Sep 03, 2017


Bend-AR course vetting field notes and update

Mandatory Gear Update:

  1. Each racer will need a climbing harness, 2 locking carabiners, and 2 short lanyards (daisy chain, sewn webbing loops, etc.  These must be a minimum of 2 ft long each.  

  2. Packrafts:  We do have packrafts for rent.   We have 6-10 single boats (mix of alpacka and kokopelli decked and self bailers and 2 doubles (kokopelli Twain).  Singles are $80.  Doubles $ 150.  Email with your request and we can confirm models etc.  We've vetted the course with both singles and doubles.  Doubles are faster on the flatwater, but more difficult in the technical whitewater, and a bit heavier and bulkier.

Vetting Notes:

The course is shaping up nicely, with some amazing scenery (that most teams will see during daytime!), lots of gradual elevation gain and many fast fun bike descents.  

There will be 5 stages total.  Below are answers to questions we have received.

Q: Will there be a lot of boat carrying, and will I be able to start with my boat inflated.

A:  The total boat carrying will be 2.5 miles spread out over 4 portages.  Boats must start the race deflated, but teams can choose when to inflate and deflate them, as well as wether to do so before portages.  Teams may also choose to do more portages if desired, although there will be some route restrictions.   The paddle about 45% whitewater river, 55% flatwater.

Q: Will we be biking at night?

A: Yes. And bike lights (front and rear) are required.  There will be some pavement, some forest roads (from pretty good to really rough), and some single track (from pretty good to pretty rough and overgrown).  It is recommended to have a front light on the bike, and one on the head.


Q: Will there be hike-a-bike?

A: Depends on your uphill riding ability and your route choice.  It is possible to do the entire course without any hike-a-bike, although this will almost certainly not be the fastest route.


Q: Are all the points mandatory? 

A: No.  As in the past, some points will be labeled "PRO".  These are optional.   We believe the course is clearable (all points) by a team with good navigation and speed on the moderate side.  

Q: Is there water on the course?  At TAs?

A: Full details on the stages, distances and what equipment/water/bathrooms is available will be released a few days before the race.  There is water on much of the course, and there is also a large section where water is scarce.  Race Staff will transport one 2.5 gallon jug per team like this to the remote TA.   Teams should have the ability to filter/purify water.

Q: Are there any dark zones?

A:  No

Q: Will the maps be waterproof?

A: Some of the maps will be printed on waterproof paper, some will not.  It is recommended that you come prepared with a way to protect your maps.  

Q: Will there be fire, food or drink available at the TAs?

A: Absolutely no fire.  And it is forbidden to build one anywhere on the course.  There may be some hot food at the remote TA, this will be TBD.

Q: Will the fire impact the course?

A: Thus far, fires are not near the race course.  We were out the last three days and were pleasantly surprised with the conditions, and we did feel impacted by the smoke at all.  That said, with no rain in the immediate forecast, fire and smoke might be an issue come race day.  We've been experimenting with a few respirators as we bike around town , and both the N95, and P100 masks are ultralight, and will keep you breathing well.   These are a bit hot to breathe through, and may limit aerobic output, but if you are sensitive to smoke it is worth monitoring levels and coming prepared with a mask or two.

Q: Is the course gonna be awesome?

A: Of course.  Super Awesome.  Best WW packraft we've ever done.  And the rest of the course is stunning and challenging.  Equal parts  ultra endurance biking, lots of route finding, and amazing O-course, and some bush bashing for sure.  All with a fast finish on bike and foot.

Aug 25, 2017

Everything you ever wanted to know

Bend-AR WW details

Below are the details of the Bend AR WW leg.  Some teams have deduced the section of river, so we decided to release the details, so teams can all be prepared.  And we can't stop you from pre-running the section - but it is a bit of a endeavor, so you might just want to wait for the race.

We will be paddling the Crooked River.  Overall, the river is amazing, and "read-and-run" rapids the entire way.  The flow increases along the sections as springs and waterfalls flow into canyon.  Every single rapid of note has a recovery pool (flat water) below it, so if you do swim you will be able to get your equipment and get back in the boat easily.

Notes (feel free to print these out and bring with you on race day!)  We've broken down the river into 3 roughly equal sections for this description.

From the Put-in:  


There are a series of unnamed class II/II+ rapids for the first 3 miles.  These are mostly technical moves around boulders and there are several ways through each rapid.  Although some of the horizon lines can look intimidating, the lower and slower flows in this section keep things very manageable for paddlers with some basic WW experience.  


Shortly after a tall waterfall on river right, there is a big long pool of slackwater.  The pool is about 1/4 mile long.  At the end of this pool is a horizon line, and an obvious rapid.   There is a flag on RIVER LEFT, and this is where you should take out for the portage.  The rapid is a runnable class IV, but a swimmer would likely be pinned toward the bottom of the channel at this flow level.  This PORTAGE IS MANDATORY - regardless of your boating skill.  You must portage RIVER LEFT.

SECTION 2:  You can put back in anywhere after the rapid.  If there are many teams together, try to move further downriver to make room behind, and be quick about it to avoid a bottleneck.    

The flow of the river has now increased, and in the following section there are 5 named rapids between Class II+/III-, and one class III.   All of these can paddled read and run by paddlers with any moderate WW experience.  They all have pools for recovery.

  1.  "Pinball" II+  Shortly below the portage.  Large rocks and small drops

  2.  "Extra Game" II+  300 meters below Pinball, you get to play again.  Same character.

  3. "Boingo Boingo" III- 600 meters below Extra Game.  Boulders and medium drops.  Technical.  

  4. "Slurpee" II  After long pool, 100m rapids with lots of line, no big drops.

  5. "The Ledge" II+  Horizon line, river wide 3' ledge drop.  Right or left are ok.

  6. "Surprise" III  The last drop before the big pool above the Opal springs dam.  This one can come up fast, and is a bit easier to run left.  But both right and left go.  Watch out for the center rock after the first drop.

The Opal springs take out is well signed.  Take out at gravel ramp river right.   Walk along road to signed boater put in.  DO NOT check in at office.   Be respectful of private property.    This portage is about 400 meters long.

SECTION 3:  Starts off lower water.  Big spring enters from right.  There are some small rapids but only two of note.

  1. "Entrance Exam" II  About 400 meters from the Put-in below dam.  A short drop and corner.

  2. "Final Exam" III/III+  300 meters from the entrance exam is the river's final rapid.  Can be scouted river left.  This rapid is the longest (about 75 m).  It is fairly continuous, but not technical, with a few big holes and turbulent currents.   The end of this rapid is a HUGE POOL.  

This river is very approachable for novice paddlers following a more experienced boater.  Less experienced paddlers will find the technical sections easier in single boats (vs doubles), but the flat water will be a bit slower.   Undecked boats or Scouts will also do fine, but will likely take on water and need to be emptied a few times between portages.  


It is a perfect flow rate for pack rafting.  Make sure you look around and enjoy the incredible beauty of the canyon.   

Aug 24, 2017

Gear update, logistics, packrafts for rent

Course Update #1

Course Notes:

Smoke has been an issue all over the Northwest, but much of that is expected to have died down and even vanished by Race day.  Fires have not impacted much of the course, so keep your fingers crossed.  We'll be doing extensive course vetting in the next week, so expect another update around the beginning of September.   

As of now, climbing gear is still required.  There is a chance that this will be scrapped due to unstable conditions in the area, but we will let you know as soon as we do.

The race this year will FINISH in Sisters, OR.  It is about 30 min from Bend.   Racers will board a bus in Sisters on that morning.    Details with times etc will be confirmed in early Sept.

At this water level (should stay the same), the river is only class III, and running at 1300cfs.  People have been asking for good practice runs in the area, so I have listed a few below.   If you get lucky you might be training on the actual river and even section we are paddling!!!!!

Deschutes River:  

  • Pringle falls section (short)

  • Meadowcamp (BELOW 100% rapid to town)

  • Tumalo to cline falls (white mile).  Low water but paddleable in a packraft and good technical training

Other rivers:

  • Crooked river (hollywood road to Billy chinook)

  • Metolius River (my favorite ever river) - Camp Sherman to Wizard Falls fish hatchery

  • Mckenzie River (all of it!).  This is just a great river for any level, can find class II-III for miles depending on run

  • Bend WW park (safe passage is great for eddy turn practice!)

Remember, sometimes repeating a shorter run many times is the best practice.  Even a few hours in the boat will help.

Packraft Rentals:   We are working hard to get some boats for rent.  These will be WW worthy boats, either Self bailing, decked or open.  All with seats.  It is possible to paddle Scouts, but I would think about adding a seat, and know that you'll be dumping out a few times at least once you are full.   Rental boats are $100, and include PAddle and PFD. (but we'd love it if you have your own).  We do NOT have many of these.   So please try to source your  own, but contact us if you really need one.  They are all singles.  We have no doubles for rent.   We may get more in the coming week, and will let you know.  

All for now!  

BR crew.

Sep 16, 2017

Confirmed dates: September 16-17

Bend-AR 2017

Course Confirmed!  

LIMITED SPOTS AVAILABLE!  Our permits allow for less racers than usual due to the amazing nature of this course.


This will be an incredible course - in a brand new area for us.  We are BEYOND excited about the opportunity to race in this new area with truly amazing terrain.  Highlights include:

  • class III packrafting through a classic canyon

  • Challenging orienteering with many route options

  • Stunning rock spires and rugged terrain

  • Mix of remote FS roads and rugged singletrack, with long downhill section

  • Flatwater paddling O-course (during daylight), with many PRO point options and incredible scenery

  • 1.2x point multiplier for Cascadia Series.

  • Chance to win the Bend Racing champion mugs, navigation cup, and Endurance pint

  • Hardest race in the Northwest.

  • Expected winning time: 24 hours

  • Course open: 36 hours

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