Aside from all of the great rafting trips and kayak courses that have been out on the river, Wet Planet has also been busy with a couple of professional training seminars. In the first week of June, Wet Planet completed a three-day River Rescue Course that was geared toward river guides and area Search and Rescue team members. Recently, Wet Planet participated as one of the main organizers in the first annual Headwaters Institute White Salmon River Fest.
The River Rescue course is a yearly occurrence at Wet Planet, and is taught by Wet Planet co-owner and Rescue3 instructor Todd Collins. This three-day course is designed for river professionals and whitewater paddlers, and provides instruction on the skills and techniques needed to perfrom rescues in the whitewater environment. For three days, we talked about rescue philosophy, worked on rope systems, swam in the rivers, and practiced techniques in the river environments that we live and work in. Students in the course all receive Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) certification from internationally recognized Rescue3 upon completion of the course.
This year’s course was particularly special in that the students were both river guides from the White Salmon River community and members of the Klickitat County Search and Rescue (SAR) team. Guides from Wet Planet worked with Klickitat SAR earlier this season on a difficult rescue mission, and it was very exciting to have many of the same people all together in the same whitewater rescue course. It gave us a rare opportunity to share knowledge, get to know each other better, and practice together.
As a result of conversations during this course, lessons learned from this season’s earlier rescue mission, and the efforts of local rescue professionals (such as Nick Puff from Skyline and Todd Collins from Wet Planet), Klickitat County is now in the process of creating a formalized, technical Search and Rescue team for river rescue. We are still in the early stages of formation of the team, but we encourage anyone with technical river rescue skills and to participate. Feel free to call Wet Planet to find out more.
June also saw the success of the first annual Headwaters Institute White Salmon River Fest. The Headwaters Institute is dedicated to providing educational seminars for river guides and paddlers in different river communities, so that these
individuals are better able to educate and inform the members of the public that they come into contact with on a regular basis. The seminars focus on natural history topics concerning the different watersheds in which they are located. The White Salmon River Fest was aone-day event, with lecture topics ranging from a panel of speakers discussing the pending removal of Condit Dam, to historical and future native american uses of the White Salmon River, to a discussion of recent studies conducted on mountain lion behavior in Washington State. The event was a huge success, drawing over 75 participants. As with any event drawing lots of paddlers, there was a “social” in the evening, complete with an awesome raffle, live music from Richard Tillinghast and One Hum, and plenty to eat and drink. Numerous people donated time and energy into organizing the event, and many businesses (both local and from the industry) donated items for the raffle. We want to say “Thanks!” to all of you. A particularly huge shout goes out to the Wind River Cellars, who hosted the event and let us take over their facilities for an entire day. Overall, it was an incredible day. We all learned a lot and had a great time. We’re already talking about next year’s River Fest.
So, that’s what we’ve been up to lately. The sun is here, so we’ll hopefully see you out on the river soon.
Jaco and the rest of the Wet Planet crew
– Wet Planet @ 03:41 PM