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Lower Mad

Sunday Apr 9, 2017
Kayak: Noel Bailey, Mike Beers, Jim Fecteau, Chris Frost, Nick Kovacs, Jim Poulin, Tony Shaw, Chris Weed
Open Canoe: Steve Melamed
Inflatable: Eric Bishop
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: medium
Gauge (ft): 4.25
Gauge (cfs): 725
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.

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