FEATURED YOUTH

Meet Zack Arledge a 15 year old freshman from Longview, Washington. Zack’s daily interests include longboarding, music and he is involved in drama at school. He is always having fun and was ready to take on the Deschutes River in the late summer of 2012. Zack’s family and his aunt’s friends were getting together to honor his aunt at her wedding. This was Zack’s first rafting experience and was more of a family float. Zack didn’t know what to think at first but once they got on the river he knew this was something he would like to look into. He enjoyed being out on the water and wanted more! He plans on rafting more in the future and would like to look into harder and more challenging rivers. I am hoping to help him out with this and get him in a guided raft this summer on the White Salmon River.

Zack enjoying some skate time on Spring Break 2013

 

WHAT I’VE BEEN UP TO

My most recent adventure was 12 hours away in beautiful Santa Cruz California. It’s the last stop in the Pacific Paddle Surf Series, but most defiantly not the least. This was my third year going and it was the only year were I was actually tanning. The contest is held at Steamers Lane, a world reknown surf spot in California. Not only is this the biggest contest of the season it is also where they choose the US West Surf Kayak Team. Teams from all over the world compete in the World Championships held every other year. This year the World Championships are held in Australia in July. Chris Bensch, with Out of Sight Out of Mind and Alder Creek, and Kate Hives, with the Hurricane Riders from Canada drove out together for some surfing fun. It was Kate’s first year to the event but I’m sure it won’t be her last while Chris keeps coming out for the event year after year. It was good to see Bryon Dorr with Exploring Elements,out there rocking it in an IC boat. Bryon took me to my first Santa Cruz Paddle Fest 3 years ago when I entered in my plastic Dagger boat. Showing up Thursday was Kirstyn Everson and Courtney Wimer known as “Team Bensch”. They never fail to bring happy smiles and big hugs, the event wouldn’t be the same without these energetic ladies! A big congratulations to the winners of this years event: Sean Morley, Kate Duncan, Jim Grossman, Devon Barker, and Tyler Lausten. I would like to thank everyone who helped put on the event along with all the spectators who came to watch.

Jeffery Steehler "Maverick" Santa Cruz, CA 2013

I have recently decided to pick up a different kind of paddle. I started practicing with Oregon Rafting Team in February and found a new passion. It is very different from kayaking but so much fun. After some practices and a great Wind River Race I’m officially an (ORT) Oregon Rafting Team member. They are a wonderful group of guys who have welcomed me with open arms. Being part of ORT has really helped me improve my fitness and my rafting skills with their very intense practices. My R2 partner Greg Babikoff and I recently took second place at the Upper Wind River Festival, putting us in second place in the Western Whitewater Series. The Northwest Creeking Competition is in 2 weeks and we are hoping we will have another great showing. To support and follow the Oregon Rafting Team like them on Facebook where you will find information on the team and events as well as plenty of pictures that will entertain you.

Joker and Maverick pulling hard during the Wind River Race Photo by Paul Thomson

Joker and Maverick getting some practice on Canyon Creek

 

If you would like to follow me and my adventures more directly my athlete page is now up on Facebook, Jeffery Lee Steehler

Jeffery's play room, where all his toys are stored

SAFETY FIRST

I know everyone is all pumped and ready to jump on all those rivers that are only in during spring runoff, because I know I am. Living in the Pacific Northwest all my life I also know everyone is excited for warm weather to come our direction, please don’t put those two together. All this water is coming from the melting snow off our local mountains, so don’t just assume because it’s warm the water is warm. I love to boat the White Salmon this time of year but the water in that river is nearly 30 degrees. Remember to dress accordingly to the water temperature and always remember to stay warm and have fun!

OWA Safety Class 2011

 

RIVER NEWS

Not to long ago Condit Dam was removed and made the White Salmon River free flowing again and bringing back precious wildlife to the lower sections of the river.  Recently the final approval has been granted for the Sullivan Creek Dam removal, the dam is 134 feet long and 55 feet high with a 850 by 10 foot earthen dike. The dam has been there since 1909 and the removal should be completed in the next 5 years. With the removal of this dam wildlife will also be restored and benefit Redband and Cutthroat Trout along with the Mountain Whitefish. It would benefit by improving stream temperatures, returning sediment, and restoring fish passage. This is a huge improvement and hopefully will help start getting more dams removed to get our rivers free flowing again.

 Condit Dam after the blast of the first hole and during the last part of full removal 2012

 

Currently there are three logs in Husum Falls on the White Salmon River. There is hope that spring run off will help push them out. If that is unsuccessful usually they are removed around three feet when all the guides are ready to run Husum Falls.

Tim Hardin running Husem Falls

 

LOCAL EVENTS

Reel Paddling Film Festival April 25th  Hosted by Alder Creek at the Mission Theatre featuring the best whitewater and sea films of the year

The Spring Paddle Festival April 27-28th at Vancouver Lake.

Full Immersion Whitewater Spring Progression starts May 2nd with FI 1.

The Sandy River Showdown is May 4th and 5th

The Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival is May 18th and 19th

Whitewater Safety Day  June 29th

Whitewater Safety Workshop is July 5-7

Yak Attack Kids Whitewater Camp is July 22nd-26th

For more details, go to Alder Creek’s website at www.aldercreek.com

 

Sandy River Showdown 2012

Jeffery paddling hard at the Sandy River Showdown 2012

WORLD KAYAK EVENTS

World Kayak puts on events for every skill level to enjoy. Prizes are given for participation from great sponsors such as Jackson Kayak, Kokatat, Go Pro, Mountain Khakis and Smith Optics to just name a few. Come have some fun and see what we are all about. For more information contact Patrick Steehler at 360-907-8895 psteehler@gmail.com or Jeffery Steehler at 360-991-2848 jeffsteehler@gmail.com. Hope to see you on the water!

 

Hometown Throwdown Dates:

Sunday May 5th at The Sandy River Showdown

Sunday May 19th at the Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival

Saturday June 22nd The Kayak Shed Picnic and Paddle

Saturday June 22nd Tieton River Rodeo

 

See you on the water,

Jeffery Steehler