Archive for July, 2007

Jay Kincaid in Boise/Horseshoe Bend Tonight :-)


Team Jackson's Jay KincaidJust a reminder that Jay Kincaid will be in Boise and at the Gutter this afternoon and evening. Jay placed first in the 2007 Reno Whitewater Festival and is currently ranked in the top
Jay 4 freestyle paddlers in the world. Jay will be at Alpenglow Mountainsport at 1pm Tuesday July 31 for a Q&A – then paddle with him at the Gutter at 5pm.

In association with Alpenglow Mountainsport – Come out and try the new Jackson Kayaks for free and meet some new paddle partners! If you are newer to paddling this is a great place to work with eddy turns. If you like to surf it’s a great hole.

Bring your hot dogs and I’ll bring a grill and stuff to squirt on ‘em! :-)

EMAIL ME if you have any questions!

Idaho River Kids – Gutter 2-27-07


Tom Long ran the kids through a bunch of swimming and paddling drills. Then the kids did a little boogie boarding and paddling in the hole. Seth in the orange boat (14-years old) and Alek in the red boat (10 years-old) were pulling off some nice moves :-) Here is a little video I shot….

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Idaho Whitewater Association Float


Link to IWA info is HERE!

August 1st Membership float!

The first wednesday of the month is the night we get together at Banks and float the Main Payette. This is a good chance for new boaters to follow old timers down the river! This is for kayakers, rafters, cat boaters or Iks. You bring your boat, we will provide the shuttle. Meet at Banks early enough to be on the water at 7PM. We should be at Beehive by 9PM. Last month was a blast, we had some new people on the water and every kind of boat made the trip. Join us in august for another fun float! For more info call 898-0286. Car pooling is encouraged and can be arranged.

Idaho River Kids Hit SF of the Payette


For the first time IRK had a group of the more advanced kids on the Payette SF Staircase Run (class IV). Three of the kids had paddled this run before, but for three it was their first time down! Chad made everyone seal-launch down the ramp at the put-in. All of the guys did fantastic. Here is a little video I shot on their way down….

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Celebrating Idahos Payette River


By Zimo – Idaho Statesman Edition Date: 07/22/07 Link is HERE

The weather was blasting past 100 degrees and the parking lot for the whitewater run on the Main Payette River at Banks was overflowing with trucks, cars, boat trailers and buses.
The smell of sunscreen was thick as throngs of tanned, swimsuit-clad river runners carried rafts and kayaks to the river. It was a circus, but a good circus.
That’s because thousands were enjoying the cool waters of the Payette River and the bouncing rapids along the seven-mile run from Banks to Beehive Bend last weekend, as they have all summer.
It’s estimated that 60,000 to 100,000 people float the North, Main and South forks of the Payette River each year.
Stop by the Banks or Beehive parking lots along Idaho 55 on a hot weekend, and you’ll realize what an incredible river resource we have less than an hour from Boise.
There aren’t many towns with Class III (intermediate), Class IV (advanced) and Class V (super expert) rivers so close. Some kayakers back East drive days to get to a river. We drive minutes.
The river system isn’t used by only boaters. Swimmers, picnickers, campers and anglers also enjoy it. The Banks Beach, south of Banks, looks like Coney Island on weekends.
But think about this for a moment. The incredible resource we know as the Payette River might not be here today if it weren’t for the efforts of conservationists and whitewater boaters who fought to keep dams off the river system.
The threats started almost 30 years ago. With that in mind, there’s a party to celebrate the Payette River, from 6 to 9 p.m. July 30, at Idaho River Sports, 3100 Pleasanton Ave. A suggested donation of $5 includes barbecue and a drink.
Here’s a quick history. The onslaught on the Payette River system started with a proposed hydropower project on the North Fork in 1978. The Idaho Whitewater Association was soon formed to fight the project.
Luckily, the project was withdrawn in the early 1980s because of public opinion, changes in the energy market and opposition from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.
But another attack came in 1986 with a proposal to dam the North Fork.
Damming the North Fork would have been a disaster because it is one of the most famous Class V boating stretches in the country.
It also supplies water for the Class III fun stretch from Banks to Beehive Bend on the Main Payette.
There was another threat to the Payette River system back in the late ’70s and early ’80s when people began talking about putting a dam on the South Fork in the beautiful Canyon stretch between Garden Valley and Lowman.
Can you imagine if that stretch, which also is an incredibly popular whitewater run, today was under a warm, stagnant, silty reservoir? Today, its waters run cold and clear.
The Payette River system is a unique resource because four forks of the river provide different river-running experiences.
Here’s a little geography. The North and South forks of the Payette come together at Banks and form the Main Payette River. There’s another section, the Middle Fork, which flows through the Crouch area and joins the South Fork. A section of the Middle Fork is popular for easy canoeing.
Anyway, threats to the North Fork also spawned another conservation group called the Friends of the Payette.
Hundreds of volunteers worked untold hours fighting for a free-flowing Payette. They hit the halls of the state legislature, went to Congress, lobbied the Idaho Water Resource Board and also took to the streets.
In the early ’90s, they succeeded in getting protection for the North Fork Payette, the South Fork Payette from the Sawtooth National Recreation Area to Banks and the Main Payette from Banks to Beehive Bend.
In 1999, a bill proposed by the Idaho Water Resource Board to protect the Payette River was adopted by the Idaho Legislature.
As a result of the fight for the Payette, another organization was spawned. It is Idaho Rivers United, which is a statewide river conservation organization.
Anyway, when all the smoke cleared in the late ’90s, the rivers we know and love were protected from dams.
“It was a tremendous resource that we almost lost,” said Bill Sedivy executive director of Idaho Rivers United.
It doesn’t mean that friends and lovers of the Payette should relax.
The North, South and Main forks of the Payette are state-protected rivers, and short-sighted lawmakers could come up with a hair-brained scheme to reverse the decision if the energy market were to change and the price was right.
But for now, thanks to all those who fought to keep the Payette River system the way it is today.
Party on!

Idaho Whitewater Association Event 7/21


IWA has Safety Saturday on the Payette Saturday 7/21

Just wanted to remind everyone that the IWA will be running the second annual on river Safety Saturday on the Main Payette this weekend. Well have a check in station at Banks where well have a cat and a raft rigged for safety, and a couple stations along the river. Great chance to learn and/or practice some basic rescue skills such as raft and cat re-flipping, raft re-entry, defensive and aggressive swimming, throw rope toss, and well have a z-drag set up at Chief Parrish. WHERE….well be grilling up some burgers and dogs for the particpants, and drawing for some great raffle prizes…as in rescue equipment. Its free and its easy, you get a raffle ticket for each station you participate in!
Timing for the event will be from 10 am to 4 pm. 4 pm is when well start wrapping things up at Chief Parrish and do the drawing, so youll need to launch by about 2 to hit all the stations.
Please join us! Anyone can participate, and its a great way to raise your river safety awareness. Look for the check in station down on the beach at Banks for all the info youll need.
Ted IWA Board Member

River Levels to Your Cell Phone!


I’ve been using this for just over a year now and it really comes in handy – river levels that are texted right to your cell. Very handy for those times I forget to check in the morning before I leave… The site is PADDLESPOT.COM - and it tracks over 4,300 rivers! Check it out.

Dealing with Swimmers ear


-Idaho Statesman : Edition Date: 07/17/07 LINK TO ARTICLE.The antidote for the heat for many people is dipping in the pool or in the river, and it works wonders. If you dont believe it, take a look at the river on any sizzling day, and you will see folks using the natural coolness of the stream.

It seems the more time you spend in the water, the better you feel on a hot day. One thing you can get from all this time in the water is an ear problem called “swimmers ear.” I was talking with Dr. A. C. Jones, a local ear, nose and throat doctor, about this, and he had the following tips about how to handle this side effect of too much time in the water.
What is swimmers ear?
Swimmers ear occurs in the ear canal and is usually the result of an infection along this canal. The official name for swimmers ear is otits externa and it is usually a result of bacteria or viruses that get through the bodys normal protection against infection in this area. These defenses start with the physical formation of the ear canal, which usually keeps a bubble of air in the passage. This itself keeps most of the water out of a splash or a shallow dunking. Second, the ear canal is coated with a waxy substance appropriately called ear wax. This very water-resistant material keeps the tissue of the inside of the ear canal protected from moisture. Removing this with a swab or cotton tipped applicator takes away this protection. So unless the ear canal is blocked, leave it be. On the other hand, if there is a complete blocking of the ear canal from excess wax, an infection can set up behind this. You need to keep your ear canal open but not completely clear of earwax. Finally, it is unusual to put enough water in and around the ear canal to get the inner ear wet, unless you stay in the water for a long time or get a blast of water to the ear. On that note, a shot of water from a hose or a spray gun can have enough force to literally wash that protective layer of wax out of the ear, and in some cases even cause enough trauma to rupture an eardrum. Be careful with those water jets.
The dreaded ear infection
If the inside of the ear canal does get injured or unprotected, an infection can set up in there. Usually, the first thing you get is a sense of itching in the ear. You cannot scratch it out, though, and attempts to do so just make the pain worse. As the infection gets worse, the pain becomes more intense to the point that just touching the ear causes pain. A fever may also be part of the condition, as well as a watery yellow drainage out of the ear. Even your hearing can be reduced if there is enough swelling to completely close the ear canal. By this time, you know you have a real problem with the ear.
Treatment and avoidance
Once you get to the infection stage, Dr. Jones said that you have to clear all the pus, wax and skin debris out of the ear canal. This will not be fun and may need to be done by a physician. After it is clear, or at least open enough so that it can be accessed, you will need an antibiotic eardrop. This will help the body clean up the infection and reduce the swelling. Once the antibiotics are in, the ear will have to be kept clean and dry between applications. An earplug made of cotton and Vaseline will keep further moisture out while being soft enough to be tolerated. At this stage, the ear and ear canal can be very painful. With time and treatment, the pain will go away as the infection is cured. The swelling will subside as well, and you can move into the prevention phase.
Once the infection is gone, you can still get in the water. What you have to do is keep the ear protected, dry and clean of irritating material. Cleaning the ear canal can be done with a home remedy. Mix half rubbing alcohol and half white vinegar, and use this as a cleansing agent. Put a few drops of this in the ear, and let the excess wash out. The alcohol dries out the ear canal while the vinegar acidifies the canal and keeps bacteria from growing. However, do not overdo this treatment, as too much of a good thing can backfire. Do this after swimming or boating when you know you have water in the ear canal. You do not need to use this treatment unless you get water in the ear. Also, do not use this mixture if you have a perforated eardrum or ear tubes. This will be very painful.
There are great earplugs out there that can help stave off swimmers ear without having too much of an impact on your hearing. These are especially good for kayaking, where frequent blasts of rushing water can cause permanent damage. In the end, listen to what your ears are telling you, protect your ear canals, and treat them quickly if an infection starts. The good news is that even with an ear infection, if you give it proper and early treatment, you can be back in the water sooner than later.
Paul Collins, M.D., is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at Orthopedic Health Care in Boise. Collins is an avid participant in many of Idahos outdoor activities. Send your sports medicine questions to  outdoors at or to the Idaho Statesman, P.O. Box 40, Boise, ID 83707.

Idaho River Kids get Swift Water Safety Training this Wednesday.


RapidPirate!One of the biggest boosts to the kids confidence is learning to swim class II/III rapids. Once that stigma is gone it really opens up the door to progress. It’s funny to watch the first couple of class II’s when they have them jump from the raft into the river – there are a lot of tentative jumpers. About half way down the run on the Main Payette, the kids are jumping a nanosecond after being told to ‘Abandon Ship’! Several of us will run as safety boaters so it’s a safe learning environment. Below is a short clip I did a couple of years ago on Safety Night.

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