Carnage at the Gap

It’s been a while since I had my whitewater boat out, so I headed out to western MA for the dam release on the Fife Brook section of the Deerfield River. I paddled with one of the local AMC chapters and we had a huge group – 19 boats (17 kayaks, 2 canoes).

Fife Brook is an easy class II run, but it ends at Zoar Gap – a tricky class III rapid. I have a 50/50 record running the Gap – 12 attempts = 6 successful, 5 swims and 1 walk. There is a nice eddy at the top, and a big rock in the middle with lines on either side. Usually, I skip the eddy at the top and try to hug the right shore. Yesterday, the current was pushing everything left, so I caught the eddy at the top and tried the left line. I didn’t have enough momentum going down the shoot and flipped in the wave at the bottom. I had plenty of company – here are some of the other runs (but not mine):

The level was dropping by the time we reached the Gap, and I think it is tougher at lower water. Few pictures from the rest of the trip here:

you see the pillow in the center
the green boat went over it

I had the pleasure of doing the same thing but the water level was dropping so fast I spun out on top of that rock and went plunk…toppled over

Not good to be at the end of the release. Timed out!

We almost timed out
The green boat did hit the second rock - she flipped but rolled back up eventually. In higher water that second rock is buried. The kid in the yellow boat behind her was 14 - he did 3 runs. His sister is 10 - she flipped after the first drop and rolled back up. Someday, maybe we’ll see those kids in the Olympics.

we look for relief for NE. Maybe tomorrow.

We can hope…
Pretty sad when you are hoping for a hurricane. :wink:

He failed in his Google Search
first the Deerfield is too far inland

Second its a dam release which has nothing to do with rainfall.


– Last Updated: Sep-04-16 9:06 AM EST –

but I'm still hoping for rain - just not as much as Irene. Floods caused by Irene were huge up through Vermont. Washed out a lot of the nice rapids on this section of the Deerfield.

we are too
We’re in a drought and the leaves have started changing but not in a good way… Trees are very stressed.

Wild rivers are now all boulders…The Swift is a mess.

Right side very altered by Irene

– Last Updated: Sep-05-16 8:53 PM EST –

It has not been so useful since Hurricane Irene. Mostly going to to left, everyone, now.
The Gap)

Under 90mph
Storms are exciting, cooling fresh . Heeding NOAA/NHC essential.

Tampa area, Daytonah, the sand Ridge between Daytonah and Ocala see 60-80mph squall lines.

Itsnot Norman OK …OK here on that. Fl weather blows thru…no socked in…I had a beach house, sold it, THEN the hurricane came thru…

Owning beach property as a replaceable toy …amazing. THEN your insurance rates go up.

The Maine poster does not exhibit a psitive attitude on this matter.

Effect ? Did Irene move the area ahead 100 years destroying old infrastructures ?

Gap is narrower after Irene

– Last Updated: Sep-06-16 5:50 AM EST –

Part of the right side got filled with rocks during the reconstruction of the road. There use to be a sneak line on the far right, which is now gone. Lots of people still go right, but the current tends to push you into the rock in the middle if you are not careful. Here's a view of a couple of runs from the road - you can see the right and left lines.

It was the sneak line
I was unclear about how much Irene filled it in versus subsequent rebuilds, but that was the one I meant. What I see in the video as right looks like the right side of middle that used to be there, kinda.

It also looks like there is a more rightward default flow around the bigger rock near the top. It’s been some years since I ran the Gap but I recall it very well. I was pushed to the left even though I started out high on the right. Combination of lousy paddling and capsizing just below the top rock. When I rolled up my best option was to stay facing backwards and take the flow to the left close enough I had to throw a little edge to avoid the oh shit rock near the bottom.

It appears that in the same capsize now I may have ended in the flow on the right side of the top rock. Possibly facing forward though.

number rocks ?

ok guys now if you watch your onboard computer at D67 rock 4B move C243 12’ …

damn shame yawl doahn have more rainfall…

ahhh sometimes you watch the show
and sometimes you are the show!

I found a video that pre-dates Irene
The Gap runs start at 01:20, and we all take the far right sneak line that was filled with rocks during the reconstruction of the road after Irene.

Yup - fun to do both

Yup, that was what I meant
Obviously it has a while since my WW boat has gotten wet except in a winter pool session.

I was never good enough in WW to find that sneak line myself, but I always liked watching the folks who could manage it. Thanks for the video.

I have been told that Irene altered Pinball some too, it is still there but not as many distinct eddies to hit.