The past few months in Leavenworth have been one of the best spring season’s I’ve ever experienced here. It has been a perfect blend of great weather, ideal flows, and a solid stream of awesome friends coming through town. We have had days with good lines, late nights, and clean boofs, as well as beat downs, rough mornings, and lost gear. It is all part of the game and overall, the Leavenworth Zone has been incredible lately.
I have been spending most of my time in Tumwater Canyon. We have had a lot of first timers coming to the area to check the canyon off their bucket list, as well as a bunch of ballers from all over the world coming to see what that Tum is all about. It is the perfect stretch of river for those looking to step their game up, or those looking to prove that their balls are still there. The flows this spring have been hovering in the medium-low range which has been great because everything is safely runnable, but still has a big-water, rowdy feel. Not to mention, the whole run is roadside so you can cherry pick whichever rapids you are feeling that particular day. I have had some incredible days in the Canyon this spring and many memories, including moonlight laps, personal high-water descents, and some epic crews have come to visit. I’ve also had some of the worst beat downs of my kayaking career, but all is good, I’m still getting out there everyday.
Icicle Creek has been a little on the low side for the majority of the spring but has come in spontaneously with rain or streaks of warm weather. Last week, former World Kayak Ambassador Marco Colella and I rallied down Middle Icicle Creek at great flows. Middle Icicle is totally clear of Wood and everything is going great! Even with the lower flows, most rapids on Icicle Creek have been runnable, even though you might be leaving a fair amount of plastic behind. The next few weeks should host some prime levels for Upper and Middle Icicle as some serious precipitation is on the way. I even checked out the lower yesterday and you can today get down it no problem.
This coming weekend, May 16, is the first community event for the Leavenworth Summer Race Series. Starting this Saturday, we will be hosting a community kayaking event every other Saturday through the end of June. In true World Kayak fashion, the events are intended to bring the local kayaking community together and get everyone out on the river. As always, we have a ton of rad gear to hook all participants up with. If you are in the area, stop into Leavenworth Mountain Sports for more info. This weeks race registration will be at Riverside Park in Cashmere at 5:00 pm on Saturday, May 16.
The paddling has been prime out here and as I look out my window right now, it is pouring rain. We are expecting some great bumps in flows on both the Wenatchee River and Icicle Creek. If you are thinking about coming to check out the goods, the next few weeks will be the time to do it. Our snow pack is not looking like we are going to have a long season so come and get it while the getting is good!
See you on the Riv!!
All photography by Martyn Butler (Great Britain)