Monday, April 18, 2011

Paul swims the Quin - April 17, 2011

I finally ran the Quinapoxet River yesterday.  The "Quinny" or "Mighty Quin" is a class II/III run that can be tough to catch. The minimum level for this river is about 8.5 feet. Many people say 9.5 feet is a good level. We ran it yesterday at 11 feet (800 cfs). To say the river was cranking would be an understatement.

Paul and I did the 3-mile section from River Street in Holden to the Wachusett Reservoir in West Boylston. The Mass Central Rail Trail runs along the river for much of the run.  The trip starts with quickwater and some easy class I/II rapids.  Paul took a swim in the opening rapid, and its the only part of the trip that I caught on video.

About 2 miles downstream the action picks up with a class III rapid at the old Springdale Mill.  At this level there were a couple of huge holes at the top, and a couple of huge waves at the bottom.  There was also a large eddy on river left that would be the way to go if you could catch it.

Paul went first and tried to run the rapid straight down the middle.  He flipped in the big holes at the top.  I was at the bottom with my throw bag and threw him a rope, but it was a lousy throw and he couldn't reach it.  When I last saw him, Paul was still in the water about a quarter mile downstream chasing after his boat.  I headed downstream after him, and finally learned from one of the walkers on the Rail Trail that Paul was out of the river and heading downstream after his boat on foot.

When I got back to my boat, I wimped out and portaged the Springdale Rapid.  I scouted the 3-foot drop just downstream of I-190, and decided to portage that as well.  At this level, the river was unforgiving, and I didn't want to lose my boat as well.  I was able to run the rest of the river without incident.  I arrived back at the car to find Paul's gear, but no Paul.  He had walked back upstream looking for me. 

When he arrived back at the car, Paul was interested in another run, but I thought it would be better if we didn't push our luck.

Description from American Whitewater
River Street put-in from Google Maps
Quinapoxet Gage at Canada Mills near Holden

1 comment:

  1. one of those days...met a few wetsuit clad hikers myself yesterday on the Shepaug.