Low flows can’t stop Ten Mile One Mile

Geoff Mintz
summit daily news
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

The Ten Mile One Mile has been a local, early-summer tradition in Summit County for more than a quarter century, but it’s not very often that the event is held on water levels this low. Thus, the question on everyone’s mind: Is there enough water out there?

The answer is yes according to event organizer and owner of Ten Mile Creek Kayaks Matti Wade; however, participants can expect very different conditions from years past.

For starters, the Rodeo event, which traditionally takes place on Saturday, has been canceled. In its place, Wade will hold a practice run through the Ten Mile One Mile course at 2 p.m. today, so participants can scope the low-water conditions.

“We want everyone to get a good look at what it’s going to look like with low water,” Wade said. “It is going to be bouncy. I would suggest, if you’re going to come and do the event – awesome. If you have a boat that can get scratched up a bit – sweet. Plan on that, for sure.”

The levels are certainly low, but it could be worse.

“Currently, as of (Friday) at 3:44 p.m., Ten Mile flow, from the bridge down, is 120 cfs,” Wade said. “It’s been on a slight decline for the last week. The breaker is at 100 cfs. I have paddled the lower section as low as 70 cfs.”

The Best Trick event, which takes place under the lights, may also be changed to a who-can-surf-the-longest contest, as there’s currently not enough flow in the water to pull a trick off in a play boat.

“Because there is such low water, it doesn’t really do me any good to build up any sandbags or put stuff on the sides, like they did over at Teva Games,” Wade said.

Sunday’s downriver race will consist of two categories – the play boat group, which is 6 feet and under, and creek boat group, which is more than 6 feet.

The Ten Mile One Mile has been taking place for more than 25 years. It died down for a few years, but was resurrected with the addition of the Frisco Kayak Park and the opening of Wade’s shop.

“I like that the event gives back to the community. It’s basically a community event with bragging rights for a lot of people who live around here. There are no pros, so it’s always been a local event from the day it was conceptualized way back when. And I like keeping it that way,” Wade said.

The downriver race is at 4 p.m. Sunday with a Le Mans start. Everyone gathers behind a line in the parking lot. They will get a countdown, run to their boats, slide into the river and paddle from West Main Street all the way to the marina.

It may turn into a little bit of a foot race at the end. Each racer must finish with their boat, paddle and, of course, themselves. At the end of the river portion, paddlers will have to drag or carry their boats up and over the banks and through the archways at the marina.

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