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subject The Lower Mad is good to go (with a caveat)...
author Chris
city Burlington
posted Tuesday Mar 27th 2018, 9:44 PM

After Max Redman's report of ice in the pools after the Route 100B bridge, I wanted to check it out, so I did that today.

The ice is gone. The only problem is a submerged log with protruding branches in the "S-turn" rapid, the last rapid before the bridge. I got a rope on two of the branches and tried dislodging the thing. I could rock it, but that's all. The log is substantial; I could hear it rumble when it knocked against boulders under water.

The log is in the main flow, about 25 feet below the first drop. The branches will probably be submerged at 300 cfs or above, but could still trip up a boat running straight through the rapid. A swamped boat that hits the branches broadside might pin. I would definitely worry about anybody upside down and still in their boat coming through that section.

Finally, the lower part of the VRC takeout path is obstructed by ice blocks. I was able to dislodge and break up some of them, which are now down by the river's edge. The remaining ice is rotten, and somebody with a splitting maul or a sledgehammer should be able to take care of it in 30 minutes. Tonight's rain might do much of the work by itself.

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