Black River (Washago) - very low water
Sunday, June 20, 2004
length: 4.0km, 1 day
organizer: Peter Farr
participants: Laurent Tauveron, Peter Farr, Sean Farr, Stephen Farr,
offsite report: vvcc.canoeontario.ca/gallery/BlackRiver2004-06-20
OR try the Wayback Machine
BoatWerks shows 12cms.
We were curious what number on Keith's new wizbang flow pages corresponds to the lowest navigable level on this section of the Black... and I think we found it today. It was lower than anything I have ever seen before. The main part of the river was still navigable but low. The first and second sets were still surfable although we couldn't reach the little ender hole at the top left. Lunch Rock rapids were bony but with a pretty good surf from centre to left, broken by a newly exposed rock in the middle. The surf wave on far right was a shallow pour over.
The zig-zag rapids under the bridge were unrunnable as was the far right channel near the road. The only channel with enough water was past Dumbass, which at this level is a rather evil looking shelf. The channel was runnable on the extreme right, as was the rocky ledge below.
The flat section in the middle had almost no current, and Stephen worked his arms off moving is little playboat along. It didn't help that his brother was sitting in the bow of a tandem doing next to no paddling!
Bell Ringer was not runnable, and the rocky ledge before Pinky's was only runnable in the chute on the extreme left. The surf wave at the top of Pinky's was there, but the rest of the rapid was a boulder garden and the ledge at the bottom was nasty. The usual low water route at centre right was not an option (too dry), everything left of there was a rock pile and to the right was a foot high ledge with a nasty hole behind it. There was a very narrow slot somewhat right of the usual route, but just wide enough for a canoe. You can see it from the bottom, but not from above so make sure you scout.
I have posted some pictures in the gallery for your amusement.
By the way - in case you get the wrong impression, I had a great time. The weather was great, the bugs were non-existant, and the company was enjoyable.