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North Cascades Whitewater Report (WA/BC)

Posted: 12/07/2008
by Thomas O'Keefe

The North Cascades region represents one of the world’s most spectacular destinations for whitewater paddlers with over 150 recognized runs on rivers and creeks that span an impressive diversity of landscapes. From the snowmelt rivers that flow east through arid areas to the rivers that flow west through temperate rainforests, paddlers of all skill levels from beginners to the world’s top experts can all find something to enjoy. Paddlers are attracted to the region for the year-around paddling season and opportunities for backcountry paddling which provide unique and highly valued opportunities for exploration and self discovery.

American Whitewater recently completed a survey of these rivers and 165 whitewater enthusiasts responded. The survey quantified the favorite runs, the most outstanding runs of regional or national significance for their recreational and aesthetic qualities, and popularity of runs. In addition respondents submitted many personal testimonies on the importance of paddling opportunities in this region.

Many of these rivers are not protected from future water diversion, water storage, or hydropower projects. More than 50 years ago American Whitewater was founded on guiding principles that include exploration and enjoyment of America's waterways and conservation and stewardship of the wilderness paddling experience, an experiences that the rivers of the North Cascades provide. We are documenting the use and value of these rivers to assist in efforts to protect these rivers for future generations.

Thomas O'Keefe
3537 NE 87th St.
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: 425-417-9012