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E.Branch Pemi

Friday May 27, 2005
Kayak: Lukas Helrich James Raboin Will B?
Organizer: Luke Helrich
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium low
Gauge (cfs): 1000
Author: James Raboin

The choices for this Friday trip were E.B.Pemi or the Contootook, with New Hampshire getting the river pleasing rain that we were missing. Luke was pumped for the Pemi, and it was closer, so we hoped the gauge coorelation was right and headed east. The book description was right on, it looked a little low when we got there, but there was plenty of water for paddling.

We put in right at the footbridge at the parking lot for hiking, not wanting to walk up river. Right away the action started, boulder dodging and keeping with the main flow. There were lots of eddies, and plenty of nice whitewater down to the Loon Mountain Bridge. At that level it was nice class lll, with no scouting required. A few play waves are there to play on in that section, mine and Lukes mindset that day was river running, so we did not play much, to the dislike of Will, who rightfully said we should have surfed more.

At Loon Mountain Rapid, there is a horizon line, and we scouted, and ran the conservative line on the left side, there was just enough water on the end of it to get back right to the main flow. No incidents, expect my bruised ego later when thinking a few years ago I would have wanted to run the right side, now I find myself content to run the easier lines. Sucks getting old!

Below that, there is some awesome class lll whitewater, lots of fun maneuvering around rocks and holes. We did portage the old dam area, it looked a bit scetchy with rebar and logs in the river, and big holes if you missed those. Below a split island and under the bridge before the I93 bridge there was one beautiful wave we all tried surfing on, it is tall, steep, and fast.

We took out just below the confluence with the main Pemi, on river left. Good parking and a nice beach to pull up on. A great run to experience, we were all impressed by White Mountain whitewater and want to hit the Swift sometime!

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