Saturday, April 14, 2007
length: 1 day
organizer: Colin Moneypenny
Water Level: 5.11 on Salmon Tamworth gauge
Today was my second descent down the Upper Salmon River.
Left Barrie around 8am as a convoy of one. I met Neil at the Whitby GO Station and we became a convoy of two. Peter and Stephen Farr caught up to us around Belleville and then we were three.
We met some of the rest of the gang in Tamworth around 11:30.
The weather was overcast but nice.There were two main large groups with a various collection of Open Boats and Kayaks.
In my group there was Neil, Val, Greg, Jessica, Mark, Randall and myself.
The other group was Peter, Stephen, Cline, Sarah, Chris, Mitch, Bonnie, and three others (sorry did not get your names).
There was also a unofficial third group. This was kayaker Mike who flipped back and forth between the two main groups.
We stopped at the takeout first, suited up, moved boats around and headed to the putin. It was a nice warm up paddle down to the first set of moving current which was basically small. The next set had more flow and some rocks to dodge but nothing major to worry about.
Please note that in between all the various swifts and rapids there are large sections of flatwater to paddle.
The first big set was fun. I took lots of pictures of everyone. Everyone that ran it made it down in one piece.
We exited the boats to scout the second big set. It was a long canyon that was pretty pushy. You had to be careful as about half way down there was a big reactionary wave pushing of the left wall across the river to the right. It could easily push anyone into the right hand shelf ledge. Randall and Mark had no problem. Mike had no problem. Jessica walked it. Greg went next and then Neil. I think both of them met the wall on river right. I was the last to run it and I almost hit the same wall as Greg and Neil but turned my edge up at the last moment to miss it. Randall made a comment we should have started higher on the left as all the open boaters ended near the wall.
We exited the boats to scout the third and last big set. The top was straight forward. The only problem was the big a$$ hole at the bottom. The clean run was to stay tight between the left wall and the big rooster tail at the hole. Mike ran it first in his kayak. He almost was sucked back into the hole. Afterwards he said he should not have run it. Neil was the first open boat and made it down to the bottom and then set up safety on river left. Greg went next and made it through all the big stuff only to end up swimming after hit the wave at the bottom with a boat full of water. I know how that feels. I was the last to run and I tried to make the river left line but as normal I screwed it up when right into the big a$$ hole and then ended swimming. Good thing is I did my own self rescue. Val, Mark, Randall, and Jessica decided to walk that one.
Further on down the river everyone had fun surfing the last wave. Randall and Mark did a double side by side surf.
After that it was a short paddle to the takeout. I personally had a great day and I am glad that I made it back again to do the trip. Everyone said they had a great day. Thanks to all for making the long drive to come and paddle.
I will leave the pictures up for a couple of weeks.