|8/27/2013 1:25:00 PM|
Swimmers brave Suttle Lake crossing
|Forty-eight swimmers took to the waters of Suttle Lake in a Sunday open-water swim. The event was organized by Sisters Multi-Sport, which provides unique recreational activities in Sisters Country. photo by Jim Cornelius|
While others in Sisters Country were sleeping in on a Sunday morning, 48 brave souls gathered at the boat launch at the west end of Suttle Lake, poised to swim the 1.3-mile (2,100-meter) length of the unusually placid body of water.
"The water's fine," said Kirk Albertson as he warmed up for the 8 a.m. start. He opted not to wear a wetsuit. "I think a wetsuit will be a little warm."
Cindy Schmidt said she loves open-water swimming. The opportunity for a swim across Suttle Lake drew her from Bend.
"There's something good about swimming in the natural environment," she said.
The Swim Across Suttle is an annual event staged by Sisters Multi-Sport, a local group of enthusiasts who provide unusual recreational opportunities for folks in Sisters Country.
The event has grown significantly over its three-year run.
"This is more people than we had last year," said Tate Metcalf, of Sisters Athletic Club. "I'd say close to double last year."
Volunteers on kayaks and paddleboards shadowed the swimmers, ready to render aid if needed. The route hugged the northern shoreline, enabling swimmers to pause if needed, or even to get out and walk the trail to Cinder Beach if necessary.
Josh Nordell, the event organizer, emphasized to participants that regardless how they got to Cinder Beach, they had to check in so organizers would know all entrants were accounted for.
The swimmers waded forward to the end of the dock, and at Nordell's signal they took off, roiling the still waters on their epic trek to the far side.
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