The Vermont Paddlers Club

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VT to NY

Saturday-Sunday Apr 15-16, 2006
Kayak: Max Koch, Cheryl Robinson, Si Wiles
Organizer: Si Wiles
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: medium low
Author: Cheryl

With a renewed enthusiasm for creeking, I was eager to get out again and challenge myself. Unfortunately the problem was there wasn't any water.

After reviewing the gauges Friday afternoon. We opted to do the following: Saturday Claredon Gorge (Mill) IV, Poultney III (IV), and the Metawee IV - V. We then would drive to Old Forge and on Sunday run the Lower Moose (IV)

Max Koch decided to join us for our Saturday Paddle.

We started on the Claredon a perfect class IV creeky river, which as now become one of my favorite VT runs. The river consists of two gorges with ample class IV drops. The gorges are separated by a short flat section and the second gorge starts with a must portage.

I encountered my first swim on the first gorge...actually we aren't calling it a swim, more of an ejection. Apparently it was quite funny to watch I am bracing on my left when all of a sudden without my hands leaving the paddle I am ejected from the boat...we realize that I need some adjustments to my outfitting!!

Back on the river, Mill drop approaches a beautiful technical class 4 drop. Max runs it several times, while Si and I conserve our engery. We just aren't that young anymore!!

We often see fishermen on this river but to our surprise and my repeated giggles we came across a nudist, who quickly tried to cover up as they were caught unawares...

As we get to the unrunnable drop we carefully make our portage around...only to discover a wide eyed Max eyeing up the last part of the drop while acting out a dry run of running it. Si and I look at each other and can't believe he is considering it....but he is. The narrowness of the drop and the meaty hole gives us cause for concern...but with Saftey set and the camera rolling Max does a great job of making it look runnable.

Still for Si and Me we decide the 15ft Otter launch in to the gorge is a much more appealing option...that is until we see we have to launch off a precarious hanging piece of ice. The Ice just holds out as we launch off.

On the second gorge there is one drop..that is a bit quirky, hardly scoutable we were told last time you either boof right or you end up deep on the right. Max again shows us a new line left, making it look all too easy. Si and I decide to run it together, me following him (I missed the boof last time and ended up in the pot hole ...not nice). As Si approaches the boof he broaches on a rock. Since I was so close I could either knock him off and he would miss the boof, go round him and I would certainly miss the boof or go left on Max's line. I go left...Hard left and shoot at super speed down a small slide...Who ever said the left wasn't runnable!! Si makes the boof and we paddle out a happy crowd.

After some much needed munchies we hit the Poultney (III -IV). The Poultney is great I love those slides...but the flat sections are just a little too long!!

The level was a little low but not scrapey, we complete the run quickly and without too much excitement.

The river looks like a tornado has ripped right through it. It has suffered a huge flood at some point and trees are down everywhere...some will pose a big risk at higher water.

On to the Metawee. I opt out on this, I have had a great day and I think I would be pushing it a little too much on the Metawee.

Si and Max have a great time and they take off the river just before sunset. What a great days paddling.

Si and I head off to Old Forge. We awake to a chilly Easter Sunday. We arrive at the Lower Moose put in and to our surprise no other paddlers...we hang around for a bit but nobody shows. The shuttle was going to be a nightmare!!

We head down in the car to the take out on a hope that some paddlers on the bottom moose would take pity on us and drive us back to the put in (16 miles back). But there isn't any. We could hardy believe it, it was one of the few rivers at a good med flow and no one was here. We decide to walk back to the put in and hitch when ever we could. At that point a car pulls up with a couple of kayaks on the roof and it is a friend of ours. Despite them running late they drive us back to the top...Thanks Andrew we owe you big time!!

We put on, run the first drop and come to Tannery. The site of my 2005 incident. We take off and scout the river it is slightly lower than last time but not by much. But I can see the hole...just waiting to take me again. The nerves bubble and I start panicking. I get Si to repeatedly tell me the lines...he must of thought I was crazy. But I was determined to conquer the run. I make it through totally elated. From that point on I was fine, we ferry across to the center to run a slight harder line instead of taking the sneak to the end of the rapid. We continued down river taking one drop at a time, Whale Hole (IV), Rooster Tail (IV). Then came froth hole..the name says it all. The only way to run this a high levels is on the left a gnarly looking tongue that takes you so close to the hole that one wrong move and you're in. We make it through, stop for a quick lunch and head on. Next is the Mix Master. A straight forward drop that has two very large holes waiting to eat kayakers the line is pretty straight cut left to hard problemo.

The run finishes with elevator shaft an easy chute that is so fun, I wish you could carry up and run it again.

It was a perfect finish to the perfect weekend...actually the Pulled pork and Burger at Casey's North (North River, Hudson) was the perfect ending.

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