Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lower Ashuelot - October 2nd

I had a good time today with Paul, Tom and Andy on the Lower Ashuelot in New Hampshire. The river was low but runnable - 5’, 1000 cfs on the Hinsdale gage.

The river is broken up into three sections - each separated by a dam that must be portaged. The put in is just upstream from the Ashuelot covered bridge. The first section is an easy class II. Take out on river left to portage the first dam.

The second section is shorter, but a bit more challenging – class II+. The best rapid is just above the dam. You can portage the second dam on either the right or the left, but the right is easier.

The third section has the most difficult rapids. Just below the factory bridge is the Papermill rapid - class III/IV depending on water level. I ran it straight through the center and made it through fine – except for a boat full of water.  The rest of the river was class III rock dodging. 

I received the Swim Award with 2 swims on the lower section. The first was relatively close to shore, and I was able to self-rescue quickly. The second was in the middle of the river at the top of a long, rocky rapid. I finally made it out about halfway down, but my boat didn’t feel like stopping and ran the entire rapid. Fortunately, Tom grabbed it just before it was about to enter the next rapid, or I would have had a long walk back to the car.


Lower Ashuelot from Erik Eckilson on Vimeo.

In spite of the swims, it was a good time on a fun river. I think I’d like to try it again with a little more water. The waves and holes in the Papermill Rapid would be huge, but there would be less rock dodging below that.

Links:
My Pictures
My Video
River Description from Americna Whitewater

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