A Coming Together of the Whitewater Community
Written by Zach Collier of Northwest Rafting Company, one of the leading outfitters in the Pacific Northwest.
I have participated in the Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival for 5 years now, and each year it's been a different experience. I've seen high water (10,000 cfs), low water, sun, rain, and even a national rafting championship. Even though every year has had a different flavor, the thing that stays the same is the amazing camaraderie of our local whitewater community.
I love to compete, so getting together with old friends to try out the latest boats and watch fellow boaters test themselves in the slalom course is my favorite part. After the day's events, I love to walk around the campfires and say hello to all the different groups of boaters that converge for this event.
Clack-fest has also become a spring reunion for the river guides I work with at Northwest Rafting Company and ECHO River Trips before our rafting season. They travel far and wide to compete in the events, but most of all to see each other and catch up on everyone's winter adventures.
The vendors who come to the event fulfill my geek-love of outfitting gear. All the major boat manufacturers show up with their latest and greatest boats to be demoed during the events. Clack-fest provides a great opportunity to try out a variety of boats and get to know the great people that make them.
I'm already looking forward to May, and we're all praying to the river gods for good flows and great weather (but I'll be there rain or shine)!