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Bow and Stern - March 1, 2001

Bow and Stern -- March 2001

Bow and Stern

March 2001

The Official Newsletter of the Vermont Paddlers Club
in partnership with the American Canoe Association

Volume ? + 3, no. 1

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Message from the President
March 4, 2001
Lord,
give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,
the courage to change the things which should be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
I often find solace and/or encouragement in Neibuhr's "serenity prayer", but I gotta say he was obviously a work-a-holic. Otherwise he would have added:

Lord, Give us the presence of mind to REVEL in the things that make life truly worth living!

VPC members are bound together by our zeal for one such thing, so let me herewith and wherefore officially welcome the start of a new paddling season!

Reinhold Niebuhr 1943
It has been my pleasure to meet many kindred spirits at VPC events during my first year as president, and I look forward to paddling with many more of you in 2001. On your behalf I have overseen some constructive changes in the VPC since November 1999. Among them: promotional brochures on display in local sports shops (thanks Randy Mead), novice WW clinic rekindled (thanks Faith Knapp, John Wolfe, et al), VPC website redesigned (my personal contribution), ties to the American Canoe Association (with all its benefits) formalized, and winter pool sessions expanded to 3 towns (thanks Eric Rossier, Stark Biddle, and Georgia Myer). We even had ACA-instructor led rolling clinics on 2 nights in February, which were sell-outs (thanks Robyn Battaile, Allan Berggren, Nate McHugh, and Chris Weed).

Still, there were disappointments. The July club picnic fizzled. Volunteers to develop a "welcome" packet for new VPC members have not materialized. We could do a better job of engendering a sense of connectedness and belonging among club members. And so on.

Our greatest asset is the enthusiasm of our many members, young and old. The challenge is harnessing this enthusiasm to advance VPC objectives, especially insomuch as a new slate of club officers must be identified by November. Anyone who has been organizing club trips or attending club trips with regularity should consider seriously running for office in November. Don't be bashful - show up at a couple of executive committee meetings, or just call an officer to elaborate on the skills/interests you want to make available to the club.

Here's hoping that you enjoy the potluck and slideshow tonight (thanks Kay Henry and Rob Setter), and that you find plenty of trips on the spring schedule to pique your interest!

Peeling out,
Tony Shaw, president

Treasurer's Report

Who's Who in the VPC

who's who in the VPC

Officers:

Directors:

Appointed/Volunteers:

  • Paddling School: open
  • Safety Chair: John Wolfe 244-8673
  • Publicity Chair: Randy Mead 849-2367
  • Conservation Activities: open

Resources:

  • Message Phone: 899-1872
  • Website: http://www.vtpaddlers.net/index.html
  • National Weather Service: 862-2475

Fiddlehead Slalom Race - East Montpelier, VT

The 4th Annual Fiddlehead Slalom Race takes place Sunday May 13, 2001 on the Winooski River in East Montpelier. Mothers who come to spectate or race will receive a flower. The race is organized by VPC's own Ray Ingram, who has worked hard to make the race better each year. Major local sponsorship was provided by Canoe Imports and Ski Rack/Downhill Edge. Over 120 entrants raced in 24 categories, with the winners in each class listed at right. Ray's advice: "Remember the word FUN, because that's what the Fiddlehead Slalom is all about. This is a group of paddlers, old and young, who get together to have a good time and improve their paddling skills."

Call or email Ray to be a volunteer (many perks and brownie points) or racer, 879-4286, rkicanoe@msn.com With your ample volunteer support, Ray will complete the carry trail begun in 2000, have gates hung by Thursday/Friday, and smoothly handle all the details on race day.

The Fiddlehead is one of many ACA sponsored races in the New England Slalom Series, which go on from April to October. All have Rec. classes for inexperienced racers. Check out http://www.bestweb.net/~keech/a-ness.htm for all the details.

*VPC winners

Oregon Whitewater

Last July Bob Marshall of Waterbury Center, Wayne Raymond of Waterbury, and Matt Bedrin of Moretown met in Oregon for some soaking wet fun. Here's Bob's report:

I don't get much of a chance to run big water or steep creeks. The rainy season in Vermont never seems to materialize and spring run off is all too brief. When we do get the rain, the creeks drain fast. It always seems that it would be best to run the next day when thay've dropped just a little, but the next day is always too low.

I have read about the Clackamus and the White Salmon in the magazines but never thought I would be floating down them in July. Although I'm sure they were running at low levels, it seemed spiritual. The White Salmon was our first run. We spent the morning looking for boats to use. I ended up with a Wavesport Extreme. Now I'm not a small person. At 6' and 250lbs I was quite snug with the wetsuit on. I'm used to a RPM Max, fat and stable. We marched across NBC's stage for the gorge games at BeeZee falls and ran to Husom. Fabulous! The water was 38 degrees and crystal clear. I wasn't sure about my class IV ability when we started down the river. It seem like every time we got into the gorges we were looking at undercuts. Usually at the bottom of the rapid. While we were sitting in a lava tube on river right, a raft came by. The guide was looking at me kind of strange through his sunglasses. He said "Hey! you from Vermont?" No shit, I paddled with this guy in the spring at home. He comes to Washington to guide during the summer. Small world. The one thing I didn't do was run Husom falls. This was the highlight of the run. I watched several paddlers run the 16' drop but couldn't pull myself to try it even though it spit you out.

We ran the Clack from 3 Lynx to Bob's hole. This was better than spring run off in Vermont. We hit this river twice; it was just amazing! From Three Lynx power dam the gradiant was steep but it was still pool drop. We found it interesting and comforting that they hung a chain ladder down to the water at the under cut at Killer Fang rapids. I wish I could remember the names of all the rapids. I distinctly remember the last rapid before Bob's Hole -- a solid class IV. Matt, our friend and guide was paddling a Mr. Clean. I saw him attempt to do a spin on a rock at the top of the drop. Didn't work. Matt must have run 1/4 of the drop upside down and the second 1/4 backwards. With the obscured view I had coming out of the holes, it looked like he was taking a beating. Bob's Hole wasn't a hole at all, but it was a nice wave. With the low water we had to approach from a river left eddie. The water was so fast that it was practically impossible to ferry across to the wave. Afer 10 or so attempts I did make it only to get worked after maybe 2 seconds.
On Wednesday we drove out to Oregon city for some surf kayaking. Short Sands beach had about 10 foot swells coming in. The guys with the planing hulls were doing pretty good out there. I don't have a lot of experience surfing ocean but how hard could it be? Paddle onto the face of a wave and ride it to shore. Let me tell you, I didn't know how shallow the water was in front of a wave until I caught one. It swelled fast so I was sitting right on top of it. I didn't get a chance to surf that one at all. I fell off the top and stuck the bow of my boat right into the sand, momentarily vertical. No problem, I'm upside down and I'll roll back up! Just as I set up to roll another wave crashes down on my overturned boat. The force yanks my paddle from my hand and rips my helmet from my now oxygen deprived head. I pull the cord to get out and just get oriented when wave #3 drags me toward shore with 1 leg still in my boat. From where I am standing, now in 2 feet of water, I can see the cooler on the beach. That is my next objective. Hats off to you guys that can carve up those waves. I'll stick to fresh water.

So in the 5 days we were there we ran the Clack twice, the White Salmon twice, and kayak surfed at Short Sands for a day. On our last day there we went looking for the hot springs on the Wind River. After hours of searching we did find them. While we were sitting in the springs we got to talking with another couple there. Guess what, they also were from Vermont. Small world indeed! The Columbia River gorge is a beautiful place. The tributaries contain some of the best whitewater runs I have ever seen. The water is clean and the geography is amazing. So when I can't seem to bring up the vivid memories of my trip I go to my friend Jason's website (http://kayaking.peak.org ) to look at the great photos of this paddling haven. It always brings me back.

Bob Marshall

Appalachian Mountain Club's NH/VT River Guide

Hi Vermont Paddlers!

I am beginning to revise the Appalachian Mountain Club's NH/VT River Guide, and I seek up-to-date knowledge of people-influenced factors concerning Vermont rivers (acess, bridges, dams, water quality, and changes thereto since the last river guide in 1989). The Vermont Paddlers Club seems like a good place to start. Are you interested in helping?

The process that worked well when I revised the AMC Mass/CT/RI River Guide, and also the Maine River Guide was to contact directly the people who know the rivers. I sent them the river description text for the river in question. They made notes, corrections and changes on the pages(s) and sent it back. I do want to include "new" rivers, too.

Please email or call if you want to help. I hope to finish this in the next few months.

John Fiske, AMC (978) 921-5220 johnfiske@mediaone.net

Trip Reports

Winooski @ Chace Mill: Wednesday August 23

Leader: Chris Weed
Participants: (K1): Chris Weed; (OC1): Tony Shaw
Water: USGS = 600 cfs (medium low)

For years I've driven from Winooski to Burlington looking longingly upstream at the cascade between the mills. Finally this evening (thanks to Chris) I got a chance to paddle here. The pond behind Winooski One is low while some repairs are underway, making for a more dramatic drop at the Horseshoe, but Chris talked me through the approach and we both ran it cleanly.

I am on the mend from a back strain earlier in August, and haven't paddled anything steep since May, so I was pretty timid. Hope this run becomes more popular in summer months with the club at large.
-- Tony Shaw

Hudson Gorge: Saturday August 26

Leader: Eric Bishop
Participants: (K1): Brian Jones; (OC1): Ray Ingram, Pat Cleary, Eric Bishop
Water: medium

The Hudson was running at about 31/2 ft, 4ft with the release, the water was warm, the air temp. was about 80' and you couldn't ask for a better day to paddle the Hudson. Why no one wanted to is beyond me. The four of us, two of whom are not even VPC members, had a fast, uneventful trip.
-- Eric Bishop

West River to Dummerston: Saturday September 30

Leader: Tony Shaw
Participants: (K1): John Floyd, Sharon, Steve; (OC1): Tony Shaw
Water: riverside = 5.5 ft.; USGS = 1600 cfs (medium)

This novice trip was intended as recompense to the novice clinic participants who were disappointed in July by the low water conditions on the Winooski. Unfortunately none of the clinic participants were able to make in to the West.

It wasn't until 10:30 or after that the water level below Townshend Dam began coming up, but mercifully there was plenty of water by the time we put in around 11 a.m.

The run is 13 miles of easy riffles with occasional sections of class II rapids. Only a few other boats were on this section of the river (in contrast to the hordes of boaters farther upstream at Jamaica). The weather was brisk at first but quite comfortable by mid-afternoon, featuring bright sunshine and a stiff southeast headwind much of the time. The headwind was not strong enough to keep us from out-running the release "bubble", which we did 3 or 4 times on our way to a take-out east of Dummerston. On each occasion we stopped to stretch our legs and wait for the water to rise once again. The bubble (and our group) didn't reach the Dummerston covered bridge until 4 p.m., where tourbus-loads of leaf-peepers enjoyed our demonstration of skillful whitewater technique. The last 1/2 mile features a couple of nice ledges at river left, with obvious sneak routes on the right.

This would be a nice trip to offer our novice paddlers each fall, with a later rendez-vous time (~11 a.m.).
-- Tony Shaw

Lower Moose (NY): Saturday October 14

Leader: Tony Shaw
Participants: (K1): Merle Cosgrove, Megan O'Reilly, Jay Strane; (OC1): Tony Shaw
Water: USGS = 3.0 ft. (medium low)

Indian Summer graced the Moose River Fest as it did in 1999, with plenty of sunshine and a 70 degree breeze. The Moose at McKeever was running a low boatable 3.0 feet. Four of us in four vehicles converged on Old Forge from afar, so we didn't actually put-in until almost 1 P.M. None of the kayakers in our group had run the class III-IV Lower Moose before, so our pre-trip anticitaion was peppered with trepidation too.

Between the named rapids the water spread thinly (frustratingly) over a rocky riverbed. Nonetheless "Iron Bridge", "Tannery", and "Rooster Tail" had plenty of punch.

Merle, an open-boater turned kayaker, paddled with alacrity. Megan lost some of her zeal after a sticky hole recirculated her at "Tannery", so she opted to carry both "Froth Hole" and "Mix Master".

In all we spent 5 hours covering 8 miles, with more scouting, rock dodging, and a stiffer headwind that I recall from 1999. Jay's hankering to run the class V Bottom Moose became increasingly evident as we approached the Fowlersville take-out.

Neither fatigue nor darkness nor a tardy rendez-vous with fiancee Michelle in McKeever could keep Jay from plunging down the 48 foot Fowlersville slide -- deftly I might add. He and Michelle tackled the rest of the Bottom Moose on Sunday, and reported Monday he was still shaking in his boots! Maybe NEXT year I'll muster the courage...
-- Tony Shaw

Middlesex Dam Silt Dump

In the summer of 1999, Green Mountain Power was performing maintenance on their Middlesex Dam on the Winooski river. To perform the maintenance they had to draw down the impound area behind the dam. They did acquire the proper permits from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources to lower the pond 18 ft. They were to also monitor the impound for silt movement.

Unfortunately for the river, nothing went as planned. Somehow the water dropped down 35 ft. moving a huge amount of silt with it. I happened to stop in that day because it looked like the water was higher than normal. Not wanting to pass up a chance to play on Hugo, the wave just downstream of the dam, I geared up and headed down to the water. At the put in tons of silt were flowing by. Old soda cans and wood were rolling on top of the silt load. All of the rocks in the gorge were covered, but the water was only a few inches deep. The river was plugged almost all the way to Hugo with mud, deep mud, quick sand. I met an investigator later that afternoon at the dam.

Green Mountain power was charged by the States Attorney's office for an environmental violation. It was hard to get any information from the state on the case but they kept telling me it was being treated as a major violation. I contacted American Whitewater to see what we as paddlers could do to earmark the fine money for a supplemental project on the Winooski or another nearby river. With their support I wrote a letter to GMP's attorney suggesting some issues that could be addressed .

Here we are in January 2000. The case has been settled the corporate way. GMP agreed to set aside $200,000 for the preservation of land at Molly's Falls in Marshfield, the headwaters of the Winooski. In return the charges against them would be dropped. This was not to be considered an admission of guilt. This land would be purchased by the Vermont Land Trust (VLT). If VLT finds other funds to purchase the land, the $200,000 will be used for other projects in the Winooski river basin.

-- Bob Marshall

Grand Canyon Sampler, September 3-5, 2000

It was my mother's idea. She was never able in the 54 years she's been attached to my father to talk him into visiting the Grand Canyon. So, at 76 years of age she called my daughter Katy to invite her to raft the Colorado. It would be a pampered float, as canyon floats go, 2 days and 80 miles, with a Smithsonian Study Tours expert along to interpret geology, anthropology, flora, and fauna, plus 4 boatmen to cater to their every need.

Katy accepted. Then mom got cold feet. Did she really want full responsibility for an 11 year old who might bounce out of the boat in a class IV rapid and never resurface?? So she asked if I would be willing to chaperone. My reply: "geez mom, you know I HATE to paddle, but for YOU I'll make the sacrifice."

The 2 staging areas for this trip were like night and day. From Las Vegas (a pimple in the desert, where a half-day of gawking at its avarice and licentiousness was more than enough) we flew in a twin prop to the "Bar 10", a remote ranch run by an extended Mormon family on the canyon's north rim. The ranch sits beside the Whitmore Wash, 2500 feet above the canyon floor and 85 miles from the nearest pay phone or gas station. 32 Smithsonian patrons spent most of Saturday riding horseback, climbing low ridges and buttes looking for scorpions/rattlers/fossils/etc., and improving at horseshoes.

In the evening we all took turns shooting skeet before nightfall, and then were entertained by storytelling, dancing, roping, and singing. The eldest Bar 10 crewmembers told tales of reconnoitering with the legendary late Georgie Clark White (a swash-buckling woman in a leopard-skin swimsuit who revolutionized whitewater rafting on the Colorado in the 50's and 60's). Lights off was 10 p.m., and the utter blackness of the sky when the generator whine stopped was startling. I sat with a few others on the small patch of irrigated (and therefore green) lawn for some time to study the cosmos. We would do this again in the canyon Sunday night, but the scope of our view would be significantly reduced.

Sunday morning started with a quick breakfast and an even quicker helicopter ride - 90 mph at 30 feet altitude down the Whitmore Wash to river's edge! We traded seats with 30 bedraggled strangers who had been rafting the river for the past 8 days - they abandoned ship to fly out to the Bar 10, while we lashed ourselves in for an exciting trip to Lake Mead.

No paddles touched water during this trip, as the boatmen rely on Evinrudes to deftly guide the two 30 foot rafts. Their job was made more challenging by exceptionally low water, around 10,000 cfs. Typical dry season flow is closer to 18,000 cfs, but of course the corps dictates outflow from Glen Canyon Dam. We saw bighorn sheep, rattle snakes, ringtails, herons, hummingbirds, and scores of exotic plants which the natives used for centuries to improve their odds for survival. The river's edge indeed has been a human landscape for centuries - even John Wesley Powell wrote of stealing corn from an Indian family's garden when his party was desperate! Yar Petryszyn was our on board anthropologist/historian/naturalist. He teaches at the University of Arizona, and comes to hike and study the canyon whenever he can.

We were steeped (no pun intended) in the geologic record to which the canyon testifies, and learned to recognize Coconino sandstone, Kaibab limestone, Bright Angel Shale, various types of volcanic basalt, and Vishnu Schist (1.2 billion years old). Travertine formations in side-canyons were especially fascinating and plentiful in the lower canyon. In essence, these are glazed bedrock, coated with multi-color calcium deposits and other minerals carried down by feeder streams. Some of these springs and streams contain dangerously high levels of arsenic - another good reason to travel with a knowledgeable guide.

The experience as a spectator was hypnotic, feeling dwarfed and in awe of the panorama which unfolded before our eyes. The young (and young at heart) stayed close to the front of the raft where we were assured of getting wet in every rapid, and there were plenty of opportunities for this. The canyon walls really hold the summer's heat, in stark contrast to the water which comes out of the bottom of Lake Powell at 44 degrees, so the splashing was not unwelcome. The water at the end of the July/August rainy season is silty/musty/red - sediments brought down from major tributaries like the Pariah and Little Colorado -- further testament to the rivers' erosive power!

We got to know some very nice people on board, all of whom worked together to load and unload the rafts at dusk and dawn. We had sandy beaches at every meal stop, and also for camping Sunday night. The meals were substantial, if not delectable. The weather was ideal for sleeping out under the stars, and those who weren't anxious about scorpions visiting in the night did so. Yar was able to identify the coon-like ringtail which visited the party next to us in the night, but no one encountered a scorpion!

I am sure that a 2 or 3 week descent of the Colorado holds many adventures which we missed on our 2 day sampler. On the other hand, most of us by noon on Labor Day were ready to climb into a hulking jet boat for the high speed ride out to Lake Mead and our waiting motor coach. We passed through impressive forests of Joshua trees and across Hoover Dam en route to sin city, where our bus driver drolly pointed out Vegas' official bird - the "giant crane".

Don't pass up an opportunity to run the Colorado if one is offered. If you're lucky you will have as many rich encounters and lasting memories.

-- Katy and Tony Shaw

Bibliography: Call us for suggested reading, 879-1655.

Sacred Monkey River - A Canoe Trip with the Gods         By Christopher Shaw

An adventurous voyage into the heart of Mesoamerica and an exploration of its spiritual geography.

At the border of Mexico and Guatemala lies one of the most fascinating and least-known parts of the world, the cradle of ancient Olmec and classical Maya civilization. There the Usumacinta River and its highland tributaries form a tantalizing geographic unity that once under-girded the great achievements of the Maya. The man-made nucleus of the region's culture and spirituality was the canoe, the medium for the "Watery Path" connecting the sacred world with the earthly face of the cosmos. Christopher Shaw (a skilled canoeist and former whitewater guide) has traveled these rivers by canoe, penetrating to the heart of an ancient and awe-inspiring landscape, and--despite near-death in a rapid, the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, and the murderous activities of drug lords along the river--he brings back to us a beautifully told and important tale.

In a book that is a fitting heir to Bruce Chatwin's Songlines, Barry Lopez's Arctic Dreams, and Peter Matthiessen's The Snow Leopard, Shaw brings together the thrill of adventure travel with profound historical knowledge, the acute eye of a naturalist, breathtaking prose, and an intuitive gift for the spiritual resonances of the past to be found in earthly realities.

Christopher Shaw is the former editor of Adirondack Life, a regular commentor on North Country Public Radio, and VPC member. He lives in Middlebury, Vermont.

Editor's note: The Washington Post (Best of the Year List) says of Chris: "He obviously knows canoeing. For anyone interested in the details of how to organize and carry out a trip through world-class rapids under miserable conditions, this book can guide you... But it is as much about 'how to canoe' as Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is about vehicle repair...A huge accomplishment." According to Seven Days: "Shaw joins the front rank of travel writers."

Vermont Paddlers Limerick Contest, Volume 2

It's been 22 years, but once again in our infinite wisdom we announce the VPC Limerick Contest (the Sequel). Write something profound, scathing, or just plain funny - in the limerick style - and post it to the VPC Limerick Contest web page. Visit the site to vote for your favorite entry (one vote per day, please), and we will publish the winners in the June Bow and Stern.

For inspiration, check out the Bow and Stern Archives: http://www.vtpaddlers.net/talk/bowstern/archive/1979-06.htm#item2

Bow and Stern Readers' Survey

Splish Splash - by Eric Rossier

Amid the scurried work of zealous local news writers taking liberty with their pens, a quiet group of paddlers have gathered at the east edge of the Champlain Valley. Their love for kayaking ties them to each other, propels them to make the wintry trips and baptize neoprene in the ill fated waters of chlorine once again.

My Bristol pool session has been great. I remember the first night, this crazy snowstorm was ripping, the calls piling up on my machine-- everyone wanted to know if it was on. As I lumbered down the mountain like a bear that had been kicked out of his den, still digesting from the regular scheduled dinner cat nap, my dad's Dodge plow truck made out a compact 2wd truck between the snowflakes. And though I searched for rust on the tailgate I thought: "man what kind of person would be out in this weather?" Needless to say when I pulled near -- the kissed end of a blue and yellow redline poked its bow at me with a grimace: "what do you think, we're going kayaking".
The core turnout was instant confirmation that there is paddling in Addison county, and people aren't afraid to dig the boats out in February. The 7 sessions for 50 bucks worked out well for a few, but the majority of the folks kept saying, "I'll only go a few times." The funny thing is they kept coming back. We see each other on the river in the summer, and a winter gathering just seems natural. It completes the cycle of the seasons stretching our bows and sterns to the ceiling and winter into spring.

Bristol rolling is more than the sum of the attendees hometowns. It bridges busy Rutland to urban Burlington-- held on a gravel pile near the banks of the New Haven River. You are reminded upon approach and departure why you are here; to make the cold water of spring a bit less threatening, a bit more fluid, and to network with a collective human resource: Addison county VPC members. The Bristol ranks include teenage US K-1 cadet and New England Slalom competitor Garen Stephens. Garen makes his home in Waitsfeild, Vt and doesn't mind taking time out of his busy schedule to rip it up in the pool. Steep creekers soft speaking of first descents in some remote hillside location and discuss the snow pack. Whether you are looking to polish off your off side hand roll, cut the water with cartwheels or learn to crank out your first roll, the Bristol session is for you. Reserve your spot in the pool 2001-2 season by e-mailing me at ericrossier@adelphia.net, or calling 453-7879.

Space is still available Mondays 7:45-10 pm through 3/19 (Bristol), Saturdays 6:45-9 pm through 3/10 (South Burlington), and Wednesday 3/28 from 6 - 7:30 pm (Rutland). Click on "Pool 2001" on the VPC homepage to sign up.

For Sale: VPC T-Shirts

The 100% cotton VPC logo T-shirts are all but gone. I have about a dozen left - mostly XL - and that's it. If you still don't own one, this may be your last chance. Send a check by mail, made out to "VPC" for $12 (S&H included), to Tony Shaw, 259 Pleasant Acres, Williston, VT 05495

Little River Flow Study -- By Bob Marshall

The Little River, located in Waterbury, Vermont underwent a whitewater feasibility study on Oct. 20, 2000. The study was to see if this section of river would provide whitewater recreation uses under a Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) relicensing guidelines for Green Mountain Power Co; This section of the Little River is approximately 2 mile long consisting of class I and II whitewater. The run begins at the hydro power station at the Waterbury Reservoir dam and continues south to the Winooski River. A low head dam at the entrance of a gorge interrupts the river, which is unrunnable at this time. The low head dam is part of a USGS gauging station. The Waterbury reservoir is 800 acres and controlled by the State of Vermont and is also part of the Mount Mansfield State forest. The State of Vermont also operates a campground on the north west side of the reservoir. The flood control dam was built in the thirties, as a flood control project owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The outflow is controlled by Green Mountain Power as a hydroelectric facility.

The flow study was conducted under the supervision of Bud Newell of E-Pro Engineering of Augusta, Me. E-Pro has participated in several flow studies throughout New England, in cooperation with American Whitewater, including the Magalloway and Rapid Rivers in western Maine. There were 9 paddlers that participated in the Little River study. Most of them were from the local area. All were considered advanced/expert paddlers. There were 2 OC-1, 1 C1 and 7 K-1 boats involved. The paddlers were from age 13 to 40 something.

The purpose of study was not to challenge the participants, but to find the best flow for the people that would be using the river. The water was released at three different flows. According to the gage the flows were at 366cfs, 454cfs and 538cfs. The water was released through a bypass valve and not the turbine. This was quite a sight to see 500cfs blowing out of a pipe 40 ft up from the pool. The spray created waves and strong winds in front of the plume of water - quite a hostile environment.

The river was broken down into three sections. The upper section was from the flood control dam to the USGS station. The middle section was from just down stream of the USGS station to the end of the gorge and the lower section was the remainder of the river to the confluence of the Winooski River. The participants were asked to fill out a questioner for each section at each flow.

All of the flows produced interesting features. Most of the participants thought that around 450cfs provided a good balance for the entire river. It produced good water for non-technical run above and below the gorge and produced adequate play waves and eddy line in the gorge section. Access seems to be the only problem we ran into. The put in was behind a locked gate. The take out at the USGS station was considered hazardous because of the proximity to the low head dam and the undergrowth upstream was extremely thick and hidden. The put in for the gorge was down a steep leaf covered bank to a cut in the gorge wall.

The study was an all day event. Many arms were weak at 5:00pm. The last flow that was considered was 65 cfs. It was unanimous that this was an unrunnable flow. All of the participants felt this was a great resource for the paddling community. It would be an excellent river for instruction or just a day of paddling with friends. If this accomplished anything at all, we hope to see scheduled releases, access points and cooperation by Green Mountain Power on the Little River in the future. This is one of the only reliable flows in Central Vermont.


Crossword Key

2001 Spring/Summer Trips Schedule

DATEDAYPLANNED TRIPCONTACTPHONEEXPECTCOMMENTS
SatMar 24 1st Br. White R.Kevin Eaton889-9483int-adv WW
SatMar 31 Lower LamoilleRandy Mead849-2367int WW
SunApr 1 N. Br. Little R.John Wolfe244-8673int WW
Fri-SunApr 6-8 NH AMC WW SchoolVerniel Morin603-742-4652nov WW call 7-9 PM
SatApr 7 Upper LamoilleRandy Allen223-3771int-adv WW
SatApr 7 Lewis CreekMegan O'Reilly
Eric Bishop
425-7148
899-1865
nov WW
SunApr 8 Sugarbush Triathlonvtadventuregames.org
Lowell Stephens
800-517-4247
496-5277
nov WW ...to race
...to volunteer
SatApr 14 N. Br. LamoilleRandy Allen223-3771adv WW
SatApr 14 White R.Rich Larsen878-6828nov WW
SunApr 15 Waits R.Peter Herman439-5804nov-int WW Easter
WedApr 18 Lower LamoilleRich Larsen878-6828nov WW
ThuApr 18 Out-dated browser error...Jay Straneadv WW
SatApr 21 Black R.Faith Knapp649-5106int WW
SatApr 21 N. Br. Winooski/GihonEric Bishop899-1865adv WW
SatApr 21 Lower Mad R.John Wolfe244-8673int-adv WW
SunApr 22 Moose R.Faith Knapp649-5106int-adv WW
WedApr 25 Lower LamoilleRich Larsen878-6828nov WW
Sat-SunApr 28-29 West R. WkendEric Rossier453-7879nov WW Townshend cmpgd
Sat-SunApr 28-29 Blackwater Slalom (NH)Paul Kempner658-3979nov WW
SatApr 28 Ammonoosuc R. (NH)Andy Meilleur878-3008int-adv WW
SunApr 29 Browns-->LamoilleMark Willett849-9710nov-int WW
WedMay 2 Lower LamoilleRich Larsen878-6828nov WW
Sat-SunMay 5-6 Hudson WW Derby (NY)HRWWD(518) 251-2612nov WW slalom/downriver
SatMay 5 Schroon/Lower Hudson (NY)Rich & Sheri Larsen878-6828int WW
SatMay 5 New Haven LedgesEd Clark453-3310adv WW
SatMay 5 Hudson GorgeRod Wentworth229-5054adv WW
SunMay 6 Lower White R.Michelle Seamans244-5039nov WW
SunMay 6 Hudson GorgeJoe Bromka434-6189adv WW
WedMay 9 Lower LamoilleRich Larsen878-6828nov WW
SatMay 12 Poultney/Mettawee R.Eric Bishop899-1865adv WW pool drop
SunMay 13 Rouge R. (Que.)Dave Stanley849-2949adv WW
SunMay 13 Fiddlehead SlalomRay Ingram879-4286nov WW vols. can run course Sat.
Sat-SunMay 19-20 Battenkill R.Faith Knapp
Tony Shaw
649-5106
879-1655
nov WW campsites lim., call early
SatMay 19 Lower WhiteKevin Eaton889-9483nov WW
SatMay 19 Adirondack RiversNancy/Bob Cressey518-946-1227int WW
SatMay 26 Lower LamoilleTor Bortz
Mark Willett
658-9392
849-9710
nov WW
Sat-MonMay 26-28 Dead/Kennebec (ME)Joe Bromka434-6189int-adv WW
Fri-SunJun 8-10 White & Pemi (NH)Faith Knapp649-5106nov WW Roch. VT lodging, with AMC
SatJun 16 Poultney/MettaweeEric Bishop899-1865adv WW pool drop - beginners could carry
ThuJun 21 Little R. eveningJohn Wolfe244-8673nov WW
Sat-SunJun 23-24 Dead/Seboomook(ME)Lowell Stephens496-5277int WW II-III pool drop
Fri-SunJul 13-15 Whitewater ClinicMarcy Gibson899-4524nov WW for canoers/kayakers
SatJul 21 Leader's ChoiceEric Bishop899-1865nov-int WW call by Thurs. or will ccl
TueJul 24 Pond and BurgersSheri & Rich Larsen878-6828FW call early or will ccl
SatAug 4 Dead River (ME)Mike Fullerton456-8701int-adv WW 2400 cfs release
Sat-SunAug 25-26 Magalloway (ME)Tony Shaw879-1655int-adv WW 1200 cfs release/wilderness cabin
FriAug 31 Androscoggin (NH)Andy Meilleur878-3008nov-int WW
SatSep 1 Magalloway (ME)Andy Meilleur878-3008int-adv WW
Sat-SunSep 22-23 West River WeekendCampbells (potluck & camping)879-1655int-adv WW novice trip too, if ample interest
SunFeb 10 Spring Trips PlanningNate McHugh658-69027 P.M. @ Nate's -- ALL Welcome!
SunMar 10 Spring Meeting / PotluckFritz Senftleber863-83546 P.M. in Burlington area - TBA
ongoingWinooski@Chace MillNate McHugh
Tor Bortz
658-6902
658-9392
int WW T,W,Th eves
ongoingSchroon/Hudson (NY)Steve Hobbs(518)494-1428int-adv WW eves or Sats.
ongoingMad R.John Wolfe244-8673int-adv WW Thurs. eves post rains

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TRIP DIFFICULTY RATINGS ARE ONLY A GUIDE.
WARNING!READ THE SAFETY CODE OF AMERICAN WHITEWATER!!! STAY ASHORE WHENWARNING!
CONDITIONS ON A GIVEN DAY EXCEED YOUR COMFORT LEVEL!!!

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SCHEDULE NOTES

  1. ww = whitewater // FW = flatwater // Vt area code: 802
  2. nov = max Class II, int = max Class III, adv = max Class IV, exp = Class IV+ See Intl River Rating Scale
  3. Winter pool sessions begin soon (space lim., fee charged). Call 879-1655 (Tony Shaw) or signup online.

  4. Contact the trip organizer for information about each trip.
  5. Listed trips may be changed or canceled as water, weather, or interest dictates.
  6. Plans for impromptu trips can be relayed thru the trip organizer or online.
  7. Please give 1-2 weeks notice for overnight trips to have a say in pre-planning.
  8. Car-pooling on long (and short) trips is encouraged!
  9. The AROUND VERMONT IN 30 RIVERS promotion is underway!!!

Danger exists for participants in canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and other activities organized or advertised by the Vermont Paddlers Club. Such participation may result in illness or injury due to accidents, the forces of nature, or other causes not foreseeable. Such illness and injury may include disease, strains, sprains, fractures, dislocations, paralysis, and/or death. Possible injuries may cause serious and permanent disability.

By your participation in any Vermont Paddlers Club activity you knowingly assume the risks arising out of that activity. In so doing you release, hold harmless and indemnify the Vermont Paddlers Club and its agents, officers and employees from any and all claims and suits for bodily injury, property damage, wrongful death, loss of services or otherwise which may arise out of your participation in canoeing, kayaking, tubing and other activities, whether or not such claims or suits arise from negligent acts or omissions by the organizers and conductors of this activity, their employees or volunteers, another participant, any other person or from any other cause.

2001 New England Slalom Series Races

contact: NESS, Bill Lowman, 68 Depot Rd, Hollis, NH 03049 - lowman@tellink.net

March
* March 25 = Salmon Slalom - NESS #1 - Salmon River, Colchester, CT - Contact: Susan Saphire .....

April
* April 1 = Fall Creek Slalom - NSCS #2 - Fall Creek, Ithaca, NY - Contact: Barry Butterfield
* April 8 = Punch Brook Brook Slalom - NESS #2 - Farmington R, Burlington, CT - Contact: Jack Riffelmacher .....
* April 28-29 = Blackwater Slalom - NESS #3 - Blackwater Creek, Webster, NH - Contact: Sonny Hunt .....

May
* May 6 = Kenduskeag Slalom - NESS #4 - Kenduskeag Stream, Bangor, ME - Contact: Clayton Cole .....
* May 13 = Fiddle Head Slalom - NESS #5 - Winouski R, E. Montpelier, VT - Contact: Ray Ingram - 802-879-4286. .....
* May 20 = Covered Bridge Slalom - NESS #6 - Housatonic R, W. Cornwall, CT - Contact: Ann LeClair .....
* May 26-27 = ASC 10 Mile River Slalom Clinic & Slalom - 10 Mile River, Webatuck, NY - Contact: Keech LeClair ...

June
* June 2-3 = Esopus Double Header Slalom - NSCS #4 & #5 - Phoenicia, NY
* June 10 = Amoskaeg Slalom - NESS #7 - Merrimack River, Manchester, NH - Contact: Mark Ciborowski ....

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