Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lower Otter Brook - May 1st

Hooked up with Brian P. and Andy yesterday for a run on the lower section of Otter Brook in Keene, NH. Brian brought along Al, Tommy T. hooked us up with Barbara, and another Eric just showed up at the put-in. Turned out to be a nice group – 2 OC1s and 4 yaks.

When we arrived at the put-in, the black flies were terrible, and bug spray didn’t deter them in the least. Fortunately they didn’t bite, so the swarms were just an annoyance, and they disappeared as the sun came out and the day warmed up. It turned out to be a beautiful day – sunny and in the 80’s.

The dam released at 300 cfs as advertised. At this level, the lower section is a nice class II with lots of rocks to dodge, plenty of eddies to catch and some nice surf waves. I understand that at higher levels (+600 cfs) some of the rapids approach class III.

We spent the day catching every eddy and surfing every wave we could find. We let at least two groups pass through and never saw them again. If the last group on the river wins, I’d say that we were the victors.

I think I spent most of the day pointed up stream. The rocks were easy to see, and waves were easy to catch on the fly. By the time we got to the take-out, my neck was sore from turning around to look downstream. It doesn’t feel much better this morning – thank goodness for vitamin I (Ibuprofen).

Only two swims to report – both in the shallow rocky water below the Otter Ledge, and both open boaters. Enough said about that.

Took us 3 ½ hours to run the 3 miles down the take-out. I think we were all pretty tired at the end - I know I was. Another great day.

My Pictures
River description from American Whitewater

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