Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door
Gauley Festival Site
Thousands of paddlers from all over the world make their way to West Virginia the third Saturday of September to partake in the largest whitewater festival of the year, Gauley Fest. Vendors from all over the country will be there selling and giving away stuff, along with about 3000 people, kayakers and groupies alike. Here’s the link to the American Whitewater website for the festival:
While the emphasis of this trip is to enjoy whitewater, you are also welcome to come to the festival, and spend your days rafting the Gauley or New, hiking, fishing, climbing, biking, music listening, etc. There are lots of fun things to do in WV…it is “Almost Heaven” after all, see below for details.
There are also volunteering opportunities at the festival, contact the festival organizers directly if you wish to volunteer.
The plan is to camp just outside the fenced in area where the festival is held (so stumbling distance away, but far enough where everyone should be able to get some sleep). Festival entrance is included in the camping fee:
-Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: $30
-Friday and Saturday: $25
-Saturday only: $20
The club may reimburse $10 of the camping fee per night, so plan accordingly. Always safer to bring extra cash –especially with all the sweet deals on boats/gear going on. I’m setting the fee to $20, but that won’t be paid to me.
I personally won’t be able to leave until around 4 PM Friday afternoon and plan on paddling Saturday and Sunday, but it’s always an option to drive up Thursday night and paddle Friday/Saturday/Sunday. I plan on heading back to Cville Sunday after paddling, but some may need to leave early. Please indicate your schedule preferences when signing up so we can try to coordinate rides as much as possible.
The club does not reimburse food, so either pack a cooler with food for the weekend or bring $$. There’s food available for sale at the festival itself and the nearby town of Summersville.
Anyone who wants to guarantee themselves an opportunity to raft The Upper Gauley and/or Lower Gauley should make their own arrangements with a Commercial outfitter (Let me know if that is your intent – and I’ll put like-minded folks in contact with each other… Upper G trips start at about $140).
KAYAKING: Most of the rivers commonly run during this weekend require at least strong intermediate level skills – which include but not limited to: reliable combat roll and supreme river reading & bracing skills. Other paddling clubs MIGHT be coordinating lesser level trips, but this will probably not be a kayaking newb friendly trip.
DRYLANDERS: As you probably already know, there are plenty of rocks and trails nearby that you can do whatever it is you do. Anyone so inclined is welcome to setup a separate dryland adventure and then meet up with the river people for camping/food and good times at the festival later.
YOU PROVIDE: kayaking gear if you have it, tent/sleeping bag/stove/camping stuff if you have it, clothes (for on and off the river, especially warm clothes, it’s usually colder in WV than in Cville right now), water, your own knife, fork, spoon, cup, plate, bowel and extra $$ for all the awesome kayaking gear that will be on sale. NOW IS THE TIME TO GET A SWEET DEAL ON A BOAT!
CLUB PROVIDES: kayaking gear if you need it, camping gear if you need it, camping fees, gas $$ up to $150/vehicle.
DISCLAIMER / LEGAL:
I am NOT “leading” on any rivers during Gauley Fest, I am only coordinating some logistics and transportation to the rivers and festival site, you are responsible for your own safety and the activities you choose to participate in while on this trip, and you agree to have read and will abide by the American Whitewater Safety Codehttp://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Wiki/safety:start?
Those with the appropriate skills may join as “Common Adventurers”