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Cold River

Wednesday May 26, 2004
Participants:
Kayak: Jim Zamecnik Scott Gilbert
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Jim Z

Scott Gilbert and I ran the Cold this afternoon. Pretty low level; there was just enough water in the steeper narrow rapids, but too low anywhere the riverbed widened. None the less, it was an excellent run. Soon after leaving the roadside it starts to rock and roll.....bouldery class III-IV drops requiring a lot of maneuvering. The gradient is fairly constant. We boat-scouted everything except the "asskicker" drop (about 1/4 mile above the covered bridge)....a confused boulder pile with a couple places to squeeze through. About a quarter mile below the covered bridge the North Branch spills in, adding some water. A little below there I got the chance to practice a couple class III shallow water rolls...successfully.

There's a few strainers in the last third of the run; all dodgable or duckable at low water, but maybe not with more water. We took out under the Cold River Road bridge to avoid the small dam and the shallows coming into N. Clarendon. The last rapid is a beautiful marble gorge; crystal clear water flowing over white stone in a series of almost river-wide ledge holes.

It's been over 10 years since I first (and last!) paddled this river. I'll tell you what....the Cold is steeper, more continuous, and more beautiful than I remember it. Hard to believe this run is completely unknown. Hard to believe I "forgot about it" for the last 10 years. I won't forget again!

(I'll put a description and directions on the almanac page when I get a chance)

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