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Missisquoi, North Troy

Saturday Apr 28, 2012
Kayak: Dave Stanley, Jim Poulin
Open Canoe: Tony Shaw
Organizer: Dave Stanley
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: low boatable
Gauge (cfs): 520
Author: Dave Stanley

As we had welcome rain Th-Fri and the gauge went up into the 800's, it was nice to see I would have a medium flow for my first trip on the Upper Miss without the Hildreths to guide. We had done it Wed at 400cfs with no sun which always subtracts from the having fun factor. Now to find a few boaters as the Green had a weekend release, more on that later! Tony, Jim and myself met at the Jay General Store at 11 am on 242 near 101/105 and noted at least 30 out of state Porsche enthusiasts spending money helping the economy. It is a 5 minute drive to the Vielleux Covered Bridge where you make a left and go downstream about 1.5 miles to the takeout at Big Falls where the gauge is located, as you exit the river note it is a must make eddy! After the short drive upstream to the takeout 2 miles upstream of the Vielleux covered bridge we put in at the first spot where the road and river come together, the first rapid Raven's Perch is read and run down the middle, there is house overlooking the rapid. You can see from the top of this rapid at 800 cfs the mist rising from the 2nd drop John Little Falls, get to the right for the slide, can be run done the middle at lower levels. John is a teacher at North Country, you may have seen him at a Telly Festival in his retro 80's gear! A short ways and you come to scout worthy Ironing Board, another geologic feature where the river has broken through, over 800 cfs you want to scout from the right side, at the top you will see a brook come in river left coming in from a downstream angle. When you see this rapid over 1500 cfs on the scout looking down into the drop have some TP handy. It is an easy 100 yard Cl 2 approach to get to the right cliff side and down the 15 foot wide Ironing Board chute but it offers lots of exposure for newbies. It was a good level to see the features of both of these rapids without the high water consequences. After a short stretch of flatwater water the next rapid is usually run down the left which ends in a bounce over an irregular pourover. I have been wanting to do CanAm, a route that I've seen Bill do which is a left to right chute that is lined on the upstream side by a 5 foot rock wall in the middle of the river ending at the bottom right of the drop. On my approach from above I ended up grounding out in the low water and had to get out and direct traffic for Jim and Tony. Thanks Tony for not taking any pics of me hauling my boat and body thru the bony approach. Jim aced the move I wanted and Tony did the Turnstile Boof as he exited CanAm halfway down and cut left in a 360 spin move off a boof rock. Both nice moves that I have had my eyes on for a few years, they one upped the guide. After several more drops and flatwater we came to the Vielleux Covered Bridge, off to the west loomed the upper runs of Jay Peak which had a covering of an overnight 6" of snow. There then was about a mile of flatwater before 4 more drops, all of which we boat scouted and had peeked at from the shuttle road just upstream of the takeout. The gauge station on river right is the must takeout. All in all a nice day and thanks to the sun, almost warm. On Sunday I filled Bill in on the trip as we did the Green at 2.4 finding only Dos e Dos pretty wanting for more water to smooth it out. Two good days of boating in a dry spring.

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