. You know the feeling; you’re tying your laces up and hitting the same after-work trail run you’ve done every Wednesday night that you can remember. You’re thinking, “This, again?” How mind numbing. But after more than 50 times on the run I’ve discovered there are still...
Get Wet Wednesday: Letting it fly

Get Wet Wednesday: Letting it fly

Team Jackson paddler Phil Boyer boofs off Gunsight rock in Trouble-maker rapid on the South Fork American River. Photo: Haven Livingston Check out Haven Livingston’s whitewater blog Wavehaven Adventures at wavehaven.wordpress.com....
Paddle Yosemite

Paddle Yosemite

Forget the trails, float through the Valley By Haven Livingston Paddlers with Sentinel Rock in the background (Dave Steindorf). Recently a select group of Yosemite visitors soaked in views of Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, El Capitan and every other stately Yosemite Valley landmark. This sightseeing tour happened without setting foot on a trail or driving a car, and no, they weren’t looking at Google Earth either. They were floating down the Merced River in kayaks and rafts. I was honored to be among them, and now that the rules have changed, you can do it too. Back in September 2013, I reported for ASJ on the potential for Yosemite National Park to open access to paddling on Park rivers for the first time in over 40 years as part of the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers Wild and Scenic Management Plans. The paddling population was anxiously hopeful for the final...
Taking it to the River

Taking it to the River

 Tips for new whitewater SUP thrills By Haven Livingston If flatwater stand up paddling isn’t providing the thrill it once did, take it to the river and test your finesse with downriver SUP. Before jumping in over your head, know that  river SUP is a potentially serious undertaking because the water can be relentless and overwhelming. This creates hazards that an untrained river runner may not expect or understand, so starting out with professional instruction should be number one on your list if you want to try your hand at river SUP. Once you’ve taken a swiftwater safety course and had a professional introduction to moving water, continue to get comfortable with how your board reacts to moving current. Rocking of the board should be absorbed by bending at your knees and being “Elvis in the pelvis” while keeping the upper body upright and stable. This keeps your weight...
Get Wet Wednesday: Bad line, great shot

Get Wet Wednesday: Bad line, great shot

It’s good to know that if your buddy is going to give you bad beta on a line, they’ll at least be there to give you a hand when you botch it. Horseshoe Falls on the Tuolumne River Photo: Phil Boyer Check out Haven Livingston’s whitewater blog Wavehaven Adventures at wavehaven.wordpress.com....
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