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3 RIVERS RENDEZVOUS

We are MOVING back to the Rodeo Grounds this year

We did a survey after last year and talked to our sponsors and found that your preference is to camp on the Castle River for our annual gathering. However the cost at the Rodeo Grounds tripled over the last few years and we have to manage the costs to keep it affordable for everyone. Our Sponsors came to the rescue and kicked in some extra to help out. After some intense negotiations, we opted to rent only the compound and the camping in the south field.

If you want one of the traditional INDIVIDUAL CAMPSITES down in the cottonwoods with power hookups, firepits and picnic tables, you have to book those directly with the Lions Club. Go  to https://lionscastlerivercampground.com/shop/  to reserve your own site. 

 

The cost is an extra $105 for the weekend. If you decide on this option, the club will discount $30 off your package price. 

Hopefully you can join us this May Long Weekend for the  3 Rivers Rendezvous in Southwest Alberta.  We were excited to be able to host everyone last year and see the numbers increase bouncing back. The Pinch-o-Crow Creekers has camping, meals and activities all set for a great gathering of paddlers and their families from May 17 to 20. 

There will be trips on the Crowsnest, Castle and Oldman Rivers. And there is the Elk, Wigwam, Bull Rivers, Upper Oldman and Carbondale runs.  There will be opportunities for beginner groups to get on the water and paddle easier stretches as well as more advanced trips. And we will have lessons for beginners, novices, intermediate and advanced paddlers. AQ Outdoors will be teaching the Intermediate and Advanced clinics and our NCCP candidates and Learning Facilitators will be teaching the beginner and novice courses. 

The forecast for the May long weekend is looking great. Temps at 20 C and no snow!  That means we will have great water too. Its always been fun and it will be fun this year too !  But as a caution, the long time Rendezvous fans refer to this as the Snofest, because it is a gamble each year, sun or snow and maybe both. Bring your sunscreen, umbrellas, shorts and parkas.

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Camping is going to be different than the past at the Rodeo Grounds. We do not have the individual sites in the lower area reserved for us. But if you want to camp in the old sites, you can book them directly with the Lions Club. https://lionscastlerivercampground.com/shop/ 

 

We have one big space in the field south of the compound. We will have potable water trucked to the site but no hookups for trailers. The compound has capacity for everyone along with a firepit, kitchen and eating . Bring camping chairs, tables, propane firepits and other camping items to make you comfortable 

The building has flush toilets, a commercial kitchen, tables and chairs. 

 

​On Saturday night we will have children's games and draw prizes for the kids. On Sunday night we have a great games night for teens and adults and draw prizes for the older crowd.​

We want to rebuild our very successful long weekend event that kicks off the summer kayak season for Alberta. Prior to the Pandemic, we had 300+ paddlers down here each year. It's a great gathering and with so many river runs around there is lots of space for everyone. 

 

For those of you with friends or family not paddling, there are some great hikes, mountain biking, flyfishing, wonderful museums and  historic sites close by (Frank Slide, Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and the Bar U Ranch), shopping and even some cowboy adventures if you want something totally different.

 

 All proceeds go to support our youth kayak programs.

 

We are asking people to register online to help us figure out how much food to prepare and to set aside a camping spot with your friends. If you have any questions please call or send me a note. 

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Prices

We have package prices for the weekend and break out pricing for meals only, camping only etc. The Full Package price includes all entries, entertainment, 3 nights camping in the field, 2 suppers and 3 breakfasts, plus prize tickets. Early bird on-line prices are as follows. After May 5th the price increased $25 and will increase again by another $15 at midnight Tuesday May 14th. 

Special rates for Camping & Event Only (no meals), Meals & Event Only (no camping), and one or two days camping or individual meals.

Qty
Full Package Camp, Food, Event
3 Night Camping & Event Fee
5 Meals & Event No Camping
Singles
130
50
100
Family of 2
220
80
190
Family of 3
285
95
255
Add X's
285 + 55*X
95 + 15*X
255 + 55*X
Camping & Event
Single
Family of 2
More than 2
Meals
Adults
Teens
Child

With food prices rising over the last few years, we are working out our menu. Sue's plan this year includes a dryrub marinated steak, corn, salad and cake one night and a chili, salad, bun and cinnamon bun the other night. Breakfast will be pancakes, eggs, bacon or sausage for 2 morning and a breakfast wrap for the last morning.  

There will be vegetarian, keto, and gluten free options for those wanting them. You must let us know if you want a special plate in advance so that we can order enough.

 

So register early so that we can have a great meal reserved for you.

LATE FEES: Registration fees will increase by $25 per family after May 5th and another $15 on top of that after May 14th. 

If you are a brand new paddler, still dry behind the ears, and would like a 2 day lake and river beginner kayak course. We are making special arrangements for you this year. There will be an additional $160 cost to the weekend for you, which is a $40 savings for 2 days equipment and instruction. 

 

If you have been in the pool this winter and want to head to the river we are offering a 2 day novice kayak clinic at a fee of $160 extra.  Instructors will do a quick review on the lake before heading over to the river to introduce you to the current.

 

THESE COURSES HAVE TO BE PRE-REGISTERED so we can arrange to have an Instructor available to teach you.

You will see them on the main registration page.

In Addition to our Beginner and Novice clinics, AQ Outdoors brings it's talented team of Instructors to the Rendezvous and is making them available to teach Intermediate and Advanced Paddlers over the weekend. These Instructional Days can be booked online with the AQ team. 

River Rapids

Aquabatics 2024
Special Offer

Pincher Creek Paddling Festival
Discounted Courses

NCCP Evaluations

Alberta's NCCP Learning Facilitators are

offering an opportunity for people who want

to complete their evaluations for the:

  • Lake Instructor,

  • River Leader 2,

  • Whitewater Leader 3,

  • River Instructor 2

  • Whitewater Instructor 3

to be evaluated at the Rendezvous. 

THE AWA heavily subsidizes the evaluations but there is a cost of $25 to $50 for each Leader/Instructor candidate. The Pinch-o-Crow Creekers will cover that fee if you teach one of the Beginner or Novice courses for us at the Rendezvous. 

EVALUATIONS HAVE TO BE PRE-REGISTERED SO WE CAN ARRANGE TO HAVE EVALUATORS AVAILABLE FOR YOU.

Snowpack, Rainfall, River Flows & Drought Status

There has been a lot of concern lately about the status of our rivers down here in SW Alberta. Our mountains are the source of water for everything to the east of the Continental Divide in southern Alberta and we are hyper aware of the impact of weather changes and land use management has on this critical element for the region. 

2023 marked the 2nd year in what may be a 3 year drought cycle that we see every decade. Last year we had an average snowpack (50 percentile range) but then we got a lot of heat in April and didn't get any rain from early June to late September. That lack of rainfall resulted in all of our rivers down here running exceptionally low. The exception was the Oldman River below the dam, which ran exceptionally high. The irrigation demands for water east of Fort Macleod drained the reservoir to one of its lowest levels ever. 

The impact of this drawdown was that Cowley's water intake pipe in the reservoir was left high and dry and water had to be trucked to Cowley from Pincher Creek's system that is supplied directly from the Castle River. Cowley's water system required extensive modifications to get it operational again so that it can supply water to Lundbreck, Beaver Mines and Castle Mountain. (Don't ask me why we pump water uphill back to the mountains)

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Currently, there is still flow in the Castle, Crowsnest and Oldman Rivers which feed into the reservoir. They are running at their normal winter/spring flows at this time and with snowmelt and summer rains they should be fine. 

This winter we have had these weather swings from warm and wet to dry and cold up until mid February. Precipitation which would normally fall as snow has come in as rain, right to the top of the mountains. This has had 2 impacts, one is the rain has melted the snowpack and the snowpillows are well below historical norms. This is worrisome, however that moisture combined with sustained warm temperatures went directly into the ground. And there has been a substantial improvement in groundwater and soil moisture levels that normally does not happen when the ground is frozen. 

On another note, the southern Rockies get most of our annual snowfall after Valentine's day through to early April. That snowfall started on time and we are now close to the 50 percentile average and with any luck we will have a lot more fresh snow skiing this winter.  

We still will need spring and summer rains to recharge the aquifer but the El Nino cycle is predicted to wane this spring and we should be returning to a more "normal" weather pattern this summer. Keep our paddles crossed for great river flows this year. 

This is not to say that everything down here is sunny and rosy.
There are legitimate concerns about land use practices that reduce water retention and accelerate runoff from our public lands on the eastern slopes.
There is still a real threat that strip mining, if allowed, would impact water quality and quantity in our small mountain rivers.
And we need to see what a 3rd year of drought might bring this summer.
But media reporting lately has been more sensational than what I see happening when I look in my backyard at the Crowsnest River (yes it is flowing) and what I have been skiing on up at the Castle Mountain Resort, (yes I have been skiing some great deep powder since Valentines Day)
Just my 2 cents worth, not that we have many cents/sense anymore.
Chuck Lee
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