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East Br. Pemigewasset (NH)

Saturday Apr 25, 2009
Kayak: Jamie Dolan, Dave Hurley, Chris Weed
Open Canoe: Tony Shaw
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium
Gauge (ft): 6.93
Gauge (cfs): 1140
Author: Tony Shaw

OMG! Between 3pm (when we put on) and 8pm, the windy, sunny, HOT weather had a tremendous effect on the level, doubling the flow from 1000 cfs to 2000 cfs at the Loon Mt. USGS real-time gauge. 80 degrees at the end of April in NH's snow-capped White Mountains will do that!

The guidebooks say that people sometimes carry upstream on the Wilderness Trail 3 miles or more to run the pristine sections of the EBP above the Kancamagus Highway. That is not anything I ever expect to do with a canoe! But the 6 mile section downstream from the Wilderness Trail parking area to the confluence with the main stem Pemi is plenty attractive and contains plenty of class III action at this level. About a mile downstream from the put-in the Hancock Branch enters on the left, which would have been fluid enough to run today.

Passing under the bridge @ Loon Mountain, 3 of us chose to take the more conservative (and a little bony) left side of the island, and one chose to call it a day. I flipped and had a pretty long swim once after Loon, just so I could attest to how very cold the waters of the EBP can be, even on an 80 degree afternoon!

The closer you get to the take-out, the more hemmed in the river becomes by (largely vacant) ski family condos, all of which are well-kept but can't help detracting from the scenery a bit.

Near the confluence the remnants of a dam are easily spotted from upstream. Bank scouting (and lifting over) on river left was the prudent thing to do, on this day. The hard-to-miss graffiti there pleads: "Don't MASS up NH".

After passing the sewage treatment plant and passing under I93, take the small channel to the right of the island if you've left your shuttle vehicle behind the fire station in North Woodstock at the little park that is located there.

I posted a few photos in the VPC Paddle Pix area. The camera batteries died, or we would have many more photos to make everyone jealous that they missed this trip!

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