Sunday marked the first day of the EddyFlower Vertical Challenge, an annual event open to paddlers of all abilities, male and female. Created as a fundraiser for First Descents, teams of up to five people compete to paddle the most vertical feet in one month from May 15 to June 15. Individuals can compete in of the six divisions: Open, Class V, Class IV, Class III, Weekend Warrior and Women’s. While the idea is to rack up as many vertical feet in a month, the event is also an event to see who can raise the most money.
"All funds raised help run the event and go to First Descents, a Colorado-based non-profit organization that takes young adults with cancer on whitewater kayaking and outdoor adventures to promote emotional, psychological and physical healing." - EddyFlower Vertical Challenge -
This year is my first year taking part in the event with the Dirty Diva's: Adriene Levknect, Katie Scott, Nicole Mansfield, Lizzy English and I. To ring in the first day of the event, I took full advantage of Sunday, and got on Upper Trout Creek, a 3 mile class IV+ run, as well as the Lake Branch of the Hood River, a recently re-found gem of the Hood River.
A beautiful day to be on the river: Gearing up for Upper Trout
A typical rapid on Upper Trout: Boulder Gardens, Ledge Drops and Manky-Mank
Jesse Becker and Joe Stumpfel on Upper Trout Creek
Before the hike in to the Lake Branch of the Hood
Jesse Becker running the second major drop on the Lake Branch of the Hood: Boat Basher