|Advanced Whitewater Packraft Course
Dates: Thursday 13thrnto Sunday 16th October (4 days)
Venue: North-west Tasmania including Mersey White Water Regional Reserve
Accommodation: Arm River Outdoor Education Centre (2 nights) plus own tent accommodation for Saturday night.
Cost for Paddle Australia Fee Members: $476 includes course and 2 nights’ accommodation (Thu & Fri nights)
Cost for Non-Members $595 includes course and 2 nights’ accommodation
Course Numbers & Participant Suitability:Spaces are limited to 9. Inclusion in the Course is dependent upon suitable prior experience and is at Instructor’s discretion. It is expected that the majority of students will have previously completed a Paddle Tasmania Intermediate Course or have prior kayaking experience. To ascertain whether you have the skills suitable to undertake this course please refer to the: Information on Packraft Levels’ page. If in doubt about your suitability for the Advanced Course please contact either Mark Oates via firstname.lastname@example.org or Dan Hall via email@example.com
Registration closing date: Friday September 16,with all payments to be made by this date.
Program Outline: Paddle Tasmania will be conducting a 4-day Advanced Whitewater Packrafting Course in north-west Tasmania. The group will stay at the Arm River Outdoor Education Centre for both Thursday and Friday nights. The plan is then to move venues and stay in tents (own tent required) for the Saturday night. This should allow the group to utilise a range of nearby rivers.
The Arm River hardtop camp is a 5-minute drive from the Mersey WhiteWater Regional Reserve which will be used as our initial teaching venue. Although the course is mostly practical it also includes some theory and video analysis sessions.
The course will be led by Paddle Australia Senior Whitewater Instructors Dan Hall and Mark Oates. Additional instructors/coaches will also be involved with the course. It is suited to those who confidently paddle grade 3 rivers and who are aspiring to learn to paddle grade 3+/4 safely & competently. Ideally participants will have previously completed an Intermediate Packrafting Course and a river rescue course or have significant equivalent experience. All participants need to be very comfortable with swimming grade 2+rapids and should have experience with the use of throwbags
The focus of this course is on developing technical and safety knowledge specific to packrafts being used on grade 3/3+ whitewater. There will also be considerable emphasis on working as a team to manage challenging river environments safely. Depending on water levels the group MAY have the opportunity to tackle some grade 4 rapids however there will always be the option to walk/portage these.
Note the paddling venues utilised for the course are highly dependent on both natural and controlled-release (Hydro Tasmania) water flows as well as the group’s experience and ability. After using the Mersey Whitewater Course on the Thursday and Friday we hope to tackle some harder rivers on the Saturday and Sunday. Some of the various sections of rivers that the group may potentially utilise within the course are the:
Mersey White Water Course–http://tas.canoe.org.au/info_uppermersey/ & http://paddletasmania.canoe.org.au/?page_id=15832
North Esk River–http://paddletasmania.canoe.org.au/?page_id=15845
Mersey River (Alum Cliffs section) https://wikiriver.com/Tasmania/union-bridge-to-rogers-bridge-alum-cliffs-run
Start Time & Venue:Thursday 13th–9:30 am start at the Arm River Outdoor Education Centre where we will begin with a theory session.
The camp is located approximately 850m up Maggs Road (take the first turn right after crossing the Arm River on the Mersey Forest Road). It is approximately 1 hour from Deloraine. It has basic communal bunk rooms, basic kitchen facilities and toilets/showers. Note that there is almost no phone coverage after you leave Mole Creek and none at either the paddling or accommodation venues.
Google Maps reference: -41.691077, 146.207297
Finish Time and Venue: We aim to finish at 3pm however from some venues it is still a 1.5 hour drive to return to Launceston.
Interstate Flight Bookings:It is recommended that interstate participants fly into Launceston on the day/evening prior to the course. Regarding departure it is recommended that flights are not booked until after 6:30pm on the Sunday. Flying into or out of Hobart adds an extra 2.5 hours to travel time.
COVID & Refund Policy: PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms!
If you are suddenly unable to attend the course due to a situation around COVID or if the course has to be cancelled you will receive a full refund. Please notify Paddle Tasmania immediately firstname.lastname@example.org as we usually have a waiting list.
Paddling Equipment:Participants will need to bring their own packraft with thigh straps & all personal paddling gear including a decent PFD, paddle and whitewater paddling helmet.
All participants should come fully prepared for numerous swimming activities and will require a full-length wetsuit OR a full drysuit. There is also the possibility that the group may walk into or out of some river venues so decent footwear is required along with a lightweight pack in case you need to carry all of your gear for a river daytrip.
Sleeping Gear & Food: At the Arm River Camp single mattresses on bunks are provided but you will need to bring a sleeping bag and pillow (if you like). Accommodation is communal bunkhouse style.
The camp kitchen is basic and has a very limited number of pots and pans and one stove top/oven plus microwave, toaster, etc. You will need to bring your own personal eating utensils and crockery. Participants need to bring all food for the duration of the course as there are no shops or services at all nearby.
We will likely camp out on the Saturday night as this will allow us to access some rivers slightly further away. You will need to bring your own tent and stove, etc, for this.
Intended Topics include:
- technical paddling, versus the alternative
- paddling with purpose
- using water features to your advantage
- using momentum to your advantage
- connecting yourself to your boat
- entering and exiting eddies cleanly and efficiently
- improving technical strokes & combinations
- controlling turns in a packraft
- learning to boof and different boofing techniques
- Working as a team
- Techniques for tackling steep creeks
- Self and Assisted Rescues within rapids
- Risk Management
- Managing Groups/Others in Whitewater
- self-bailing or WW decked packraft with thigh straps installed and some form of attached bow and stern line
- WW PFD (personal floatation device)
- WW kayak helmet (NOT a climbing or bike helmet)
- WW paddle
- Full wetsuit (ideally with drytop or cag) OR a full drysuit
- Appropriate footwear for paddling and walking
- Drybag for carrying essential gear during trips
- Lightweight pack in case we need to walk into or out of a river
- Personal medications
Optional if available: throwbag, river knife, slings, carabiners, personal rescue gear
- Sleeping bag
- Pillow (optional)
- Stove plus cooking pots, utensils.
- Towel since hot water showers are available
- Lots of warm clothes
- ALL FOOD for the 4-day duration
- Personal eating utensils and crockery
- Thermos or similar (optional)
Registration is a first in - first on the course. If there are no places available email email@example.com to be added to the waiting list, you will be contacted if a place becomes available.