Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First Intermediate/Advanced Class on the Clackamas

January 3rd found 24 intrepid students at the North Fork Lake to improve their paddling skills. Paul Kuthe taught pretty much everyone something new. I learned a more effective way to rudder while paddling backwards. But the paddling drills were preceded by throw rope drills, something we just don't do enough of. Although I did get the rope out there, it's a good thing my partner wasn't being swept away by the river. Following a canoe-style lunch, we headed up to the put-in below Toilet Bowl. With such a large group, Paul had us partner -up. After many encounters of the third kind with a nasty lateral reversal by our group eddy, we headed on down to the wave at Joe Bob's.
Waiting for a chance...
Denny shreds. Doesn't it look easy?
Christine on the pillow.
Eric gets a good ride too.
From there on down, exercises were oriented to group interaction. First we eddy-hopped down a fun part on the left using a 'follow the leader' technique.
Then we switched to a 'leapfrog' technique with our partners. Admittedly, this is a great exercise, but I was just aching for more, and more challenging, eddies. Both exercises are important for developing within individuals the group dynamic skills required for running difficult whitewater and creeks.
We had a great time. And I think every last person really appreciates the teaching effort Paul put into the day.

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