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whitewater play intermediate paddlers 1 day
Elora Gorge - High and warm
Sunday, July 18, 2004
length: 4.0km, 1 day
difficulty: intermediate

organizer: Geoff Kee
participants: Geoff Kee, Peter Farr, Stephen Farr,


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.

posted by: Peter Farr

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