Fri - November 3, 2006

2007 Wyoming Outback Challenge: 48 miles on North Platte River

North Platte River above Pick Bridge In addition to the annual Dotsero Race (10 miles on Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon, 3rd Sunday of August), the Canoe Colorado is planning a new longer race for the next year: Wyoming Outback Challenge on the North Platte River. The race will start at Saratoga hot springs and finish about 48 miles downstream at Fort Steele (just below I-80).

There is also a chance for a 12 mile race on the South Platte below Denver from Brighton to Fort Lupton earlier in the spring. I may also organize some informal races or training runs in winter and early spring, e.g., 30 mile South Platte River Marathon with 5 dam portages. So, there will be some racing opportunities in Colorado and neighborhood.

Information from Eric Nyre:

48 miles from Saratoga, WY to the I-80 bridge. Class I river, fast flow, some twistys and waves.

The race would have 4 classes, with $500 cash added to each class plus $25 per person entry fees, split 50-30-20 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd:

  • Unlimited solo single blade
  • Unlimited solo double blade
  • Unlimited tandem single blade
  • Unlimited tandem double blade
Double blade can be something like a kayak paddle, or sculling oars.

We're thinking of Memorial Day Monday. The river will be high, and it gives us a chance to pre-run on Saturday, tinker with boats and rest Sunday, and go bat out of hell on Monday morning.

Registration would be Sunday pm, with a 7am or so race start.

The race is still in planning stages, but I think it is worth to reserve the Memorial weekend for a trip to southern Wyoming. If you have any questions or suggestions contact Eric at Canoe Colorado. You are also welcome to leave your comments below just to let us know that you are interesting to participate.

I am usually training on North Platte River before Texas Water Safari. However, I usually paddle earlier in the spring, so in my pictures and video you will see the river at lower level than you can expect at the end of May. My paddling covers a little longer stretch of the river than the race course from Treasure Island to Dugway just above the Seminoe Reservoir.

There are two drops over primitive diversion dams. My video clip from the Treasure Island to Pick Bridge paddling shows the first one just 2 miles below Saratoga. It may be hardly noticable at other water levels. You will find the other small drop, Eagle Nest Rapid, about 30 miles below Saratoga or 20 miles below Pick Bridge in a shadow of a massive reddish rock cliff.

The North Platte around Saratoga has still some mountain spirit with many high cliffs but it is slowing down after the Pick Bridge and is flowing through some high desert scenery at the end of the race course. The pictures above show the river around Fort Stelle from my paddling this spring. It was a middle of April before the spring really started in Wyoming. We will see more green during the race like in the first picture shot in May 2003 above the Pick Bridge.

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Posted at 06:21 PM    

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