Winter paddling forces us to adapt to new rules on the water. Seasons change and so must we. Listen to mother nature and play by her rules. In December its easy to start late when the warmer hours come for the Crack Of Noon Club. But from the moment your eyes open in the morning, maybe before dawn, Nightfall is hurling itself at us silently creating drama hours away. Get as early a start as possible.
Routinely stressful late takeouts are caused by the same reoccurring events, late starts, difficulties due to swims, lost gear and finally squeezing in that late afternoon run anticipating speed. I like the following article written from a woman’s perspective, a loved one’s perspective about an afternoon late run. The author is empowered by trust in her husband and understanding what he does.
A paddler’s family sees the addiction for boaters getting the good run while the water is up. Sometimes the water comes up high with multiple added challenges of cold, ice and marginal amounts of daylight. If the ones we care for don’t understand “the plan” for when things go unexpectedly all sorts of issues spiral out of control, stress rules the day. Their sphere of awareness is singularly trained on whether or not you are standing in front of them. Talking about what ifs ahead of time is important. Things going unexpectedly does not mean calamity, in fact an unexpected challenging day is more the norm than not in our risk based sport. We train every day to manage these challenges.
Once you ring the Fire Bell, it is rung, and it needs to be done so with care (911). For me personally my wife trusts that I will overnight successfully in the woods or hike out through the night before getting the pro’s involved. Your family choice might be different, but I never call my wife when I am off the water for the day. Getting that call I feel trains my wife to worry and its been so for 1o+ years. Ever since my early trips into the daks without cell service we’ve been ok with this plan.
I suggest a short call list of close friends and expert boaters that know the areas you paddle. Give this to your friends/family and make a plan for when you don’t show up on time.
With 2011 drawing to a close I thought it might be fun to start a thread on personal first descents accomplished this past year. I was surprised at how big my own list was. It would be interesting to hear what our members have been paddling so please post your own list. Even if you are a new paddler with only one or two rivers and a pool session, let us know. Or, in the case of Wayne, if its the first time you’ve paddled a river in an open boat. It can be anything.
My own list:
Harveys Creek with Ed Snutes & Jason Gould
Rockway River (Boonton Gorge) with Ed Snutes
Upper section of the Lamington
Fish Creek with Ed Snutes, Neval, and Myles
Top Yough with Ken Voytac
Beaver River Eagle section
Raymondskill Creek with Wayne Gman
A couple of rivers on my radar for 2012 are: Hornbecks and Van Campens, the Popolopan, Great Falls of the Potomac, the Green Narrows and Geddes (I don’t know how I’ve missed one so close).
Enjoy the Holidays everyone and stay safe in 2012
For several years now I have followed the reports in local news papers about the rush to tap the natural gas deposits in the Marcellus shale, and I am aware that there are many groups fighting to ensure that the state and other regulatory agencies ensure local communities and the environment are protected. Almost all of the talk and news has been focused on future potential impact but the fact is the impact is already being felt here now and that damage is already being done. I am referring to damage done to the beautiful Shohola Creek watershed by the Columbia Gas and Tennessee Gas Pipeline project. This is the pipeline that is being constructed to bring the natural gas from the Marcellus shale to markets in NJ and NYC. Continue reading “Shohola impacted by Gas Pipeline project”