RTS 2013 Trip List
Interested in paddling some great water with fun and skilled paddlers? If so, the River Touring Section (RTS) is the group for you. Every year, our members lead paddling adventures on both quiet water and whitewater. We also lead instructional clinics to teach you paddling and safety skills.
RTS is affiliated with the Sierra Club, but our trips are open to everyone. We want to get you on rivers. We hope that you grow to enjoy paddling and to love rivers and support groups that work to protect them such as the Sierra Club and the River Alliance of Wisconsin.
PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Each trip and clinic includes the name and contact information of the trip leaders. You must call the leaders prior to the trip to register and to get the logistics of the trip (when and where it departs.) Trip leaders can provide information about the trip or clinic and help you assess your abilities to participate. Trip leaders reserve the right to limit participation based on the number of people registered, participant skill levels, trip difficulty, and other reasons.
GEAR: You are responsible for providing all of your gear—boat, paddles, life jacket, bail bucket, and so on. You’ll also need to provide weather-appropriate clothing. This means a wet or dry suit for early and late season runs and for whitewater as well as gear to minimize sun exposure such as a hat and sunglasses.
All participants MUST wear a properly fitted and securely fastened life jacket on all the trips and in the clinics. For Class II and higher whitewater, participants should wear a life jacket designed for whitewater, a whitewater helmet, and have a boat that is properly outfitted with floatation and thigh straps. These items may be required for some Class II trips (see trip description and talk to the trip leader) and are absolutely required for Class III and higher water.
You are responsible for providing all of your camping equipment—tents, sleeping bag, food, etc. Trips marked “Car Camp” means you’ll return to a camping site for the evening. “Canoe Camp” means you need to carry all your equipment with you in your canoe. “Canoe Camp with Portage” means you’ll have an opportunity to carry all of your gear at some point on the trip.
CLASSES OF WATER: We want your RTS experience to be fun. We also want it to be safe. The International Scale of River Rating Difficulty (see box) is a guide for assessing the difficulty of a stretch of water and will help you decide if a trip is appropriate for you and your skill level. Except for the occasional flatwater/quietwater lake trips, all of our trips are on rivers. Many of these trips are suitable for paddlers with solid flatwater canoe skills. Trip leaders are always happy to discuss the nature of the river with you.
International Scale of
River Rating Difficulty
(Note: The scale includes two additional Classes—V and VI—but since RTS is not offering trips at that level, we didn’t include that information.)
LIABILITY WAIVER and REQUIREMENTS: All participants are required to sign a liability waiver prior to the trip or clinic and abide by decisions made by the trip leaders. If you would like to read the liability waiver form before you sign up for a trip or clinic, please see: http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/chapter/forms/.
TRANSPORTATION: You are responsible for providing your own transportation to and from the river. The Sierra Club does not have insurance for carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them. We can identify people who have space in their car and people who need rides, but we do not make transportation arrangements.
OTHER: We do not allow non-paddlers, glass containers, or alcoholic beverages on our trips while we are on the water. Pets are prohibited unless the trip announcement explicitly mentions that pets are allowed.
“CST 2087766-40. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.”
RTS members offer several instructional clinics for a nominal fee. These clinics are a great way to gain skills and confidence. Because we strive to maintain a low student to teacher ratio—typically 4 to l or less—we can offer highly individualized instruction. The clinics fill up early. To avoid missing out on the clinic you want to take, reserve your spot now by calling the clinic instructor and sending in your fee (non-refundable). All of the clinic teachers volunteer their time. Fees cover supplies and refreshments. RTS donates the remaining funds to conservation and river protection groups.
QUIETWATER CLINIC FOR SOLO OR TANDEM CANOES
May 18 Location to be determined
WHITEWATER CLINIC FOR SOLO OR TANDEM CANOES
Registration (Solo or Tandem): Gregg Riemer, 608-257-5239, duNord@sbcglobal.net
Solo Clinic Leader: Gregg Riemer, 608-257-5239
Tandem Clinic Leader: Pat Wilson, 608-788-8831
Year TWO!! - WHITEWATER CLINIC FOR WHITEWATER KAYAKS
June 8-9 Wolf River
Class II; Car Camp. Clinic Fee: $30 per person; Camping location and fees to be determined.
Kayak clinic is limited to 10-12 participants. RTS whitewater clinics are for reasonably experienced
moving water (river) paddlers who want to learn whitewater skills and novice whitewater paddlers
who want to improve their skills. Paddlers must provide their own properly equipped whitewater kayak, which means a bulkhead OR air bags behind the seat AND a properly fitted neoprene spray skirt. (And of course life jacket and helmet.) Except for some joint canoe/kayak classroom sessions, separate instruction will be provided for kayakers. There will be a potluck dinner Saturday night for clinic participants, instructors, and RTS paddlers. Please bring a dish to share.
We will have a reserved group campsite for camping Friday and Saturday nights.
If you prefer other lodging/camping arrangements, there are many options available. See the
Wolf River Territory website (www.wolfriverterritory.com) for information.
For information and registration, contact: Kasy Culbertson, 608-576-4226, firstname.lastname@example.org
MOVING WATER CANOE CLINIC
June 22 Badfish Creek near Madison
Class I. Clinic Fee: $25 per person. Confident and competent on lakes, but not ready for rivers? Then this canoe clinic is for you. We’ll review the basic strokes—draws, prys, sweeps, forward, back and J. We’ll discuss safety, reading water, and maneuvers—ferries, side slips, and eddy turns. Then we’ll practice these skills as we canoe Badfish Creek. To register or get more details, contact: Carl Zimm, 608-246-0485, email@example.com
RIVER SAFETY AND RESCUE CLINIC
August 3-4 Red River
Class I-II; Car Camp. Fee: $30/person, plus camping fees. Limited to 10 people. Through active, hands-on instruction, you will learn many river rescue techniques, including how to throw and receive a rope, swim a rapid, release pinned boats, and mange rescue scenarios. Note that swimming in the river and intense activity are part of this clinic. We will paddle the Red River on both days, continuing our rescue instruction. To register or get more details, contact: Walt Ruben,
Late February – Early March Paddle and Day Hike the Southeastern U.S.
Class II-III; Car Camp. Join experienced paddlers on some classic Southern rivers. Car camp, paddle, and day hike on the Cumberland Plateau. The trip will be flexible in order to meet the needs of participants. Paddlers must feel comfortable on rivers like the Wolf Section III. Join us for all or part of this trip. For details, contact: Judd Lefeber, 608-412-1631.
April 6-7 Robinson and Morrison Creeks near Black River Falls
April 13-14 Little Rivers Exploratory
Class III; Car Camp. Based on water levels, we’ll select two or more small rivers in central or northern Wisconsin that can only be paddled in spring. Learn about river restoration and preservation. Wet/dry suit and helmet required. Note: Depending on water levels, we may change the date of this trip. For details, contact: Dale Dean 608-302-5744, firstname.lastname@example.org or Doug Robinson, 608-334-8026, email@example.com
April 21 Bark River
Class 1+; Day trip. Join us for an early spring paddle on a clear stream made so by restored wetlands. As there are 7 bridges, portaging may be needed. Weather and water level dependent. Limited to 8 participants. For details contact: Kasy Culbertson, 608-576-4226, firstname.lastname@example.org
April 20-21 Popple River
Class II-III; Car Camp. Join us on one of Wisconsin’s 5 state-designated “Wild Rivers.” This is a river which has fantastic whitewater opportunities but generally has sufficient water levels only on a limited basis. We will also attempt a hike to Jennings Falls on Saturday. Learn of the history and challenges facing the Wisconsin’s Wild Rivers. Wet/dry suit and helmet required. For details, contact: Larr Zibell 715-546-2131.
April 27-28 South Fork Flambeau River
Class III; Car Camp. If water levels cooperate, we’ll run the South Fork of the Flambeau or the Upper Jump River. We’ll move to a later date if the water is too low. Wet/dry suit and helmet required. We’ll discuss mining proposals, regulations, and related issues in the area. For details, contact: Dale Dean 608-302-5744, email@example.com
May 4-5 Pine River
May 6 Pine River
Class III; Car Camp. Continue down the Pine! We will camp at Chipmunk Rapids Sunday night and then paddle the next stretch. Mostly quietwater except for Snaketail Rapids, Meyers Falls, and Bull Falls. Wet/dry suit, helmet, flotation required, unless you plan on portaging the rapids. For details contact: Rich Krieg, 920-660-3557, firstname.lastname@example.org
May 4-5 Whitewater Rivers of Central Wisconsin/Exploratory
Class II-III; Car Camp. Rivers to be determined by water levels. Possibilities include Little Wolf, Eau Claire, Big Rib, etc. We’ll discuss storm water runoff and how to control it as we paddle these exciting wild rivers. Wet/dry suit and helmet required. For details contact: Doug Robinson, 608-334-8026, email@example.com.
May 18 QUIETWATER CLINIC for Solo and Tandem canoes (See Clinics above.)
May 18–19 Brule River (WI/MI border)
May 25 - 27 Bois Brule
May 28 White River
Class I-II; Car Camp. Extend your Memorial Day weekend trip. Join us on Tuesday after paddling the Bois Brule. This a delightful river with a true northwoods feel. We will take time to clear any debris found. We will gather Tuesday AM at the DNR campground south of Brule in Douglas County. For details contact: Mary Blandino, 414-546-0375 or Katy Golden, 414-378-1053, firstname.lastname@example.org
June 1-2 Pike River/Red River
Class II; Car Camp. The Pike is a beautiful small whitewater river and a designated WI Wild River with numerous small drops. The Red has something for all whitewater paddlers. Helmets required. For details contact: Jim Servais, 920-434-0740.
June 8-9 WHITEWATER CLINICS for Solo and Tandem canoes, Whitewater Kayaks (See Clinics above)
June 14-18 Sylvania Wilderness Service Project
June 22 MOVING WATER CANOE CLINIC (See Clinics above.)
June 22-23 Pike River/Wolf River
Class II+; Car Camp. Practice whitewater skills from the WW clinics before they get rusty. The Pike on Saturday. Section II of the Wolf on Sunday. For details contact: Phillip Johnsrud, 715-445-4777, email@example.com
June 23-25 Sylvania Wilderness Area (Michigan)
Quietwater; Canoe Camping with portages. Explore some of the 34 clean, clear lakes in a
wilderness setting. Learn about what others have done before us to make this a special place for
plant, animal, and human interaction. Moonlit/dawn paddles. Family-oriented trip. 5 paddlers
maximum. $15 non-refundable deposit due by June 6th. This includes 3 night camping fee.
Late July – Early August Montana Whitewater
Class II-IV; Car Camp. Join experienced paddlers on some classic rivers in northwest Montana. The trip will be flexible in order to meet the needs and skills of participants. Paddlers must feel comfortable on rivers like the Wolf Section III. Join us for all or part of this trip. For details contact co-leaders: Phil Johnsrud (class III whitewater leader), 715-445-4777, firstname.lastname@example.org or Judd Lefeber (class IV whitewater leader), 608-412-1631.
August 3-4 Black River
August 3-4 RIVER SAFETY AND RESCUE CLINIC (See Clinics above.)
August 10 – 11 (Optional 12) Chippewa River
August 17-18 Upper Iowa (Iowa)
Class I; Car Camp. This spring-fed river is one of the most scenic rivers in the Midwest – beautiful limestone cliffs break up this stretch of greenbelt. Learn about the unique geology and ecology of the driftless (unglaciated) region. Dogs are allowed on this trip. For details contact: Doug Robinson, 608-334-8026, email@example.com
August 24-25 Flambeau River
Class II; Canoe Camp. Refresh your soul on the Flambeau by participating on a trip that has become one of our finest traditions. For details contact: Rich Krieg, 920-660-3557, firstname.lastname@example.org or Dale Dean, 608-302-5744, email@example.com
September 7-8 Mississippi Backwaters
Moving Water; Car Camp. This trip is great for rec kayaks 12’ and longer, sea kayaks and tandem
canoes. We’ll paddle the backwaters of the Mississippi near Winona, MN and Fountain City, WI. Paddlers should be comfortable with big water and crossing the main channel. Enjoy the scenic bluffs, vegetation and bird watching along this major migratory bird route. For details contact: Sue O’Brien, 507-452-3164, firstname.lastname@example.org
September 14-15 Wisconsin Whitewater (rivers to be determined)
Class II-III; Car Camp. Another beautiful fall weekend (if we’re lucky). Depending on water levels, paddlers’ interest, and weather, we could paddle the Pike, Red, or Wolf. This is a chance to improve paddling skills learned earlier this year in the clinics or on other rivers, and to see bald eagles and kingfishers along the way. Wet/drysuit and helmet required. For details contact: Bruce Nelson, 608-244-6397, email@example.com or Kasy Culbertson, 608-222-0746, firstname.lastname@example.org
September 14-15 Root River (Minnesota)
Class I; Car Camp. Enjoy a fall weekend paddling the Root River in unglaciated SE Minnesota near Lanesboro. Dolomite cliffs overlook the valley which has many spring fed tributaries and abundant wildlife. For details contact: Sue O’Brien, 507-452-3164, email@example.com
September 19-22 Namekagon River (for women)
Moving Water; Canoe Camping. Join five other women for a scenic 30 mile canoe paddle on the Namekagon River, part of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. The Namekagon is a quiet and narrow river that meanders through varied landscape and abundant wildlife in Wisconsin’s northwoods. Cost: $125, including canoes, meals, and first night's lodging. $25 registration deposit required. For details contact: Nancy McDermott, 608-238-1421, firstname.lastname@example.org
September 21 - 22 Oconto River
Quietwater; Car Camp. We’ll paddle quietwater stretches from Suring to Hintz on Saturday and from Hintz to Pulcifer on Sunday. Learn how Wisconsin’s Managed Forest Law impacts the state’s forests. For details, contact: Gregg Riemer, 608-257-5239, duNord@sbcglobal.net
September 21-22 Kickapoo and Wisconsin River
Moving Water; Canoe Camp. We’ll put in at Plumb Creek Landing on the Kickapoo, camp on a sand bar on the Wisconsin, and take out at the Highway 18 bridge. The camping is primitive—no facilities. This quiet water trip is a great way to study the early fall bird migration in the Plumb Creek unit of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway. For details contact: Carl Wisler, 262-542-9593, email@example.com
September 29 Baraboo River
Class 1; Day trip. This stretch of river is shallow and rocky with a nice current. Good for plastic and Royalex canoes or kayaks. Shallow gravel sections would be hard on nice kevlar or fiberglass boats. Helmets required for kayakers and solo canoes. This section used to be blocked by three dams, which have been recently removed, allowing boaters and wildlife to return. Come see how this now free-flowing river makes a fine centerpiece to historic downtown Baraboo. For details, contact: Carl Zimm, 608-246-0485, firstname.lastname@example.org
October 12 - 13 Mecan River and Neenah Creek
Moving Water; Car Camp. Although there are no rapids, both of these small central Wisconsin streams maintain a steady current and at times require precise maneuvering around tight bends. Fall colors and waterfowl. For details, contact: Gregg Riemer, 608-257-5239, duNord@sbcglobal.net
October 26-27 Wolf River (Sections II & III)
Saturday, January 4, 2014 River Touring Section Annual Meeting
Summit Village Hall, outside of Oconomowoc at 11 am. For details, contact: Rich Krieg, 920-660-3557, email@example.com
Liability Waiver & Carpooling
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