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Boquet to Split-Rock Falls

Sunday Jul 10, 2005
Kayak: Ryan Young
Open Canoe: Eric Bishop, Tony Shaw
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: low boatable
Gauge (ft): 4.7
Gauge (cfs): 1500
Author: Tony Shaw

The AuSable feasibility study planned for today was a wash-out, or at least that would be my interpretation given the gauge reading at 7 am over 3400 CFS. This left Eric, Ryan, and myself looking for something saner to paddle.

The Adirondacks were an obvious choice, given how heavily it rained here all day Saturday, but we needed to be looking in a higher, smaller drainage. Enter the Boquet. Going only on Jamieson's text, which calls the North Fork Boquet "unrunnable" and the next 2.4 miles to Split Rock Falls "class III-VI", it seemed like a good bet for two aging open boaters and a kayaker we'd never paddled with before. LOL.

I don't want to bore you with the details. Suffice it to say the river flows with incredible clarity from one boulder seive to the next. Saturday's torrential rains here did nothing to affect the water clarity, remarkably. Given a gradient of 100 feet/mile and the amount of boulder congestion wherever it got steep, the only saving grace was that we didn't get to the put-in until almost noon, and the level was starting to fall into bonydom - maybe 150 cfs. By the time we reached the take-out it had fallen even more, and bonydom was the unanymous opinion. In between, we nailed a bunch of very narrow/steep drops ranging in height from 4-6 feet, and we picked our way laboriously through several wide/shallow segments.

I wouldn't recommend the upper Boquet to ANYONE lacking expert whitewater skills if the stretch along Rt. 73 near its junction with Rt. 9 is bank full, nor would ordinary paddlers think it much fun at 150 cfs. But WE did.

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