Whitewater

What You Need to Know About  High-Water Rafting Trips

What You Need to Know About High-Water Rafting Trips

Paddlers and outfitters prepare for unprecedented high-water season on California rivers and beyond By Cari Morgan Whitewater fun on the Merced (James Kaiser/O.A.R.S.). For river guides and whitewater lovers, high-water rafting seasons in the western US are responsible for many a tall tale, told in celebration of big flips, upside-down boats, long swims and daring heroism. Thanks to an above-average snowpack across much of the Western US, the 2017 river season has shaped up to be one of those years, especially in California which received a record-setting amount of precipitation and snowfall. When is high-water season in the West? On rivers across the West, the high-water window typically occurs from mid-May to mid-June with the possibility of lasting longer during years with above-average snowpacks. “High water may last a few weeks in thin snowpack years, or prevail for a month or longer depending on how warm it is, how...
Armchair Adventure: Issue 95

Armchair Adventure: Issue 95

Armchair Adventure New School Guide to Northern California Whitewater by Dan Menten Menten’s new guide book has been in the works for over eight years. It includes 135 run descriptions, GIS-generated precision maps, fun stories, and photos. Menten has run all but three of the reaches in the book so you can be sure that he has personally fact-checked every detail. This is the first guidebook to come out of this region in over 20 years and is by far the most thorough. It captures the heart and soul of NorCal river culture and is a must-have for anyone interested in kayaking, rafting, or whitewater in general. Buy directly from Menten and he’ll even sign the book if you ask. newschoolpublications.com —Haven Livingston...
California Whitewater

California Whitewater

 By Haven Livingston Dan Menten on Yager Creek (Phil Boyer). California is flowing with water – whitewater paddlers rejoice! Now the big question is: what should you paddle this spring and summer? We caught up with three experts to help answer this all-important question. CAUTION: Winter storms have changed many runs, and spring and summer flows will be bigger and colder than in years past. Use extreme caution when choosing a run, dress for immersion, and go with someone who knows the run at current flows. Above all, know your limits. Northern California with Dan Menten Dan Menten started whitewater kayaking 25 years ago on Idaho’s Payette River. After getting his start in slalom racing he moved west and has spent the past 17 years exploring NorCal’s secret wonderland of whitewater. Never underestimate Menten. He’s an underdog who shows up at downriver races having never seen the run and...
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....
X
- Enter Your Location -
- or -