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First Dee - Green River Reservoir

Friday Oct 1, 2010
Kayak: see body of report
Organizer: Christian Woodard
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: high

Taken from a NPMB post

Got to the NBW about 7:30 to find ten cars, fifteen bleary kayakers, and a river that was patently unrunnable. Some folks headed down for ultra high water Mad runs, and the rest of us drove up to the Green River Reservoir, hoping to find the only river in the state that was "low." With no drainage area and the whole river stopped up by a huge impoundment, the Green River is the perfect option when everything else is out of its banks. It might even still be too low.

We put in just downstream of the culvert, portaging two logjams right out of the gate. Soon, we came to the first drop, which is shaped a bit like the turning boof on the East Branch Pis, but with a far less obvious line. The main flow appears to land on an angled shelf, so the only options are a hard drive left or a turning boof to the right. All of us that ran this drop ran it on the right, off a shallow flake into a shallow pool. Tripp fired it up first with a beautiful line, and we followed with slight variations on a slightly more center route. Alan pitoned really hard off this drop - 15ish feet into three feet of water. Be careful here. There may also be an easier line driving hard left, but you'd have to fight some powerful boils to break back into the main current. The runout of this rapid has a nice boof followed by an undercut chute where you want to stay left.

A few more trees and easy rapids, including a fairly steep river-wide hole. Then a mile-ish of foggy flatwater with turning leaves and heavy rain. A few trees in this section, but it went quickly.

Got out to scout the "teacups" in a large eddy on the right. This is the only drop we didn't run because of wood. The line is a straightforward boof on the left, followed by a boily runout in a mini-gorge. A few more easy rapids brought us to another of the standout drops of the run. This rapid has an easy class II entry followed by a sloping fan 10-12 feet high. There's wood in the entrance that forces you right, and there's a huge pine down in the pool, right where you'd resurface on the boil. I ran a left to right line, boofing into the right eddy above the wood and finishing in a side channel. Tripp, Alan and Mike all attempted the late boof in the center. Mike got violently backendered and swam right into the strainer, where Tripp executed a characteristically speedy and effective rescue.

Downstream, some boatscoutable water, mixed with larger rapids, including a fun steep sequence curving around two corners. A small ledge with an obvious boof flake, and we were at the logging bridge (which is an easy 15 minute hike out or in). Just downstream of the bridge we carried one river-wide log, then got out to scout an interesting drop jam packed with wood. I ran it down the left (I went under one of the logs, but had to pass my paddle over the top), but when the wood is out, the main line will be down the right.

A nice set with a stronger hole than we'd anticipated at the end, then "piton" drop to finish the river. Stay center on this one - more than half of us got too far right and smacked some rocks right good. One more timber portage, and you're out to the bridge.

We parked at the electric transfer station, but this required us to walk out boats along the road for a few hundred yards. If there's a convenient parking lot or pulloff on the Lamoille, it might make sense to continue into the main river and paddle down from there. Be sure to look right and see the junkyard fully underwater if you do this.

Based on my previous walk of the river bed, and some photos of the 288 cfs release, I think that we had slightly less than that, maybe closer to 200. Everything was runnable, but everyone on the river agreed that a little more water would smooth the run out. Especially the first drop, which was essentially a speedy seal-launch with a midair 180. It needs some wood to be cut out (which may not be terribly popular with the fishermen who use this river far more than we do), but this has the potential to be a really prime dam release river. Everything is runnable, and the drops have a good bedrock character, though it is potholed under there. The run took us two hours, with eight people and a fair amount of scouting. If you knew this river and the wood were cut out you could route it in a half hour.

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