The Vermont Paddlers Club

Meet new friends, and paddle better!

While everyone was at the West...

Sunday Apr 29, 2007
Kayak: Ty S. Dave G. Chris W. Ryan M.
Organizer: Dave Gurtman
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: low boatable
Gauge (cfs): 750
Author: Ryan

An easy Sunday probe session (or not).....

Dave was looking for a crew to get on the water. He rounded up Chris Weed and myself and I brought Ty into the fray. Instead of the usual suspects we thought it would be a fine idea to poke around on something new and Friday I had walked some of the drops on the Top Mad. They looked pretty channelized and would go even with dropping water levels. So we met at the Warren General Store at 12:30 and after some messing around there, some scouts to the put in and running shuttle we were on the water about an hour later (give or take). The run started off with a great little drop into a mellow pool to set you up for a 4 tiered drop with the third tier waiting to flip you. The water slams into a ledge at a 90 degree angle and piles up so you really need the proper orientation and brace. Ty aced it Dave and I flipped but got our roll in time for the last drop there. Hard to tell, but a little more water might have eased the abruptness of the drop. There was some boogie water and smallish ledges and then the next significant drop was a fun slidish right to left move. It was a must make because if you fell off the slide you were going to hammered in a slot. After this move you needed to be quick to get river right because the main flow of the current was headed under a pretty substantial undercut. All ran it cleanly... After this drop there is lots of boogie water and minor drops and waves. The valley is really beautiful up this high and my guess is it is seldom seen from the seat of a boat. This continues on with two passes under Rt 100. When you get back to the west side of 100 Stetson Brook joins to double the flow of the Mad and not too further below this you come into more bedrock ledges and some small gorges. One we all walked was very undercut and had a nasty stopper in it...More flow very well might have allowed safer passage, but we weren't going to chance it yesterday. We threw in a good deal of sticks to see what the water was doing and lost all the sticks...So if they didn't get through none of us wanted to be in there with the sticks if we got stuck...With another mile or so of class II water and IIIish drops we came to the Warren Falls. What a spectacular place. It looks like it would be a fairly clean drop (actually 3 major ones) , but the entry drop and the exit drop were wood choked which means we will be back some day to give it a go when the wood moves on. Below Warren Falls a short bit is a slot drop of about 4 feet. It spills into small chasm that is severely undercut on the right side and the bottom of the drop is highly retentive. This was the sight of our only carnage of the day (me). Every drop that day we got out to look it over carefully. This one we paddled up to and boat scouted. I thought it was good to go dead center. NOT!!!! Anyways, I found out how sticky the hole is and how undercut the right wall is. The guys went to school on my fiasco and ran it on the left side and all aced it no prob. I've paid homage to the water gods...hope the don't need anymore for a while. Below this is more mellowish boogie water and the final substantial drop. It is a two tiered ledgey thing that was run to the right on the first ledge and then to the left of a large boulder for the second ledge. From there to town it was more of the same boogie stuff. We took out above the Dam in Warren.

All in all it was a great day on the river. We spent a good deal of time setting up safety and scouting unknowns. I think everyone agreed with another couple hundred CFS it would step up the difficulty, but the level it was at let us get a good feel for what this gem can offer up. If you decide to give it a go at a higher level beware of potential strainers as there were a few did the limbo under that would come into play at a higher level.

Check the pix in the gallery.


Please log in.
For Username, enter either 1) the primary email address you've specified in your member profile, or 2) the Username assigned to you upon joining the VPC.

Once you are logged in as a VPC member, you will have access to your member profile, and members-only content on the website. If your login attempts fail, please email the webmaster. Include your name, and (if you know it) the username you were assigned.

Page Views: Link CheckerValid XHTML 1.0Valid CSS
© 1996-2023 The Vermont Paddlers Club
Report a Bug
The 'My Favorites' list uses cookies...
Add this page to 'My Favorites' Remove this page from 'My Favorites' Trip Reports Message Boards Site Map
Current PHP version: 7.4.33