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kevin@bluesteel.org
January 31st, 2012, 04:03 PM
August 12th, the Furthest North open water swim in North America! Located in Sitka, Alaska.

Men's and women's age group and Relay divisions will be awarded trophies and ribbons.


Solo or relay 10k, 5k and 1k open water swims in Sitka Sound, with a water temperature range in the mid 50’s. The course will start at the Mount Edgecumbe High School ramp on Japonski Island. The course will then take the swimmers north out of Sitka Channel and westward along the Fort Rousseau Causeway State Historic Site and loop back to the Mt. Edgecumbe ramp to finish. A turnaround point in course will be available for those swimming the 5k and 1K distances.

Sanction pending with USMS.

Visit http://www.changeyourlatitude.org for more information.

geog
January 31st, 2012, 08:14 PM
was excited - probably because I'm nearly finished with Bill Streever's Cold - until i read on the race website that "Wetsuits are required ...". 4 sentence in 3rd paragraph here: http://changeyourlatitude.org/about/

chaos
January 31st, 2012, 08:36 PM
was excited - probably because I'm nearly finished with Bill Streever's Cold - until i read on the race website that "Wetsuits are required ...". 4 sentence in 3rd paragraph here: http://changeyourlatitude.org/about/

under "safety" it says this:
All individual competitors not wearing a wetsuit must submit witnessed proof of a continuous one (1) hour swim in water at or below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. A letter by the individual’s swim coach or open water training coordinator attesting to the competitor’s ability to complete a swim in these conditions will be accepted.

conflicting info.... i'd contact the event director

chaos
January 31st, 2012, 10:56 PM
I find it odd that the predicted water temp for the event is mid 50's but the non-wetsuit qualifying swim is only 1 hour @ 60 degrees.

Every other swim I've seen that requires a temperature qualifier assigns a temperature = to or < the temp likely to be encountered at the event.

evmo
January 31st, 2012, 11:54 PM
Interesting. Is it even possible for a swim requiring wetsuits (except with written permission by a "coach or open water training coordinator," whatever that means) to receive a USMS sanction?

OP states "sanction pending by USMS," yet website states: "The northernmost US Masters sanctioned open water race."

Need further clarification...

ViveBene
February 1st, 2012, 04:00 AM
I'm confused. There already is a Sitka Sound 5k and 10k, part of the Alaska Open Water Series:
http://openwaterpedia.com/index.php?title=Sitka_Sound_Adventure_Swim

Aug. 12, the date proposed for the "57 deg. Open Water Challenge" by O.P., is the same day, Aug. 12, as this year's Pennock Island Challenge, an established OW swim.
:confused:

Kris Calvin
February 2nd, 2012, 02:23 PM
Evmo, chaos & Geog,

I am one of the instigators of the CYL 57 deg N Open water swim event in Sitka, Alaska. I was also a participant in the first two Sitka Sound Adventure Swims. No Limits/SSAS has passed the batton for organizing an open water swim in Sitka to the Baranof Baracuda Swim Club--the local club I helped found in '79.

As this is the first year the BBSC masters group is running the open water swim event, we are learning things as we go along. As an open water swimmer myself in Oregon, I greatly disliked the previous course and the issues that course presented from the swimmers point of view. The new course around the north side of Japonski Island is like nothing you have ever done anywhere else. I've swum most of the course several times and if weather is cooperative, participants will be in for a real treat.

Safety is our top concern and that is why there is currently confusion over qualifications and swim attire. Nothing is finalized yet, so we could use your input. I have been pushing for the wetsuit requirement because this would be the first event on this course, and the first event of its kind organized by our group. The water is cold and the route around Japonski has no adjacent roads--though we do pass by the Coast Guard Air Station and the airport runway. If any problems occur due to hypothermia, it must be addressed by our flotilla of kayaks and power boats. We've had issues with hypothermia in participants in previous races, so we are very concerned about making sure everyone is safe--and has a blast navigating the course and taking in the killer views of Mt. Edgecombe, Arrowhead and the three Sisters, among others.

If all goes well this first year and our group feels it is safe to open up the event to naked swimmers, then I'd be the first to jump forward to make that happen. Let's keep this conversation going and maybe you can play a big part in helping us prepare for the wet-suit-averse crowd.

kevin@bluesteel.org
February 2nd, 2012, 07:22 PM
Thanks Kris for jumping in to the discussion here and helping clarify the confusion and contradictory information that I have out there on the website. Currently working on getting that straightened out. Apologies!

As Kris mentioned we are really excited about the new adventure we (and I keep saying we as I am a. the race director b. a BBSC master swimmer and c. the BBSC interim head coach ) have embarked on in taking on the 2012 swim.

One other thing I would love to hear from people about is whether or not I have my info correct on this being the furthest north sanctioned swim. I know we don't actually have our sanction yet, still working on final details on some of the paperwork, and I am assuming that we will be sanctioned as the swim was sanctioned last year.

I know there are a couple of lake and river swims up north but to my knowledge those haven't been sanctioned before, and they aren't listed anywhere as happening this year either.

any knowledge out there? I want to get this right and not steal anyones thunder... nor make any ourselves if its not so.

thanks all!

Kevin

geog
February 2nd, 2012, 09:02 PM
In general, it would seem that allowing or mandating wetsuits would change the applicant pool, but not necessarily the risk of temperature related medical emergencies. I suspect the number of applicants would increase, and then, since the field seems to be limited to a very small number of swimmers, the organizers could be more selective. However, there would be fewer cold-acclimated swimmers in the applicant pool. If the goal is to promote OW among Sitka residents, then mandating wetsuits would make sense, at least to me. Also, many skin swimmers start out as wetsuit swimmers. One way to reduce liability is to offer money-back if the swimmer chooses not to go out that day, for any reason. Mandated/optional/disallowed? Tough call. I suspect you've thought about all this. Anyway, hope this paragraph helps.

I did a bit of google'n regarding furtherest north ... is that US or Worldwide? I became distracted by Indigo Lake (and the numerous others. do any of the craters on Kruzof Island hold water?). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigo_Lake Wow! There's a boatload of opportunities that rival Oregon's! If I were to make it to Sitka for any reason, a swim in Indigo would be a must :) how about a Hike-Paddle-Swim event starting in Bear Cove on day 2?

mjtyson
February 3rd, 2012, 04:51 AM
So is this swim the same day as Pennock?

mjtyson
February 3rd, 2012, 06:49 AM
One other thing I would love to hear from people about is whether or not I have my info correct on this being the furthest north sanctioned swim. I know we don't actually have our sanction yet, still working on final details on some of the paperwork, and I am assuming that we will be sanctioned as the swim was sanctioned last year.


I see on the US Open Water Swimming calendar that at least in the last couple of years there's been an OW swim at North Pole. Isn't that up there by Fairbanks, significantly "north-er" than Sitka!

Kris Calvin
February 3rd, 2012, 01:01 PM
The CYL 57dN swim dates were set before we knew the dates of Pennock swim. August was our preference as many of the open water events in the "southern 48" are over with, and it is a great month for visitors to catch fish and watch the runs of humpies going upstream--and consequent opportunities for brown bear viewing. The week and day was set because of favorable tides in the morning when chance of winds are minimized. (Remember this is the real deal--not a lake) When run under the SSAS banner for the past two years, the only swimmers to do both Pennock and Sitka swim were event organizers. Since we are contemplating a wetsuit only event, and little interest in Pennock participants to do major swims in Alaska back to back, we didn't worry too much about Pennocks schedule.

Geog, I need some clarification on why you are saying that the wetsuit requirement would not diminish the chance of temperature related medical emergencies. In a wetsuit I float like a sea otter, and I'm reasonably comfortable all things considered. All the folks participating in the past years events without wetsuits, sometimes only half the distance I had swum, required far more recovery time and one of my primary challengers--a strapping young collegiate swimmer who thought "there was no glory in swimming with a wetsuit"--had to be pulled early due to hypothermic symptoms. I'm open to being educated, but my experience and common sense tells me that the margin of safety is significantly improved by wearing wetsuit in a cold-water swim event.

There are countless reasons to visit Sitka in the summer once you start to explore the options. Our goal is not only to promote OW swimming by locals, but also to bring in out-of-towners for a "cool" swim and a great family experience in one of Alaska's crown jewels. We are not called Alaska's "Emerald-by-the-Sea" for nothing.

geog
February 3rd, 2012, 05:27 PM
sorry for the confusion. hopefully this will make it more clear. i tend to write in a dry tone, but this is meant as a friendly email :)

Swimmer A is well cold-acclimated and swims without a wetsuit. Swimmer B is not cold-acclimated and swims with a wetsuit. Which is more prone to a cold-related medical emergency? On average I think B is more prone for a 57F swim (57F would be mild for a cold-acclimated skin swimmer, yet would be extreme for a non-acclimated pool swimmer). A regulation that requires wetsuits would dissuade well-acclimated skin swimmers from applying, thereby increasing the number of non-acclimated wetsuit swimmers, thereby increasing the event's risk of confronting cold-related medical emergencies.

To reduce the risk of cold-related medical emergencies, one must somehow assure that all swimmers are swimming within X-percent of their thermal ability regardless of whether they swim skin or wetsuit. Perhaps this means simply asking swimmers not to apply if the swim is outside their thermal comfort zone for their chosen attire (use training swims to push/test thermal envelopes).

If I remember correctly, peer reviewed papers that studied the thermal benefits of wetsuits on humans considered X millimeters of neoprene to be equal in terms of heat transfer to 3X millimeters of fat. According to those numbers, a 1/4" layer of body fat is equal to a 2 mm layer of neoprene. That is not a very impressive perspective on the thermal effectiveness of wetsuits.

Wearing a wetsuit of course has advantages. For certain swimmers, wetsuits reduce anxiety, which is a huge risk factor when things go south. As a PFD, a wetsuit is hard to beat for OW, though I have seen triathletes who still sink even in a full body wetsuit. Some wetsuits reduce the effort required to swim (not all, for example a 5 mm scuba wetsuit). By reducing the effort, the swimmer might possibly have more energy reserves for dealing with non-cold related emergencies. And of course there is the potential for a placebo effect if the swimmer thinks the wetsuit is more effective than it actually is - that is, the benefit of a positive attitude even if it is artificially propped up.

Wetsuits make the swimmer much less visible, but this can be overcome by wearing a brightly colored garment on top, such as a long sleeve synthetic compression shirt, or such as a dive skin.

How all this balances out is hard to say. Tough call in my opinion.

Two regulations that I think would make any OW event safer are 1) disallow sign ups on event-day and 2) a no-questions-asked policy of full refund if the swimmer shows up but decides not to swim for any reason, however a no show = no refund.

again, i tend to write in a dry tone, but this is meant as a friendly email :)

hope this helps. cold is cool! (motto of the acclimated)

evmo
February 3rd, 2012, 07:16 PM
First of all, kudos to you both for wanting to organize an event up there. Regardless of my feelings about wetsuits, I think it's great for the sport of open-water swimming to have an opportunity in Sitka, Alaska (10K, especially!). And I admire your focus on safety.

I'm still wondering how you will obtain a USMS sanction with a wetsuit requirement. Is that even possible? Wouldn't a USMS-sanctioned open water event need to follow USMS guidelines for OW events - i.e., separate divisions, with "skin" being the default? Possibly I'm wrong about that. Either way, I'm curious to know. One similarly thermally challenging event is the Nubble Light Challenge (http://www.nubblelightchallenge.com/information/default.aspx) in Maine -- but that's only 2.4 miles, and it's sanctioned by USAT, not USMS. They mandate wetsuits if the water is below 58F (with exceptions granted on an individual basis).

Cold is subjective. People's tolerance for it varies - and it can be developed, just like any other skill. Some people swim quite comfortably in the 50s F, while others may need a wetsuit even in 68-degree Elk Lake, Oregon, right Kris? ;-)

I guess what it comes down to is, do you trust swimmers' ability to make that decision for themselves? And do you trust the event's safety apparatus to come through if there's a problem? I understand where you're coming from as a safety-minded race director. From the swimmer's perspective, though, a "wetsuit mandate" signifies that the organizers think they know me (and my cold tolerance) better than I know myself. As much as I'd love to visit Sitka, that's a deal-breaker for me.

Separate divisions, separate awards. 1-hour qualifying swim for skin entrants. Those are my :2cents:

Kris Calvin
February 3rd, 2012, 08:02 PM
Geog and others,
I don’t discount the human body and mind’s capacity to condition themselves to endure thermal stress, nor do I find fault with your argument as stated—though I must point out that swimmer A without a wetsuit is much harder to spot on the bottom than swimmer B who, with wetsuit, will remain floating on the surface under most circumstances. ;-) The rub comes in figuring out a way for organizers who are largely responsible for participant safety, to differentiate between those who are genuinely cold-acclimated and those who just imagine themselves to be—as in the case of our determined young competitor in SSAS two years back.
We don’t want to limit participation in our event unless we have extremely good justification. Maybe my justification is not as obvious as I had imagined. And, our discussion leads me to wonder if there are more people than I imagined who would actually want to do this event without a wetsuit—seems pretty nutso to me. Have to admit though, you don’t write like a nut. I suppose the best way to be reasonably assured we are only allowing genuine cold-acclimated skin swimmers to participate is asking for a signed statement indicating that they have successfully completed other events under similar temperature and sea conditions—and with as strong a liability waiver as we can concoct.
Your policy recommendations are very reasonable and I don’t believe the race committee would have any problem adopting them.
What else do we need to do to entice you and your kind to Change Your Latitude in Sitka-by-the-Sea?
For the record, I believe Elk Lake was in the low 60's last year with coach's strong recommendation to consider using a wetsuit. I was one of the few who did the 5K sans wetsuit, reminding me once again why I like my wetsuit so much......

evmo
February 3rd, 2012, 08:11 PM
For the record, I believe Elk Lake was in the low 60's last year with coach's strong recommendation to consider using a wetsuit. I was one of the few who did the 5K sans wetsuit, reminding me once again why I like my wetsuit so much......

For the record, I was speaking of the 2010 version of the Elk Lake swims, when I had the pleasure of swimming next to/behind/ahead of/around you in the 5K. :) I believe Bob reported a water temp of 67-68 that day.

chaos
February 3rd, 2012, 08:50 PM
[QUOTE=Kris Calvin;259847][SIZE=3] And, our discussion leads me to wonder if there are more people than I imagined who would actually want to do this event without a wetsuit—seems pretty nutso to me. Have to admit though, you don’t write like a nut. I suppose the best way to be reasonably assured we are only allowing genuine cold-acclimated skin swimmers to participate is asking for a signed statement indicating that they have successfully completed other events under similar temperature and sea conditions—and with as strong a liability waiver as we can concoct.

see link for the 2010 Veterans Day (nov6) 5k at Coney Island:
http://cibbows.org/races/2010/2010VDresults.pdf

geog
February 4th, 2012, 03:50 AM
see link for the 2010 Veterans Day (nov6) 5k at Coney Island:
http://cibbows.org/races/2010/2010VDresults.pdf

CIBBOWS knows how to show a little skin!

geog
February 4th, 2012, 04:17 AM
For the record, I was speaking of the 2010 version of the Elk Lake swims, when I had the pleasure of swimming next to/behind/ahead of/around you in the 5K. :) I believe Bob reported a water temp of 67-68 that day.For the record, I will speak of the 2010 version of the 3-day Elk Lake swim festival, when I had the pleasure of swimming behind most of you in the 500, 1000, 1500, 3000, and 5000.

geog
February 4th, 2012, 05:39 AM
I don’t discount the human body and mind’s capacity to condition themselves to endure thermal stress
FWIW, i find for me that the physical aspects are overrated and the cognitive aspects highly underrated.


swimmer A without a wetsuit is much harder to spot on the bottom than swimmer B who, with wetsuit, will remain floating on the surface under most circumstances.
FWIW, the density of an average adult is 1.01 g/ml but I do not not know how the lungs fit into that figure. Seawater in the mid 50's is 1.03 g/ml. This makes the average adult a floater, with a 180 lb version being 3.5 lbs positively buoyant. My guess is that the typical cold-acclimated skin swimmer is even more buoyant.


The rub comes in figuring out a way for organizers who are largely responsible for participant safety, to differentiate between those who are genuinely cold-acclimated and those who just imagine themselves to be That is not an easy task. I agree totally. But I would go further. I think that it is simply not possible for an event organization to substantively asses this, and I second what Evmo says in this regard. This will be a bit off topic, sorry, but the corporate approach that that OW is heading in is a major flaw for which the sport (and swimmers) will suffer. The paradigm must be established, perhaps through the long road of precedent, that the swimmer is ultimately legally responsible for his/her safety and life. This thread is not the place to start such a discussion, of course, so if someone wants to respond, please PM me directly or start a new thread on this topic.


seems pretty nutso to me. Have to admit though, you don’t write like a nut. for all of 2011, only 3 of my swims were above 60 F, most were in the 40's a few in the mid 30's. maybe I am but hide it too well :)


What else do we need to do to entice you and your kind to Change Your Latitude in Sitka-by-the-Sea? We are idiosyncratic in so many ways, I can only speak for myself. You might be surprised to know that I heartily vote in favor of a rule requiring wetsuits given that your goals are as you stated: 1) promoting OW swimming by locals, 2) bringing in out-of-towners, and 3) creating a family event. As I tried to explain before, mandating wetsuits will not likely reduce the event's risk for cold-related medical emergencies: 57 F is extreme for a wetsuited non-acclimated pool swimmer. The key to reducing that is to assure that all swimmers, regardless of their attire, are swimming well within their thermal confidence zone.

Your 10k is a geographic based out-and-back course. That is a huge plus in my book, as is the 'wilderness' setting/scenery. For out and backs, there is the not so simple issue of keeping outbound and inbound swimmers from colliding, e.g LJRS Gatorman. If it were 1 or more laps around buoys, that would make it a no go for me. The mandated wetsuit makes it a no go too.

As you probably know, Dr. Evmo is famous for his multiple stellar marathon swim performances in 2011, and Dr. Chaos for his incredible 2010 season and for founding the epic multiday 8 Bridges Swim. I've never met either of them in person, but they undoubtedly have a much deeper experience base to draw upon than i do.

hope this is helpful in some way, and that you do not take it to be argumentative.

I'm looking forward to hearing an announcement for the 1st Annual Sitka Swim Week, featuring a dozen swims in mountain lakes and tidal waters, orcas not included!

ViveBene
February 4th, 2012, 06:17 AM
I'm looking forward to hearing an announcement for the 1st Annual Sitka Swim Week, featuring a dozen swims in mountain lakes and tidal waters, orcas not included!

YES!
:)

(I swim 50 deg to 50 deg in Lake Michigan, no wetsuit. Lots of us out here! :) )

evmo
February 4th, 2012, 07:04 PM
For the record, I will speak of the 2010 version of the 3-day Elk Lake swim festival, when I had the pleasure of swimming behind most of you in the 500, 1000, 1500, 3000, and 5000

Geog, sorry we missed each other at Elk Lake. E=H20 was also there, come to think of it. Maybe I'll show up again one of these years.


FWIW, i find for me that the physical aspects [of cold acclimation] are overrated and the cognitive aspects highly underrated.

Indeed. It must be far more common that people underestimate their abilities in this domain than overestimate them. Nobody is born a cold-water swimmer. It's a process that begins with a question: Could I? One baby-step at a time, we find that yes, we can. And it's a profound discovery. When you mandate neoprene, you short-circuit the entire process before the first question is even asked. (Pardon the :soapbox:)


I swim 50 deg to 50 deg in Lake Michigan, no wetsuit. Lots of us out here! :) )

Video evidence:
http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2012/02/02/swimming-promontory-point

Even Sitka Sound is warmer than Lake Michigan this time of year!

Kris Calvin
February 4th, 2012, 11:03 PM
Your evidence on the existence of a cold-acclimated skin cohort is compelling. But will they travel to Alaska? Perhaps I’ve forgotten my own history, as I swam the Peaks to Portland race a couple of times in the late ‘80’s and nobody wore wetsuits. But temps were low 60’s, not low 50’s, and distance was more like Nubble Light Challenge--a mere 2.4 miles.

Perhaps we (CYL 57dN) can adopt a policy similar to what they have at Nubble, whereas, “exceptions will be granted only to individuals who have proven experience (satisfactory to the race staff) with swimming in cold water races (below 60 degrees) without a wetsuit. Wetsuit waiver requests must be submitted to the Race Director at least ten days prior to the event."

I sure hate the thought of excluding anyone from this magnificent event if they can provide sufficient evidence that their participation does not present an unreasonable risk to their personal safety, the safety of others, or the goals that motivate our efforts.

I don’t know if I can arrange for a dozen swims on either side of the CYL event, but Sitka is blessed with an abundance of hiking trails, most along, within sight of or leading to some breathtaking body of water. Last year I led a group of swim participants to Heart Lake, and a few of us took the plunge—no wetsuits! I will make sure this aspect of the event is front and center on our developing website.

Are we making progress?

swimthegoodfight
February 5th, 2012, 03:25 PM
i am still more than a little confused as to why scheduling this swim the same weekend as the pennock swim was a good idea?

pennock seems to be traditionally scheduled the second weekend in august

i recommend sitka avoid the conflict for future events - it would be interesting to see participants do both

grumpytuna
February 5th, 2012, 04:11 PM
i am still more than a little confused as to why scheduling this swim the same weekend as the pennock swim was a good idea?

pennock seems to be traditionally scheduled the second weekend in august

i recommend sitka avoid the conflict for future events - it would be interesting to see participants do both

Each month there are a limited number of days with good tides, sometimes there are really no good tides during a month. The Sitka and Pennock swims will probably continue to hold their events at the same time due to that simple lunar rule. If you are thinking that maybe just holding them on different days of the weekend, let me enlighten. Sitka is a least 18 hours away from ketchikan by ferry, assuming the ferry schedule cooperates. The plane ride is only 40 minutes, but the cost is in the neighborhood of 350.00 and you have to hope the airline schedule cooperates. As for any of the other issues that have been brought up, it will get sorted in time.

Willie

Kris Calvin
February 5th, 2012, 06:43 PM
"I did a bit of google'n regarding furtherest north ... is that US or Worldwide? I became distracted by Indigo Lake (and the numerous others. do any of the craters on Kruzof Island hold water?). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigo_Lake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigo_Lake) Wow! There's a boatload of opportunities that rival Oregon's! If I were to make it to Sitka for any reason, a swim in Indigo would be a must :) how about a Hike-Paddle-Swim event starting in Bear Cove on day 2?"


Indigo Lake is to the interior of Baranof Island--not easily accessible at all. I've been near the lake goat hunting with my Dad and brother long ago, and can't fathom the idea of swimming in it. The lake was named by Les Yaw and my great uncle, Jack Calvin.

Kruzof Island forms the North side of Sitka Sound and on it is Mt. Edgecombe--also known as sister to Mt. Fuji. There is a must-do 6.5 mile trail up to the crater rim, but no lake inside. Nearby St. Lazaria Island is ostensibly known at part of the blown-off top of Mt. Edgecombe and is an amazing bird rookery. In the center of the island is an olympic-sized tidal pool with an underwater passageway. St. Lazaria is a great family destination and a fine, though short, swim--you also need to be careful of the bird bombs. http://alaskamaritime.fws.gov/units/Gulf-StLazaria.htm

Kruzof Island also served as the starting point for Claudia Rose's 8-mile skin swim across Sitka Sound a few years back--which led to the SSAS and now CYL-57dN. I could go on and on about Kruzof Island, but that would be starting to get more off-topic than may be allowed.

If you are after a very cool clearwater swim, but closer to town, I'd send you to Medvejie Lake, which is just upstream from the hatchery on Silver Bay. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medvejie_Lake The crystal clear water of Medvegie reminds me of Crater Lake in Oregon--but with fewer people--so a genuine "skin" swim would be entirely appropriate, if you could handle the frigid water temp. Depending on enrollment numbers in CYL, we might be able to arrange a tour of the hatchery and hike to Medvejie as a group.

swimthegoodfight
February 6th, 2012, 04:42 PM
Thanks grumpy - I did your swim the same year claudia rose did both pennock and sitka.

i found ketchikan a very enjoyable destination swim. btw - i swam pennock the day after a san francisco sharkfest and have managed some ridiculous doubles in a weekend, i.e. swim - drive / fly - swim. though my thought is pennock one weekend and sitka the next!

it does not ever seem cheap / reasonable to get to alaska from anywhere in the U.S. except seattle. hope to complete both swims in the not so distant future.

geog
February 6th, 2012, 07:33 PM
though my thought is pennock one weekend and sitka the next!

FWIW, Pennock was on Aug 7th and Sitka on Aug 14th in 2011, yet published results indicate no one swam both.

Kris Calvin
February 6th, 2012, 08:16 PM
Geog,

You are correct. The dates were different but no one did both races. That was one factor we had in mind when we set the date without considering what dates Pennock might select. However, the previous Sitka swims were not nearly as well publicized as they will be this year and in future years. This usms online disscussion has opened the Sitka swim committee's eyes quite a bit--and you will probably see some changes to this year's policies as a result. We are in deliberation about that now. I do not know if a closer look at the tides and our schedule will allow us to revise the date. Hearing from more people who want to do both races would be very very helpful at this stage.

geog
February 6th, 2012, 08:31 PM
Kris - flexibility is always inspiring!

backing up a bit ....


could go on and on about Kruzof Island, but that would be starting to get more off-topic than may be allowed.

hmmm. i think the scope is up to the originating poster. Along those lines though, sorry about getting the race announcement off to a divisive start (wetsuits), and further distractions about satellite swims. There are so many great swims to be done around Sitka that a 1st Annual Sitka Swim Week would seem quite realistic, especially if the weather cooperated! Perhaps daily 5k sea 'races' in the morning and hike/swims in the afternoon, and a major event day with the 10k. August daylight is pretty long up there, maybe 15 or 16 hours of daylight? Also I didn't mean to imply 2012 or to put you on the spot.

geog
February 6th, 2012, 08:35 PM
Lake list expanded a bit over the weekend. Medvejie as you mentioned would be a must. Indigo is another 1.5 miles beyond, mostly off trail but I understand locals do in fact hike that route. Sitting above Medvejie is the easier hike/swim of Bear Lake and its little cousin. Then there is 870ft deep Redoubt Lake. Sounds fascinating and picturesque. Makes me think of 745ft deep Loch Ness in Scotland :)

It'd be difficult to do some of these swims in the context of someone else (or entity) assuming liability unless a float plane was arranged (huge expense). They are all swims I'd be interesting in doing informally or on my own.

Blue Lake has been studied a fair amount including year-round daily water temperature data. Surface water temps (2 ft depth I think) in the months of July Aug and Sept were all above 50 F for 2008 and 55 to 60 F in 2005. Medvejie and Redoubt are similar in elevation to Blue Lake, Bear and Indigo are higher. Blue Lake Study PDF (http://www.cityofsitka.com/government/departments/electric/documents/BlueLakeWaterTemperaturereportdraft1-29-10.pdf)


Interactive map centered on Bear Lake, showing Indigo, Medvejie and Blue:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=57.034373,-135.135092&t=t1&z=13



Bear Lake in early September
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5249/5368439613_c705d9d50b_z.jpg



Indigo Lake in late July
http://farm1.staticflickr.com/86/248501012_ca88c1341b_z.jpg



Redoubt Lake in early May
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3625/5774594495_7ebe742fe3_z.jpg



Lakes of Baranof Island here: flickr.com/photos/northtoalaska/sets



Medvejie Lake early August (http://www.nawwal.org/%7Emrgoff/pictures/picpgs/12988a.html)
http://www.nawwal.org/%7Emrgoff/pictures/picpgs/pictures/12988a.jpg

E=H2O
February 7th, 2012, 12:49 PM
For the record, I was speaking of the 2010 version of the Elk Lake swims, when I had the pleasure of swimming next to/behind/ahead of/around you in the 5K. :) I believe Bob reported a water temp of 67-68 that day.

You left out the part that it was below freezing at sunrise on the morning of the 5K. I slept in a tent and my shoes were covered in frost. But you are right the water was no colder than 66.

E=H2O
February 7th, 2012, 01:05 PM
When I lived in Denali National Park this is where I liked to swim

http://www.lookpictures.net/photos/registered_photos/6317-mount-mckinley-and-wonder-lake-denali-national-par.jpg

geog
February 7th, 2012, 03:35 PM
I slept in a tent and my shoes were covered in frost

slept under the stars. frost/cold = no mosquitoes :) :)

any photos of Sitka lakes from your time in AK?

Kris Calvin
February 7th, 2012, 05:05 PM
I feel like a dork not being able to figure out how to attach images like what you guys have done. My photos don't have an URL address that I know of and seems to be required by the forum tools provided--and no option to browse to images residing on my computer. I can swim, but I can't dance. Help. USMS tech sent me back here to you guys for directions.

E=H2O
February 7th, 2012, 05:16 PM
I feel like a dork not being able to figure out how to attach images like what you guys have done. My photos don't have an URL address that I know of and seems to be required by the forum tools provided--and no option to browse to images residing on my computer. I can swim, but I can't dance. Help. USMS tech sent me back here to you guys for directions.

Don't feel bad, I didn't figure out how to do it until I got tired of just posting thumbnails (if you try to attach an image file it just shows up as a thumbnail). I am assuming it's because USMS doesn't want to have a bunch of attachments up loaded to their server.

E=H2O
February 7th, 2012, 05:21 PM
slept under the stars. frost/cold = no mosquitoes :) :)

any photos of Sitka lakes from your time in AK?

I slept in a tent because I thought I'd be bothered by mosquitoes (and their was no privacy where I camped). Under the stars was definitely the place to be.

I think I have a few slides buried someplace. I was there only briefly. i went through on the ferry. What I remember was that it was overcast, cool temperatures and very big trees.

Kris Calvin
February 7th, 2012, 06:02 PM
Geog,

Are you some sort of undercover agent for the CYL 57*N promotion committee? Either way you are doing one heck of a job!

Our discussion seems to have migrated from an enlightening exchange on wetsuit requirement/sanctioning/safety issues in cold-cold events (for which I am most grateful to you and others) to the fabulous scenery and lake swim fantasies in the greater Sitka area.

To maintain perspective, there are a couple of things to remember when viewing these idyllic images. 1.5 miles on a topog map in Southeast Alaska = at least 10 miles of hard slogging/bushwacking in southern 48. Most of the hundreds of lakes on Baranof Island are extremely difficult to get to—and don’t forget the bears! The Sitka area gets over 100 inches of rain each year, so quite often you don’t have to jump in a lake to get wet. But that is also why it is so lush and pristine. Even cold-acclimated types need to bring along good raingear and a sunny demeanor—regardless of the weather. Much of this—and more blue sky images—on links soon to be set up on the CYL website. www.changeyourlatitude.org (http://www.changeyourlatitude.org)

3244 3245

Yikes those are small images, but will have to do given my lack of URL smarts. Anyway, the first one is shot from mountain overlooking Redoubt Lake. We had to canoe 1 mile across the lake to get to our "special spot". Best way to "do" Redoubt for a visitor, may be to fly in with our neighbor Ken Bellows of Sitka Air to forest service cabin at head of lake for a few days. The lake is over 6 miles long, so few flip turns required. The other image is a pod of sea otters at entrance to Redoubt bay--half of the pod had already dove before I could snap the shot, so you get an idea of the amazing recovery these guys have made since the Russian fur trading days. You may get a chance to rub whiskers with a few sea otters during the race--especially if the seas are calm and we elect to go for the "scenic" 10K to far end of causeway/Ft. Rouseau. Prior to my flight back from Sitka a few weeks back, I walked out to John Brown's Beach, which will be the main land-based spectator viewing area for the CYL swim. A playful sea otter was checking out the course and practicing up for the main event in August.

E=H2O
February 7th, 2012, 06:18 PM
Geog,

Yikes those are small images.

Once people click on them they will be shown full size.

sdswimmer
February 7th, 2012, 08:28 PM
Geog,

You are correct. The dates were different but no one did both races. That was one factor we had in mind when we set the date without considering what dates Pennock might select. However, the previous Sitka swims were not nearly as well publicized as they will be this year and in future years. This usms online disscussion has opened the Sitka swim committee's eyes quite a bit--and you will probably see some changes to this year's policies as a result. We are in deliberation about that now. I do not know if a closer look at the tides and our schedule will allow us to revise the date. Hearing from more people who want to do both races would be very very helpful at this stage.

The first year at least 3 people did both, the second year at least one person did both. Those that did both found it a bit exhausting and suggested that the two be independant of eachother. It also made scheduling quite difficult due to the tidal issue.

I assume you are not counting Chena Lake as farthest North becuase it is in a lake not the ocean? It is a sanctioned USMS event.

kevin@bluesteel.org
February 7th, 2012, 08:54 PM
The first year at least 3 people did both, the second year at least one person did both. Those that did both found it a bit exhausting and suggested that the two be independant of eachother. It also made scheduling quite difficult due to the tidal issue.

I assume you are not counting Chena Lake as farthest North becuase it is in a lake not the ocean? It is a sanctioned USMS event.

I'm not sure how I missed finding the Chena Lake swim from years past. I wouldn't discount any swim for being in a lake vs being in the ocean and I plan on changing the language of our claim. I do think that the merit of our ocean open water swim being one of the northern most swims being promoted and potentially sanction is a great draw to swimming in Sitka Sound.

Was it Claudia who swam both last year? I don't remember. Either way like 'Grumpytuna' mentioned with the tides the way they are in August and other events we are organizing here in Sitka (a masters invitational for pool swimmers and open water swimmers alike on Saturday), Sunday the 12th was our best day here.

well back to writing our safety plan... thanks for all the feedback and ideas everyone!

chaos
February 7th, 2012, 10:00 PM
Here's a 21k event in Sweden at 58*N that I'm planning to do this summer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_ooqpfocg-c

it is a lake.

Kris Calvin
February 7th, 2012, 11:11 PM
chaos,

Most interesting event in Sweden. Can't help but notice all wearing--wetsuits! What's up with that! Maybe you will educate them as you have me on this odd concept, "cold-acclimated". They also are all towing inflatable geese, with but one kayak and one power boat for the whole lot. Maybe the lawyers in Sweden aren't as effective as those we have in the good old US of A.

Which brings up a question. Sitka has a limited number of kayaks--and that is partly the reason for limiting our participation numbers. I hate the idea of towing a blow-up toy in a race, but if it significantly improves the margin of safety, should we consider this as a requirement in lieu of or in addition to a personal kayak escort?

Our course does cross one of several navigable channels which is often used by vessels traveling to/from Sitka harbor. And that is very different from a more controlled lake swim. Thoughts anyone?

evmo
February 8th, 2012, 12:40 AM
After all this discussion I still don't have a firm grasp of the likely water temp in Sitka on August 12, 2012...? Race description says "mid-50s" but website also mentions "Nothing like a dip in 52˚ water." I realize it's not entirely predictable, but even some basic stats would be interesting and valuable. Something along the lines of "Average of 55, range of 52-58." What was the water temp in 2010 and 2011?

Whatever the lower end of that range is, that's the temperature swimmers would need to prepare for. If it's 52F, frankly there are only a handful of swimmers in the US who are capable of doing 10K in 52F water. How many of those folks would sign up for the CYL57* in a potential skin category? I'm guessing not more than 3. The point being - even if you offer a skin category (which I think you should), I'd guess almost everyone will enter the wetsuit category anyway.

One idea might be to offer a dedicated kayak to every "skin" 10K participant, but limit the enrollment in that category to, say 3-5.

PS, chaos, that Sweden swim looks delicious. I notice USMS member Ryan Provencher is on the 2012 enrollment list:
http://web.me.com/adamsvensson/Vidosternsimmet/Anm%C3%A4lan.html

sdswimmer
February 8th, 2012, 02:28 AM
chaos,

Most interesting event in Sweden. Can't help but notice all wearing--wetsuits! What's up with that! Maybe you will educate them as you have me on this odd concept, "cold-acclimated". They also are all towing inflatable geese, with but one kayak and one power boat for the whole lot. Maybe the lawyers in Sweden aren't as effective as those we have in the good old US of A.

Which brings up a question. Sitka has a limited number of kayaks--and that is partly the reason for limiting our participation numbers. I hate the idea of towing a blow-up toy in a race, but if it significantly improves the margin of safety, should we consider this as a requirement in lieu of or in addition to a personal kayak escort?

Our course does cross one of several navigable channels which is often used by vessels traveling to/from Sitka harbor. And that is very different from a more controlled lake swim. Thoughts anyone?

USMS requires a kayaker for each swimmer over ? 5km? or 3 miles as well as relevant permits from USCG which you'll need if you are crossing navigable channels.

evmo
February 8th, 2012, 02:37 AM
USMS requires a kayaker for each swimmer over ? 5km? or 3 miles as well as relevant permits from USCG which you'll need if you are crossing navigable channels.

I'm pretty sure the threshold is at least 10K, not 5K. I did a USMS 10K in 2010 without a paddler.

For sure, they will need a USCG permit.

chaos
February 8th, 2012, 08:40 AM
chaos,

Most interesting event in Sweden. Can't help but notice all wearing--wetsuits! What's up with that! Maybe you will educate them as you have me on this odd concept, "cold-acclimated". They also are all towing inflatable geese, with but one kayak and one power boat for the whole lot.

Well I know of at least 3 swimmers who are planning to liberate this event from neoprene. I believe the swim was done last year with land based pit stops... where swimmers would need to exit the water to feed.
I think as these swims develop and gain in popularity there is an opportunity (and responsibility) to guide them toward traditional marathon swimming rules regarding conduct, support, and attire.

Kris Calvin
February 8th, 2012, 11:28 AM
After all this discussion I still don't have a firm grasp of the likely water temp in Sitka on August 12, 2012...? Race description says "mid-50s" but website also mentions "Nothing like a dip in 52˚ water." I realize it's not entirely predictable, but even some basic stats would be interesting and valuable. Something along the lines of "Average of 55, range of 52-58." What was the water temp in 2010 and 2011?


Claudia just informed me that when she researched her Kruzof to Sitka swim, expected water temp would be between 48 and 55 degrees F. She also said that last years event which was held several miles away out Halibut Point Rd., the temp was 52-53. I believe that was true for 2010 event also. Now, having said that, I did most of my preparation swims for both events along Japonski Is. following the course we have laid out for 2012. I did not have a thermometer with me, but the water on every occasion of my practice swims both years was noticably less cold than the course out Halibut point. I'm sure I can rustle up some goverment data on water temps in and around Japonski--we have more than our share of goverment agencies in Alaska so somebody must be measuring water temp for the public record. Will get back to you on that, and thanks for asking. Meanwhile, here is more data to chew on prior to registering with CYL. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitka,_Alaska#Climate

geog
February 8th, 2012, 12:42 PM
concerning topside conditions, I subtract 3-4 degrees F and double the psychological demand if it is raining (not sunny).


somebody must be measuring water temp for the public record

NOAA Sitka Station 9451600 ('http://www.tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/cgi-bin-mp/data_plot.cgi?mins=&datum=0&unit=1&stn=9451600&bdate=20110801&edate=20110831&data_type=temp&shift=d&plot_size=large&metinterval=h&type=Meteorological%20Observations')

http://www.tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/cgi-bin-mp/data_plot.cgi?mins=&datum=0&unit=1&stn=9451600&bdate=20110801&edate=20110831&data_type=temp&shift=d&plot_size=large&metinterval=h&type=Meteorological%20Observations

http://www.tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/cgi-bin-mp/data_plot.cgi?mins=&datum=0&unit=1&stn=9451600&bdate=20100801&edate=20100831&data_type=temp&shift=d&plot_size=large&metinterval=h&type=Meteorological%20Observations

Kris Calvin
February 8th, 2012, 12:59 PM
Well you beat me to it. I also found the NOAA website and the reading station is across the channel within 1/4 mile of event start/finish.

Past readings on August 12 at 8:00 a.m. (anticipated start time)

2008 52.5
2009 56.8
2010 54.0
2011 53.0

Sometimes temp goes up as much as 4 degrees by late afternoon (2011) and sometimes it goes down later in the day (2009)

Sorry I don't know how to shorten the link using a bookmark, but this is a nifty way to find temp data:

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/data_menu.shtml?bdate=20110812&edate=20110812&metinterval=h&unit=1&shift=g&stn=9451600+Sitka%2C+AK&type=Meteorological+Observations&format=View+Plot

We are working on course revisions and running them by govt. agencies as we speak. Stay tuned on CYL website for course map and segment description. My goal on this course was to make it like a single track mountain bike ride past/over varied terrain, varied sea exposure, and views both above AND below waterline. We are also working on a biological education component because there is so much going on along this route and we want to engage families/support crews every bit as much as swimmers. You really shouldn't have trouble finding a kayak escort who wants to come with you once they see whats in it for them.
We're trying hard to figure out how to expand our fleet of available kayaks as that may prove to be a limiting factor.

Rob Copeland
February 8th, 2012, 02:52 PM
USMS requires a kayaker for each swimmer over ? 5km? or 3 miles USMS does NOT require escort craft (kayak or other) in any USMS sanctioned race. Paddlers and escort boats may be permitted by the event director, but USMS does not mandate this.

geog
February 8th, 2012, 09:30 PM
http://www.pioneervideography.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/20110924Redoubt-1157.jpg


Off topic I know. Rain is a good thing. Nine miles end to end, Redoubt Lake with a double rainbow, which reminds of the double rainbow that I swam with in the North Sea. Redoubt is the lake in Kris's photo a few posts back that has Camel Mountain (?) in the background. Click once on Kris's photo for a good size image, then click that image to see it at full size. ok, community service announcement over. back to race logisitcs ... (ya know, it's pretty simply. hike in, take off your clothes, put on a cap and goggles, swim, dry off, put your clothes back on, have a bite to eat, hike out)

ALM
February 8th, 2012, 09:57 PM
Which brings up a question. Sitka has a limited number of kayaks--and that is partly the reason for limiting our participation numbers. I hate the idea of towing a blow-up toy in a race, but if it significantly improves the margin of safety, should we consider this as a requirement in lieu of or in addition to a personal kayak escort?

If you have the swimmers tow a safety device, you might take a look at this one:

The ISHOF Safe Swimmer (TM) (http://ishof.org/safety/ssd.htm)

Videos (http://ishof.org/safety/videos.htm)

Rob Aquatic's review (http://robaquatics.com/2011/03/review-swim-safety-device-ssd.html)

I own one and use it on a weekly basis. I don't feel it at all when I'm swimming. And the fact that it doubles as a dry bag is nice - I can carry my car keys in it.

Kris Calvin
February 9th, 2012, 12:30 PM
OK, I am starting to see the light and the double rainbow over Redoubt helps. With additional merit-based qualifications it is likely we will be able to relax our position on wet suit requirement. And, although we now understand that kayak escorts are NOT required by USMS sanctioning policy for either 5 or 10K, given our course and water temps and regardless of attire, it still may be prudent to require either a kayak/canoe escort OR a swimmer safety device like the Safe Swimmer bag. Since our event is not only an adventure swim, but also a race I'm wondering if die-hard racers would get all bent out of shape about this. Seems that if we have an option--either or--then it wouldn't be a problem, and we have substancially resolved the issue of escort craft being a limiting factor to participation.

Navigation without an escort will be fun as the proposed course has only two hand-set rounding bouys, with other waypoints defined by prominent rocks, small islands and existing navigational markers. Sounds like you could pack the course chart, a GPS unit and your lunch in the swimmer bag, so another issue resolved.

Furthermore, we are considering an official OOPS award for those who make a wrong turn--or maybe we will have several on hand just in case.....

Everyone's feeback on this thread has been so amazingly helpful. Please take it one step further and spread the word so that we can get a handle on actual participation numbers--and plan accordingly.

I'm sorry that we have not been able to post the course and description quite yet on CYL 57*N website. Kevin, our web guy/race director/BBSC coach has the team at an away meet in Anchorage.

kevin@bluesteel.org
February 9th, 2012, 06:18 PM
I have been doing some research with the help of the AKMS Sanction Chair about the question regarding sanctioning and our wetsuit requirement. We are revisiting the absolute requirement on wetsuits but am still thinking that we are going to strongly recommend them for our event.

Any way, I haven't been able to find anything that would suggest that USMS would NOT allow a sanction of an event if the event required wetsuits. The only stipulation regarding attire is found under the Rules for Category I & II swim wear for open water events ( sections 303.7.2 & 303.7.3). It does not mention that both categories must be offered, rather it only defines what each category allows and that an event must stipulate what category is allowed or not allowed.

Other ideas out there?

Thanks!

Kris Calvin
February 9th, 2012, 07:25 PM
Off topic I know. Rain is a good thing. Nine miles end to end, Redoubt Lake with a double rainbow, which reminds of the double rainbow that I swam with in the North Sea.

You know, I can almost guarantee that Redoubt Lake has never ever been swum end to end by anyone either with or without a wetsuit. Up till now I don't think anyone even considered such a bizarre concept. There are but few things left where you could be the absolute first human on earth to do. Here's your opportunity. Who's in?

BTW, course maps for CYL 57*N have been posted to website. Thanks to you guys (and gals) and your links to knowlegeable sources, we now have a bunch of viable strategies to draw from that will help in resolving safety issues particular to this event. Stay tuned--are we back on topic?

geog
February 9th, 2012, 10:24 PM
Up till now

sorry Kris, i beat you to it by 6 days ;) But now you've taunted me into another post.

For nearly all of Aug 1988, Redoubt Lake's surface water temperature was 57 F at it's outlet.

PDF of ADFG's 1988 Redoubt Lake water temperatures (table 16 page 37) (www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/FedAidPDFs/fds-113.pdf)

Redoubt is about 10 feet above mean sea level, overflowing directly into the ocean at an outlet (map link below) consisting of a short set of rapids or falls. The falls are located about 6 miles W from the USFS A-frame cabin (http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/cabins/sitka/images/redoubt.jpg) (available for rent $35/nt) at the NE end of Redoubt. This is the cabin that Kris mentioned in a previous post. From Sitka, the falls are SW about 15 miles by boat.

2011-07-31 by John Feikema (http://blog.feikema.org/?p=1656)
http://forums.usms.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=3251&stc=1&d=1328940702

The low lake elevation means that storm surge or high tides cause the flow to reverse, dumping saltwater into the lake (page 7 in PDF of Appendix C (www.tongass-seis.net/shrd/pdf/333.pdf) of the Tongass SEIS (http://tongass-seis.net/)). The saltwater, being denser, sinks. For some reason that I don't understand, the freshwater and saltwater don't mix, setting up a halocline. Even the temperature gradients that are set up by the changing seasons are not energetic enough to turnover the lake. The upper 300 ft of the lake are fresh snow melt and rainfall, but at depths from 300 down to the bottom at 870 ft, it's salt.

It'd be easy to portage one's support kayaks around the falls were it not for the bears that feed at the falls on the salmon as they swim/leap up into Redoubt to spawn (read/listen to KCAW news report from 2011-07-22 (https://www.coastalaska.org/kcaw/modules/local_news/index.php?op=sideBlock&ID=1288)). I suspect there is some way to mitigate the danger without risk or harm to the bears (listen to KCAW news story from 2009-07-15 (http://www.kcaw.org/2009/07/15/bears-at-redoubt-lake-becoming-a-nuisance/)). Or maybe one of the two bays right next door has a 400 yard trail. Sealaska (http://www.sealaska.com), mentioned in this December 2011 write up (http://sitkawild.org/2011/12/reboubt-falls-land-transfer/), is the Native American owned corporation that is desiring ownership of the falls (1 page PDF summary from August 2011 (www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5323711.pdf)) under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. A bit more on the long history of salmon at Redoubt Falls can be found on the lake's wikipedia page, on the this Forest Service webpage (http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/districts/sitka/fwwbs/redoubt_lake/redoubt_lake.shtml), and on Anniyah's blog (http://anniesummerinsitka.blogspot.com/2010/07/sockeye.html).

All that was just to say this: the entrance to Redoubt via the falls may not be an option much longer. Another approach is a well used 1.5 mile CCC trail (map (http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=56.845212,-135.357908&t=t3&z=14)) that crosses muskeg and scrub timber to reach the SW end of Redoubt, starting at Goddard Hot Springs, about 18 miles SW by boat from Sitka. Yet another approach is a 6 mile hike through old growth forest on a Forest Service trail (map (http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=56.955688,-135.143246&t=t3&z=13)) at Redoubt's NE end. The trail follows Salmon Lake Creek, which spills into the head of Silver Bay at a point about 5 miles distant by kayak from Herring Cove, or 10 miles distant by kayak from Sitka.

2009-11-22 Winter view looking back up Silver Bay towards Herring Cove from near the mouth of Salmon Creek, by Matt Goff (http://www.sitkanature.org)
http://www.sitkanature.org/wordpress/wp-content/gallery/20091122/20091122-silver_bay.jpg

Or as Kris mentioned previously, there would be quick access via float plane.

Here is a link to a zoomable map of Redoubt (http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=56.884434,-135.287356&t=t3&z=13), centered on the outlet falls. To measure distances, use the upper right hand menu to select 'Make a map', then click at any point to start your tract, continue clicking to trace out your course. Distances are displayed in the lower right. To access more options, right click on any of your markers. Or Menu -> Help for a PDF.

Even if I had been to Sitka before, I would still stand to be corrected on any of this. Mostly I hope this info helps someone plan out a world-first awesome 9 mile swim in a wild, pure-as-snow-melt, rare meromictic lake.

Bathymetry from a Forest Service brochure (http://books.google.com/books/about/Redoubt_Lake_Cabin_Baranof_Island.html?id=mGb4rqNv _X0C)
http://forums.usms.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=3250&stc=1&d=1328938593

oops, i guess this whole post is off-topic. Kris and Kevin, shall I delete it?

Kris Calvin
February 10th, 2012, 12:26 AM
sorry Kris, i beat you to it by 6 days ;) But now you've taunted me into another post.

I meant NOW in relative terms, inclusive of the start of this illuminating exchange. You are one heck of a researcher--guess that is part and parcel of a vetran long distance cold water swimmmer still around to spin their tales of adventure on the high seas.

An end to end Redoubt swim would be quite a feat, and may be alot of "fun" for those that are into that kind of thing. I'm not at all certain if I'm part of that crowd being a softie wetsuit type and all.

I didn't know Redoubt was salt water down deep. Not entirely surprising considering that most of the lake is well below sea level. Maybe in ancient history there was a "tidal reversal" but never have I heard of such a thing in my lifetime, but I'll do some checking with the old timers around Sitka starting with my Dad. One never knows. Redoubt is dear to my heart because as a kid my brothers, sister and I used to get pulled around the outlet lake in our canoes by 16# coho's on spinning gear. That was a heck of a lot more fun than being in the water naked with the fish.

I also know a bit about the Native Corporation, SeaAlaska, seeking land ownership of the falls, but it is beyond comprehension that the locals would put up with SeaAlaska restricting access. I've been to some of the contentious public hearings and it would be the dumbest thing imaginable on the part of SeaAlaska from a public relations standpoint.

Bears are prolific at the falls when the fish are running--but that's also the best time to be there because well, the fish are running--in August and Sept. Remember what I said about reasons we chose August for CYL? I've got lots of stories about bears at Redoubt, but that is better told in a different setting. Like safety concerns for an open water swim, there are good strategies for managing potential confrontations with Sitka's majestic brown bears.

Extend your time at this year's CYL 57*N event to scope out a Redoubt swim. Of course you knew I'd bring you back around to being on topic eh?

No post deletion, you're doing a great job!

ViveBene
February 10th, 2012, 06:59 AM
Geog's tour of Redoubt L is fascinating! And yes, lots of folks would be interested in a first-ever in-water tour. Takes a while to get such things in play, but the Sitka swim could be an anchor to an extended series of wonderful lake, channel, and island swims in Alaska.
Good luck with further planning of Sitka!

Kris Calvin
March 23rd, 2012, 08:05 PM
As race director Kevin, stated in another post, the rules of engagement have been debated and revised for the CYL 57*N event in Sitka, thanks to all your valuable input on this fun exchange, and with that worked out Kevin was finally able to get the registration form activated on the website.

Three other items of note should be mentioned at this point.

1) We are working hard with the Sitka Maritime Society to include their annual human-powered watercraft race on the same weekend as the open water swim. We may be using the same start/finish venue and race course, though they would run their event on Saturday, while we are a go for Sunday a.m. We intend to have a joint Salmon bake dinner at the Coast Guard air station Gazebo, which overlooks the race course on Saturday night. These plans are still tentative, but it is just one more thing that will make it much more difficult for out-of-towners to pass up this opportunity.

2) This is also tentative, but we are also working with Alaska Airlines to offer a discount code for air travel to Sitka for participants and crew members. We have close connections to those folks, so we feel safe in mentioning it as another goodie for you to consider.

3) Much of this discussion thread has revolved around beautiful pictures of high (and low) mountain lakes around Sitka that some nutso folks seem to think should be swum--naked!. Well, here is my crazy proposal: If a friendly group of at least 8 USMS swimmers from out-of-town commit to the CYL event, I will take them (you) down to Redoubt Bay on our boat, Morning Mist, with kayaks and canoes, for either a one or two night stay at the USFS Redoubt Cabin, or for a day paddle/swim trip down Redoubt Lake. Currently the cabin is available for a few days after the ocean swim, but won't be for long, so time is of the essence.

But wait... there's more! If that weren't enough to move you to action, we also have group day-hikes planned on some of the great trails around Sitka, including Medvijie salmon hatchery tour and hike to Medvijie Lake (See pictures above posted by Geog) OK, enough of my drivel. It is time to register.

geog
August 12th, 2012, 12:04 AM
bump ... event is scheduled for tomorrow Aug 12th 2012

geog
August 15th, 2012, 07:56 PM
Sitka, Alaska

Northernmost US Masters Swimming sanctioned open ocean race

28 swimmers for 2012 from "from all over the US, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, Minnesota and California"

56 awesome photos by Angela McGraw:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151006940651645.419104.250637541644&type=1

swimmer times:

http://changeyourlatitude.org

Congrats on the nice work Kris, Kevin and organizing crew!

evmo
August 18th, 2012, 09:28 PM
How many skin swimmers among those 28?

Kris Calvin
August 20th, 2012, 08:31 PM
Evmo,

No skin swimmers, but one used a farmer john wetsuit, so he got a bit more skin in the game. As you well know, we would welcome skin swimmers into CYL if they have a solid track record of being cold-acclimated.

Race day conditions were perfect. Water temp 57 degrees--same as our latitude--fancy that! Almost glassy calm water for 5K'ers, with a bit of ground swell making for a fun ride around the outter rocks on the 10K course, but no wind generated sea. Broken skies with a few light showers. Several out of staters went home with drawing prizes of local seafood, in addition to the salmon bake BBQ overlooking the new course. Our Texas swimmer claims she is bringing back her whole 20-person masters club next year!

As our first go at this venue and even though we considered it a resounding success, there are going to be a few adjustments to next year's event to make things smoother and more convenient for everyone involved--especially our out of town guests.

We really want you and the others who have participated and followed this discussion thread to be there too.

Kris

evmo
August 20th, 2012, 11:19 PM
Kris: sounds like a resounding success indeed -- congrats! I'd love to get up there next year. And I'd be excited and honored to be first (or among the first) skin swimmers for the CYL. I did 2 hours / 6-ish miles at 54F in SF Bay earlier this year, and hardly a shiver afterward, so I think I'm ready :)

mckern
August 21st, 2012, 07:39 PM
I attended from the east coast this year and CYL was an *awesome* event. I'm not sure if they can do this for everyone in the future but they picked us up at the airport and put up many of the out of town swimmers in great, low cost accommodations. I've never been so welcomed at an event. I highly encourage everyone to make the commitment to attend next year. I'm not sure of another ocean water race where you see this much snow in the mountains from the course. In the days leading up to the race workouts were great with the Sitka masters team, beautiful fly fishing and a rain forest hike. We even saw a bear from a quarter mile while fly fishing. I did the 5K this year and plan on the 10K next year as I work toward the 34K (although slightly warmer skin swim) channel.

grumpytuna
August 22nd, 2012, 08:18 PM
Way to go:applaud: