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Upper Mad

Sunday Apr 4, 2004
Kayak: Jamie Dolan, Robert Fuller, Julie Prior, David Hoene, Cheryl Robinson
Open Canoe: Eric Bishop, Tony Shaw, Mike Smorgans
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: novice WW
Level: medium low
Gauge (ft): 4.25
Gauge (cfs): 750
Author: Tony Shaw

Mike Smorgans

This is ALWAYS a fun run. But don't be fooled by its "novice whitewater" designation -- the intermittent easy ledge drops and rapids en route from Warren to Waitsfield can upend unsuspecting novices abruptly -- and frequently do. Today was no exception. But with support and encouragement from our admittedly over-qualified party (including two Grand Canyon veterans and two denizens of the New Haven Ledges) a remarkable improvement in boat control among our party's novices was apparent by the end of the run.

Eric flipped and swam immediately above the constricted Butternut Rd. ledge drop (practicing self-rescue skills?) but the drop itself was successfully run by all who attempted it (6 of 8). The landing for this carry before the bridge (river left) has been stabilized with rip-rap since the last time I was here, making it easier to identify and negotiate.

The low level made it necessary to run single file most of the way down, and in fact we split into two groups of four to give everyone a bit more breathing room on this small and pretty stream.

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