Welcome to CW's blog for news and announcements.
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  • 09/08/2017 8:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released for public review and comment preliminary alternatives for managing about 35 miles of the Upper Colorado River between Parshall and State Bridge.  Alternatives range from no changes to current management to requiring a day-use permit; adding a camping permit with designated campsites in the popular stretch between Pumphouse and State Bridge; and expanding the developed Pumphouse Campground. The preliminary alternatives and more information about the management plan update are available here.   Comments must be received by September, 25, 2017 and may be e-mailed to or mailed to Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Shane Dittlinger, P.O. Box 68, Kremmling, CO 80459.  Now is your chance to provide input in a public process for how this area will be managed.

    The plan will direct how recreation and natural resources will be managed by the BLM, along a 35-mile corridor of the Colorado River from Parshall to State Bridge. This includes Gore Canyon and the popular stretch of river from Pumphouse to State Bridge.  The management plan addresses the management of a variety of recreational sites and facilities from dispersed use areas to defined day use sites and campgrounds.  In addition, the plan manages activities such as floatboating, fishing, camping, hiking, extreme Jeeping and other activities within the Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) boundary. The plan also administers commercial and public use of recreation sites and resources.  Ultimately, the plan will balance ever increasing recreational needs and pressure from the public with protection of the natural resources along the river corridor.

    The need for the action is a requirement of BLM to balance public need and interest with preservation of natural resources in compliance with the multi-use and sustainable yield mandate of section 302 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and resource objectives as defined in the Kremmling Resource Management Plan of 2015.

    Based on the analysis contained in this Environmental Assessment (EA), the BLM will decide which of the proposed alternatives to approve, and under what terms and conditions.  Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the BLM must determine if there are any significant environmental impacts associated with the Proposed Action warranting further analysis in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Field Manager is the responsible officer who will decide one of the following:

    • To approve the preferred alternative with design features as submitted;
    • To analyze the effects of the preferred alternative in an EIS; or
    • To modify the preferred alternative.

    The goal is to produce a diversity of quality recreational opportunities that support outdoor-oriented lifestyles and add to participants’ quality of life while, at the same time, contributing to the local economies. 

    If you have an interest in this stretch of the Colorado River, please take the time to read this relatively brief 24-page document and submit your comments to BLM by September 25, 2017 in order for them to be considered in shaping the management plan for this valuable resource.  

  • 09/01/2017 3:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    You may have enjoyed their beer at past CW events—the 2017 spring dinner and the 2017 South Platte Cleanup. If not, Good River Beer is a company that all beer-drinking-boaters (and that’s pretty much all of us, right?) should know about.

    Those three words—Good River Beer—encapsulate what the company is all about: “sharing their beer, following the adventure, and protecting and conserving rivers.” The company donates 2 percent of gross revenue to river conservation organizations, such as American Whitewater and Colorado Water Trust. The founders of Good River Beer, who met on a kayaking trip, have paddled and fished thousands of miles of rivers and creeks and are committed to protecting rivers so everyone can enjoy them.  

     “Our focus is a purpose-driven craft beer company—there’s meaning behind every single beer we sell,” explained co-founder Adam Odoski. Recently, Odoski, along with the other owners, Preston Hartman and Eric Zarkovich, and Matt Knippenberg officially launched 2% for Rivers (, the official nonprofit organization tasked with the handling the charitable mission. The nonprofit has partnered with for-profit businesses, such as Down River Equipment (a CW sponsor!) and Patagonia.

    Good River Beer, which will be celebrating its second anniversary of brewing and selling beer in September 2017, has secured a location for their new brewery. The new brewery will include a fifteen-barrel brewhouse, a taproom with an outdoor beer garden, and a restaurant or food concept.

    By drinking Good River Beer, you are helping conserve rivers too. And soon you will be able to take Good River Beer with you on your river trips. On October 1, the company will begin offering its beer in cans. Their Class V (a Colorado-style IPA) and American (an authentic pilsner) will be able for sale in cans in liquor stores across Denver. Soon to follow will be the Gunny (a black lager) and River Dog (a brown ale).  Check out their website (, Facebook page (, or email them directly at for specific locations.

  • 08/14/2017 4:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The USDA Forest Service, San Isabel National Forest, Leadville Ranger District is seeking public comment on a proposal to relocate the Numbers Launch Site on the Arkansas River to a new location south of existing site.  “The new launch site will provide for improved aesthetics, access, and safety,” according to the August 7, 2017, public scoping document.

    The proposed action is to restore the old launch site to a natural setting by removing all improvements (signs, kiosks, fences, etc.) and rehabilitating the access road and parking area.

    Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPAW) will construct a new launch site with a new access road, parking lot, loading zone, fee station, restroom, and stairs with a boat side. The loading zone will be location on CPAW property, but the proposal is to locate the other facilities on adjacent National Forest land.

    The Forest Service is seeking public comments to the proposal in person, by phone, and by e-mail by September 1.

    For more information contact:
    The Leadville Ranger District, 810 Front Street, Leadville, CO 80461, 719-486-0749, 

  • 07/17/2017 12:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Elizabeth Austen

    Friends were made, lessons were learned, fun was had! It’s what we do.

    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, 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, 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 moving water weekend 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 Heidi Haas, 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 2017 event. 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 on line. Log in at  and go to the RESOURCES tab, then click on member directory.

    On Friday night, we had kayak porn and social time while volunteers manned the check-in table.  Saturday morning, we got things moving with a quick safety talk by the wild and wonderful Jon Baskin. You know, the 6’8” tall guy wearing a onesie decorated with ducks? Allison Piper White led us through some good stretches to get us ready to hit the water, and 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 next level—getting to the next level, 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 Mat Dumoulin of Team Jackson / Jackson Kayak was a big hit. We also had terrific guest instructors Holly McClintock from Four Corners Rafting in Durango, and Josh Aronow from River Runners in BV. RMOC also loaned us instructors, along with 4 Corners and River Runners. We appreciate the assistance and sponsorship from these companies and their bright and shiny instructors!

    Saturday evening, we had great food provided by our own Brian Sweeney and his lovely wife Silvia Schuhmann, followed by live music from Chain Station Mountain Music, which got a ton of people to their feet with bluegrassy originals and covers of everything from Tom Petty to Johnny Cash.

    Sunday morning, we had our awards and the big deal—the RAFFLE! 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 4Fun Kayak.

    Thanks to everyone who participated in yet another wildly fun event, and we’re gonna do it again next year, so mark your calendar now for May 18–20, 2018!

  • 06/23/2017 9:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Daniel Barton

    On April 22, 2017, Colorado Whitewater organized the South Platte River Cleanup. Although mother nature did not provide the water necessary to have all volunteers float the river, we still had amazing participation. All in all, we had approximately 115 volunteers and collected enough trash to fill a 32-yard dumpster. Some of the interesting items found were a lawn mower, a pair of 1980s skis, and the ever-present shopping cart. 

    Colorado Whitewater would like to give thanks to a couple key partners. Down River Equipment helped organize the event and supplied some amazing raffle items. Confluence Kayaks hosted the after-party and donated raffle items. Good River Beer donated beer for the after party. Finally, Denver Water, a new sponsor and partner was an integral part of the Cleanup this year. Denver Water transported all the trash collected by volunteers to the dumpster. 

    Denver and the Colorado river community is very special. We have people from all walks of life willing to devote their time toward bing positive river stewards and conservation. Thanks to everyone who committed their time in this effort.

  • 06/16/2017 4:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Chris Bidwell

    The day I won the Jackson Fun was the morning on the last day of 2016 Spring Training Camp. I bought two $10 tickets for the raffle, and when they called my name, I went over and picked the boat up over my head because I couldn’t believe it.   

    Before going on the day’s trip, I quickly pulled all the gear out of my old kayak and outfitted the new Fun and immediately paddled it on our Cottonwood rapid Training Camp run. Since then, it has been my primary boat, and I have paddled it numerous times on the Foxton run, Waterton Canyon, laps on the Bridges run, laps on Shoshone, Royal Gorge, Clear Creek... Several of these are runs I’ve led for the former CWWA. 

    Every run I did this year was with my daughter, who totally has the kayaking bug. She was wanting to improve her class III skills and is working to get into class IV this upcoming season. My boating posse is mostly gone, so my new posse is my daughter’s boating friends, now my friends. I am known as “Corinne’s dad, the boater.” Once after a long day of paddling with them on the NFSP, we were pulling our boats out of the river. The other paddlers were dragging their boats back to the truck, but I told them that I’d be damned if I was going to drag my $20 boat.

    At this point in my paddling career, which has spanned since I was twelve, I am still enjoying paddling and passing my skills to the younger generation.

    In a nutshell, my personal rules for paddling are four-fold:

    ·       Paddle with a good crew (you never know when they may have to save you). 

    ·       Be in good shape (you do not want to get fatigued or pull a muscle).

    ·       Be a skilled paddler (have a strong roll, constantly improve, paddle often, do not move up a grade until you can comfortably play in your current grade). 

    ·       Have good gear (including safety gear--f it is worn out replace it, especially old lifejackets). 

    At the end of last season, I upgraded to a Party Braaap, and the “raffle Fun” has been handed down to my daughter, so it will continue its life as her primary boat.

    Thank you CW for giving back!

  • 04/29/2017 12:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Tim Friday

    Clear Creek soon will be swollen with spring runoff, and many of us are itching to get on the water. This has me thinking about the Peaks to Plains Trail project and its impact on river navigability as well as access to the traditional put-in/take-out spots. 

    I recently corresponded with Scot Grossman, Jeffco Open Space Project Manager, for this project, and things are moving forward with Segment 1 (Canyon Mouth to west end of Tunnel 1). A request for qualifications for contractors will be issued in the next few weeks, and Scot expects that a design-build contract for this segment will be in place by early fall. This means that work should begin late in 2017 and will continue into 2018. 

    So, for those of us who are interested in running this section of river in the 2017 season, the project will have no impact this year. Once a contract is awarded, CW will work with Scot/Jeffco to try to ensure that the river remains navigable during paddling season next year. This means we will try to ensure that the contractor avoids placing any temporary river crossings that would make boat passage unsafe or impossible. 

    Upstream on Segment 7, one temporary river crossing remains in place around mile marker 262.5. The contractor is in the process of realigning Highway 6 near mile marker 262.5 to accommodate a new parking lot downstream of Mayhem Gulch. The “Big Easy Recreation Area” will include parking for over fifty cars, a permanent restroom, multiple river access points, picnic areas, and a new bridge across the creek. The planned opening date is early September 2017. This is upstream of the existing Black Rock put-in, but traffic will be impacted in both directions, and this could cause delays and backups, especially during periods of heavy traffic. Once completed, this could become the preferred put-in for Black Rock.  

    Another positive thing to note is that the temporary river crossing will be removed in early May this year, so the river once again will be fully navigable from Lawson to Golden in 2017.  

    I have not been in the Canyon for a few months, so I don’t know how it looks other than what I can see in photographs on the website. There is no schedule yet for constructing any other segments other than Segment 1.

  • 04/29/2017 11:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Jessie Gunter

      It's almost run-off season, and that means it's time to get some cruises on the calendar!

    What are cruises? For those interested in meeting up with other paddlers, CW offers free river cruises arranged by volunteer trip coordinators. These trips allow you to step it up and try a new section of river with the support of experienced lead and sweeps who know that section. Or if you have a favorite run, then simply come along and have fun with a group of boaters! The trips are not a teaching or training exercise, and members who participate are responsible for their own conduct and safety. 

    We had an amazing cruise schedule last year thanks to a ton of awesome members who stepped up to lead trips. We were able to offer cruises almost every Saturday and/or Sunday from May till September, and I would really like to accomplish this again! We successfully provided opportunities for boaters to get out on the river safely on a ton of different riversa core function of Colorado Whitewater as a club and a community. 

    To be a cruise leader, it is important that you are comfortable on the section you are leading, that you have previously had swiftwater rescue and CPR training and can assist with any swimmers or rescue situations while on the river. If you have any other questions about whether or not leading a cruise is right for you, please email me at and I'd be happy to have a conversation about it!

    Runs on which I would like to have at least one cruise planned at some point in the season—for any date:

    -Shoshone (III) and Grizzly Creek (II+) on the Colorado

    -Deckers (II+), Foxton (III+), Waterton (III+) 

    -Taylor River (II-III+)

    -Apple Valley on the St. Vrain (II+)

    -Filter Plant (II+), Bridges (III) on the Poudre 

    -Milk Run (II+), Fractions (III), Brown's Canyon (III+) on the Arkansas

    -Pumphouse (II+) on the Colorado

    -Any other ideas? Let's talk!

    -Midweek cruises, SUP Cruises, and surfing parties are awesome too!

    Please get in touch with me (Jessie Gunter) at and let's get this season's cruise schedule going!

  • 04/29/2017 11:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Words by Ruth Eipper
    Photos by Terry Standlee

    Last year I was lucky enough to meet some paddlers on the river that invited me to Colorado Whitewater's Training Camp. As a beginner kayaker, I was a little nervous to sign up. I was unsure of what classes to take, and if I would be the only person there without a group of friends to mingle with. One quick email later and I was assured not to worry if I needed to switch classes later and to show up ready to have a good time.

    I arrived at training camp early Friday evening and ran into some of the more seasoned paddlers I had met before. We shared a beer by the river while they swapped stories about what they paddled on the Ark earlier that day before showing up to help lead trips for the weekend. Everyone mingled all evening, talking about what they were hoping to get out of camp, and I soon realized I fit right into the mix just fine. We ended the night around a projector watching kayak porn and relaxing under the stars before walking back to our campsites to prep for morning.

    The next morning everyone gathered in a big group and split into classes for the day. Everyone shared their experience and shuffled around into groups for their skill level. The first day on the river was a blast, shaking off nerves and getting to know everyone in the group better. That night we came back to an amazing dinner and live music by the fire. I definitely didn’t have to worry about being the odd one out at camp as I danced and talked with new and old friends, while once again swapping stories of accomplishments and carnage from the day.

    The second morning started fairly similar (with a good majority moving a little slower after the party the night before). We had another amazing meal for breakfast and came together for the raffle. Tons of local shops donate gear and other fun goodies as prizes. I wasn’t a winner (this time) but many others I had met during the weekend were, including one lucky winner of a brand new boat!

    After another day of paddling and having a blast on the river (with some carnage and a missing shoe thrown into the mix), I swapped numbers with the group and made plans to paddle again the next day. My biggest takeaway from the weekend was by far increasing my circle of paddling buddies and being able to boat together even now.

    I would recommend training camp to anyone looking to learn more as well as seasoned paddlers looking to come join the party (don’t forget your beer, the nearest store is pretty far away!). There are options including playboating and becoming more confident on class IV for the more experienced as well as the choice to come volunteer as safety on the river or even just join for the party and music while paddling whatever you choose during the day. Salida and BV are close by for whatever suits your fancy on the Ark. This year’s band is Chain Station, an amazing bluegrass group, and food will be served by our amazing caterer Brian Sweeney!

    This year I am super excited to return to Training Camp as an instructor and to share the stoke as others did for me last year! 

    Register for 2017 Training Camp May 19-21.

    Ruth Eipper has been kayaking since 2015 and recently became certified as an ACA instructor. Her favorite runs to paddle are definitely Foxton and the Numbers.

  • 03/10/2017 4:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Tim Friday

    In 2007, the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a report on the eligibility of rivers in the Upper Colorado River Basin for Wild and Scenic River designation (BLM Eligibility Report, March 2007). This report identified 54.4 miles of the Upper Colorado River from the top of Gore Canyon downstream to a point one mile east of No Name Creek in Glenwood Springs, Colorado (segments 4 through 7), as having numerous “outstandingly remarkable values” eligible for special federal designation as a Wild and Scenic River.

    Various state agencies, local governments, environmental and recreational interests, landowners, anglers, and water providers came together as an independent collaborative stakeholder group to develop a local management alternative to Wild and Scenic River designation of the Upper Colorado River with the intention of protecting and perhaps enhancing the outstandingly remarkable values on this part of the Colorado River in ways that coordinate with federal agency management. The Upper Colorado River Wild and Scenic Stakeholder Group is comprised of over 100 individuals representing various state agencies, local governments, environmental and recreational interests, landowners, anglers, and water providers. They have formed an independent, collaborative partnership to develop and implement a local management alternative to Wild and Scenic designation on the Upper Colorado River. Since coming together in 2007, the Stakeholder Group has worked together as a large group and in small work groups to develop a management plan which recognizes the interests of each representative while also protecting and enhancing the Upper Colorado River's outstanding biological, social, and recreational value.

    The Stakeholder Group’s Alternative Management Plan was proposed to the BLM as an alternative in the BLM and US Forest Service (USFS) Resource Management Plan revision process. The intention of this collaborative plan is to balance permanent protection of the identified outstandingly remarkable values of these river segments, while still providing flexibility for all water users, certainty for the stakeholders, and yields for water projects. One project that stands out as a benefit to whitewater boaters is the recently completed Gore Canyon Whitewater Park at Pumphouse. This project not only provides a whitewater play park in a gorgeous setting, but it also provides guaranteed flow in the river through a Recreational In-Channel Diversion (RICD) water right. You can read more about RICDs here.

    CW member Steve Dougherty represents CW in the Stakeholders Group and he participated in the January 30, 2017, Upper Colorado River Wild and Scenic Stakeholders Meeting held at the Keystone Center in Keystone, CO. This was his first meeting, and he’s just getting up to speed with the group. At this meeting there was not a lot of discussion of recreational boating issues. The bulk of the meeting focused on the presentation of hydrologic modeling and the use of Denver Water’s Platte and Colorado Simulation Model (PACSM). From a big picture standpoint, what is currently going on is the group has about three years to determine if the current targets for the resources and metrics to measure if the targets are appropriate and if not appropriate, what they should be. If the group cannot agree on revised targets and metrics, then the targets and metrics in the Upper Colorado River Wild and Scenic. 

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