Would you run this?

The Funnel on the Lower Millers in western MA…


I have run this rapid twice in the past, and swam it both times. The first resulted in a long hike for my boat. The second in a dislocated finger. I have walked it ever since - including yesterday.

According to American Whitewater, this is a class III(IV) rapid. It was probably closer to class III yesterday. With more water the waves and holes get bigger (much bigger), and with less water you start bouncing off rocks. It didn’t look too bad yesterday, so I thought about going back up to run it, but my boat was already at the bottom and I was too lazy to carry it back up. Or maybe it has just gotten into my head…

Rest of the run is a nice class II. Few pictures here:

Ha! I figured that when the question “Would you run this?” comes from you, my answer would have to be “No Way!”. On looking at the video, I have to say it looks like something I might get through unscathed, but there’s a big difference between that and feeling good about what the result would bet. At my experience and skill level, the fact that there is such a long stretch where, once you are in the main flow you are in for the whole ride, and the whole ride presents swamping and roll-over opportunities, would make me think twice.

I’d twirl then tweek.
Broach boulder than freak.
Gulp twelve hundred cubic feet per second.
Float flopping on back,
toes point out style lacked.
Should have heeded a bankside that beckoned.

Or maybe I’d get lucky?
“Into the breech, boys! Into the breech!”
(Damn these voices that duel within Caverna Crania!)

No, but I don’t have whitewater skills or gear.

I would have to think long and hard at my age! However I feel sure Yatipope would, and if he made it through alright then I would still think long and hard about it. It would depend on the day and mood while standing and watching, Neither of us have our white water canoes anymore since he and Nora got into sea kayaking. So I doubt we will.

Here’s another view of the run (not from me, and not a trip I was on) - this time the left center line at about the same level from a helmet cam.


The volume of water doesn’t concern me that much.
But air temp, water temp, and the fact that I don’t have a dry suit would equal NO GO!
If you dumped; I’d expect you’d be doing a long swim, and if you didn’t make it to shore with your boat, and it got jammed; that would be a huge, nasty hassle I could live without. Particularly in the weather conditions I observed in the video.

Summertime, same water level; I’d probably go for it.
If I dumped; I might even go back upstream & give it another go.
I’d want 2 or 3 paddlers I trusted paddling with me, and I might even invest in a water pump. I’d be paddling a bagged but open canoe.


I do have a dry suit and float bags for my canoe, but i would also want to wait until things warmed up to think long and hard about it.

Swam it twice, but both time made it to the bottom before I dumped. Dump at the top and it would be a long nasty swim. Water temps don’t bother me as much as the fact the the boat goes a long way if someone can’t grab it quick.

No. And after watching this video, I’ve no appetite to ever attempt WW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKFG1N19E5U

<<No. And after watching this video, I’ve no appetite to ever attempt WW:>>

Certainly not in what looked to be a rec kayak with a guided group. At a glance I’d say that the victim didn’t have any experience in swimming white water & the ‘rescuers’ didn’t have much swift water rescue training.

Rookie, i suspect that you would be fine. all signs from your posting here are that 1) you already have a pretty good set of skills, and 2) you would be inclined to take and learn from some WW classes.

Would I run the Funnel? Now no- My WW skills are very rusty. Back when I was doing it more though the answer is probably yes - depending on temperature & the day. What I can’t see well is what the bottom drop looks like & how difficult it would be to have a good line through it. Also, like The Bob, I would be in a dedicated WW canoe with thigh straps and float bags - a Dagger Rival.

Wow - can’t believe he jumped in after him - quite a rescue, but not exactly textbook.

That is not whitewater paddling, but accidents do happen.

Thirty years ago, yes.
Now…1. snow on the ground must be winter, no. …2. . white water, rocks, … my mind says sure I can do that., my body says not so fast sucker, not likely. 3. but I’d do some surf

@Rookie said:
No. And after watching this video, I’ve no appetite to ever attempt WW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKFG1N19E5U

I’ve seen that video before. One should perhaps never argue with success, but I think it was very lucky that the strong swimmer was able to grab and extract the victim in that way. Generally, when a victim is pinned they need to be extracted from upstream, in a direction opposite the force of the water pinning them. Passing a line to allow the victim to help stabilize his airway was appropriate, but then the rescuers wasted a lot of time doing nothing but shouting instructions to the victim which he could almost certainly not hear despite the fact that he was close. Even if he could hear, he almost certainly not have been able to pull his legs out against the force of the water as he was being instructed to do…

At least one of the rescuers was seen to have been wearing a Type V PFD with a quick release rescue harness. The best way to approach this scenario would have been for a swimmer to tether a line onto his quick release belt and have at least two other rescuers belay the line to lower him in a controlled fashion though the slack water eddy just above the pinning site at the undercut rock. The tethered swimmer could have then grabbed the victim from the upstream direction and extracted him from the pin as those belaying him pulled the rescuer and victim back upstream.

If worst came to worst and this failed, the rescuer could still have released his tether and grabbed the pin victim’s upper body as he did.

Eric, it’s always hard to really tell how big rapids are in photos and videos (for me, anyway), but I think at that level, I’d give it a go. (Bagged, drysuit, etc) Would depend a lot on the boat - and again, the level.
Seems the key is picking the good line and staying in it. I’m no expert, but wouldn’t that go smoother with draws and/or pries, instead of “point and shoot”?

I still think anyone who does whitewater kneeling in a canoe is crazy. Have you heard they have boat where you can sit comfortably while using a paddle that has two ends so you don’t have to switch sides? :slight_smile:

Ah Dave I understand the case you are making, I really enjoy my canoes and when I paddle them I think Wow I really love paddling a Canoe, and when i paddle my sea kayak I think Wow I really love paddling my Kayak. The skill set of a single blade paddle in a canoe is fun to me, and the skill set of handling a kayak is too. I am just glad my boats aren’t jealous!

I love canoeing too… with two people and comfortable seats. How anyone does whitewater on their knees with one paddle is something I don’t understand. Of course I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it because there isn’t.

“Of course I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it because there isn’t.”

I think I do understand the case you where making, and certainly nothing wrong with it either.

Here’s a fun canoe song I found on YouTube by a group I wasn’t familiar with. Might not be to everyone’s taste, but it makes me smile, and that’s what paddling does to me too.

I have to say I also enjoy the adrenaline rush of white water and kayak surfing!