Friday, February 27, 2009

Roaring River Whitewater Slalom

A meeting to plan the Roaring River Whitewater Slalom, to be held on the Clackamas River in late August, is scheduled for this Thursday, March 5th, at 7:00 p.m., in the Hillsdale neighborhood. If you have an interest in supporting or participating in this exciting and challenging paddling event, you may want to attend. For more information and specific location, e-mail me, Dick Sisson, at

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Intermediate TR

Sunday, a group of us hit the Upper Klickitat (Salmon Hatchery to Leidl Campground) in Washington State for the Intermediate Trip. Final count at the put in was 15 paddlers, a great turn out for this trip and a testament to the hardiness of Pacific Northwest kayakers.

This run is classified as a Class III continuous, but with flows on the low side of good, it was closer to Class II+. That said, it appears that with some more water in this section it would be a whole lot of fun. The weather was relatively cold and there was some fresh snow on the ground, but everyone had a good time and enjoyed the stunning scenary and the 6 bald eagles we followed down river.

Here is a link to some photos taken during the trip, including a couple I took on the way home of the log in Husum...



Friday, February 20, 2009

Intermediate Trip - Sunday, Feb. 22

Hey Everyone,

This month's intermediate trip is set for the Upper Klickitat (Soggy Sneakers #159 or 160, depending on flows). These sections of the Klick are classified as continuous Class III and the water will likely be pretty cold, so paddlers should have a reliable combat roll.

I'm planning on this being a pretty long day, since we'll be working our way down river at a pretty deliberate pace. With this in mind, paddlers should plan to bring some munchies and water in their boats.

We'll be meeting at Lewis & Clark Park (the actual park, not the gravel lot off 84) at 9:30 a.m. to set up shuttle.

If you are not already on the trip list, please contact me at so I can have an accurate head count.

Also, the weather for Sunday doesn't look great, so if you are on the trip list and decide to stay home where it's warm, let me know via e-mail (today and Saturday) or by phone (Sunday a.m.) at 503-944-9655.

Take care and I'll see you Sunday a.m.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

WKCC Safety Weekend

The WKCC Safety Weekend is scheduled for June 13th and 14th this year, at Fisherman’s Bend Campground on the North Santiam River. This two-day introduction to swiftwater safety and rescue techniques will include topics such as knots, hydrotopography, kayak pin and foot entrapment extraction, paddling-appropriate warm-up and stretching exercises, mechanical advantage systems, swiftwater swimming, throw bag practice and how to deal with strainers.

Participants need to be members of the WKCC, $12 annually. Info is at:

The OKCC will not hold a Safety Day this year.

OKCC Membership Renewal

To simplify our systems, we are changing our membership renewal process. From now on, OKCC memberships will all expire on December 31st. Renewals will be for a one year period from January 1st to December 31st. In the past, each member had a particular renewal month.

During this transition year of 2009, all current memberships will extend through the end of the year. Memberships will need to be renewed for 2010. A corollary is that any membership started in 2009 will extend through 2010.

In the future, any membership started during October, November or December, the beginning of the winter boating season, will extend through the next year.

At $20 per year for an individual or household, OKCC membership is a real value. Members participate in scheduled trips, classes, pool sessions, social events and more at zero or reduced cost.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Presidents' Day Rogue Trip Report

Ten kayakers were part of a total of 48 OWA and OKCC boaters who launched on the Rogue Valentine's Day. Snow on the hills attested to the chilly conditions. Grave Creek Rapids always give a quick taste of what is to come, but it was easy cruising on down to Rainie Falls and through the Fish Ladder, although Erik made a nice run down the Middle Chute. Some of us hopped out to assist the rafts through, and many of them really needed the help, particularly some of the big cats.

From there it was on down through Tyee, Wildcat, the Howard Creek Chutes and Slim Pickens. All were pretty fun and enough activity to keep sufficiently warm. Plowshare is usually a tricky rapid, and it was up to its usual tricks, although we all came out right side up and in our boats at the bottom. Upper Black Bar, with its blind extreme right hand entry, was a challenge, with a bit of a pileup at the bottom, and a rockwall-assisted roll by one paddler.

Horseshoe Bend Camp was just a mile and a half cruise further, and we arrived early enough, at 1:15, that a couple of us went hiking, something I always enjoy doing on the Rogue. The Rogue River Trail runs all the way, top to bottom, on the north side of the river. It's a sketchy scramble up a way trail, though, to get to the main trail from Horseshoe Bend Camp. This camp is enormous and easily accomodated our large group.

We had a great Stroganoff dinner, a prelude to an evening of rain. Fortunately, Sunday dawned dry and slightly warmer than Saturday. At these flows, about 3,300 cfs at Agness, it's easy, pleasant cruising down to Mule Creek. We took our usual break there for a quick snack and stretch, reviewed the rapids to come, and then headed into Mule Creek Canyon. Everything was pretty straightforward as we passed Jaws, went through the S-Turns, passed Telfer's Hole and The Narrows, but Coffee Pot was pretty nasty. I slipped through on a sucking seam to turn around to see a compatriot do his second roll. Good work! Possibly looking for more excitement, one kayaker swam out. The toughest part is over after Coffee Pot, but it still took some scrambling to get him reunited with his boat and paddle. Fortunately, Ernie was waiting in his raft to assist.

Most first timers scout Blossom Bar, unless they are confident class 4 boaters, so we had an opportunity to hop out and take a good look at the rapid. It's long and complicated, but remarkably straightforward for skilled paddlers. We all had good runs. After Blossom Bar, the river lets up. Although Devil's Stair, right around the corner, caused another swim. At this flow, the entrance wave breaks pretty sharply and powerfully. With 5 miles to go to our camp at Tacoma, I cruised on ahead, since I was the Meal Captain for dinner. Boaters straggled in for the next hour and a half. Tacoma Camp is another really nice camp, roomy, with a large kitchen area. The meal of pasta with red sauce disappeared pretty fast.

Kitchen duties kept me from hiking in the afternoon, but at dawn I headed to the trail. Downriver, the trail crosses an unstable slide area, and when it seemed to go on that way forever, I headed back upriver past Tate Creek, which is more scenic anyway.

The 6 mile morning paddle out sometimes seems like a chore, but it starts with the 2 class 3 rapids, Tacoma and Clayhill, and it's really scenic. Once past the Clayhill Stillwater, the river starts moving again. Once more I spotted a bald eagle at Shasta Costa Creek. More often than not, there seems to be one there. I also spotted an otter just above the take-out, one of many seen by the group on this trip. Wonderfully, it was sunny and pleasant at the Foster Bar take-out. Snow in the hills required us to drive to Gold Beach and up 101 on our return.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Intermediate Trip - February 22, 2009

Mark your calendars, the second Intermediate Trip of the year will be Sunday, February 22, 2009. Meeting time, place and river to be announced.

If you are interested in attending, please e-mail me at


Jim Funk

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Revenue to Dodge - TR

Sunday, Feb 8, found the OKCC Beginner Progression on the Revenue to Dodge section of the Sandy River. Not really a beginner run, this stretch is a considerable step up from the old reliable Dodge to Oxbow run. It starts out pretty easy, though, and gets tougher as boaters continue. There are some nice boulder gardens and a few wall shots to keep things interesting. A few play spots appear along the way, but nothing worth writing home about. Flow was on the low side, 1,800 cfs at the Bull Run gauge location. At higher water, many of the rapids are washed out, but some are more formidable.

This day found 14 paddlers at the put-in, so we broke into two groups, an intermediate group and an advanced group. I led the intermediate group. A few of us caught a few waves and then did take the left hand route around the island that gave us a taste of the first boulder garden. We did so well, we headed down the most difficult drop without a shore scout, only a review from an eddy just above. Continuing this way produced a couple swimmers and a lost paddle. Fortunately, we had a spare paddle. Even more wonderful, the lost paddle resurfaced as the advanced group came through the rapid, and it was returned to its appreciative owner.

The sun came out, and everything was wonderful. We continued on, making our lines and having a few learning opportunities. Everyone did great!

Again I reflected that this is an underutilized run. It's got quite a bit of variety, and it's nearby.

Right now, Lusted Road is closed between Dodge and Bull Run / Revenue, so the shuttle is 8.2 miles rather than 4.4, but that's not much of a problem. Parking at the Revenue Bridge is also a bit of a problem, but we just used the area at the junction a couple hundred yards above the bridge and carried the boats down. SYOTR...

safety talk pictures courtesy of Dave Hoffman /

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Advanced Class TR

Fourteen paddlers turned out for the first Advanced Class of the season. We spent the morning at the North Fork Reservoir, first with throw rope practice and then with practice on the water. Emphasis was on edge control. One fun excerise was paddling inside circles on edge, both forwards and backwards - try it sometime. Michael again spoke of the importance of keeping one's weight forward, "Lead with the heart!"

Our afternoon was devoted to a Fish to Bob's run. Here the emphasis was on using rudder strokes to control the boat exiting eddies. Soon it included using as few strokes as possible to make the ferry and return. Us paddlers achieved widely varying degrees of success. Then we were on downstream where the adventuresome made repeated runs through the hole in Armstrong Rapids. Everyone had good runs at Carters, including several through the reversals left of center. Slingshot provided another challenge for catching eddies, since even the 'nice' eddy on the left is a boily backeddy and the one on the right is a boily microeddy! Lots of fun.