The Vermont Paddlers Club

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Gihon & Trout

Thursday Mar 17, 2016
Kayak: Ben Schot, Eric Adsit, Billy Wagner, Jordan Vickers
Organizer: Jordan V
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: too high
Author: Jordan V

There was still some snow left in the mountains of Northern Vermont with a blast of rain overnight levels on the Gihon were at a nice medium (3ft on covered bridge).  Eric and I started with a full lap on the Gihon.  The upper section with nice flows on a sunny day is one of the best sections of Vermont white water.  The dam packed a punch at the bottom and the boof above "balls to the wall" was in for all its glory.  We met Ben at the takeout and decided to do a quick lower only Gihon before making plans with Billy and heading up to the Trout.  

            I had walked short sections of the Trout when I was early in my boating career and a group had gone up last year raving about the unique boulder gardens so it had been on my mind for this spring.  We put in behind the Belfry restaurant on Jay branch scraping down (1 dash on the bridge gauge).  This was surprisingly clear of wood but too low to enjoy very much as we scraped down to the confluence of another tributary (wade brook?) after about a quarter mile.  Now we were officially on the Trout and the water level became a comfortable low.  Eddy hoping our way through many boulder gardens the walls steepened a bit and horizon lines began to appear.  A great wall ride on the right marked the start of the fun stuff!  A few drops later we came to a four stage rapid.  The first spout was clean but led into a sieved out middle boulder that looked less than favorable.  Third drop had a tree in it and the fourth slide was clean with an overhanging wall on the right.  Ben ran everything as the rest of us portaged on the left.    We paddled more boulder gardens feeling we were close to the end of the run we were on the lookout for the un-runnable waterfall.  We scouted on the right and sure enough this thing is as ugly looking as i remember.  We portaged on the right and were rewarded with the highlight of the run.  Two back to back 10 footers landing in a deep pool.  There is some curtain/pin possibility so we set good safety and fired it up, all of us had good lines.  We scrambled down some boogie with one or two more fun drops to the takeout at Montgomery Center.  Even though the Trout has been paddled many times by prior it felt like such an exploratory run for us.  All of us seasoned northeast boaters getting a personal first descent in Vermont was a great feeling.  

    Billy made his way home while Ben and I decided we were driving by the Gihon anyway might as well do a bomber (full) lap while Eric drove shuttle.  The lap was a great cap to an awesome day of Northern VT boating!  


Jordan V



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