Welcome to CW's blog for news and announcements.
  • 08/05/2016 2:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Elizabeth Austen
    Photos by Terry Standlee

    My friend Mark keeps telling I should give up running CW’s annual Training Camp. He thinks it’s too much work and I’ll get burned out on volunteering. He has a point, that has happened before. But that was back then. And now, I’m on a mission. Training Camp is like a drug for me. It gives me a feeling I can’t get any other way. And I can’t walk away, I have to make the next one even better!  With that in mind, there will be a survey coming soon, and it would be GREAT to have feedback from people who attended this year.

    I am so grateful for all the people who come together and contribute—in countless ways—to make this event a success. It is, by far, our largest annual event, it’s our biggest fundraiser, and it takes a village to make it happen. Fortunately, we have an incredible village of kind, smart, fun, giving folks who help in so many ways, and this boat surely wouldn’t float without them. Most importantly and probably most obviously are the CW instruction team members who lead classes. CW instructors are certified to teach for the club via the American Canoe Association’s training guidelines, and the training is paid for with club funds. Instructors are then beholden to give forty hours annually to teaching for CW for five years, at which point they can opt to recertify. These people are particularly selfless. They teach at the CW-sponsored pool sessions throughout the winter at Meyers Pool in Arvada, conduct flat-water and moving-water weekends for the newest kayakers just prior to Training Camp, and then top it off with Training Camp itself, never mind that most of them also lead cruises and mentor people outside of the CW structure. If you’re a solid class III+ boater with a mentoring mentality and an interest in joining our instruction team, contact CW Instruction Director Dick Alweis at for a private conversation. 

    CW is also fortunate to have about a zillion terrific mentors who are not trained as instructors, but are strong boaters with good rescue skills and a desire to help with the on-water activities. And then there are so many folks who help at the event with the logistics of things like checking people in, selling raffle tickets and conducting the raffle itself, taking video for classes, setting up tents and tables and technology and moving things, bringing tablets for video, lanterns and lights and tents and whiteboards. Behind the scenes was CW Webmaster Scott Winkleman, putting together the big puzzle of information and class registrations in a way that made sense. Treasurer Jermiah Krayna handled refunds and vendor payments efficiently and Membership Director April Hillman assisted in making sure all registrants were current members and therefore insured—which is actually a very important component. Additionally, a key piece that most people don’t even know about is the safety plan and event insurance facilitated by our Insurance Director Leslie Tyson. That’s a big headache and a vital piece. I’m so very relieved and thankful that Leslie is willing to take on those pain-in-the-arse tasks!

    We had 200 people in attendance at our 2016 event, up from about 170 the previous year. The camp sites were full and people had to make friends with their camp neighbors. Which is a big part of the event anyway, and if you’re not interested in connecting with other people, this is not the event for you! If you met fun people at Training Camp and don’t know how to contact them now, you can find them via the CW member directory o line. Log in at and go to the Resources tab, then click on member directory.

    On Friday night, after we overcame some technical difficulties, Peter, Kathy, and Abby Holcombe did their presentation, “Famago-go: The First Year.” In 2014 they sold their home in Boulder, Colorado, and moved into a twenty-four-foot RV to explore the United States and earn their living through their tremendous photographic skills. They shared their fantastic journey via a fun, fast-paced, interactive presentation with a zillion photos and video clips. If you want to know more about them and follow them virtually, you can visit their website at Peter was also kind enough to take some photos for us at our event again this year. Thanks, Holcombes! 

    On Saturday morning, we got things moving with a quick safety talk by CW Safety Director, the ever amusing Pete Bellande, and a good stretch led by CW Instructor David Clair, who also owns Fitness for Living and knows a thing or two about injury prevention (  A volunteer from Colorado Parks and Wildlife was present to sell state park passes and encourage us to participate in the river cleanup that Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) hosts the same weekend every year. They have a terrific safety brochure with maps of the area available here:

    Instructors came forward to claim their groups, and everyone began to prepare for the on-water fun.  We had a wide range of classes and abilities from brand-new kayakers who just completed pool classes and their first time on moving water to Level-up Bootcamp, complete with video playback.  We had high attendance in the Level B Intermediate Fundamentals classes (had to add more!) and not as many people in the level C and D groups. Of course, the Intro to Playboating class with Emily Jackson and Nick Troutman of Team Jackson / Jackson Kayak was a big hit. We also had terrific guest instructors Holly McClintock from Four Corners Rafting in Durango and Kyle Johan from RMOC in BV. We appreciate the assistance and sponsorship from these companies and their bright and shiny instructors! One of the things we are always striving to improve is the selection of classes. We’d love to have your feedback and suggestions for next year, via the survey (coming soon).

    On Saturday evening, we had good food provided once again by Jodi Johring of Classic Country Catering (  I am so happy to have found a good caterer who doesn’t mind coming out to the middle of nowhere to cook for 200 people in a tiny space at a campground with unreliable electric and facilities that do not even vaguely resemble a commercial kitchen! Some of the folks who have been attending TC for many years can sure tell some stories regarding past food fiascos including bad food, burned food, being berated by the caterer to not take more than your share because she didn’t make enough, and actually running out of food! One year I actually didn’t get any dinner. Jodi and her crew have proven to be a terrific improvement.

    Post dinner we had live “jazzy folk and blues” tunes from Nathan Rivera and Jessie Andra Smith (  They live in California but have friends in Salida and arranged their schedule to accommodate us. Their style was unusual and refreshing, and their attitude was equally delightful, Nathan provided more music at breakfast on Sunday morning and set a sweet tone for the day. 

    On Sunday morning, we had our awards and the big deal—the PRIZES!  We had so many terrific prizes provided by friends and sponsors, it was quite a spectacle and our Events Director Laurie Maciag ran her tukus off handling the presentation, culminating with the grand prize of the Jackson Kayak Fun.

    I was thrilled that I actually got on the water Sunday! I tagged along with Leslie Tyson’s Level A group and test-drove my new Jackson Zen. (Loving it!) After some big fun on the water, I headed back to clean up, pack up, and wait for all groups to report that they were safely off the water. As I packed, up some pals came to hang out ,and we ended up having an impromptu dance party in from of HQ at cabin 10. What a fun way to wind up my favorite event in the whole world. No, Mark, I won’t “give up” Training Camp. It’s my happy place. And we’re gonna do it again next year. I hope you’ll all be there!

  • 06/21/2016 4:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written by Aaron States
    Edited by Aaron S. Johnson
    Photography by Colin Caruth

    It’s three in the morning, and I’m too excited to sleep. My dog gives a slight a huff as I crawl out of bed and turn on YouTube. May as well watch that roll video one more time since the only thing I’ve mastered is the wet exit and the window shade. It’s no use. I’ve memorized this roll video, and I still can’t figure it out. I need more pool practice. I need to sleep. I kill the TV and crawl back into bed. When I wake up, I’ll gulp some coffee and load my kayak and camping gear into my truck. It’s Poudre weekend!

    Poudre weekend is an exciting time for Colorado Whitewater members. It’s an especially exciting weekend for all of the newbies because with our lack of experience, it’s a perfect opportunity to paddle with experienced CW members and instructors. We’ve put in our time at the pool, the lake, and training camp. Now we get to apply our skills on the river in some fast moving class-III rapids. We finally have the opportunity to go cruising down the river in our kayaks with our new friends! Fun is almost guaranteed; hopefully we’ll huck our skills up a bit too.

    I pull up to the campground early Saturday morning. A few members made it in last night, as evidenced by the kayaks and tents scattered about. I find my site and quickly set it up so I can cook breakfast. My dog whines; he’s hungry too. After breakfast, we saddle up and head down to Picnic Rock. The parking lot is packed with CW members, and the vibe is already flowing as hugs and smiles are exchanged between, well, everybody. I get out of my truck and immediate get told, “Watch out!” I turn my head and look at where Aaron is pointing, and almost get run over. I laugh as I remind him, “Dude, point positive!” We hug and say hello, then we break into smaller groups based on skill levels with leads and sweeps. We shuffle our kayaks into vehicles and shuttle up to our put-in points. It’s game time!

    Only the sweep and lead can roll consistently in my group, so we put in just below Mad Dog rapid in order to warm up by practicing getting in and out of eddies and some ferrying. Our warm-up run goes smoothly, and this time we shuttle to just above Mad Dog, and I get my first look at it. It doesn’t look mad; it looks charming, inviting even. There’s a little bit of a lateral to the rapid on river left under the tree, and a nice big green tongue leading to the peak followed by some choppy boogie water. I got this! We put in just above Mad Dog and go for it. I’m third in line, and I watch the first two paddlers successfully navigate the rapid. As I approach my line, I realize the current is pushing further left than I want. I’m racing down the left edge of the tongue as I approach the rapid, and it’s huge! There’s five feet of rabid canine about to bite down on me, and it does! I square up to the lateral, lean forward, dig my paddle, and charge up the wave. As my bow reaches to the horizon, the lateral element crashes over the top of my boat with enough force to smash my paddle into my helmet. I come over the top of the rapid; I’m leaning hard to the right, but I remember my training. I just keep paddling, and somehow I make it! We all made it, and we all slapped high fives with our paddles.

    As we get back to the campground, it’s a hustle and bustle of wet gear being hung out to dry and tales of survival being shared over cold beer. Apparently not everyone made it through the rapids without incident. With this large of a group, there’s bound to be swimmers. Everyone swims. Today was the first day I didn’t swim. I’ll probably swim tomorrow! One strainer, near the take-out, snarled up two would-be paddlers-turned-swimmers. A scary scenario indeed, but both paddlers, with the quick responses of their leads and sweeps, were able to mitigate their situations and get safely to shore. If the strainer wasn’t enough excitement for Jane, it turns out she was welcomed home to her cabin by a rattlesnake! Fortunately no one got bit, thanks to the KOA caretakers who are pros at catching snakes.

    Someone throws the ball for my dog to go fetch, which grabs my attention. I see Tim, standing two tents down, dripping wet. He’s got his kayak on his shoulder and a giant grin on his face. I start laughing because I already know. I saw the puddle-sized campground pool when I arrived. I ask, “How’s the pool?” “Friendly!” is his response. Apparently, his roll practice drew quite the crowd, and it morphed into a flat-water rodeo show for some non-paddling campers. Way to go, Tim!

    My stomach grumbles; I’m hungry again. Heck, I’m starving! Everyone played hard today, and it’s time to eat. Be aware, we’re not your stereotypical river bums living off of ramen noodles. This is Colorado Whitewater, and we like to feast! It’s a potluck dinner, and the spread is incredible. BBQ ribs, gumbo, couscous, chili, and even apple pie! I’m the epitome of a dirty kayaker; all I brought was a fork, and I think I ate about half of Curt’s chili by myself! It doesn’t matter though. There’s plenty of food for everyone, and we’re a river family. After dinner, the night winds down, and I find myself sitting in a rather large group circle. We all take turns telling a quick story about our favorite event from today. It feels good to be a part of this tribe. It feels like I’ve found a home. I can’t wait to turn in and do it all again tomorrow. We’re Colorado Whitewater. Come for the paddling, stay for the people.

  • 06/21/2016 3:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Laurie Maciag

    The 2016 Spring Dinner was one of the best ever! Attendance was off the charts as was the excitement for our speaker and the events of the evening.

    Steve Fisher, world renowned kayaker, graced our club as our featured speaker. He shared stories of his adventures as an extreme athlete and expedition paddler across the globe as well as his time behind the camera as director, producer and editor. He also gave us a sneak peek at his newest production of Lonnie Bedwell, a blind paddler, kayaking some of the most challenging whitewater on Earth, the Zambezi.

    We dined on amazing Indian food provided by Biju’s Little Curry Shop and enjoyed some sweet treats afterwards.

    Good River Beer Company and New Belgium donated keg beer and tap service.  Other amazing sponsors included DownRiver Equipment, Tuff River Stuff, Confluence Kayaks, Pete Belland – Remax of Cherry Creek, Golden River Sports, Mountain Khakis, and Hala. CW couldn’t do what we do without these great business supporting our events. Much appreciation!

  • 06/19/2016 7:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Jodi Lee

    Similar to last year, Colorado Whitewater was an event sponsor of CKS Paddlefest held on May 27th-29th as well as Lyons Outdoor Games on June 4th. At both events, our booth was set up near the river where we had many visitors stop by to see what CW is all about. 

    When you first walked up to the booth, you'd see a game that says "PLAY TO WIN". Just like the Plinko game from The Price Is Right show, you drop a disk at the top of the board where it bounces down to reach a prize at the bottom. 

    The Prizes: You Swim! Booty Beer; Candy; CW Sticker; CW Koozie (ran out of these so now offering CW Chapstick); CW Key Chain Bottle Opener; Portage! Try Again. 

    This game enticed people of all ages to come to our booth to win a prize. If visitors were curious about Colorado Whitewater, then we'd brief them about CW, we had CW brochures to hand out, a sign about the membership benefits, and also sold quite a bit of our merchandise.  

    It's great to be a part of these events as it gets our name and mission out there to many new folks -- some just moved to Colorado and were looking for groups to boat with, while others had heard of us and were interested in some of our events. Plus, during the festivals, there were several organized CW river cruises and the booth was a common place for our members to come mingle with a beer in hand.

    I'd like to personally thank the following volunteers for helping at the booth: Ryan Lee, Aaron States, Jenny McCurdy, Curt Cleavinger, and Jessie Gunter. 

    Colorado Whitewater has been invited to attend other river festivals such as FIBArk and Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival, but it's been a struggle to find volunteers to commit to manning the booth. Next year, I plan to have the booth at CKS Paddlefest and Lyons Outdoor Games again. If we get enough enthusiasm and volunteers to help at other events, then we might possibly have our booth at those events too!

    Jodi Lee is in charge of Publicity/Advertising on the Colorado Whitewater Board of Directors. She has been kayaking since 2002 and loves camping, kayaking, skiing, swimming (in a pool or lake... not outside her kayak), mountain biking, trail running, and gardening.

  • 06/17/2016 5:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Note from CW: If you boat the Arkansas River or just simply care about it, please read this important notice and follow the instructions to make your opinion count. 

    NOTE: This synopsis is only meant to highlight AHRA Management Plan options relevant to the private boating community. It does not completely describe all of the options, and is only a limited selection of the highlights relevant to the private boating community. For a complete description of the changes / options, see the AHRA website at:

    YOUR INPUT INTO THIS PROCESS IS IMPORTANT. YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE RELATED TO ANY OF THE ALTERNATIVES. Once public input is complete the AHRA will generate a ‘Preferred Alternative’, in which the AHRA may choose to implement one of the Alternatives defined below, no Alternative (no change), or a combination of the Alternatives. 


    OR EMAIL: 

    Take a look at the map that shows the management section boundaries:

    Alternative descriptions in brief (see section Section 2.3.1 for more detail): 

    No Change (aka Alternative 3): “The No Action alternative continues current recreation and multiple use goals and management practices described in the 2001 Plan ... Although no new initiatives would be implemented under a No Action alternative, minor adjustments would be made periodically to respond to changing needs or emerging challenges consistent with the current adaptive management program.” 

    Alternative 1: “This alternative would continue current management practices with the goal of maintaining current recreation setting characteristics while moderately changing site development and boating capacities to respond to identified issues and new needs.” 

    Alternative 2: “Alternative 2 is the most ambitious of the three alternatives evaluated, and would expand recreation opportunities and beneficial outcomes to a greater number of participants at additional locations. As with the other alternatives, current management practices that remain relevant and effective would remain in place supplemented by new initiatives to address emerging issues and challenges.” 

    NOTE: Capacities are in bpd = ‘Boats per Day’- not people. AHRA has long used boat counts rather than user counts because the private landowner and fisherman experience is more closely tied to the number of boats than the number of people per boat. This will not change in any of the alternatives. 

    Section Management Changes: 

    1. Section 1 Summary: Both alternatives reduce private boater capacities- Alternative 1 significantly; Alternative 2 by more modest amounts. The rational given is that the historical capacities were significantly over allocated and that the new numbers reflect the actual use better. No detailed boat counts have been done for section 1. Both Alternative 1 & 2 break previous section 1A (from Leadville/Confluence to Granite) into three sections: 1A – Confluence to Highway 24 bridge; 1B – from Hwy 24 to Kobe; 1C- from Kobe to Granite. The remaining sections remain the same but are re-numbered to reflect the new division. See map linked above for details. 

    2. Section 1A: Private boat capacities reduced from 10 bpd to 0 bpd in both alternatives. This is a difficult section to access and this is a reasonable accommodation for this excellent fishing section. Under Alternative 1 site development would be restricted to fishing habitat restoration, and under Alternative 2 the Crystal Lakes site would be improved. 

    3. Section 1B: Private boat capacities remain at 10 bpd in Alternative 1 and are increased to 20 bpd in Alternative 2. Generally there is only enough water to boat this class II section at high flows; even then it is a tricky section for beginner boaters- the river is quite braided and there are many strainers. This is also an excellent fishing section. Under Alternative 1 new land acquisition would be considered to be designated as open space along with habitat restoration; Alternative 2 would consider adding trails and a new access site. 

    4. Section 1C: Private boat capacities remain at 10 bpd in Alternative 1 and are increased to 20 bpd in Alternative 2. Commercial capacities are also increased to 20 bpd in Alternative 2. This class II section is more amenable to beginning boaters, but is more continuous than section 1B. This is also an excellent fishing section. Alternative 1 would consider new acquisitions and habitat restoration; Alternative 2 would add trail access, improve parking at Granite and improve the Granite Rock site. 

    5. Section 1D (Granite run, including Pine Creek rapid): In season private boat capacities would be reduced from 350bpd to 150 bpd in Alternative 1, and 250bpd in Alternative 2. Off season capacities would be reduced to 150bpd in Alternative 1 (down from 200bpd). Commercial capacities would remain unchanged at 30bpd. Season dates would remain unchanged in Alternative 1 (In season: May 15 – Sept 7), and would be changed in Alternative 2 (In season: May 1 – Sept 7) to accommodate commercial boating. The commercial launch window would remain unchanged: 8:30am to 11:00am. No new land acquisitions would be considered in Alternative 1. Alternative 2 would consider new land acquisitions (clear creek in particular), improve existing sites, and install a boat chute and fish ladder at the Granite Diversion Structure. 

    6. Section 1E (Numbers): In season private boat capacities would be reduced from 320bpd to 150 bpd in Alternative 1, and 250bpd in Alternative 2. Off season capacities would be reduced to 150bpd in Alternative 1 (down from 200bpd). Commercial capacities in season would remain unchanged at 90bpd. Season dates would remain unchanged in Alternative 1 (In season: May 15 – Sept 7), and would be changed in Alternative 2 (In season: May 1 – Sept 7) to accommodate commercial boating. In Alternative 1 the commercial launch window would be reduced: 8:30am to 1:00pm (currently 2:00pm), in Alternative 2 the commercial launch window would remain unchanged. Both alternatives would develop the Arkansas River Placer site (just upstream from #1) to include a campground, restroom/changing facilities, boat ramp and parking- this would be an AHRA fee site. 

    7. Section 1F (Fractions & Frog Rock runs): Private boat capacities would remain unchanged at 150bpd in season and 100bpd off season for both Alternatives 1 & 2. Season dates would remain unchanged in Alternative 1 (In season: May 15 – Sept 7), and would be changed in Alternative 2 (In season: May 1 – Sept 7) to accommodate commercial boating. Site improvement would be considered at Elephant Rock in Alternative 2, along with other minimal site improvements in both Alternatives 1 & 2. 

    8. Section 2A (BV town run & Milk run): Private boat capacities would remain unchanged at 150bpd in season and 100bpd off season for both Alternatives 1 & 2. Season dates would remain unchanged in Alternative 1 (In season: May 15 – Sept 7), and would be changed in Alternative 2 (In season: May 1 – Sept 7) to accommodate commercial boating. The ‘Buena Vista Open Boating Zone’ from 600 feet above the Midland Trail foot bridge to the Ramsour bridge (below South Main) would be exempt from private boat capacity restrictions. Land acquisition and site development would aim to develop 1 new site under Alternative 1, and two new sites under Alternative 2. Alternative 2 would also aim to contribute to the continuing build out of the Buena Vista Whitewater Park and associated event spaces. 

    9. Section 2B (Brown’s Canyon run): Private boat capacities would remain unchanged at 150bpd weekdays, 240bpd weekends in season and 100bpd off season for both Alternatives 1 & 2. Season dates would remain unchanged in Alternative 1 (In season: May 15 – Sept 7), and would be changed in Alternative 2 (In season: May 1 – Sept 7) to accommodate commercial boating. Both Alternatives 1 & 2 envision the following site improvements / management changes (subject to decisions of the Browns Canyon National Monument management plan): 

    a. Acquire &/or retire mining claims to be designated as open space 

    b. Apply monitoring and adaptive management to dispersed camping & picnic sites in Browns Canyon; no fire rings or benches; no new sites would be allowed. 

    c. If camping demand exceeds existing site capacity a reservation system for camping may be implemented. 

    d. Upgrade the ramp at Fisherman’s bridge. 

    10. Section 2C: Private boat capacities would remain unchanged at 150bpd in season for both Alternatives 1 & 2; Alternative 2 would increase off season private boat capacities from 30bpd to 50bpd. Season dates would remain unchanged in Alternative 1 (In season: May 15 – August 15), and would be changed in Alternative 2 (In season: May 15 – Sept 7) to accommodate commercial boating. This is generally a good fishing section and is managed to provide a better fishing experience in the off season. Alternative 1 would envision acquiring one property for open space, while Alternative 2 would not envision any land acquisition. 

    11. Section 2D (Big Bend to Salida East- was Salida): Private boat capacities would remain unchanged at 150bpd in season for both Alternatives 1 & 2; Alternative 2 would increase off season private boat capacities from 30bpd to 50bpd. Season dates would remain unchanged in both Alternatives 1 & 2 (In season: May 15 – August 15). Under Alternatives 1 & 2, the ‘Salida Open Boating Zone’ starting at the low head dam above Salida would be extended to Salida East (currently ends at Salida riverside park) and would be exempt from private boat capacity restrictions. This is generally a good fishing section and is managed to provide a better fishing experience in the off season. Alternative 1 site improvements/acquisition: 

    a. Add camping at Big Bend 

    b. Improve boat ramp for deeper water 

    c. Continue build out of paved multi-use trail 

    Alternative 2 site improvements/acquisition- Alternative 1 plus: 

    d. BMX park at Big Bend OHV area 

    e. Acquire site for boat ramp and angling access 

    f. Continue build out of Salida Whitwater park in cooperation with partners 

    12. Section 3A (Salida East to Rincon): Both Alternatives divide the previous section 3 (from Salida to Vallie Bridge) into sections 3A and 3B (Rincon to Vallie Bridge). This allows for more private boat use in the section as a whole, and this management scheme has been implemented for the past few years and verified to have little impact on the fishing experience in section 3. Private boat capacities would remain unchanged at 150bpd in season for both Alternatives 1 & 2; Alternative 1 would increase off season private boat capacities from 30bpd to 50bpd on weekends only. Alternative 2 would increase off season private boat capacities from 30bpd to 50bpd every day of the week. Season dates would be extended in both Alternatives 1 & 2 (In season: May 15 – August 15; was July 15). This is generally a good fishing section and is managed to provide a better fishing experience in the off season. Alternative 1 site improvements/acquisition: 

    a. Walk/boat in day use north of Salida East. 

    b. 12 primitive campsites at Point Barr; AHRA reservations & primitive camping fees 

    c. Improved camping and facilities at Salida East, AHRA reservations & standard camping fees. Alternative 2 site improvements/acquisition- Alternative 1 plus: 

    d. Point Barr camping would be improved to ‘moderate’ status rather than primitive. 

    13. Section 3B (Rincon to Vallie Bridge). Private boater capacities & seasons the same as section 3A above. Alternative 1 would not have any site improvements. Alternative 2 would acquire property and construct a river access site similar to Rincon. 

    14. Section 4A (Vallie Bridge to Texas Creek). Private boater capacities & seasons would remain the same as in the current plan: 100bpd in season, 30bpd off season; in season dates May 15 – August 15. 

    15. Section 4B (Texas Creek to Parkdale- Parkdale run). Private boater capacities would remain the same as in the current plan: 150bpd in season, 40bpd off season. Alternative 1 would keep the in-season dates the same (May 15 – Sept. 7), while Alternative 2 would extend the in-season dates to May 1 – Sept 7, primarily for commercial outfitter training. 

    16. Section 5 (Parkdale to Canyon City- Royal Gorge run). Private boater capacities and seasons would change as shown in the table below: 

    Alternative 1 site improvements/acquisition: 

    a. Acquire and construct a new highly developed river access site (Canyon City? Pink House?) 

    b. Extension of Tunnel Drive as a multi-use trail in cooperation with Canyon City. 

    c. Continued build out of Riverwalk multi-use trail in cooperation with Canyon City. 

    d. Reconstruct existing dams/diversions to provide fish ladder & boat chute Alternative 2 site improvements/acquisition- Alternative 1 plus work with Canyon City to develop whitewater park. 

    17. Section 6 (Canyon City to Pueblo Reservoir): Private boat capacities would remain at 40bpd year round. Multiple acquisitions & improvements are envisioned in both Alternatives including new river access and boat chute development.

    The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) citizens task force (CTF) has been functioning since 1990 as an advisory group to the BLM river manager and the state park manager.

    The role of the citizens task force is to:

    • Provide advice to AHRA in application of the recreation management guidelines developed from the standards for public land health
    • Assist AHRA in maintaining a watershed focus
    • Provide recommendations to AHRA on growth, value, and potential development issues within the recreation area
    • Assist AHRA in resolving other management problems along the river corridor as they arise
    • Assist in providing an open communication link to all interested parties affected by management decisions
    • Provide support to the AHRA management plan and implementation of plan goals and objectives.
    The citizens task force is composed of seven representative groups with fourteen members:

    1. Two anglers (representing all fishing types-fly, bait, lure, etc.)

    2. Two commercial permittees (AHRA agreement holder in good standing)

    3. Two private boaters (representing all boating types—kayak, Raft, etc.)

    4. Two environmentalists (representing environmental organizations)

    5. Two water users (representing all types, i.e. municipal, agriculture, industrial, etc.)

    6. Two river front property owners (representing ranching and non-ranching river properties)

    7. Two local government representatives (Upper Ark Council of Governments member)

    The private boater representatives are CW members Mark Robbins and Leslie Tyson.

    Article Sponsored by: 

  • 06/05/2016 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Lauren Nance

    The 11th Annual South Platte River Cleanup was held on Saturday April 23, 2016. This was one of the biggest years yet with a total of 221 volunteers who participated, including 195 adults and 26 children!  Channel 9News even came to check out what the commotion was all about!

    The event started in the morning over at Florida Avenue off South Platte River Drive. Volunteers began arriving around 11:00 a.m. to register, grab a free t-shirt, and unload their gear. There were rafts stretched out along the South Platte River bank over 100 yards! Everyone was bustling about loading and rigging rafts with dogs and children running around. Kayakers were antsy for the day to begin and were surfing the wave at the put-in. Participants were able to take advantage of free parking at the Downtown Aquarium next to the take-out and free shuttles in the morning donated by GeoTours, Nissan Valley Subaru, and kind Colorado Whitewater members.

    Everyone finally started heading down the river around noon. Rafts, duckies, and kayaks all made their way down the river stopping along the banks to pick up trash along the way. Shopping carts, baby strollers, bike parts, blankets, and lots of plastic bags, bottles, and Styrofoam were found along the banks and in the river. Participants also ran some big class 3 rapids along the way that provided quite a thrill!

    Everyone had a great time running the river, and all in all, around six truck loads or between one to two tons of trash was collected from the South Platte River! Our amazing volunteers took advantage of the shopping carts collected in the river to transport trash from rafts arriving at the take-out. We also had a smart volunteer bring some pallets on wheels to roll the rafts up the sidewalks to all the cars. 

    Once everyone unloaded their trash and packed up their gear, they began to head over the Denver Beer Company. Denver Beer Company donated their private room for our event, and every participant received two free beers (or root beer for the kids) thanks to Down River Equipment and Confluence Kayaks! Pictures of the day were shown on the projector as people shared their stories from the day.  Freebies were handed out to those who found unique items like the shopping carts and bicycle parts. The South Platte River is in the heart of the City of Denver, and we all did our part to make a big difference to improve the health and quality of the river corridor. As kayakers and river enthusiasts, we all love our rivers, and conservation of our resources is one of the most important things we can do to protect our rivers for years to come!

    Thanks again to all our sponsors!!!
    Downtown Aquarium

    Denver Water

    Urban Drainage and Flood Control District

    Confluence Kayaks

    Down River Equipment

    Pete Bellande REMAX of Cherry Creek

    Arbor Force

    Denver Beer Company

  • 05/29/2016 3:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Jessie Gunter

    I moved from Virginia to Colorado last year right before boating season started here. I was a beginner boater with some experience but definitely in need of solid boater friends to show me down the runs here. I didn’t know about the Facebook groups or CW, so I went to roll sessions and started asking around. Someone directed me to the Front Range Kayakers Facebook group, where I patiently stalked every post hoping for someone to post about a Class II–III trip. And alas! A CW member posted that he was running Grizzly Creek and anyone was welcome to join. I went, had an awesome time, and learned about Training Camp, which was a few weeks away.

    After meeting folks at Training Camp and getting plugged into the CW network, I started going on cruises. It was an invaluable resource for me to get to know the rivers and make other boater friends in the area.

    I decided to get involved in planning cruises for CW because I think that getting people out on the water safely is one of the most important functions of the club. I sent out a survey for members’ input regarding cruises in February and received 122 responses (thanks, everyone)! Using the feedback from the survey, I started reaching out to folks who said they’d be interested in leading. My vision is to have a cruise on the calendar for at least one day of every weekend—hopefully both. I also wanted to make sure there were cruises for intermediate boaters looking to step up their game in addition to the classic beginner runs such as the Milk Run, Apple Valley, Pumphouse, and Deckers.

    Thanks to many incredible members who responded to my call for leaders, we have been able to achieve this for the first half of the summer (I’m still working on the second half). These experienced boaters, many of them first-time CW cruise leaders, are providing an invaluable contribution to the boating community. Thanks to these volunteers, more people will safely enjoy Colorado’s beautiful rivers—what could be better?

    If you’re interested in leading a cruise in the coming months, please contact me (Jessie) at Pretty much any section, Class II–IV, is fair game. I have some specific sections I’d love to get on the calendar as well, such as Shoshone (III+) and Grizzly Creek (II+) on the Colorado and Royal Gorge on the Arkansas (III–IV).

    If you’re planning to go on cruises this year, enjoy! There are plenty of opportunities to get out on the river with CW this year. A few reminders:

    •  Please be courteous and communicative with your volunteer leaders before the trip.
    •  Don’t forget to print, sign, and bring your waiver with you to give to the cruise leader (waiver can be found at
    • Be safe and boat within your ability.
    • For insurance reasons, only active CW members are allowed to come on cruises.

    If you want to know more about our cruises, the website is a good place to start. Feel free to contact me with any questions, as well.


    Jessie Gunter has informed her non-boater friends that she will see them in the fall.

    Photos by Gale Tubbs

  • 04/16/2016 12:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Colorado Whitewater's annual Spring Kick-Off/Movie Night was a huge success on March 30 at The Oriental Theater in Denver. Nearly 200 people came to enjoy food and drinks, watch inspiring paddling films, meet new boaters, and win cool gear from the raffle. 

    “Judging from people’s comments that night, it was a great success,” said Jodi Lee, CW event coordinator. “Many people expressed that they enjoyed the films, had fun catching up with paddling friends, and even meeting new people throughout the evening."

    This was the second year that CW hosted Rapid Media’s Reel Paddling Film Festival at the event. The festival gathers film submissions from around the world and picks winners that will inspire people to try paddling sports. Films that were selected to show at CW's Spring Kick-Off/Movie Night included a freestyle film called "Go Big or Go Home: In Search of the Perfect Wave", "Whitewater SUP on the Ottawa River", a humorous commercial "Nature Rx", two favorite Grand Canyon films among the crowd "Voyagers Without Trace" and "Martin's Boat", and a conservation film about the Yampa and Green rivers called "62 Years". 

    The classic video "Ode to the Club Boater" was also shown as it's always a good laugh, along with Steve Fisher's 2015 film "Beyond Adventure: The Lost Valley of the Merced". Pete Bellande, experienced kayaker and CW safety director, emceed the event and announced that Steve Fisher will be the guest speaker at Colorado Whitewater's 2016 Spring Dinner on May 3 at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden.

    "Pete did an amazing job as our emcee -- told great stories, raved about Colorado Whitewater, American Whitewater and our event sponsors, and made the event a lot of fun,” Jodi Lee stated.  

    New faces were seen among all who attended the event, where an estimated 50 percent were not CW club members. Attendees enjoyed food from Corner Gourmet food truck and jerky samples from Krave Jerky, plus drinks from the fully-stocked bar. Jodi Lee organized raffle prizes from numerous local sponsors including Down River Equipment, Confluence Kayaks, Krave Jerky, and Golden River Sports. Fun and purpose blended seamlessly at the event, which raised approximately $1,000 for CW’s mission to safeguard rivers and support the growth of paddling sports. A huge thanks goes to all who sponsored, volunteered, and attended the 2016 Spring Kick-Off/Movie Night event! 

    Article Sponsored by: 

  • 04/13/2016 6:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Q: What is the daily schedule for the weekend?
    6-9 p.m. (ish): Check in
    Dark: Kayak porn! Movies on the lawn

    8:30 a.m.: Mandatory meeting for instructors and on-water volunteers
    9:00 a.m.: Mandatory meeting for all kayaks (on the lawn): announcements, safety talk, introductions
    10:00 a.m.: Team discussion: Goals, plans, clinic format for the day, set up shuttle, head to river
    4:00 p.m.: Everyone safe back at camp.
    6:00 p.m.: Dinner by Classic Country Catering
    8:00 ish: Live music from Nathan and Jessie (tip them if you love them!)
    11:00 am: Quiet time, please

    7:30 a.m.: Breakfast by Classic Country Catering
    8:30 a.m.: Mandatory meeting for instructors and on-water volunteers
    9:00 a.m.: Mandatory meeting for all kayaks (on the lawn): announcements, awards, prize drawings
    9:30 a.m.: Team discussion: Goals, plans, clinic format for the day, set up shuttle, head to river
    You decide: Head home tired and happy.

    Q: How will the shuttles be done? 
    A: Each group will arrange its own shuttles. If you have the capacity to carry boats and/or people, please volunteer to do so when you meet with your team each morning.

    Q: Can I change classes during the weekend?
    A. Yes, as long as you get approval from the instruction leader of the group you’re joining and let the Instruction leader of the group you’re leaving know. 

    Q: What is provided for dinner and breakfast?
    A: Our terrific friend Jodi Johring of Classic Country Catering will provide two meals as listed below. You should plan to feed yourself on Friday night and Saturday morning, and bring all other snacks, river lunches, and beverages that you may want. There is a small liquor store in Cotopaxi, but don’t drink and drive!

    Saturday night dinner menu:
    Spinach Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette 
    Santa Maria Style Tri Tip
    Teriyaki Chicken
    Veggie Paella
    Jasmine Green Rice
    Fresh Rolls and Butter 
    Iced tea, Lemonade 

    Sunday morning breakfast menu:
    Breakfast Stratas
    Veggie, Country, Applewood Smoked Ham and Gouda
    Yogurt Parfaits 
    Coffee, Tea, OJ

    Q: Can I get the other food/meals nearby?
    A: There is a small store at the campground with coffee, ice cream, and some snacks, but it’s not a grocery store. There’s also a restaurant in Cotopaxi, but they are often NOT open! You’ll want to plan ahead and bring what you want with you to be sure.

    Q: Is the band going to be really loud (will I be able to go to bed early)? 
    A: The band will play on the lawn near the cabins from about 8 to 10 p.m. or so, but we will enforce quiet hours when they finish playing. If you prefer not to hear the music, you should plan to camp at the far end of the campground.

    Q: What should I bring?
    A: This is crazy Colorado and you’ll want to be prepared for sun, rain, wind, or snow. Seriously. Not kidding. It’s usually sunny with a passing rain shower on Sunday afternoon. But sometimes it rains like crazy or snows.

    Things get misplaced—put your name and number on ALL gear.

    If you’re boating:
    ·         The five essentials (boat, skirt, helmet, pfd and paddle!). Make sure the boat is fitted to you and has FLOAT BAGS! Your instruction team has the right to remove you from the trip if you do not have float bags.  (It’s really hard work to recover a boat that is full of water instead of air.)
    ·         More warm river clothing than you think you will need. If you don’t use it, someone else might need to borrow it. 

    Other things to consider bringing:
    ·         Extra straps for shuttling
    ·         Firewood, if you like, or you can buy it at the KOA
    ·         Cash for an annual Parks Pass

    Q: What if I don't have [X] piece of gear? Can I borrow it?
    A: Front Range local shops Confluence Kayaks and Golden River Sports rent gear and can provide what you need. If you have forgotten something important, talk with your team leader asap. Most of the instructors bring some extra gear, and someone can probably provide what you need in an emergency.

    Q: What is there to do in the area for my kids/husband/wife who are/is not boating?
    ·     Mini golf ($2), horseshoe pits, shuffleboard, mini basketball court, sand volleyball court, dog park (at the KOA).
    ·       Ceramic painting from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays (at the KOA).
    ·       Hayrides at 6 p.m. (at the KOA).
    ·       Ice cream social 6:30 p.m. Saturdays ($0.75 per scoop) (at the KOA).
    ·       The campground has a swimming pool (it may not be open this early) and a small rec center with a pool table.
    ·       Visit the KOA website and Facebook page for more info.
    ·       There are trails along the river if you like to play in the water or fish.
    ·       National Forest hiking and biking trails. The Rainbow Trail is popular.
    ·       There are companies offering rafting trips nearby.
    ·       If you want to explore Salida or Canon City, they are each about 30 to 40 minutes’ drive time from Cotopaxi.
    ·       The skyline drive in Canon city is a “scary good drive.”
    ·       ATV tours
    ·       Royal Gorge bridge and park

    Register for Training Camp!

    If you have questions about what to bring, please don’t hesitate to ask any of our awesome instruction team or contact Training Camp organizer Elizabeth Austen directly.

  • 04/13/2016 5:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A member of the U.S. National Team, Zach "Bug" Lokken, is in the running for one of four potential canoe/kayak slalom athlete positions for the United S. On May 7 and 8 in Oklahoma City, Bug will compete in the second of two Olympic Trial events that will determine whether he will compete in Rio’s Olympic Whitewater Stadium on August 7.

    Two Coloradan youth athletes, members of 2016 Canoe Slalom Junior National Team, are also hoping to qualify for a spot on the Olympic team: Teagon Johnson-Moore, 17, from Lyons and Charlie Kieft, 22, from Boulder.

    Bug took time out of his busy training and travel schedule for a quick Q&A.

    Birthdate: 3/25/1994
    Hometown: Durango 
    Event/Discipline: Canoe Slalom, C1 and C2 (with partner Michael Smolen)

    CW: What was your first introduction to river sports? 
    Bug: My whole family had some role in the sport of slalom either as athletes or as part of the race organization. My two older siblings both paddled kayak and raced slalom, while my parents worked as both judges and organizers. Currently, my mom is an ICF judge and my dad is an ICF video judge at many major international events, including the Olympics.

    CW: Can you describe your training regime?
    Bug: My training program consists of being on the water twice a day, either on whitewater of flat water and at the gym three times a day. For flat water workouts, I do sprints, aerobic, and endurance training. On whitewater, I do a lot of technique work and race prep. 

    CW: Do you do any cross training?
    Bug: I don’t do much cross training throughout the year. But once a year I do a week or two of skate skiing in Lake Placid, New York and in my home town, Durango.

    CW: Do you have any good luck charms or rituals? 
    Bug: About a minute or two before my run, I try to clear my head of all outside distractions, even the racecourse ahead of me. I do this because slalom is all about feel for the water. And if I push out all the distractions, then I can let my body do all the work.

    CW: What has been the secret to your (boating) success? 
    Bug: To be honest, there are no secrets. All I do is train very hard and focus on the goal! 

    CW: What other boating styles that you do for fun?
    Bug: I really like all of kinds of boating. I really enjoy surfing in waves and holes, and ocean surfing is a lot of fun, too. I really like surfing on river waves and holes more than ocean just because you can stay in them forever, and its tons of fun. 

    CW: On what stretch of river can you be found when you're not competing?
    Bug: When I’m not competing, you can find me in my slalom boat on the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. It’s a great course to paddle and surf and have fun on.  

    CW: What is your favorite Colorado river run? 
    Bug: I would have to say my home town river the Animas in Durango. I just love how huge it gets in March from all the snow run off.

    CW: What is your favorite worldwide river run?
    Bug: I really like the whitewater course in Australia because the eddies are really good for upstreams, and there are some really good drops in it. 

    CW: What is your favorite activity aside from boating?
    Bug: I really enjoy skiing! I have been skiing ever since I was young, so its super close to me. I just love the top speeds I can reach, and jumping is a lot of fun as well. And of course skiing with all my friends.

    CW: What is something about you that many people don't know?
    Bug: My nickname is Bug. Almost everybody calls me Bug from teachers to my parents to my friends and even my girlfriend. And everybody who knows me internationally calls me Bug too!

    CW: What are your career aspirations?
    Bug: I am interested in business solutions. I just really like solving problems.

    CW: Do you have any advice for other aspiring competitive boaters?
    Bug: You need to work hard at whatever you do!! Give it your all always.

    Article Sponsored by: 

Colorado Whitewater is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  455 Sherman Street, Suite 300 Denver, CO 80203

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