**I posted this on the Whitewater Trip forum, too. Sorry if you received this 2nd time***
As one of the 7 members of the local paddling community asked by Tom O'Keefe of American Whitewater, I attended a meeting with the land manager of the Split Rock, the Corsons and the Outdoor Adventure Center, yesterday regarding the Split Rock access point to the Skykomish River. The Corsons also own the Trout Creek access point to the NF Skykomish (right below the washout), so assume the same thing about that access, too. They were not happy with "our" use of the access point. The more formal and detailed statement/guidance will come from Tom, but here is my quick version I want you to be aware.
- The use of this location is limited to taking out and putting in. Walk the shortest route to the water. Never walk upstream on the trail or the shore. Quickly load and unload, and do not hang around, because drivers on the highway may think this is a place they can stop in the future.
- Each user of this location must sign the annual waiver. https://www.outdooradventurecenter.com/liability-medical-forms/ No need to fill out the front side or the medical section in the back. Just fill out the bottom of the backside. Take a photo and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This needs to be signed only once a year, and AW will develop a new version allowing users to sign online, with the QR code available at the site. Until then, please use the paper form.
- They have a (wrong) impression that the non-profit clubs like WKC ruined their skills instruction business, and they are extremely mad at us using the location for classes. As they don't own the river, we should be able to use the water as we like, but please never use the land for any instructions or a pre-trip meeting. If possible, walk thru the land and leave the eddy as quickly as you can, to avoid any conflict.
- Do not use the land as a bathroom. Meet at the Big Eddy, use the bathrooms there, do the pre-trip talk, and spend as little time as possible at the Split Rock.
- If by any chance, they talk to you, be respectful. In the past, a few paddlers were rude to them, and they are unhappy with all of us. Each one of us should act as an ambassador for the sport!
- If you go to Index, consider stopping by the Outdoor Adventure Center River House and spending a few bucks to buy coffee, pastry, energy bar, beer or whatever if possible. Even if you have nothing to buy and have already signed the waiver that year, please stop by to say hi to them at least. We are trying to rebuild a friendly relationship with them. Thank them at every occasion!
Thank you for spending time to read this, and I appreciate you share the concept with your fellow paddlers. Let's do our best not to lose this valuable access point. You can forward my email to your friends, but let's wait for the formal writing from Tom to post it on the website or social media.
Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!