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Getting After It - Fall Creeking

Saturday Oct 20, 2012
Kayak: Dave P, Scott G, Chris I, Noah P, Simone O, Clay M, Andy, Ryan M
Organizer: Ryan and Dave
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: medium
Author: Ryan

Yea - another NBW report from Ryan....sorry folks, but this one includes a Gihon report, a broken boat, a swim by the author (no comments needed), two NBW virgins and a Gihon Virgin......Sound more interesting now?

Ok - as the texts and emails are buzzing about through cyber space the Friday nigh prior, I was working the Montpelier Ski Swap getting things set up for their big annual sale. Yea - I am a planner and knew that if I worked and helped with set up that night, I could do the presale after set up was over and then wouldn't have to deal with the insanity on Saturday Morning.......and miss out on BOATING!!!! It also meant I had first dibs on boots for my little 7 year old ripper.... Anyways I got home and looked at the message boards and checked emails to find it oddly quiet. Huh - no one interested in getting out for some fall boating???? The next morning I awoke to a phone call that my daughters soccer practice was cancelled because the fields were under water. YEA OH YEA - gotta run the trash to the dump - I'll swing by the gauge and check what the NBW reading says....4 and rising. Time to take matters into my own hands here. I started sending out texts to folks around 7:30. Dave was first to respond and said lets get after it. A little while later I received the boating community woke up and I think I received 15 emails asking what the NBW level was..... Yup - by 10:30 we had a solid crew of boaters at the NBW put in, several of us with multiple runs on the river, a couple with only one run and couldn't remember the lines and two virgins.....this is going to be fun!

Those that don't know the NBW it builds with amplitude from a magical float through riffles and small ledges in a tight valley high up on Route 12 in Elmore and ends with some of the cleanest biggest waterfall drops in succession on any river I can think of - anyone, Bueller, Bueller...... So it can either lull you in to a relaxed state before you start into the meat, or maybe it brakes down some of the nerves you are dealing with at the put in with anticipation for what some folks (definitely not me) over hype as one of the primo runs in VT.

Noah and Andy had never been down this run and Chris hadn't been on it in years so it was really fun to watch them style the early drops as they progression built up. Through Broken Falls and The Squeeze Box before the first real drop, the group was really taking everything in. Clay didn't hesitate to bang out the first drop and be in the pool to film. I snagged the eddy above and pulled Andy and Noah in so they could see the line. Ultimately everyone ran a clean line - Scott tossed the biggest boof off of the flake of the group. Next up Manky Mank - It is just a messy pain in the tukkus when you have to run the first ledge on the right. But there is a really fun boof off the left side of the second ledge. That leads to the right hand bend in the river where folks that are portaging Big Bouncy get out and carry....sometimes. Everyone decided to eddy hop down to the top ledges above the meat of Big Bouncy and then get a look at it. Again, Clay fired up the line right off. Most veryone walked along river right. Chris, myself and Andy were on river left. Chris decided to walk, I was undecided and Andy was confided he was going to fire it up. I knew I'd make a call once I ran the first two ledges and was above the main drop....Yea - I knew the line, was successful the last time and decided to peal out up high and run for the left side of the prow and ride it out...just don't get too rowdy on the lead in boof. Before I knew it I was at the lip and was out and on my down the slide b-i-g and b-o-u-n-c-y. Andy was next and got rowdy on his boof but it worked out well. Through the tunnel and off to flat falls - everyone got their boof and we moved on down to the Wall Slide. Stay left, but not too far left. I think Noah was on the wall. Simone was a smidge to far right but no one went for a hole ride! Next up - Double Drop. Everyone fired it up with varying degrees of style. Ingram made it look like it was his back yard run with a HUJASS boof and clean run out though. Following DD, we came to Cave Falls. We all ran the slide - it is just way too fun and the hole at the base of the falls looked really hunger that morning. The Last Drop....With everyone looking from different positions and at different lines, I was confident on running the river left line down into the deeper portion of the pool. The lead in slide to the vertical falls didn't look lubed up enough for my liking. Down the middle line Clay went first, Scott next, then Simone, finally Dave....OUCH - Dave's feet of fury drove a crushing blow to the hull of his boat as the stern of the Mystic caught the ledge at the base of the falls his hull smacked down on the non-areated water at the base of the falls and his heel Kung-fu'd straight through his hull....BUMMER - but it was funny watching Dave fred-flintstone his way over to shore to drain his boat and try to get back over to the left shore. I knew there was no way I was going to run the middle. Chris and I discussed again the line and off we went. One, Two and we were bobbing in the pool at the base of the Last Drop. Noah was up next and somewhat hesitant on the line...he was going dancing that night down in Saratoga Springs and didn't want to miss that with an injury...BS! get back up there and run it. He FIRED IT UP - being a smidge too far right on the left line results in being catapulted sideways off of the current and into space. It was an awesome boof and he came up smiles. Andy proceded to fire the middle line and clear the ledge. Big hoots all around for the crew. A fantastic run on the NBW in late Fall.

Some of the crew had obligations and needed to get back home. We lost Chris and Scott the Hardwick boys and Noah beaming ear to ear like the cheshire cat was off to Saratoga to get down...

Now where and what do we do... Head north was the suggestion - check the Gihon on our way through to the NBL. If the Gihon looked good but droping then we would run it as it holds water better than the NBL. We got to Johnson and the Gihon was at a great level...The call was made - Gihon it would be. Andy would get his Virgin run on the Gihon as well and the hype was on about the first drop down the face of the Dam. Pshaw - the dam is an amusement park ride - just drop in 3 feet off the left side of the center pier and you are fine. Yea - that is the old is more like 1 foot of the left side of the center pier. Needless to say he watched me get munched on and swim (yea that stinking dam got me again) out of the backwash and self rescue my boat and gear - I had to be the first lemming over the drop and I wasn't wearing a dry suit, only dry pants and a top so I was soaked!!! Everone else ran it cleanly and we were on our way to the first set of ledges above Balls to the Wall. Great succession of drops. The next drop has a couple of lines the left of the top boulder being the regular route. Today there was enough water that the right line where the water piles up along the all and then accelerates you over a ledge seemed like a good idea to me and I was in an eddy set up for that line. I watched Clay and Simone run the regular left line and it looked like a ton of fun so I ferried back left and ran that line instead.........HOLY SHIT it was a good thing...there was a channel wide hemlock spanning the right channel that would have been sure fire disaster for anyone running that line. Luck of the draw I changed my mind and didn't run over there. No one else did either.... After this drop there is a couple of small slides that lead to the beast, MUSTANG. It looked a little messy with some wood in the run in and then the hole in the gorge at the bottom was pulling back up river. We all seal launched in below it and ran down through the flat water to Bed Head. Simone, Clay and Dave ran it with varying lines. We also at this point caught the kids from UVM and Rogan ran Bed Head with a solid boof over the hole on the second drop. Eldorado was next and a much make ferry to catch the right line was a struggle to make at today's flow, but the left line wasn't in the cards for our group so we all pulled to make the right slide and down. Good and clean. Up next was Spinich....all ran different lines and everyone cleaned it even one with a kombat roll in the middle of it. Pin Cushion - new line for me. Instead of far left I ran just left of the rooster tail - Smooth. FInally was Power house. Everyone ran the meat on the left - I went for the boof on the right. Alls good........Sunshine....I still don't know the line here and pitoned the crap out of it at the bottome but was spent so didn't care - hiked back to the car and called it a day......

AWESOME - lots of vertical, one broken boat, two rivers and two boaters had their cherries popped on the NBW and GIhon...

Yea - VT Creeking.

Go get some

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