Oregon: Rogue River Kayak Clinics

There may be no better place west of the Rockies to learn whitewater kayaking skills than Oregon's Rogue River. The Rogue offers great variety, from stillwater pools to Class-IV rapids that can challenge even experts. Just as importantly, the Rogue is the home of Sundance Expeditions, one of America's finest river training centers. While Sundance offers something for everyone, its nine-day basic seminar is by far its most popular program. Paddlers in training stay at a comfortable backcountry lodge, enjoying home-cooked meals served by a friendly staff. To be truthful, the riverfront location and relaxing ambience of the lodge has been as important to Sundance's success as the quality of the kayaking.
The first five days of the program are devoted to acquiring the basic skills required to pilot a kayak safely through Class III rapids. You'll practice basic strokes, perfect the infamous eskimo roll, and learn how to maneuver through eddies and currents. The staff at Sundance is patient, and each kayaker receives individualized attention.

After completing the skills training, the training group will make a four-day, 40-mile run down the wild and scenic Rogue River Gorge. The students will perfect their whitewater technique in Class II-III+ rapids under the watchful eyes of instructors. All food and personal gear is carried in support rafts. Water levels have varied considerably in recent years, but ordinarily there is good volume all summer. The lower water at summer's end can actually be better for novices, although spring high-water offers the most excitement.
Practically Speaking
Sundance's nine-day intro program will cost about $1,750, including meals, lodging and all gear. Sundance offers a wide variety of other programs for more advanced kayakers.

Published: 8 Jul 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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