By Eric Adsit
The Northwest Creeking Competition features a series of races on Southern Washington’s East Fork of the Lewis River and Canyon Creek. The two-day event draws rafters and kayakers alike from all over the Pacific Northwest, and as it came to a close last weekend, people are already looking to next year’s event. Here are some reasons why you should get yourself ready for next year’s Northwest Creeking Competition
1. The Rivers
The East Fork of the Lewis River is a beginning creeker’s dream and an experienced paddler’s playground. Sunset and Horseshoe Falls provide major thrill factors and crowd-pleasing aesthetics, while rapids such as Dragon’s Back and Screaming Left set you in an incredibly beautiful gorge.
Canyon Creek is the perfect companion run to the EFL, with bigger, more committing rapids and gorges, and all the aesthetic beauty that comes with them. The view from the finish line is worth the trip alone, with a stacked series of drops totaling close to 30 feet.
2. The Safety
You will find no better safety than on race day for these two rivers. Whether they were planning on volunteering or not, everyone on the river is quick to clean up the carnage and double check that everyone is alright.
3. The Schwag
The list of raffle prizes this year was daunting to say the least, and with this year’s great turnout, there will no doubt be even more next year. Besides the raffle, there was plenty of used gear up for sale or trade, as well as demos from Alder Creek and Next Adventure
4. The Beer
Ninkasi never fails to boost the spirits. This year they brought several kegs worth of New Reign, Believer and Lady of Avalon, providing a great variety straight from the tap to the campground. And when the kegs were finally tapped, there was no shortage of personal beverages to be shared.
5. The People
Most importantly, go to the NWCC (whether you race or not) for the people. It is by far the finest gathering of paddlers I have witnessed in the Pacific Northwest. From the volunteers and organizers to the competitors, the generosity and congeniality of everyone involved is truly the highlight of the event.