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Old 03-21-2013   #1
Sydney, Australia
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 6
Best place and time of year for paddling?

I am currently studying in university which has an exchange program where I can study a semester (4-6months) overseas.

I'm not sure what the best months for consistent paddling is in the USA or where would be best to go.

Click here for a list of Universities I can chose from. I'm not sure if I can apply for others not on this list? It would be worth a try if there is good paddling around.

Ideally I would want to be based close to the university but still have easily accessible whitewater. If there was a play spot I could paddle on close by during the week, with some good rivers/creeks around for weekend trips this would be ideal. I also prefer warmer climate/water than cold if that's possible (but doesn't really matter). I consider myself a solid class IV paddler with a bit of class V.

Any suggestions on the best uni's to base myself out of and which months are best would be appreciated!

padallen | whitewater kayaking
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Old 03-22-2013   #2
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
Out of the choices you have listed I would suggest California State University San Marcos or University of North Carolina at Wilmington, they are both closer to year-round paddling than anything around here.

Colorado School of Mines is a great school that many paddlers attend, but paddling season is generally limited to April - August in Colorado (although there are exceptions to this).

Hope that helps.

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Old 03-22-2013   #3
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 747
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Either Virginia tech or the university of Virginia will give you a lot of creeking options with rain, especially in the spring, as long as you're willing to do a little driving.
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Old 03-22-2013   #4
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,496
Did no one see Western WA Univ?? In Bellingham. Of course it will be damp and I don't know the seasons or boating compared to the others but I would love to spend some time in Bham and get to know the coastal WA rivers and all of Southern BC at your doorstep.

Old fat mostly rafter now so what do I know?
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Old 03-22-2013   #5
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,346
And boise/moscow/pullman. Why go to CO when you can ho to Idaho?
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 03-22-2013   #6
GoodTimes's Avatar
Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 794
Yup...I'd have to agree with Cdog. The Bellingham, WA area is pretty sweet. Pacific NW boating is hard to beat...IMHO. The "wet season" is when the rest of the country is pretty dry (or cold)....Plus you have BC a very short drive up the road.

Others on the list would be Virginia and North Carolina options...but you'll be pretty dependent on the rain in the shoulder months (and it's not as consistent or predictable as the PacNW).
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Old 03-22-2013   #7
Ashlandistan, Oregon
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 64
Not listed but Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University in Ashland,OR
PNW rain dependent runs, dam controlled runs too in the Jan-Feb/Mar then snow runoff and dam controlled Mar-June.
SOU has a strong Outdoor Adventure Leadership Degree Program(that I teach in) and Outdoor Program for trips, gear, pool roll sessions, and boating community outside of classes. Yes, you can even earn credit for Swiftwater Rescue Tech classes, etc.
Playhole/wave not available everyday, but 30+ minutes away on Klamath and Rogue when in.
PM me if you want more info.
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Old 03-25-2013   #8
Sydney, Australia
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 6
Thanks all for the feedback. I assume that roughly Feb - June is a better time for paddling than June - November over most of the USA?
padallen | whitewater kayaking
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Old 03-25-2013   #9
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Golden, CO
Paddling Since: 1856
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 339
Virginia would be considered a year round paddling state (with some rain in the winter months). Many people would consider the Gauley the best river in the country and that is just across the border in West Virginia and releases all through Sept and October. Keep in mind that there are many schedule dam releases through out the Apalachians so you could keep busy every weekend in the summer if you are willing to do some driving.

I see Clarksburg is on that list. There is tons of good stuff in the Adirondacks with rain and you are within drivable distance to schedules dam releases on the Moose,Beaver, Raquette and Deerfield. Everything will freeze solid in the winter months though.

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