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Washington Kayak Club
Fun and safe kayaking through trips, education, skill development, and conservation

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First Descents Vertical Challenge

Nicole LeBlanc  | Published on Thursday, June 27, 2013

First Descents Vertical Challenge

Wrap-up from Team Nor'westers

SINCE THE START OF MAY, our team of 10 kayakers has spent 95 combined days on the river, covered over 50,000 vertical feet (9.5 miles) and most importantly, raised over $10,000 for First Descents with the help of friends, family and the club. Ok, we were down one person due to pesky back issues that creep up with our more experienced (a.k.a. senior) kayakers, but that didn't slow us up one bit!

First Descents Team

Some highlights of the WKC club members from this year's challenge:

  • Chad Coker reached his vertical mile the earliest with Shanna Gachen following close behind.

  • Shanna saw first hand how kayaks hold up to road rash—special thanks goes out to the Vancouver Kayak Club who made things right when rafting company at the Chilliwack River Festival did a bang up job of tying boats down.

  • New river experiences for Kanako Iwata- Eng and Aamie Benson, both students from the 2012 WKC WW beginner kayak course. Aamie got a vertical mile while Kanako had 14 river days!

  • Matt LeBlanc maxed out his allowable runs on the Wenatchee in the course of three days.

  • Nicole and Matt managed to tie-in two volunteer efforts on the same day with a raft trip for Team River Runner and adding some vertical feet for the FD Challenge!

  • Rick Schoen, our fearless leader, made his goal of paddling over a vertical mile with a few bags of ice to calm a sore back.

Thanks to all of you for your support and others who helped us along the way: Jon Almquist, Todd Thorpe, Michael Peele, Sampson Kim and others (you know who you are). A special thanks goes out to the club for a very generous donation a $1,000 to the team!

N.LeBlanc

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