Elora Gorge - High and warm
Sunday, July 18, 2004
route: Tooth to the low bridge
length: 15km, 1 day
offsite report: http://peter
Geoff was looking for partners for a trip
down the Gorge on the weekend, for which he was soundly derided ("there is not
water in the Gorge in July"). Indeed, the GRCA guage showed 5 or 6. Stephen and I signed up because it would be our last
chance to paddle for a couple of weeks.
We met at the Tim Horton's and got on the
water about 10am. We could quickly see that the Irvine creek was
flowing high from the recent rain, and the Gorge itself was much higher than
could be expected from this time of year. While parking the shuttle car at the
bottom we had seen that the water was almost overflowing the low bridge, being
about 4" below the bridge surface. The other very hopeful sign was the one at
the gate - tubing was not permitted today.
After spending some time warming up,
surfing and ferrying below the island at the put in, where the waters from the Irvine
and the Grand flowed together, we headed down river for one of the best runs of
the Gorge I have ever had. It was pretty amazing to be paddling in that much
water in July, warm and without tubers.
Stephen and I gave the chute a miss. The
portage on the right was available but much reduced. Geoff ran it, almost
getting airborne on the first big wave after the drop. He eddied in at the bottom
and tried to surf the big standing wave even with the bottom eddy, but it
looked more like riding the bulls at the Calgary Stampede. He actually did get on the wave for a moment and I wished I had a video camera for the expressions on his face as he tried to hold it together.
Stephen ran everything except the chute. He
was a little freaked by Troll Hole but in reality had no trouble catching the eddy
on the left and sneaking down the left wall.
All you doubters and scoffers missed a great summer run.