The Fourth Annual EddyFlower Vertical Challenge kicks off today with the East window competition. Registration is now open to paddlers of all types and classes at the link below:

The competition gives athletes 32 days to drop as much vertical as possible, while raising funds for non-profit organization First Descents. Founded by professional kayaker Brad Ludden in 2001, First Descents is dedicated to curing young adults (ages 18-39) of the emotional effects of cancer through outdoor adventure therapy, most notably kayaking.

At the end of the 32 days, two awards will be given to the teams or individuals in each division, one for most donations, and one for most vertical. The competition gave out a total of $15,000 in prizes to the 2009 winners.

This is the first year the competition has opened an earlier window for paddlers on the East coast. The West coast window will take place from May 15 – June 15. Competitors must choose only one window to compete in.

Last year the whitewater community did the following. Sign up now and do your part to make 2010 the best Vert Challenge yet.

$34,424 funds raised for First Descents
1,182,276 vertical feet paddled equal 40 sea to summit on Mt. Everest
43 teams from 13 states
182 competitors
$15,000 in prizes
1389 eligible runs in 31 states