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Patterson Brook (and people to boat with)

Wednesday-Sunday Apr 25-29, 2018
Kayak: Mike, Robyn, Chandler, Anders, Tom, Catherine, Dave, Tanner
Organizer: Late snowmelt
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium
Author: Mike

Heading back from field work in Montpelier on Wednesday, I noticed that all the little creeks in the Mad River Valley were starting to fill up.  I made a slight detour to check Patterson, finding it at a pretty much perfect level… with no one to paddle with of course. Sort of the story of spring 2018… not really much of anyone out boating, despite the extended, late, healthy snowmelt season we enjoyed. Fortunately, a few emails later Chandler was heading over.

With one to two inches of water running over the gauge rock this run is amazing!  Things are not too big but everything is nice and fluid… a true perfect medium. We did two efficient laps on this wonderful creek, stopping to check for wood in a few places.  Things are actually in good shape wood-wise, though there is some wood hanging over the runout of the diagonal holes that looks like it will fall in pretty soon and make a nasty log jam.  Other than that there is just a lot of green moss, a few waterfalls dropping into the river and some really nice class III-IV rapids… like there’s always been.

On Thursday Robyn wanted to head over, and brought Catherine, Tom and Anders as well.  The level was a little bit lower but well within the nice medium range. We did two more really nice laps.  An added plus this time was how clear the water was. It’s hard to convey just how good this run is at a nice level… it’s active, interesting paddling but really forgiving… you’d be hard pressed to find an undercut, sieve, pothole or bad pin spot on the run.

I paddled elsewhere on Friday and Saturday, but folks were interested in heading back Sunday morning.  We had myself, Tanner, Anders and… Dave! It had been a few years since I’d boated with Dave, and in fact it was Dave who had shown me this run 8 years ago.  The level was a fluid low, just spilling over the middle of the gauge rock. We did two more laps on this surprisingly chilly day.

After that I went to take a quick look at Thatcher Brook down in Hancock.  It is a very interesting looking run.

So that is how to enjoy snowmelt, and it’s also nice to see folks actually out paddling after work!

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