Support American Whitewater! Support American Whitewater!

[please login to make this ad block disappear]

AW Northeast Stewardship Director Alan Panebaker Dies Kayaking in New Hampshire

AW Northeast Stewardship Director Alan Panebaker Dies Kayaking in New Hampshire

"It is a crazy place to be out there on the edge pushing your abilities and keeping a calm head when you do it. But that's the point..."

"Alan was smart, strong and capable," says Awe executive director Mark Singleton. "He represented the future of river stewardship in the northeast and we are all stunned by this tragic accident."

According to local reports, Panebaker, originally from Steamboat Springs., Colo., where he interned for Paddler magazine and taught kayaking for Backdoor Sports, was kayaking with two companions on the West Branch of the rain-swollen Pemigewasset in Franconia Notch State Park near the Pine Sentinel Bridge. His kayak reportedly hit a boulder, disappeared, and then re-emerged without him. After his body was recovered downstream, his companions tried to rescue him while witnesses called for help.

After earning a B.A in Journalism from the University of Montana, Panebaker moved back to Colorado before moving to Montpelier, Vermont, where he earned his law degree in Environmental Law and Policy from the Vermont Law School. There, his work responsibilities ranged from state and federal policy affecting rivers to community recreation planning as AW's Northeast Stewardship Director.

"He taught kayaking for me for a long time and was a great person and boater," says Backdoor Sports owner Pete Van de Carr. "The only reason he wanted to become a lawyer was to help protect the river environment he loved so much and felt was so sacred."

Panebaker's father, Dave, is the former superintendent of Dinosaur National Monument, where he instilled a love of the river environment in Alan from a young age.

A strong Class V kayaker, Panebaker knew well both the risks and rewards of paddling difficult whitewater. Perhaps no where is this better summed up than in a tribute essay he wrote on his blog "AP Paddling" after fellow East Coast kayaker Boyce Greer's death in 2011:
"When something like this happens, it really makes everyone take a step back and think about why we do the things we do. There are no easy answers to the nagging questions surrounding mortality and the dangerous sport we do.

"There are no two ways about it: running Class V is dangerous. It can be scary. If it was easy and safe, everyone would do it. But it's not. It takes training, some athleticism, and more than a little grit. It is a crazy place to be out there on the edge pushing your abilities and keeping a calm head when you do it. But that's the point. Paddling difficult whitewater is about being alive. It is the most pure and true experience that I have ever known, and it has brought me more joy, pain, and satisfaction than anything else. So while it may be a little fringe to be out there running the hardest whitewater you think you are up to, it isn't crazy. It's life. And while we all need to be cognizant of the dangers and take care of each other on the river, we can't live our lives in fear....

See also: report on wmur.com.

Paddling Life News on Playak is © and presented by:

Sponsors

JKPalm

Login to post here

scottyadam added a video. 4 hours 19 minutes ago

20 min Sea Doo flatwater and whitewater

Ottawa River Lower Channel and Main Channel 16ft

scottyadam added a video. 16 hours 41 minutes ago

Sea Doo Goes Up Class 5 Rapids

Coliseum @ 16ft

Todd Wells added a video. 18 hours 29 minutes ago

MF Edit Part One - Rough 1 copy

supzero added a video. yesterday

SUP11 City Tour - 2019 Registration is open!

Want to experience the ultimate challenge? Enter here: https://sup11citytour.com/registration/enter-now/

supzero added a video. 2 days ago

Jezza Glides

EJ added a video. 3 days ago

Eric Jackson Rock Star 4.0 Ottawa Mix

Check out a few clips that Nick Troutman took of me this summer on the Ottawa putting my production Rock Star 4.0 to the test.

corran added a video. 4 days ago

Main Squeeze by Soul

The Soul Waterman Main Squeeze surfing some grand waves on Montreals Lachine rapids

ntroutman added a video. 4 days ago

Ottawa River Kayaking- Wild & Free Tour

Our Wild & Free tour takes us to the Ottawa River to go kayaking, rafting down it's mighty whitewater, and enjoy some simple down time with family...

See the AUP for our Acceptable Use Policy and a Privacy Statement. Verein Playak is responsible for all editorial content on this site (including all graphics). No part of this site may be duplicated in any way without explicit permission from Verein Playak. Verein Playak takes great care to only publish original content, but since part of the content is user generated, we cannot always guarantee this 100%. If you notice any copyright violations, please let the editors know through the contact form and they will take appropriate action immediately. As a news and information platform, we republish small text snippets and thumbnail images, but always link to original content on other sites, and thus aim to adhere to a 'Fair Use' policy. If you believe we violate this policy in any particular case, please contact us directly and we'll take appropriate action immediately.