Most memorable cold swim

dumped my dagger legend for the first time since i got it (3 days ago).My father and i decided to run upper and lower cato falls on the manitowoc river in wisconsin. Almost made it but got wet.It was really worth it though. My wife just shook her head and said"you idiot". I will try again soon

I wouldn’t sweat it.
Wives tend to say things like that. I think it’s out of jealousy . . . .



It was April of 07 jiust below flood
stage. Engineers build a road in the river to facalite the building of a new bridge. When the levels were lower, the road was easily visible but at 11 feet, you could not see it. It created a hydrolic. I went over the road, went in the water and got sucked under. It was the first time i was ever held down.

It was high school…
a party on a lake…A Charlie Brown Christmas was on.

Some of us would heat up in the dry sauna and then run through the snow and jump into the not yet frozen lake. We repeated this about three times.

Not paddling, but cold and memorable

February 2001

Friday morning, 8:30 AM


15 F

Winds West at 20

Nearly perfect ice

Tried to jump a pressure crack. Didn’t make it. Ice broke, boat stopped, driver swam. Scary as hell.

…they’re just smarter than we are. It has something to do with testosterone.

the one you survive
in order to have memories, it means you survived it. Lacking in knowledge and any critical thinking judgment ability years ago I paddled out onto just ice free 32 degree water in a new canoe and went over hitting submerged ice. I was only 15 feet from shore. I almost did not make it. Now I use a dry suit and go with buddies. Don’t need to have any more memories.

Paint Creek 2008
During the years I was a WW paddler, I got cold many times during winter runs - mostly from doing rolls or from just being buried in big waves. (Most memorable run was the Gauley on New Years eve). However the coldest swim I ever had was March 29, 2008 on Paint Creek in southern Ohio.

I had got a call from some buddies I fish with during the summer and asked if I’d join them for a float on Rocky Fork Creek (tributary of Paint Creek). I grabbed my Manta Ray SOT and some fishing gear and met them at the creek. I was the only one with a fishing rig - they had brought WW yaks and primarily wanted to paddle the Rocky Fork Gorge and play in the small rapids.

When we reached the end of the run near the junction with Paint Creek, they asked about continuing on and paddling through the Paint Creek “Chutes” - an easy class II rapid at most levels. As none of them had paddled it before they wanted me to come along. I was only wearing some poly under nylon splash gear (no wetsuit or drysuit) and I knew the Corps of Engineers was releasing a little water, but as I’d ran it hundreds of time at various levels in my WW boats I wasn’t too concerned. One guy didn’t want to paddle it so he drove a vehicle to the takeout about a mile and a half downstream.

When we left Rocky Fork and entered Paint Creek I knew it was a pretty high flow, plus the water being released from the dam upstream was noticeably colder than what we had paddled on Rocky Fork. The only thing I remember is dropping into the first big set of waves and then thinking how odd it was to see the front of my Manta Ray curling back over my head as I hit the water. I held on to my paddle and grabbed the side handle on the SOT just as a big wave flipped it over and it cut a gash on top of my head (no helmet). I was a little stunned and got separated from the yak but caught up with it and this time held it at arms length - bad decision- the next wave flipped it and it caught me in the eye. Separated from the boat again I chased it downstream but it seemed every time I caught up with it, a strainer or some other obstacle would appear and it would get away from me again.

I had been in the 42 degree water for over 15 minutes and was too sapped to swim anymore when the only guy that hadn’t swam caught up with me after having helped everyone else. I was at the take-out by then and he towed me to the bank and then chased after my boat. All I could do for quite a while was jog in place and shiver, trying to warm up. Next day I had a black eye, a sprained wrist from trying to hold on to the SOT and a big gash in the top of my head.

Found out that a WW group had paddled it earlier in the day and videoed some of their paddlers coming through the Chutes a few hours before we got there.


near death
pretty nasty. looks like you are now a member of the “almost died” club.

glad you made it!

Sounds like our lake!
My next door neighbour had a sauna by the lake (T Lake) - We would cook inside awhile then run out into the snow to cool down - the guys took it a step further! They would take off on their snowmobiles and go for a burn. ha ha one guy had an open port on his skidoo (facing the driver) and “something” got in its way one cold night and he choked it and couldn’t get it started!! the good ol days!!

Snake River Yukon
There is a class three drop we misjudged with an undercut ledge. Water temp just above freezing…the river is fed by the McDonald Glacier.

In we went. got washing machined. Worst was the bronchospasm. I could get a little air in but none out. I dont think I was in the water for more than a minute…was conscious enough to catch the throw rope.

But it was very scary.

Paint Creek
Wow, watched the video and nobody in that group seemed to be really concerned that someone was out of their boat? No pound & rub, no attempt at assisted rescue. Even at the end of the run, the group just sat and watched as the ejected boater swam with his gear? Also what do you think that other red floating object was? It followed the crew right down the river. It looked like another head, but it didn’t seem to be a second paddler in the water.