The Vermont Paddlers Club

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Lower Mad, early spring run

Sunday Mar 11, 2012
Kayak: Jamie Dolan, Chris Weed
Organizer: Jamie Dolan
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: medium
Gauge (ft): 3.54
Gauge (cfs): 423
Author: Chris Weed

The weekend was looking pleasant, albeit with slightly subfreezing temperatures on Saturday, but a high above 50 possible on Sunday (at least in Burlington). An exchange started on the message board, and a plan for a 1:30 pm Sunday meeting at the VRC takeout was settled on.

As it turned out, only Jamie and Chris showed up. (John Atherton had hoped to participate, but Sunday was a no-go for him.)

It was a nice medium flow, and the river was completely free of ice, with just a few slabs perched high on ledge outcroppings near the final drop (from last week's spike over 1,000 cfs). The snow on the banks is patchy at this point, even in the shade-indicative of the lack of snow this winter. We ran the left side of Horseshoe without a scout. All drops are free of wood.

The climb up the bank at the new VRC takeout is mostly free of ice, except for a patch located at a bad spot where the trail steepens just before it attains level ground. Chris spent at least a minute traversing this treacherous little stretch in order to prevent a fall. A bit of work with a small sledgehammer or a garden spade could remove this hazard (hint, hint).

With highs in Burlington pushing 60 for the entire upcoming week, and rain in the forecast, one can say that the paddling season is officially underway in northern Vermont!

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