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Time to Join Fairbanks Paddlers

It’s time to renew your membership or join Fairbanks Paddlers for the first time.  Memberships go from April 1 through March 31 of each year.  Individual memberships are $10 per year, and household memberships are $15.  You can fill out the online membership form, or print a membership form  and mail it or bring it to an activity.

The club is still working on its 2014 trip schedule.  We would love to have some members step up and lead some new trips.

The club also has a variety of equipment available for club members to use on river trips. These include a rescue beacon, large river tarp, toilet systems, a canoe trailer, a grill, event bibs, slalom gates, and a first aid kit (for club-sponsored trips).

Membership Form (987)

Whitewater Kayaking Class

A one-credit Introduction to Whitewater Kayaking class will be offered this summer through the UAF Outdoor Adventures program and UAF Community and Technical College’s Recreation department. The course will be taught by Fairbanks Paddler’s member John Schauer.

Kayaking: Whitewater: RECR F140Y T01- 1 Credit Field Fee – $254
An introduction to whitewater kayaking. Topics will include equipment selection, safety considerations and hazard assessment, introduction to group and river running, eddy turns, scouting, river running, ferrying, trip planning considerations.

Summer 2014 Schedule

  • June 24: Classroom and Pool Session – Kayak outfitting and safety basics – Basic paddling and maneuvering skills
  • June 26: Chena Lakes – Flatwater paddling skill demonstration and rescue practice
  • June 28-29: Upper Chena Overnight– Paddling and rescue techniques on moving flatwater, eddy turns and ferrying
  • July 1-2: Swiftwater/Whitewater Paddling Trip– (River location TBD based on water levels and group readiness)

Most equipment is provided through the Outdoor Adventures program. Participants wishing to use their own boats and gear need to have it inspected and approved before the start of the class.

For more information please contact Outdoor Adventures at (907) 474-6027 or
uaf-oa-staff@alaska.edu. Or stop by the OA House at 519 Copper

First Trip of 2014: Delta Clearwater

Spring is here and it is time to start paddling. The Fairbanks Paddlers day trip on the Delta-Clearwater will be held on Saturday, May 3, 2014.

Please contact June Thomasson, jmthomasson [at] alaska.edu (479-2434) if you plan to participate or if you have questions.

If you are not a current member of Fairbanks Paddlers or need to renew your membership,  you can renew your membership online, download a membership form from the website,  and either send in your completed form and fee ($10 individual or $15 family) or bring these to June at the trip. Membership forms will also be available at the put-in.

River information:

This is a flat-water trip that moves from the crystal clear Delta Clearwater River onto a slough of the Tanana then a short paddle up a creek to Clearwater Lake and across the lake to the take-out. From the Clearwater State Recreation Site to Clearwater Lake is about 12 miles and takes 4-8 hours depending on the wind direction and water conditions. Occasionally, depending on water level, the initial turn up the creek requires some strategy but there will be many of us there to help if this area creates any obstacle. A map and further river information is available at the parks and rec web site: Alaska State Parks Float Guide. It includes a link to a map.

Delta Clearwaer

What to bring:

Canoes and kayaks are the most common boats on this trip; going up the creek with a raft could be challenging. All participants should bring and wear a personal flotation device (life jacket). Migrating ducks, geese and swans commonly make the lake their first stop in the interior, so bring your binoculars. Bring a dry change of clothes in a water proof bag and a variety of layers so you are prepared for the temperature, which can be distinctly cooler or warmer than Fairbanks. Also bring lunch and drinks so you are properly fueled. We will stop for lunch on a gravel bar.


The day trip is an all day affair. We will be on the river about 6 hours.

Here are directions provided by Brad Snow some years ago:

To Takeout:
Drive S on Richardson Hwy. from North Pole Badger Road (McDonalds) 72.75 mi to Tanana River Bridge at Big Delta. Continue 6.75mi S on Richardson to L on Jack Warren 4.55mi to L on Tripple H Rd. .75mi to R on Clearwater Lake Rd. .18mi to L into Clearwater Lake public parking.

To Putin:
Retrace to L 1.4mi on Jack Warren to R on Aspen .44mi to LR jog to .58mi on Souhrada Rd. to L 3.2mi on Remington Rd. to L into Clearwater State Rec. Site. Follow the signs to the boat putin.

For geeks (all coordinates in WGS84 format):
Putin: N64 3.445′ W145 26.503′
Takeout: N64 4.926′ W145 35.378′
Clearwater Lake Turnoff from the Tanana River: N64 6.285′ W145 35.201
(These coordinates were taken from DeLorme Topo USA and may be 10-80′ off)

Grand Canyon: Shut Out, but Not Shut Down - Paddling Trip Presentation - March 27

To celebrate the return of spring and the rapid approach of paddling season, Fairbanks Paddlers will host a presentation by Lance Lynch on Thursday March 27 at 7 pm in the upstairs room at the Food Factory on College Road.


Lance lead a group of Fairbanks Paddlers on a trip to Arizona last October. Despite having a Grand Canyon permit in hand, they were shut out by the government shutdown: the Grand Canyon was “closed”! Not to be outdone by “The Man”, they hit the road in search of canyons and whitewater. Follow Lance and his team as they dodge bureaucracy and ultimately succeed in their quest.

This will be a multimedia extravaganza, so don’t miss it! Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Lance’s show will be preceded by a Fairbanks Paddlers board meeting starting at 5:30. We’ll be discussing summer trips and other upcoming events. All are welcome and encouraged to attend!

Hamme Pool Boating Night: Winter-Spring 2014

Winter paddling practice sessions and kayak polo at Hamme Pool will have a new schedule in winter/spring of 2014.

From Monday, January 13th through, March 10th, the pool will be available to kayakers, canoeists, and packrafters from 7-9 pm every other Monday night (Jan 13, Jan 27, Feb 10, Feb 24, March 10). From March 24 through May 12, the pool will be open for boaters every Monday night. In the new Hamme Pool schedule, the Monday night sessions are called “Boating Nights” rather than Kayak night in an effort to encourage participation from a broader cross-section of the paddling community.
Continue reading Hamme Pool Boating Nights for Winter-Spring 2014

Luc Mehl to present at Paddlers' Annual Meeting

Luc-portrait-featuredLuc Mehl will be the guest speaker following the annual meeting and potluck dinner on Friday, November 8 this at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fairbanks, 4448 Pikes Landing Road (across the street from the Princess Hotel). The gear swap begins at 6:30 pm, with potluck at 7:00, AND business meeting at 7:30.

Luc will be sharing creative approaches to trip planning, and stories, images, and video of his incredible wilderness journeys. He has a gift for drawing creative lines across topographic maps and crafting them into awe-inspiring adventures. Routes he conceived and realized include traverses of the three tallest summits in North America: Denali (2011 – 200 miles), Mount Logan (2012 – 370 miles), and Orizaba (2013 – 240 miles). Luc’s odysseys combine mountain bikes, skis, climbing gear, packrafts and ultralight camping gear with extreme competence and confidence. He has has won the winter Alaska Mountain Wilderness Ski Classic five times and the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic twice. Luc has applied “tricks’ learned from Wilderness Classics to longer traverses.

Luc grew up in McGrath, earned advanced degrees in in environmental and geophysical sciences at MIT and UCSB, and now works in environmental science research in Anchorage. His recent adventures include a 200 mile hike-ski-climb-paddle traverse of Mount Fairweather from Yakutat to Haines. He recently returned from an outreach trip with the American Packrafting Association to Megalayha, India. In addition to paddling some new rivers, he taught packrafting and swiftwater safety skills to local residents.

You can learn more about Luc Mehl and his adventures on his website: thingstolucat.com

Annual Meeting November 8, 2013

Save the Date!

Annual Meeting to be Held November 8

The Fairbanks Paddlers Annual Meeting will be held on Friday, November 8 this year at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fairbanks, 4448 Pikes Landing Road (across the street from the Princess Hotel).

6:30 Gear Swap–We’d like to make our gear swap a bigger deal this year and are thinking that if we know ahead of time what items will be offered for sale we could put out some advance emails and try to raise some excitement. With this in mind, please let Mary (457-4324) know as soon as possible what you plan to offer at the gear swap.  You don’t even need to have decided on a price yet.

7:00 Potluck–If your last name begins with A-Z bring food!

7:30 Short Business Meeting–Nominations accepted for new board members.

7:50 Program–Luc Mehl will present on his  wilderness traverses by foot, bike, ski, and packraft.  Learn more about Luc at thingstolucat.com

Wooden Boat Rondy August 17

Atkinson-Traveler-158The Fourth Annual World Famous Farthest North Wooden Boat Rendezvous will be held Saturday, August 17th at 2pm.

Meet at Graehl Landing at 2:00 pm, set shuttle, put in by 3:00 pm and paddle to the take out at the campground and boat ramp at the University Avenue Bridge.

The Wooden Boat Rendezvous is a celebration of old, wooden and home made canoes, kayaks, umiaks, wherries and more. All paddlers are welcome and frankly, we need to have you there to help us select our prize winners.

Grills, plates, napkins, flatware, and condiments will be provided. Bring some meat for the BBQ and a side dish to share. The BBQ will be held at the University Avenue take out. There will be  PRIZES too!


Participation is free to Fairbanks Paddlers members and non-members alike. All are welcome!

For more information and to RSVP call: 457-4324

Are you a musician and would you like to help serenade us as we paddle down the Chena? Inquire at 457-4324.

This event is sponsored by Fairbanks Paddlers.


Wooden Boat Construction Presentation

Join Fairbanks Paddlers at 1 pm on Sunday, August 18, 2013 for a discussion on wooden boat construction techniques. John Young of Juneau, Alaska will provide photos and a description of techniques he recently used in the**construction of “Young Johnny”, a rib plank and canvas canoe. The workshop will be held at Larry Fogelson’s shop: 2531 Linda Lane, Fairbanks — (off Chena Pump Rd, before Roland Rd). The workshop is free to members and non-members.

Birch Bark Canoe to be Launched on August 6

The Folk School Announces the Launching of their Birch Bark Canoe

The birch bark canoe built by participants in the Folk School class led by Randy Brown will be launched into the Chena River at Graehl Landing at 6:30 pm on August 6.  Fairbanks Paddlers are invited to witness the launch! Continue reading Birch Bark Canoe Launching 6 Aug 2013