The Vermont Paddlers Club

Meet new friends, and paddle better!
Ensemble - 2011
Talk Paddling»

Trip Reports

Find trips reports from 2001 and prior in the Bow & Stern Archive
All: by date By Title: A-Z By Author: A-Z Last 12 Months 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

Past 12 Months...

Saranac River to Redford (#1) Saturday Apr 29, 2017
Mill Brook, Brownsville to Windsor Thursday Apr 27, 2017
Joe's Brook Saturday Apr 22, 2017
White River - Stockbridge to Bethel Saturday Apr 15, 2017
Shepard Brook, on our day off Tuesday Apr 11, 2017
Lower Mad Sunday Apr 9, 2017
Missisquoi release Sunday Nov 6, 2016
The Green was gold Saturday Nov 5, 2016
North Br. Piscataquog, Weare, NH Saturday Oct 15, 2016
Ottawa River - Labor Day Weekend Friday-Monday Sep 2-5, 2016
Reintroduction... Monday Jun 6, 2016

Past 12 Months...

Saranac River to Redford (#1)
Saturday Apr 29, 2017
Organizer: Chris Weed
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium
Author: Chris Weed

With the Adirondack snowmelt largely over, we did a first run of the season on this section of the Saranac at a medium to medium low level. A weather transition was under way as we traveled to Redford late on Saturday morning. By the time we reached the takeout at about 1:00 pm, it was sunny, windy, and warm (~72 F).

With 7 paddlers the logistics and shuttle took a while. In the middle of the process Max arrived at the put-in on Casey Road from an unexpected direction at just the right time, having traveled through New York from well to the south of Burlington. We ended up together on the riverbank at the end of the 150 yard put-in trail at about 3:00 pm.

4 of the 7 participants were new to the run (excluding Chris W., John, and Tony), and the level was perfect for it. As usual, things got really interesting at Tefft Pond Falls. At levels above 5.5 feet this had always been considered a mandatory portage, but Max and Noel scouted it and Max decided to run it left of center. He did it without mishap, reproducing Jamie Dolan's 4/17/2016 run of the falls, which is the only previous run I'm aware of.

A variety of lines were chosen on the big staircase rapid that comes up a few hundred yards downstream of the falls. There was one roll and one swim, the latter with a quick recovery. At 4.9 feet this succession of drops is much less intimidating than at 5.75 feet or above.

After that we had an extended period of enjoyable class 2/3 boogie water paddling, until we came to the last really significant drop, where the river splits around a small island (big enough to support a few small trees). Chris W. chose to just boat scout and run it, having done it 4 times since 2011. That wasn't the most prudent decision, with several others in the group unfamiliar with the drop. Tony brought some sobriety to the proceedings, and guided the shore scouting for Ken and Chris F., while Max, Noel, and John followed Chris W.'s lead. All ran it successfully, and Chris F. even punched the final hole against the right bank that we customarily avoid.

We were completing the final shuttle at dinnertime, with dusk not too far off. It's good to start this run by 2:00 pm if possible, even well after the switch to Daylight Savings Time.

It was a great day. As I write this I'm hoping for a reprise on Saturday, May 27, with warmer water and leaves on the trees. We'll need rain for that, and it looks like we might get it.

Mill Brook, Brownsville to Windsor
Thursday Apr 27, 2017
Organizer: Allan Berggren
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: low boatable

Caught Mill Brook at a minimal but manageable level. Starts with a 15 foot slide/falls, then a very pitchy 3-plus first quarter mile that evens out to long 2-plus staircases, with an overall 150 ft/mile descent into Windsor.  No impassable trees.  Lovely aquamarine (duh) water, interesting geological features, ferns, and moss.  Obvious damage from Hurricane Irene: Washed out road, debris islands.

Runs only a few days per year, but well worth keeping an eye on for western NH, eastern VT paddlers.

[Also see this report from 6 years ago.]

Joe's Brook
Saturday Apr 22, 2017
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: medium high
Author: Tony Shaw

On days like this one, Joe's Brook deserves (and gets) your full attention. The level was medium pushing medium-high. A smaller party hankering to run Joe's 4 days earlier met in West Danville and agreed the level that day was too stout, so we continued driving east to run the (easier) Moose River from Victory Bog to Concord. High water on Joe's is not for the faint-hearted, and I'm aware that Matt Young, Alden Bird, Scott Gilbert, and possibly others had survived high water runs earlier in April. Scott had warned of the occasional tree trunk or limb in the current to avoid, which is business as usual on seldom run steep creeks.

Though we were a big group - perhaps the biggest group ever to run Joe's - there were eddies (and routes) aplenty. The big slide above the covered bridge at Greenbank's Hollow was run successfully by everyone, but we all walked the long and merciless covered bridge drop, given that the river-right "sneak" route has a tree trunk in it near the top. The two mile long covered bridge section was well-padded and tempestuous. The one river-wide strainer Scott reported in the first big drop below the Morse's Mills bridge had (to our relief) flushed downstream enough to no longer require a portage. Gone too was the impassible ice bridge in the lower "mini" gorge, opening that exciting stretch to the first descents of 2017. Those who ran the serpentine sluiceway of a rapid under the Brook Hill Rd. bridge put on an acrobatic show for those of us living vicariously on the banks, and no one got re-circ'ed in the river-left whirlpool at the bottom. Still, not a bad idea to have your throw bags ready here. I lost count of my swims at about 6, none of which were long or harrowing. Mainly I was getting upended when I'd crash into the big wall of water formed by holes below the steeper slides - always thankfully flushing gently out.

Ten miles, five hours, and 1000 vertical feet later we all washed up on shore at the VT 5 bridge wearing big grins - where cold beers were waiting. There was talk at one point of a Joe's weekend double-header, but 10 more miles on Joe's before Monday sounded overly ambitious. On top of which, a release on the Green River in Hyde Park VT was scheduled for Sunday.

The minutia: 118 cfs through the generator, 30 more cfs through the sluiceway, some ice still on the pond at a height of 5.2 feet, and the bladder partially deflated at 1.5 psi (spilling moderately). The 2 gauge rocks in the water upstream of the powerhouse at the put-in were covered, but a boat going over them would probably scrape. Noah Pollock took lots of cool pictures.

White River - Stockbridge to Bethel
Saturday Apr 15, 2017
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: novice WW
Level: medium
Author: Tony Shaw

One of the reasons I lead an early April Upper White River trip, year after year, is because this class II whitewater reach is a perennial favorite. This year, besides a few of the usual suspects, we had 2 Dans with whom I had never paddled, both in open canoes and both jovial. And Max was along for the first time - to entertain us by leaving his mark on virtually ever splat rock he could find.

There was enough sunscreen to go around, and the brisk wind that blew was at our backs most of the way down the river, so we ended up making great time. We stopped at Dean's Corner above Gaysville for a lunch break - liquid and otherwise. I almost put Max's eye out when he peeled off a surf wave unaware that I was accelerating into the main channel just below him from a side chute after lunch. Aside from that one close call there were no mishaps or swims.

CJ recently moved to Bethel, so the White is very much his home river these days. He claims that since tropical storm Irene the couple of miles above Gaysville are so channelized that they can be run in the summer at much lower levels than would have been possible before that storm ravaged the river (and valley).

Chris Weed and I did a little road scouting up Locust Creek before the drive home that afternoon. The last couple miles of this creek look continuous, intermediate, and runnable, with the ledges beneath the Rt. 107 bridge being perhaps the most technical.

Shepard Brook, on our day off
Tuesday Apr 11, 2017
Organizer: Tony Shaw / Chris Weed
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium high
Author: Chris Weed

On April 6, one of us (Chris Weed) had been browsing the Mad River Valley on Google Maps, and noticed a stream that comes down along North Fayston Road, called Shepard Brook. In an email exchange that day it was discovered that Jim Fecteau had run it many years ago. When Jim was included, he replied with one sentence:  "Yes, boulder garden and somewhat steep in spots with a smattering of waterfalls on the upper side of the run."

The following Sunday (4/9), Chris and Jim talked about it at the Lower Mad takeout. Later that afternoon, Chris drove up North Fayston Road to explore. When Tony proposed that I paddle something with him on his day off (Tuesday, 4/11) I got to thinking about Shepard and Mill Brook, which comes down along Route 17 (and is better known).

Chris, Tony, and Eric carpooled early from Richmond to allow time for scoping out Shepard and possible put-in and takeout locations. It quickly became clear that the creek had plenty of water in it. It also became clear that the chances of encountering strainers was high. Exactly how high would soon become evident.

The takeout selected was a small bridge adjacent to a house just up from Route 100. The put-in options were by a bridge where Center Fayston Road crosses the brook, and farther up the mountain at the Hedgehog Trailhead (Big Basin Road). We tentatively chose the Center Fayston Road bridge to propose to the full group. It is 4.6 miles upstream of the takeout. The trailhead parking area is another 1.1 miles upstream.

With that assessment we headed back to Route 100 and up Route 17 to look at Mill Brook. We then headed back to the junction to meet the rest of the group at the Valero convenience store. The conclusion of the discussion was that Shepard Brook was too interesting to bypass, and might not be runnable after that week, whereas Mill Brook would be benefiting from ski trail runoff for some time. We organized the shuttle and headed for North Fayston Road.

After leaving vehicles on the shoulder near the takeout bridge we headed up to Center Fayston Road, which peels off where North Fayston Road ends. At the bridge we discussed whether to put in there or farther downstream at another bridge, where Airport Road crosses the stream. There was real trepidation about the speed of the flow and the lack of eddies, with the possibility of river-wide strainers on everyone's mind, but we decided to stick with the initial choice.

Within minutes after heading downstream, we encountered our first river-wide strainer (2 closely spaced logs) and had our first swim. By the time the situation was resolved, two members of the group (Steve and Eric) had elected to get off the river, head down to the next bridge, and assess what was to come. The remainder of us started a somewhat difficult hike in calf-deep snow on river-right, on what seemed to be an old logging road. Another river-wide log was visible downstream, followed by another. Most of didn't consider putting on again until Jamie gave us the all-clear, after probing some distance downstream.

The brook at this point was little more than class 1, but was moving at a good pace. We were all on edge in anticipation of more strainers, but encountered none that forced us out of our boats until we arrived at the Airport Road bridge. By that time the gradient had markedly increased, and the whitewater was continuous class 2, shading into class 3.

Approaching the bridge, Steve and Eric signaled from shore that we need to pull out and do some scouting. The reason was another river-wide log, followed by a much bigger and more complicated assemblage of big logs farther downstream around the next bend, on the river right side of a long boulder/gravel bar. On river left was a yellow house. Its occupant came out to cheer us on. (We later discovered that he was the son of the owner, and the house was the former home of Rob and Kay Henry, founders of Mad River Canoe.)

It was becoming clear that the flow was increasing. This worked in our favor, because it produced a runnable flow on the river left side of the boulder bar that allowed us to sneak by the jumble of logs. Otherwise a portage would have been unavoidable.

At this point the gradient increased more. We were now in fast-moving class 3, with the same ever-present concern about wood. The next example was a large log suspended above a right-to-left bend, with a pourover on river left formed by another log mostly buried in gravel and cobblestones. The big log was high enough to run underneath, as long as one didn't get too far right. Behind the pourover was an eddy, where we gathered our wits for what would prove to be the most intense whitewater of the run—solid class 3 shading into class 4, with a flow of at least 700 cfs. During this sequence we had two more swims, which prompted the swimmers to end their runs. (One of them had taken a hard shot to the head in the initial capsize.) The rest of us (the kayakers) finished out the run at the takeout bridge. It should be mentioned that near the finish was yet another river-wide tree with attached branches, mostly submerged, that provided a reasonably safe slot to pass through towards river-right. At lower water this might not have been an option.

Later examination of Shepard Brook's course on Google's terrain map indicated that it drops about 360 feet from the Center Fayston Road put-in, i.e., over a distance of 4.6 miles. Only about 60 of those feet occur in the first 1.75 miles or so, so the gradient in the remainder of the run is about 100 feet per mile.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Lower Mad
Sunday Apr 9, 2017
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: medium
Author: Tony Shaw

This trip was scheduled for the Upper Mad, and trip reports from years past have us on the Upper Mad at flows as low as 750 cfs, though 1100 cfs is more of a medium level for the Warren to Waitsfield stretch. Not to be deterred, the Lower Mad is a nice consolation prize when the Upper Mad is off the table.

We let the day warm up, meeting at noon for a ~3 hour paddle - out long enough to get a sunburned nose if you (like me) forgot about sunscreen. When the day dawns below 20 degrees it is easy to forget the sun on April 9th is as hot and high overhead as it is on Labor Day.

The level dipped below 700 cfs ever so briefly before turning upward again with melting snows higher up, and the mercury in Middlesex had reached 60 degrees by the time we took out.

There were too few women on the trip - zero in fact - but otherwise it was an upbeat and handsome bunch. No one ran Horseshoe river-right, but the throw bags saw some action anyway, there and further down as well. In all, a very pleasurable knock-the-cobwebs-off season opener.

Missisquoi release
Sunday Nov 6, 2016
Organizer: Bob
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Mike M

Never one to be happy with the weather, all week I had been looking at the forecast and surprisingly, there was a solid 1+ inches of rain forecast for Friday morning.  I say surprisingly because most of VT was in a severe drought and we'd only seen appreciable rainfall once since April.  We had a Green release Saturday which got me thinking... we could have a Missisquoi release on Sunday!

 

Bob got in touch with Enel and they were on board and even willing to drop to minimum generation to get us enough water.

 

I showed up around 9:00 and found a decent minimum boatable level already going over the dam.  The dam operator, Travis, showed up a little later and gave us a little extra water.  Enel has a lot of this automated and I think they can do this all remotely, but they always send someone up just to make sure everything is good with us.  Good customer service and we aren't even customers of the normal sort!

 

There were about 15 of us and per Missisquoi tradition we did laps as a giant group.  The level was on the lower end, but that's fun because you can go for a lot of different moves that might be a little to exciting for higher levels.  I think we did 4 or 5 laps.

 

As an FYI, this was our first release up there this year (largely due to the drought, which has meant this was the first weekend there was enough water for a release).  Still, we don't nearly use up our allotment of release days in a given year, so if you want a release up here, let us know!

The Green was gold
Saturday Nov 5, 2016
Organizer: MWL
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: medium low
Author: Mike M

There's been a lot of talk about the Green and our ongoing appeal on the river.  This trip report is not about that.

 

This trip report is about a whole bunch of boaters having a great time on a great river.

 

So MWL was kind enough to get us a release day this fall, and even better, they said they'd probably get both tubes running.  Up until now, we've pretty much only gotten one tube (140 cfs) for a release - which is fun, but pretty low.  I got to the put-in early and was happy to see the gauge around 2'10" - about 1-1/3 tubes, so a little bit less than we thought but still plenty of water.  I skipped the first lap to say hi to folks, make sure they didn't mess up the parking and get donations/AW memberships.  There were tons of folks up here - some folks said nearly 100 but I think it was closer to 70 or 80.  Regardless, folks came from far and wide.  It was actually fun to see folks coming off the river - a lot of folks were sorta wide-eyed and pretty surprised at how good the run is.

 

I hopped in with the usual group for the second lap.  Nothing much to say other than that the added water was just great - it's a really high-quality IV+ creek at that level and it reminded me why I was so excited 5 years earlier during my first runs here.  With the low-volume, schist ledge-drops and mossy woods around, it really is a classic VT run with a classic VT feel that you just won't find anywhere else.

 

At the take-out folks hung around socializing for awhile then headed for Morrisville for a beer and some food.  I got a little lost finding Lost Nation, but as I drove around town I was pleasantly surprised to see cars with boats on the roof all over the place.  Downtown Morrisville establishments were literally full of boaters enjoying some classic VT wining and dining after enjoying some class VT creeking.

 

Now that is how to have a scheduled release.  A sign of things to come?  I hope so!

North Br. Piscataquog, Weare, NH
Saturday Oct 15, 2016
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Tony Shaw

The sky above was robin's egg blue, the trees enshrouding the diminutive NB P'Cat were all decked out in their fall finery, and their leaves were falling by the bushel like multi-colored snowflakes, piling up on nearly every horizontal surface, including our spray skirts. For a tiny river with a scheduled release at the end of one of the driest New England summers on record, the P'Cat was surprisingly uncrowded. It was the inaugural trip here for all 6 of us who met up for the trip, and we were a little disappointed to discover that the release would not be as generous as in years past (though for obvious reasons). Honestly, I would be surprised if we were getting more than 150 cfs out of the Lake Horace dam tailrace. Still, it was adequately fluid for our morning and our afternoon runs (and never particularly threatening).

We got some not-so-great advice on where to take-out, and as a result we missed a few features that grace the river in the last 2-3 miles to the Lake Everett dam impoundment. The 4 mile stretch we did run (twice) was plenty of fun, with a gradient averaging 50 feet per mile including lots of continuous class II punctuated by several steeper pitches. Self-rescue, when needed, is quite a lot easier in such low-boatable conditions, but then, too, the rocks aren't nearly so well covered if you do happen to swim!

The good folks from the Merrimack Valley Paddlers had been to Weare mid-week and spent a solid day or two opening up channels where river-wide strainers had taken up residence, which made the whole day more enjoyable for all. One full-size tree trunk did somehow manage to strand itself (pointing upstream like a shish kabob skewer) in the hole at the bottom of the first drop, "Slab City", between our first and second run. And because of the horizon line as you approach (and the clean line we enjoyed there that morning) we didn't know about (or anticipate) it's presence until it was too late. It flipped Eric, and I think maybe Brock as well, but Brock got his revenge - wading right out beside the hole with his long legs, roping the log like a feed lot steer, and liberating it from the hole before it could upend any more unsuspecting boaters.

It is an easy ~2.5 hour drive to Weare NH from Richmond VT. I would certainly be game to run the P'Cat again when it is releasing next fall, getting to know it at a somewhat higher level next time, Mother Nature willing.

Ottawa River - Labor Day Weekend
Friday-Monday Sep 2-5, 2016
Organizer: Jim Poulin
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: medium low
Author: Jim Poulin

Twenty five folks and a dog named Kala made the annual journey to the Ottawa River in Forester Falls Ontario to test their mettle against these might rapids. As usual, there were some interesting stories but the vast majority of the weekend was spent with good friends enjoying whitewater as well as non-whitewater time together.

But you, my trusty reader, do not want to read about how Boater Bill made a clean run down Death & Destruction Rapid. You want the fun and interesting details. So I will provide both!

So let’s start with a description of our more illustrious dirt bag boaters this year. For this edition we had two unemployed boaters (world traveler Sarah and recently retired John) and one homeless boater (soon to be Connecticut resident Brock).

Then some new milestones for 2016. First off, the largest crowd ever! 25 strong! Plus on either end of the spectrum, we had our oldest participant – Barb at 85, and our youngest – Cooper at 8! Then we had that person with boater identity issues, Tony ran with both a kayak and a canoe over the course of the weekend. Finally, we are starting to look like a real paddling club when John showed up with a boat trailer hauling 6 or 9 boats!

Friday, September 2nd

River Level: -1.25

Weather: Sunny and 70

The early arrivers (Brock, Ken, John, Sarah and Jim) took in an afternoon run on the Middle Channel. While McCoy’s rapid did get everyone’s heart beating a bit faster, the Middle provided a good opportunity for a warm up.

This was a burner run that included no scouting (other than McCoys) and no mishaps on any of the major Middle Channel rapids. There was one incident of note. After Big No Name and technically the end of rapids for the day, there were some adult beverages cracked open. Brock decided that his run through Black Velvet didn’t require a spray skirt to be attached or his beverage to be stowed. This combination caused his boat to fill with water and Brock was unable to brace appropriately while hanging on to the can. So Brock had the good fortune to swim a rapid he had never swum before! And the beverage was not lost so Brock has his priorities straight!

Back at camp others started to filter in and dinner was prepared in the waning Ontario light. The clear dark night put on a stellar show!

Saturday, September 3rd

River Level: -1.25

Weather: Sunny and 75

Morning Run

The gang’s all here!

Since it is easier to list who wasn’t on the water, I’ll do that. Mark, who had not yet joined the group, was the only one missing from the morning run. So we have 17 paddlers on this run!

We opted for the Middle Channel for a warmup for the entire team.

There were a few newbies and we spent a good amount of time reviewing McCoys rapid and all its various features for them (Satlers, Phils, Corner Wave, Left & Right Horseshoe, Baby Face). Some ran the meat while others decided the Zoom Flume might be the most prudent first rapid of the weekend.

After that, it was a glorious run down the Middle with fun and play had by all.

Got back to camp for lunch and naps. Then it was time to head back out!

Afternoon Run

There were twelve hearty souls ready for round 2!

We shortened the run by bypassing the long flat water slog from McCoys to Upper Lauren (Garburator wave). A few jumped on Garb, which is in at this level. Mark jumped on Garb and then ended up swimming off and downstream. His wife, Cindy had hiked in to take in the action. Mark mentioned later on down the river that he was sure Cindy was on the phone with the Canadian 9-1-1 folks as the last she saw of him he was swimming for his life. I countered that Cindy was on the phone alright – with their life insurance agent – and was already planning that Caribbean island purchase!

A few of our team more took turns at Push Button and then we were off to run the rest of the river – Butcher’s Knife, Normans, Coliseum, Dog Leg and Blacks.

All had great lines and a wonderful time. OK, maybe a certain paddler did spend a bit more time in the river left eddy in Coliseum. But who’s counting!

And to make the evening even more complete, we were greeting at the takeout beach by many of our non-paddling contingent.

Another beautiful Canadian night with bright stars and inflated stories around the campfire.

Did I mention campfire? Staying in Pet Haven afforded us the ability to do some “trail maintenance” and gather almost all the firewood one would need. So we had fires not only in the evening, but in the morning too to ward off the chill! (or the effect of the evening before? Either way)

Sunday, September 4th

Water Level: -1.25

Weather: Sunny and 80

Morning Run

Someone had the great idea of getting going early for a quick Park & Play (Park & Watch?) at Baby Face before breakfast. Eight of us rose to the challenge. We were on the water about 8:30am with a foggy mist leading us to McCoys. It was quiet and beautiful. Then all heck broke out.

Jamie flipped in Baby Face and his camera (which is secured to his life vest for easy access) came lose and bonked him in head. He rolled up all bloodied from a small head wound near his eye. Sarah, our resident river nurse, advised she and Jamie should head back to camp to clean up the cut and get it closed.

The rest of us hung out a bit longer, but once the rafts starting coming around the bend we knew our time was up.

Back at camp Jamie got patched up and we all tucked into some breakfast. Then some serious lounging was starting to happen!

Afternoon Run

There did not seem to be heightened energy levels so the group opted for an easier Middle Channel run. Chris was not feeling well so sat this one out. This meant we had 17 paddlers as Mark was now at camp.

But we had a group of “non-paddlers” paddle down to the island by McCoys so they could see what all the fuss was about. This included Deb, Cooper, Tina and Christine in various water crafts. They watch us run through McCoys and stuck around to see a few surfs on Baby Face before they paddled the flat water back to the put in.

Another great afternoon on the Ottawa in warm water and sunny skies. The group made its way down all the Middle Channel rapids. Brock managed to keep his skirt on for a successful run of the mighty Black Velvet rapid. Again, there was a continent of folks who were waiting at the takeout to greet their heroes.

The Sunday night tequila tradition ensued and stories were exaggerated and maybe even some stuff was made up. But it was a great night with good friends in the wilds of the Canadian woods.

Sunday, September 5th

Water Level: -1.35

Weather: 85 and sunny

Some folks had a long drive, some folks left the night before and, I am sure, some folks had just had enough. Enough of the Vermonter’s shenanigans, whitewater, tequila, I am just not sure. So not as many participants for the Monday morning run.

There is a saying that a trip leader that ends with the same number of paddlers that he/she started with had a successful trip. So by that measure I did great! Now there is that one little detail that the 9 paddlers that started were not the same 9 paddlers that finished…

We picked up a new paddler at the campsite, Brian from Wisconsin, to run the Main today. He had never done the Main Channel and I was up for showing him the lines. We were in the staging eddy discussing the line at McCoys (no scouting on this trip!) when something caught my eye. There was a beaver swimming down the rapid. No wait, that’s not a beaver, that’s a helmet. Hold on, that’s one of our group! Hey, that’s John!

So three things to point out here.

1. I have been coming to the Ottawa for 30 years now and have never seen someone swim the entire McCoys Rapid. Most folks at least make it to Phil’s Hole upright before heading into the drink!

2. We all know (or have heard) about the infamous Phil’s Hole. Well John floated right into the meat of Phil’s Hole. While John didn’t stay long, Phil did manage to suck the spray skirt right off John!

3. This was a new First Swim Descent at least as far as I know. This caused Brock a bit of a concern as he likes to be the first one to swim certain portions of a rapid. For a moment I thought Brock was going to jump out of his boat and swim McCoys top to bottom in solidarity with John. But he came to his senses and instead, nail it!

So by now you are wondering how John managed to get into this predicament. He was trying a few practice rolls at the top of the rapid. Hind sight tells him he was too close to the flow as when he missed a practice roll and needed to swim, he was already committed to the rapid. There is some cruel irony in there somewhere.

We then did the flat water paddle down from McCoys. Everyone made it through Upper Lauren without issue. John had a bit of difficulty after the Upper and before Lower Lauren and decided he had enough for today and took out. Fortunately another one of our Pet Haven neighbors, Pasqual (sp?) joined us. She had walked into Push Button with her husband and baby. They were taking turns playing on the wave and watching their son. But the plan was for her to join us for the remainder of the run. So as trip leader I was still able to count to 9!

We ran all the rest of the rapids without scouting or issue. Fun was had by all!

Then it was back to camp to pack up and head back home. Sad, but we were all filled with a wonderful weekend memories.

So who’s in for next year!

jimp

Short Sleeves and Green Leaves...A solo NBW.
Monday Jun 6, 2016
Organizer: Ryan
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: medium low
Author: Ryan

Yup - a solo run of the NBW....  I was shocked that I couldn't rally anyone that was able to lap it with me.  But sometimes its just better to have all to yourself.

 

We got one hell of a rain storm Sunday and then Sunday night.  I was up before 5am to my phone pinging off texts from Mainer about the NH Ledges...  Awesome run but over an hour away.  I looked at the gauges and then at Wunderground Weather maps and saw that Worcester saw and additional 1.7 inches after midnight that other places didn't.  I send out a flury of emails and texts and then loaded up.  I only got casual responses other than Chris Ingram, who was tied up for the early part of the morning with family but wanted to meet up later.

 

Off I went up route 12 toward the boarder of Elmore and Worcester and the put in for the NBW.  While I was gearing up a fellow kayaker honked at me on his way by to his office.  I was lucky - I wasn't at any office that day, I was in paradise.

 

Sliding into the river solo, even a river you know intimately is a special feeling and provides an electricity that you don't always get in a group.  All I could hear was moving water, down the channel, off of my boat and paddle and birds getting their day going.  There was still fog in the air after the storm but it was a sunny morning that was cutting through the trees dripping off the last of the showers.  It is pretty dang magical to get to have that to yourself.

 

I needed to focus though - a solo run on the NBW (at least for me) is not something to take casually.  So the warm up rapids early on should be used to dial in moves and mentality.  I had a great first run, even cleaning up some of my sloppy lines from earlier in the spring.  My second run I cut short because the river had dropped out so fast and lines were becoming more and more bouncy and less fluid.  I told myself I was making a good choice cutting run 2 in half and sparing myself an extended welding session later to repair my cracked and battered boat if I had completed the run.  there was no need to be greedy. I just had the NBW all to myself on a Monday morning, while co-workers were pounding their keyboards and drinking coffee to get their day started....  Paradise - Green leaves and short sleeves on the NBW.

 

As a side note - there are two new pieces of incidental wood.  One is early on in the run that needs portaged, the other is after the tube and it needs portaged. 

Reintroduction...
Monday Jun 6, 2016
Organizer: Chris Ingram
Difficulty: nov-int WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Ryan

Mission Accomplished....

 

Mellow whitewater, with enough features not to get bored, but make moves, and get comfortable in a boat again...  Chris had been eyeing this stretch forever, and the lower section has seen action for years.  We made a long trip out of it and brought along an old friend that the boating community has sorely missed.

 

Packie was back on water for the first time in over 3 years...  We had a long stretch of class 2 in front of us to get a lot of strokes in to make it from Greensboro Bend to Hardwick on the upper Lamoille.  The water was a little two low, but the company was top notch, and the weather was idyllic.  

 

I'd highly recommend this stretch of river to any beginner looking for fun eddy hopping and easy rapids.  Some of the corner pockets have wood and the MASSIVE drop in East Hardwick should be looked at carefully pending the level, but its a pretty stretch that a beginner should check out.  It was also a perfect reintroduction piece for Dave.

 

Now lets start doing some rain dances and get the flow back in our rivers!

 

Welcome back to the fold JD.....

VPC trip reports can provide an important historical basis for 'current use', a legal doctrine that can affect the regulatory process - dam relicensing, new dam construction projects, etc. But only (obviously) if we (WE) write them! So, be sure to share and preserve the memories of your latest paddling adventures by submitting a trip report.
If you are a VPC member and you want attribution for a trip report, please login to the website (above) before you begin filling out your trip report. Reports with attribution will appear on the 'My Trip Reports' tab on your 'My Profile' page.
Predominantly
Water Level
River Gauge (visual)
Online Gauge Reading(s)
Basics
Participants
Conditions
Report
Preview/Submit
Table of Contents
Detail
Write a Trip Report

Please log in.
For Username, enter either 1) the primary email address you've specified in your member profile, or 2) the Username assigned to you upon joining the VPC.

Once you are logged in as a VPC member, you will have access to your member profile, and members-only content on the website. If your login attempts fail, please email the webmaster. Include your name, and (if you know it) the username you were assigned.

red code
Link Checker Valid XHTML 1.0 Valid CSS
© 1996-2017 The Vermont Paddlers Club
Report a Bug