Latest News from Fairbanks Paddlers
Monica Morin will be giving a Packrafting Awareness presentation at Beaver Sports on Tuesday, August 30 from 5 – 7 p.m.
The purpose of this presentation is to help packrafters choose appropriate rivers for their skill levels. Monica will explore how packrafting has evolved, and why it is growing so rapidly in popularity, especially among Alaskan adventurers. She will focus on trip preparation and planning, including packrafting-specific safety equipment, packing tips, choosing trip partners, and selecting routes and rivers best suited to group skills and experience. Discover how factors such as river gradient, water level, weather conditions, remoteness, river features, and other available information can help evaluate risk potential for a particular trip. Monica will also share case studies, and discuss opportunities and resources for additional safety and skill development.
The 40th Annual Nenana Wildwater Races will be held the August 19-21 in the Denali Park and Healy area. This year’s event will be held in conjunction with the Blueberry festival sponsored by the Denali Chamber of Commerce. The festival promises to be bigger and better than ever with fun events of interest to paddlers and non-paddlers.
The fun kicks off on Friday, August 19 at 6 pm at Otto Lake with a Barbecue, live music, and Epic Kayak Ultimate (Ultimate frisbee played in kayaks) at 7 pm.
The 40th annual Wildwater races start at Noon on Saturday, August 20 at the Jonesville Bridge near the Denali Park entrance. It will be preceded by the Blueberry Dash 5k at 9 am, and the Great Denali Duck Race at 11 am.
Sunday, August 21 wraps up with Epic Kayak Ultimate club games and the Blueberry Bash at Otto Lake from 11 am to 3 pm.
Have you done a trip in the Arctic Refuge this summer, or do you still have a trip planned? If so, you should participate in the Fish & Wildlife Service survey of Refuge visitors. The poster below tells why it is important for you to make your preferences known. To participate in the survey, contact the Arctic Refuge at 1-800-362-4546 or email email@example.com.
The 9th Annual Six Mile Creek Whitewater and Bluegrass Festival will be held Saturday, August 13th, 2016.
The purpose of the Six Mile Creek Whitewater and Bluegrass Festival is to bring the whitewater paddling community, the music and arts community, and the general public together to share a unique weekend of athletics, entertainment, the human connection and nature on the beautiful shores of Six Mile Creek.
Come experience the hardcore CHAOS of paddlers mass-start sprint racing through a narrow, whitewater canyon… guaranteed ear-to-ear grins! While you’re at it, come boogie on the shores of the river on Saturday night to some incredible, boot-stompin’ live music! EVERYTHING (live music, competition entry, festival entry, camping, parking) is FREE!!!!! As always, there will be a raffle for some sweet prizes, an awards ceremony for the races, live music, and a fire show once the sun goes down!
SATURDAY, AUGUST 13th, 2016:
11:00 am : all competitors/racers need to walk down to the main festival tent/dome on the shore of the river, grab a racing bib and sign your name, Bib number, and phone number on the sign up sheet. PLEASE return bibs to the main stage tent immediately after the races!
12:30 pm: racers and spectators leave main festival grounds at Boston Bar area and carpool/drive back north to the 1st canyon extreme race series site (5 minutes back towards Anchorage from the main festival site, about 1 mile north of the Seward Highway bridge over Canyon Creek, just before the Hope cut-off road… look for lots of parked cars off the side of the highway at 1:00pm.
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm : Downriver mass-start extreme race through the 3 biggest rapids of the 1st canyon (KAYAK, canoe, inflatable kayak)
2:00 pm: PACK RAFT mass-start extreme race through the 3 biggest rapids of the 1st canyon (pack rafts only)
2:30 pm: INFLATABLE POOL-TOY extreme mass-start race (inflatable pool-toy race…ride an alligator, shark, couch, whatever you want!… (normal whitewater gear is required (aka: drysuit, life jacket, helmet))… pack rafts don’t count as an inflatable pool-toy:^
4:00 pm: everyone drives back to main festival area, awards ceremony, bonfire party, & live music begins. AWARDS will be around 7:00pm!
SATURDAY, AUGUST 13th, 2016 at the main festival grounds:
- 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Squeeze Mama
- 7:15 pm – 8:15 pm : The Goddamn Ranch Hand Band
- 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm : Quela Narguela & the Rowdy Rutabagas
- 9:45 pm – 11:30 pm : The Shoot Dangs
- 11:45 pm – 1-ish am : Orion Donict (prepare to dance your faces off)
Share the event on Facebook and invite your friends at: https://www.facebook.com/events/629941750503852/
*** THERE WILL NOT be any food vendors this year or beer garden! Bring food/beer for yourself so you don’t get hungry/thirsty! This is a completely self-reliant festival ***
DIRECTIONS: Drive 1 hour south of Anchorage on the Seward Highway towards the town of Hope. Main festival grounds are located at mile 3.4 of Hope Road. Look for festival signs.
PARKING: You can park off the shoulder of the road, but DO NOT park over the white lines or you will be towed. Don’t block anyone in and make sure sure sure your car is completely off the road. They are very serious about towing, so please spread the word!!! Please be respectful and don’t park on anyone’s private property! Be creative and use your common sense.
*** there is a good chance that you might have to drop camping gear off at the festival area, and go drive your car down the road a ways and find a shoulder big enough to pull off over the white line. There is another large camping area around mile marker 1.
CAMPING: * Free camping! around the main festival grounds, no room for RV’s at the main festival area though, tent camping only. There are plenty of free camping areas along the road to Hope, just be creative. There’s a large field, so just find a spot to nestle into, it’s a beautiful camping area! There is also an official campground about 10 miles down the road past the town of Hope. Once again, be creative and use your common sense.
- PLEASE PACK OUT YOUR OWN TRASH!!!! It would be awesome to have everyone’s help on Sunday morning cleaning up the area… the Chugach National Forest rangers will be assessing the area after the festival and it needs to be BETTER than it was before the festival to have the festival next year… I need everyone’s participation to do this (pick up any trash/paper, fluff up the grass where your tent was, pick up any left-over food on the ground, etc)
** If you get to the main festival grounds at 1:00pm on Saturday and wonder where folks are at… YOU’RE MISSING THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE FESTIVAL!!!!… the extreme, mass-start sprint races 5 minutes back up the road!! (look for lots of parked cars off the Seward Hwy about a mile north of the Hope Road junction).
DIRECTIONS to the extreme race area mentioned above: *Competitors & spectators will leave the main festival grounds & drive up the road to the 1st canyon race area just off the Seward Highway about 1 mile north of the Canyon Creek bridge overpass on Saturday at 1:00p.m. sharp…*** you’ll notice people leaving the main festival area, just use your intuition and follow them***
- If you want to volunteer, all you have to do is contribute somehow. I need volunteers to
- make a fire pit/collect firewood
- pick up trash and bring it to town/the Hope dump on Sunday morning
- help break down the main stage on Sunday morning
- help pack up Sunday morning
- help direct people towards parking
- river safety/rescue racers by boat/throwbag
-etc etc etc
IF YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER, please contact Tim Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or just help at the festival when it looks like help is needed.
Competitors If you want to compete in the river races, you must have a proper life jacket and helmet… a drysuit is highly recommended because there are usually swimmers involved.
Thanks to all of you who came out on the evening of May 11 to clean up the Chena River through town. About 20 people came out and together we pulled about 700 pounds of trash out of the river between Graehl Landing and Pioneer Park. This has been duly reported to American Rivers, which has been sponsoring river cleanups throughout the country and keeping track of the results. We are also recognized by the Tanana Valley Watershed Association for our commitment to keeping the banks of the Chena River cleaned up. Thanks again to everyone who came out.
This June, the Fairbanks Paddlers club is hosting two Instructor Certification Workshops (ICW) in the Fairbanks area.
ONLINE REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!
REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS 8:00 p.m. TUESDAY JUNE 14
SPECIAL RATE AVAILABLE ON SECOND COURSE FOR PARTICIPANTS TAKING BOTH COURSES
Questions? PLEASE CONTACT MARY PAGEL – (907)987-6878 email@example.com
Register for American Canoe Association ACA Instructor Certification Workshops (ICW):
- Essentials of River Canoeing ( ACA Levels 1 and 2 ) – June 18, 19, 20 – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Class limit is 10 – Candidates may seek Tandem or Solo certification, or both
- Essentials of River Kayaking ( ACA Levels 1 and 2 ) – June 22, 23, 24 – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Class limit is 5
The club’s purposes include encouraging water safety on rivers and lakes through training and instruction, and encouraging boaters to progress in their skill level and helping others to progress. To further these goals, we have scheduled expert instructors to teach two American Canoe Association ACA Instructor Certification Workshops (ICW).
Barb Cutter of Cutter Aquatics will be the Instructor Trainer. She will be assisted in the Canoe course by Don and Tracie Pendergrast.
Essentials of River Canoeing (ERC) read more…
June Thomasson will be leading this year’s Upper Nenana River overnight trip on the “Reindeer Hills” section on June 11-12. June would welcome a co-trip leader who also knows this section of the river. Please contact June at (360) 348-0012 or jthomasson_99 at yahoo.com by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8 if you’re interested in joining the trip. You must be a current club member to participate in the trip.
On the Reindeer Hills section we float the Nenana River between 18 mile Denali Highway and the “Windy Bridge” on the Parks Highway a few miles north of Cantwell. We will put-in on Saturday, June 11, spending the night on the river and taking out late Sunday afternoon. The tentative plan is to meet at 11 am at the Windy Bridge takeout and leave shuttle vehicles there. Participants may want to coordinate driving together and sharing gas costs.
The Fairbanks Paddlers have long wanted to stimulate paddle sports in the Interior. One way to do that is to teach people the skills to make them safe paddlers and to be comfortable on our waters; canoe instruction is now available.
Club members Tracie and Don Pendergrast (business membership) are now certified American Canoe Association canoe instructors and will offer five courses this summer. They are also working with Fairbanks Paddlers to train more certified instructors in the Fairbanks area.
What happens when you combine two great sports, kayaking and ultimate frisbee? You get Epic: Kayak Ultimate.
Epic Kayak Ultimate is having an Open House at Tanana Lakes paddle boat launch on Memorial Day, May 30 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can learn to paddle, learn the basics of Epic, play in a casual game, and have a hot dog. All required equipment will be available to use, and the event is free.
Epic Kayak Ultimate is a high-intensity water sport, melding the skill and teamwork of Ultimate with the challenge of paddling. Invented in North Pole, Alaska by a small group of friends, it has grown over the years to expand to three states and hundreds of players. Now, Epic has grown to include competitive League action during the summer months in the Fairbanks area.
The sport is open to paddlers of all abilities. Epic Leisure games are held Monday and Thursday nights at 7 p.m. Epic Kayak Ultimate League games are Wednesdays at 7 p.m. from June through mid August.
You can bring your own boat and gear, or use theirs.
Join Fairbanks Paddlers
Memberships run from
April 1 through March 31
Nothing from September 26, 2016 to November 26, 2016.