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The Feather River is full to the brim July 27 as the gates open to release even more water for recreational paddlers. Photo by Mari Erin Roth

Water rushes through Feather River Canyon to the delight of paddlefesters

The second to the last water release at Rock Creek along the Feather River took place the weekend of July 27 and 28 to the delight of dozens of visitors paddling the whitewater of the Feather.

The river water was already high for this time of the year due to the bountiful winter and extreme caution was necessary even for the very prepared and experienced whitewater paddlers.

Safety equipment and multiple companions are the norm for seasoned and novice kayakers alike during the annual summer event. Safety is number one and essential for such an extreme sport to continue.

The Feather River boasts world-class rapids, ranging in difficulty from Class II all the way up to Class V. The weekend of increased water flow provides the opportunity for boaters to run the rapids starting at any skill level and progress over the weekend in degrees of difficulty.

Experienced paddlers abound for tips and suggestions to those seeking input on technique and tricks of the sport. A community is built during each release as the majority of paddlers spend the weekend camping together in rustic conditions for the sheer pleasure of sharing the joy of the river.

The final release of the season in the canyon is scheduled to take place the last weekend in September.

“Feather Fest” is a time full of celebrations for the end of summer. Whitewater events will include a Class V Tobin Race, Class IV Lobin Race and a Class II Slalom Race. Paddlers can look forward to films, food, camping, live music, a silent auction, drawings, prizes, clinics, equipment demos and more.

The event serves as a marker to the end of the season as boaters paddle the Feather River for the last time until next spring.

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