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Trout River

Wednesday Jun 11, 2008
Kayak: Dave Packie
Organizer: Dave Packie
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: low boatable
Gauge (cfs): 400
Author: D. Packie

The lost river drainage. "there's no gradient up there!" I've heard. "Nothing worth driving for." was another comment. But after Scott's scouting missions at summertime low flows, and his reports of big bedrock slides and waterfalls, my interest was peeked. So when heavy localized thunderstorms came thru the northern edge of vermont all day Tuesday, I had to take the gamble, even at 4 dollars a gallon. All the way up 14 I was passing creek after creek all bone dry, and was thinking I had to be a fool to drive basically to Canada for what was likely gonn a be a hike. But as I came thru Hazen's notch, I could see the evidence of heavy rain on the dirt roads and the freshettes still had milky water flowing down the steep slopes of burnt Mtn. I crossed Wade brook and it was low, but not by much, and as I came down into Montgomery Center, the stoke was heightened by a nice rapid with plenty of water to paddle. I quickly dropped the Bike at Luts Gas Station and met Bill, a local boater who I had run into on the dryway last year. He said he and his wife had got some land up in Mont-g and wanted to know about the local he was filling me in. He gave me the put in on Amidon road, off of 242 at the Bellfry Restaurant and gave me a heads up on some big I went. The put in on Jay Brook, the larger of the two tribs that make up the Trout, was LOW. Like not really floating, more like slithering down, but passable. It is continuous 3 with a 4 here and there. Then at the confluence of Jay and Wade Brooks, the run became fluid. A perfect exploratory level. From here you enter a nice long section of continuous car sized boulders. Very nice boat scoutable horizons with the occasional larger ledge drop. Then things gorge up a bit for a nice looking rapid with some great slot moves, then a ledge drop around a 90 degree left. Scout left. A few more rapids and you will see that something big is coming. 4-5 small ledge drops lead to a 20 foot waterfall into a nasty looking runout, with 99 percent of the water landing on bedrock. Be carefull here because the action is continuous for 50 yards above the lip and the small eddies that were there may not be at Med. to High flows. Easy walk river right brings you down into the pool below the falls, and the highlight of the trip, and one of the nicest rapids anywhere in VT. Back to back 8-10 foot vertical drops into a nice recovery pool with a small trib cascading down river right. Magnificant spot. Good action from there to the takeout a shrt way down stream. Very stoked on this run. I walked almost everything big, but the quality of this river is right up there. I call it a solid 4 with a walk. The geology of this river should be noted. At these low flows, a few boulder sieves were easily spotted, 2 of which were right in the main flow, and immediately below a couple drops in the boulder garden section, and alot of the exposed ledge had some pretty major pot hole action. Also, as seen in some of the pics, there are some undercuts in play and I portaged for wood 3 times. Hopfully we can get most of those out this summer, but in the meantime, work the eddies and keep a good eye out, At higher flows the action could be quite continuous. Then I met Scott G and we banged out a Gihon lap at a great medium. It was 80, sunny, and the water was WARM.....don't get many days like that up this way. Missisquoi drainage....the next frontier...see pics.

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