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North Branch Winooski at a good level...

Sunday May 26, 2013
Kayak: Ed C, Robyn B, Damon B, Ryan M
Organizer: Ryan
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: medium
Author: Ryan

Day 2 of a high quality Memorial Day boating weekend.

I was sort of sitting around twiddling my thumbs in the morning not sure what may be running. Saturday was an amazing day on Joes and I was sort of dazed and just relaxing. Everything was up and running - we got lots of rain down low and the mountain tops were dressed in white with Mansfield seeing in excess of 18 inches.

There was a last minute group headed out to fire up the North Branch Lamoille, but that was more of a drive than I had planned to make in the 60 minutes between when I got the call and when they were putting in the river. About 20 minutes later I got a call from Damon that he was headed this way and was curious if the NB Winooski would be in play. I honestly wasn't sure but would be happy to go run it with him. About 10 minutes later I was loading up my gear and another call from Damon said we would have Robyn and Ed along for the run as well. Cool - I honestly can't say that I've ever paddled with these guys, so it was going to be a new group on an old river. FUN.

At the take out the last drop looked plenty fluid and good to go so we loaded our gear and headed up to the put in. Right after the stone chimney there was a downed tree that was passable, but not something I'd want to triffle with at higher water. After that the river was completely clear - even the hemlock below DD was further out of play.

The river was running at a very ideal level and allowed all of the standard lines and some variation if you were game. The first few warm up drops were quality and clean and the two after broken falls gave up huge boofs. The first major drop was bouncy down the right. Manky Mank was considerably more clean than usual (however the first portion had a log on river right). Big Bouncy was big and bouncy. I took the speed route for a change and didn't catch any eddies in the lead in. Amazing how much easier the drop is when you just run it in succession to the main portion of the drop. Damon and Ed had HUGE boofs and Robyn had it going all over the place with crazy sideways boofs and such. Good drop! Next up were the succesive drops up to Double Drop. I think we all had cool lines some right of the sweet spot some on it. I ended up bouncing of the last part and rotating in mid air to finish backwards??? Never did that before - must have got a little rowdy off the initial boof. On down to Cave Falls - everyone ran the slide to boof. The hole at the base of the falls was looking particularly hungry today. And the last drop..... Ed and Robyn ran river right and Damon and I ran the river left. Both Ed and Robyn had relatively clean lines. Damon was looking for the big boof off of the curler and ended up getting ejected into the hole (it looked pretty awesome, but not the line). I got on the sliding board and never got a piece of the flake that bounces you out and off of the bottom of the drop, but it was clean and smooth none the less.

It was a quality day on the river and I got some great shots of some great drops.... Keep an eye out on the pix section for them......

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