Thursday, January 22, 2009

TR - Beginning Intermediate Class, January 17

We started the day with some safety talk, played a game to learn one anothers' names and practiced with throw bags. Then we talked about some real river scenarios where throw bags are involved and what throw bags can and can't do. Then we played some more games to put throw bags into practical applications.

Next we got into our boats and played some games for paddle warm ups. Learned the differences in strokes and experimented with applying the paddle stoke techniques while paddling in a straight line, on edge and in circles.

After we played another game, we got out for some snacks.

We loaded up and headed up river, buddied up and discussed the safety signals we'd be using on the river.

We ran Fish to Bobs and the water was at a good level. This being my first season of kayaking, I personally don't remember paddling at this level: 2600 cfs.

It was good fun with swift water, some newly defined eddies and slightly pushy rapids. First we practiced ferrying and entering eddies at the top even with rocks in the way.

The first rapid around the corner toward Armstrong snagged a couple in the eddies against the wall since the eddy had a rather steep recirculating barrier, but everyone kept their head and we were quickly heading down the river. (All 18 paddlers)

We practiced ferrying and eddy crossing again and applied the stokes we had practiced earlier. That was all good fun with safe swift water and some surfing took place.

Armstrong Bridge rapid and Slingshot didn't pose any problems. We scouted Carter Bridge rapid. It was more open than I had seen before but we all ran the normal line of river left with a hard merge to avoid the holes past the submerged fan rock. I flipped and had a battle with the river for my paddle and made the mistake of thinking I had won the battle and relaxed to roll. Paul was right on top of my boat but unknowingly, I got out of my boat since I wasn't able to hand roll. (never had tried before that)

It was amazing to see Michael go down Rock n Roll holding his paddle in the air to show us the line.

Toilet Bowl was the most fun I have ever had in that rapid. Somehow I didn't keep my paddle AGAIN and just spun round and round. I came up, I went down, up, down. Loads of fun! Hilarious but I guess you had to be there. Four or 6 paddlers swam through this rapid but I didn't hit any rocks :)

The day was long and everyone seemed like they had a great time. I can hardly wait to become a more solid paddler! A year or two and my paddle runs will be wide open. Now to find a leash to attach my paddle to my neck. See if I can't hold on to the bugger. My friends all say, it is hard to drop a paddle with pogies on. I think the river can take it anytime she wants if I'm not vigilant.

THANKS TO MICHAEL AND PAUL plus the class for an awesome day!!!

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