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Wenatchee Valley Community Event Series

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URL: http://www.professorpaddle.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=16991
Printed Date: 27 May 2020 at 3:00pm

Topic: Wenatchee Valley Community Event Series
Posted By: pottert
Subject: Wenatchee Valley Community Event Series
Date Posted: 03 Apr 2019 at 8:19am
Good morning, friends of the Wenatchee Valley! It has been a long and arduous winter. We have faced frozen eddies, undesirable flows on Tumwater, and some of us have even felt the need to use pogies. Alas, we have endured what is necessary to have a fruitful spring and summer. Our snowpack is beginning its annual melt and we are conveniently positioned in the funnel of its runoff, armed with plastic boats and a ton of stoke.

Today marks the beginning of the third consecutive year of weekly paddling events in the valley. It has been a long road of progression since the World Kayak Organization added Leavenworth as one of their national paddling regions. Previous World Kayak ambassadors Marco Colella and Jean-Luc Robichaux, thank you for all you did to build such a solid foundation for what is now one of the strongest paddling communities in the northwest, if not the country. I was handed the torch in 2015, and it has been a privilege to see our community consistently gather, grow, and support one another through the progression of whitewater boat riding.

Throughout the next eight weeks, there is going to be a new and exciting kayaking event every Wednesday evening. These events will consist of races, clinics, freestyle competitions, group paddles, and safety practice. I will announce the location and format of the event each Wednesday morning, the day of the event. This keeps the playing field level and disallows for paddlers to practice a course in the days leading up to an event. Considering the last minute nature of these events, this is the time of year to keep your boats on your car so you are ready to strike as soon as you get off work, or whatever else it is you do all day.

In previous years, the World Kayak Organization has done a ton of leg work to provide us with a sizable quantity of shwag from various paddling related companies. Due to some administrative changes, they were no longer able to hook us up. So for those who came to these events strictly to get a clean t-shirt and avoid doing laundry for another week, I apologize. However, I have gotten a commitment from Icicle Brewing Company that ensures we will have some cold ones for after each event. Kurt, I will keep the Fanta flowing for ya bud!

If you have read this far into this post, you obviously would like to know what the damn event is going to be tonight, so here you go:


This is an oldie but goodie and the river levels are lining up nicely. This event consists of a bracket style format where paddlers are chosen at random to race against each other. Starting in the river right eddy above the third amigo, paddlers will race two at a time. The first paddler to reach the designated finish line wins the race. If you lose, you're done. We will continue through the bracket until the last two paddlers race! If you are eliminated and wish to continue to paddle, by all means hike for some more laps. If you crack a beer, I respectfully ask you to stay out of the river, but do enjoy your beer!

We will meet at the Castle Rock trailhead parking zone at 5:00 tonight! Any questions, hit me up!

I look forward to seeing you all a lot more over the next eight weeks. Let's make this series SICK!!!

See you tonight.



Posted By: pottert
Date Posted: 10 Apr 2019 at 7:55am
Its Wednesday again! Who's ready to get sick?!

Tonights event will test competitors prowess in several disciplines. Team work, decision making, and endurance are going to be our focus. The name of the game is...


Depending on participation tonight, we will team up in groups of three or four. Each team will get an Icicle Brewing Company beer that they must transport, AS A TEAM, from the Tumwater Dam to the end of the Third Amigo. First team to get their beer to the designated finish line wins!

Last year we did this event and I set designated handoff points to pass the "baton". Tonight, it will be up to the team to decide where each handoff will occur. This is where you can get creative and try and get an advantage on the other teams. However, each team member must carry the "baton" through at least one rapid. If you lose your "baton", you better find it. No littering in the river! We will select teams at random once everyone arrives.

We will meet at the end of the Third Amigo (Castle Rock) at 5:00 tonight. It may be a good idea to drop a couple cars at the Red Bridge so those who would like can do a stoke float through Chaos.

Any questions? Hit me up! See you all tonight.



Posted By: pottert
Date Posted: 17 Apr 2019 at 7:28am
Good morning Wenatchee Valley!!

Yep! Its Humpday! Time to get stoked.

We're in that part of the year where our river levels are living at a nice constant. Over the last three weeks, we've seen flows jump from 2,500 cfs to almost 4,000 cfs and back down. If it wasn't so damn cold at night, maybe we would actually see this thing let loose! The time will come.

Today's event is being introduced to the Wenatchee River for the first time! The monotony of repeating previous years event formats is on hold, until next week. This evening, I am very excited to bring you:


Upon meeting tonight, we will divide into 2-4 teams, depending on turnout. Each team will be assigned a different color beachball! Starting in the eddy at the top of the Dam Rapid, we are going to have a mass start race consisting of all paddlers, to the top of the First Amigo. When we arrive at the First Amigo, one of our delightful volunteers is going to throw each teams beachball into the river. As a team, each group must work together to get their beachball down to the end of the Third Amigo.

This should be quite the spectacle. Invite your friends and family for some spectator support. Ned, if you feel like bringing the drone out, this would be a good time.

If anyone has any questions, bring them to the takeout tonight. Red Bridge at 5:00. See you there!



Posted By: pottert
Date Posted: 24 Apr 2019 at 6:56am
Awwweee Yeaaahhhh!!!! Good morning, Wenatchee Valley!! I hope y'all are ready to get extra sick today. Be sure to eat your Wheaties for breakfast because your gonna need that energy tonight.

We've entered into the season of long days, an abundance of flowing rivers, and a kayak race almost every weekend. This is the time of year where stamina plays a key role in our ability to perform under pressure. Whether you're the only one at Turkey Shoot for three hours or you're trying to take home that Robe this coming weekend, you're going to need to be able to rock out some serious paddling.

This weeks event is a Wenatchee Valley classic and I hope you can all make it. Tonight, get ready for the long haul!


Thats right! A mass start race from Rodeo Hole to the Aplets Way bridge in Cashmere (The one after Grannies). This is an opportunity to see how long you can hang with the pack. Levels are looking nice and medium, it's a beautiful day, and of course, there will be a cooler full of Icicle Brewing Company beverages and Fanta at the take out.

Meet in Cashmere at 5:00. Jay Thomas is going to be organizing and officiating tonights event as I am in Minnesota. Last year we shuttled to the Dryden Dam for a bit of a warm up before the race went down. I will leave the rest of it up to y'all. Have an awesome event tonight! I wish I could be there.



Posted By: pottert
Date Posted: 01 May 2019 at 8:05am
Hot damn! It's Wednesday!

I hope everyone has been getting out and enjoying the goods! It's a pretty fun time of year right now, with most rivers being runnable but nothing has gone Richter yet. Icicle has been a happening spot. That Jacuzzi Wave down in Drunkards was crackin. We even had some fairly solid flows up in the Tum! Then it got cold again. After a weekend of cold fronts moving over the mountains, our seemingly constant snow melt has slowed tremendously. Save that sh*t for later!!

Anyway, as I was watching the declining flows on all of our favorite rivers, I was like wtf?! I wanted to have a freestyle event this week because we haven't had one yet and everything on the play run is about as fun as a wet towel. Then it hit me. What is steep and deep and at a perfect level today?! Oh yeah, you guessed it.


There may not be a better play hole on the Wenatchee River for throwing ends, blasting huge loops, and then running a big water class V rapid... Just kidding, please don't run The Wall in your play boat. Especially on accident after missing one of the 10,000 eddies downstream of Cherry Hole. But in all seriousness, Cherry Hole will be rockin tonight! I don't have a formal freestyle judging panel or scoring rubric so don't worry about winning. This is simply a freestyle jam and I hope everyone can come hang out.

Meeting at The Wall put in, up Tumwater Canyon at 5:00. Those who are relatively on time will load up and shuttle to the Tumwater Campground and enjoy a couple miles of warm up through the rapids of Upper Tumwater. If you cannot make it by 5, just show up whenever and ferry across to Cherry Hole. We'll be over there getting sick.

As per usual, this event is sponsored by Icicle Brewing Company. Prepare to enjoy a cold one after you are done paddling. If you swim, please believe that a Bootjack IPA is going in your shoe.

If you have any questions, holler at me. Otherwise, See you tonight!



Posted By: pottert
Date Posted: 08 May 2019 at 8:04am
Here we go again!!

I don't know about y'all but I can get down with these toasty days we've been having recently. Yesterday I found myself weed wacking my yard rocking Timberland boots, board shorts, and hater blockers. #safetyfirst Summer livin' is here!

Of course, with all this heat comes the dissipation of our snowpack. River flows are on the up and up and after a short lull, we are back on the gravy train to Church Island!!

My prediction is that sh*t is going to continue to climb in volume for the next couple weeks. This is a special time of year that allows for some seriously magical whitewater experiences in the valley. It is important to step back and be thankful for the fact the Wenatchee River and Icicle Creek dish out some of the sickest steep creeking, big water, and play boating that the world has to offer. Jah Bless!

If you've read this far, you're definitely ready to learn what tonights event is, so here you go!


Helllll Yesssss!!! Tonight is going to be extra sick. Flows are looking prime and are on their way to juicy. No worries though, that Lower Icy boats real nice right now.

Here's how it works. You need to find a partner to race with. All teams will meet at the Snow Lake Trailhead at 5:00 pm. Once we've all convened, we will head down to the bridge and get rolling. Every minute after our starting time, a team will depart from the eddy under the bridge. It is important that teams are in boats ready to go when they are asked to drop, otherwise the timing will be totally effed. The finish line will be to touch the hand of whoever is doing the finish timing, they'll decide. Times will range from 6-10 minutes. This is an all out assault, so bring it tonight.

Any volunteer help would be greatly appreciated!! We need help with timing, shuttle, photography, and SAFETY! If you don't plan to race, please come out and hold a bag or be in your boat in one of those key spots. We will discuss more about this at the pre-race meeting. Regardless of the role you want to play, just come hang out tonight as this is an extra fun event.

Oh yeah, I just filled the cooler. Those frosty Icicle Beers are on deck. They are especially appropriate for tonights event. #fromthetopofthemountainstothebottomofyourglass

See everyone tonight!!



Posted By: pottert
Date Posted: 15 May 2019 at 8:22am
Ahhhhh, rise and shine Wenatchee Valley!! Hump Day is here!

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has been coming to the weekly events. Wednesdays have definitely been a highlight of my week and the paddling community of the valley is what makes this all possible. Seriously, you guys and gals are all some sick ass ballers and we have an extra badass thing going on here.

With that being said, tonight I am bringing back one of the original Wednesday night community events. This actually may have been one of the first World Kayak sponsored events that I ever attended back when Jean-Luc Robichaux was the World Kayak guy. With 9000 cfs in the Wenatchee River this should be a plenty rowdy time. Tonights community event is:


This is full combat mode big water paddling. Finish times should be sub 5 minutes with plenty of flat water to burn out on so be ready to give'r. If you win your race, you continue to the next heat. If you loose, you get to go Uber Tubing. Tubes will be provided by Osprey Rafting Company so I recommend charging your GoPro and bringing your drysuit for this one.

We will meet at the Icicle Bridge at 5:00 to set shuttles and build a bracket at random. Again, this event is sponsored by Icicle Brewing Company so come thirsty, but not dehydrated.

Volunteer assistance for shuttle and photography would be greatly appreciated!! Bring trucks if you have them.

Any questions, hit me up. See you all tonight!!



Posted By: pottert
Date Posted: 22 May 2019 at 8:16am
Good morning and happy Wednesday!

It is great to have a little relief from the hot weather and some postponing of the snow melt. For the last couple days, our river flows have been on the decline, but they will return with that early summer heat.

This week we have some special guests in town that would like to share some new gear with us. The Czech Republic whitewater company, Hiko, has their 2019 demo line up with them and would love for everyone to check it out! Hiko specializes in steezy dry gear, PFDs, and apparel.

What better venue is there to test out some new gear than our very own Lower Icicle Creek?! Quick laps, easy shuttle, and plenty of space to spread out some gear at the put in. Come up at 5:00 tonight and get some laps, try some new gear, and have a tasty Icicle Beer.

Check out Hiko here: www.inwaterwelive.com

See y'all tonight!



Posted By: water wacko
Date Posted: 25 May 2019 at 7:14pm
I can't wait for next Wed!!

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~Howard Thurman

Posted By: pottert
Date Posted: 29 May 2019 at 8:28am
Good morning, Wenatchee Valley!!

Is summer in the air or what?! Temps are up and the rivers are back on their way to swoll mode. I knew there was some snow up there waiting to give us a late May gush.

Today marks the last night of the Wednesday event series. It has been an incredible two months of gathering the valley once a week for some obscure paddling event. I want to thank everyone who has been able to attend and especially those who have just come to hang out and help with logistics, photography, shuttle, etc. We have a bad ass community of river people in this valley and I am very grateful for you all.

In true Wenatchee River style, we're going out with a bang tonight. Nothing is more Wenatchee Valley than a mass participation:


Thats right! If it floats, bring it. Rafts, kayaks, SUPs, Stingrays, tubes, pool noodles, milk jugs, K-Mart Coffins, water wings, whatever!

We should be seeing close to 10,000 cfs on the play run tonight so the surfing should be nice and juicy.

As per usual, our friends at Icicle Brewing Company are setting us up with some beverages to enjoy after the float. In addition, BEYOND Clothing has been gracious enough to send some shwag over for us. So for all of you dirtbags who have been waiting for that new t-shirt to avoid doing laundry for another week, this is your chance. I am also breaking out the remainder of the paddle wax and kayak DVD's from last year so come stock up!!

Let's meet in Cashmere at 5:00 or Roadside at 5:45. See you all tonight! I'm looking forward to it!



Posted By: pottert
Date Posted: 20 Mar 2020 at 10:41am
Good morning Wenatchee Valley!

I hope everyone has been enjoying the early spring weather that the valley has been graced with. It's a pretty amazing time when the snow is holding strong, the rivers are flowing, and the bike trails are melted out. I can't think of a better place to practice some social distancing.

I wanted to give a quick update on what I am thinking regarding Whitewater Wednesdays for the 2020 season. For the past four seasons, I have been organizing a weekly event series during the months of April and May. For those of you who have attended, you know the routine.
Every Wednesday evening, we meet at a different location for an event that pertains to river flows of that particular day. The location and style of the event are announced the morning of, to keep the playing field as level as possible. These events are designed for maximum participation.
This year, there are a couple changes that I want everyone to be aware of.
First of all, I am moving the series from April and May to May and June. This is mainly because I am in Arizona for the next couple weeks taking care of my mom. Coincidently, we have this Corona Virus issue at hand and it is advised to refrain from group gatherings. This will also allow for a broader range in flows and some warmer weather, I hope. So, at this point, I am planning on kicking off the first event on Wednesday, May 6th.
Secondly, the World Kayak Organization, which is what these events were started under, has had some administrative changes over the last two years. It is my understanding that the organization is working on getting itself figured out, but for now, I will be hosting these events outside of the umbrella of the World Kayak Organization. With that being said, I regret to inform you that I will not have a box of clean T-shirts for everyone after each event. While I will do my best to collect shwag from the various companies I am affiliated with, it probably won't be on a very consistent basis. I hope to throw a party at the half way point and another at the end of the series.
Lastly, I am very happy to announce that Icicle Brewing Company has offered to become our headline sponsor for these events. I haven't worked out exactly what this means but you can be sure we will continue to have Icicle beer at every event. Maybe event some free T-shirts as well?

So there you have it. The 2020 Whitewater Wednesday series is coming up in a couple weeks. Corona Virus permitted, that is.
If anyone has any ideas for events they would like to see, I am all ears. I usually start running out of ideas about half way through the series anyway, so hook a brother up! I am stoked to spend another season paddling with you all.

Stay safe and healthy out there, my friends!



Posted By: pottert
Date Posted: 06 May 2020 at 8:49am
Good morning, Wenatchee Valley!!

We are about to embark on en eight-week journey of whitewater radness in our badass backyard. I've got some fun events coming down the pipe. I think these events will not only be great for the community, but also for individual paddlers looking to step up their game with a solid crew of mentors around them. For the next two months, Wednesday evening is dedicated to helping each other become better whitewater kayakers.

Tonight, I am kicking off this series with a banger. With social distancing still in the forefront of a lot of peoples minds, I think that park and play events are the best way to ease into this. After analyzing flows and doing some road scouting it was a tough call on what to do for our first event. However, we've kicked the last two seasons off with the same one so we might was well make it a tradition.

Join me tonight in Tumwater Canyon for:


I know, its relatively juicy up there, but the course looks good. We will meet at Castle Rock parking lot at 5:00 pm.

Carpool with people that you have been in contact with if possible so we can reduce our overall presence as a "Public Gathering." At 5:15ish, we will draw names and build a race bracket at random. Once we have a bracket, we will start firing 'em off!

The race starts in the river right eddy above the Third Amigo. Each set of two paddlers will set up in the middle of the river and paddle in current facing upstream. When the whistle blows, you will turn, and smash downstream. There will be a piece of flagging on the river left bank about 100 meters downstream of the rapid that will be the finish line. If you win, you continue in the bracket. If you lose, hike back up for some leisure laps or just kick it and enjoy and Icicle brew. If you have a beer, I ask that you do not get back in the river.

This is a great spectator event as it is all road side. Even if you don't feel like racing, this is a great one to come check out. Bring your boat and get a couple cruiser laps in!

Any questions? Hit me up! Otherwise, I will see you at 5:00 tonight!



Posted By: pottert
Date Posted: 13 May 2020 at 9:18am
Good morning, Wenatchee Valley!!
First of all, I wanted to thank everyone again for coming out last week. We had a total of eight competitors and about a dozen spectators! I was stoked to see that kind of turnout on night one! The whole goal of these events is to help each other get out on the river together, while showcasing the sport that we all love so much. So invite your friends, fam, work buddies, whoever! After all, there is plenty of room for social distancing outside and kayaking is not very contagious.
Tonight's event goes back to the roots of the Wenatchee River kayak scene. For years, paddlers have made their way from all corners of the Northwest to see if they can hang. Local paddlers tend to dominate this event as an intimacy with the feature is crucial. If you were looking for the ultimate combination of sun bathing opportunity and rafting carnage entertainment on a late May Saturday, this is your spot. So, without any more hesitation, I present this Whitewater Wednesday's event to you!
The river is up and the wave is kickin'! Not to mention, it is nice AF today! Meeting at the wave at 5:00 pm this evening, we will have ourselves a proper Rodeo Hole freestyle contest.
The format for the event is standard surf rodeo style. Paddlers will cycle the wave at will and points will be delegated via a judging panel on the rock above the wave. As you approach the wave the first couple times, yell your name to the judges so they can keep score. My hope is that eventually they will create a system of remembering who is wearing what and what boat they are in. Just make your presence known if you want to be recorded!!!!!
Please note, the judging panel knows close to nothing about freestyle kayaking, and points will be given only by the overall entertainment value of your ride. This is a great opportunity to enhance your potential score earnings via standing out from the rest. *Do with that as you will... ;)
This is an incredible spectator event!! The rock landing above Rodeo Hole can easily accommodate 30< people. However, getting up there is somewhat of a scramble! Don't say I didn't warn you.
Also, you are supposed to have a Discover Pass to park at Rodeo.
I think that about covers it! Don't forget that Icicle Brewing Company is our headline sponsor for these events. Be sure to thank any of their staff if you see them out and about.
If you have any questions, hit me up. Otherwise, I will see y'all tonight!!

Posted By: pottert
Date Posted: 20 May 2020 at 9:39am
Good Morning Wenatchee Valley!!

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has been attending the Whitewater Wednesday events thus far. We have had great turn outs, everyone has brought their game face, and the community as a whole has done an awesome job being aware of our current pandemic practices. I have been asked a couple times if I think its a good idea to host "Community Events" during these times. If we can follow all of the guidelines, yet still gather for an organized evening of kayaking, then Hell Yeah! I think it's a good idea!

Tonight's event is going to add two elements that we have yet to introduce this year at Whitewater Wednesday's. The team, and the shuttle. Both of which require us to be in close quarters with each other. However, if you have been getting out on the river at all, you probably have a small group of people you have been in contact with, or in other words, your "Quaranteam." Maybe you've even been doing some other outdoor activities like running or biking? Well tonight is your opportunity to bring it all together.

Our third Whitewater Wednesday event of the season is:


"Quaranteams" will be 2-3 people that YOU HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH CONSTANTLY OVER THE PAST 2 MONTHS. House mates, family, or just that one dude who you've been kayaking with this whole time.

Here is how the game works.

Each "Quaranteam" is allowed to drop one bicycle (No E-Bikes) at the Lower Icicle Take Out. If you have a runner on your team, you don't even need a bicycle.

All "Quaranteams" will meet with their boats IN THEIR VEHICLES at the Snow Lakes trailhead.

When the race starts, one "Quaranteam" at a time, will walk their boats from the road to the river, paddle the river as a "Quaranteam", retrieve their vehicle with their "Shuttle", and get their whole "Quaranteam" back to the Snow Lakes trailhead with their gear.

This is a TIMED EVENT! The time starts when your "Quaranteam" leaves the Snow Lakes parking lot. The time is stopped when your "Quaranteam" is back in the parking lot with your whole crew and boats.

This event will be a test of organization, logistics, and "Quaranteamwork." But I think it will be fun.

THIS IS A CLASS IV CREEK RACE !! PLAN ACCORDINGLY! Every paddler must have a throw bag. Every "Quaranteam" must have a pin kit, even though everyone should have one.

Start pulling your "Quaranteam" together! Please, only 2-3 people per team. Every "Quaranteam" member must paddle the run. However, not every "Quaranteam" member has to retrieve the vehicle. Be smart, be safe, have fun.
There is great spectating at this event, right at the first and best rapid! Come out and at least enjoy some carnage and a refreshment. Photographers welcome. Jon Metzler, you did a great job last week.

I will see you at the Snow Lakes trailhead tonight at 5:00.
Any questions? Hit me up!!



Posted By: pottert
Date Posted: 27 May 2020 at 7:38am
Good Morning Wenatchee Valley!!

It's looking like we finally have some warm weather on the way to bask in while the flows go Richter over the next week or two. Long days, hot sun, and big water. One of my favorite times of the year.

Well, before everything goes too big, I want to bring back one of the classic Whitewater Wednesday events. This is an oldie but goodie that I threw a bit of a twist on last year and have had many requests for a repeat. Fortunately for us, our industry partners in Leavenworth are extra generous and have contributed some crucial gear for tonight's event.

At 5:00 pm this evening, meet me at the Icicle Bridge in Leavenworth for:


Thats right, another bracket style event where two paddlers race each other down the House Run and the winner advances to the next round. If you attended last year, you may remember that if you lose a race, you are not done yet! Osprey Rafting has been gracious enough to let us use their inner tubes again! So, if you lose the kayak portion of this event, you simply switch to an inner tube and keep doing party laps with the crew! If you have never had the pleasure of tubing the House Run at 9,000 cfs, you definitely will not want to miss tonight's events.

This is a great event for a drysuit, if you have one. Luckily it is getting warm out, but that water is still cold and we will very much be immersed in it! Wetsuits are cool too. Just don't show up in board shorts and a dry top and tell me you are cold after a tube lap.

This is also a great event for a GoPro! Uber Tubing footage is some of the best POV footage out there. Especially when you are in the middle of a big water kayak race.

Spectators, this event is really for you. There is an excellent river side boulder stadium at Tindley Falls (The best rapid of the run). I will have more details for spectators at the pre-race meeting tonight.

Lastly, don't forget that our favorite hometown brewing company DONATES tasty beverages for us to enjoy at these events. If you see any affiliates of Icicle Brewing Company out and about, tell them thank you!

I think that about covers it! I'm stoked to to go Uber Tubing! I will see you all at the Icicle Bridge at 5:00!

Don't forget to Social Distance!



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