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whitewater play intermediate paddlers 1 day
Elora Gorge -- Grand River
Saturday, December 2, 2000
length: 3.9km, 1 day
difficulty: intermediate

leader: Cline
participants: Caroline Owen,

Well, Keith didn't make it to Elora on Saturday due to a miscommunication with his folks as to where they hid the key to their house. No access to house meant no access to car keys which meant a long portage to Elora from Toronto. Keith wisely stayed home.

I met up with two friends, Fred Lum and Jamie Dors. We donned our drysuits and pitched our boats into a nearly frozen river of slush. It was sooo cool. Any water that splashed on me or my boat turned instantly to ice. We spent about 2.5 hours on the river, stopping now and again to jump up and down to regain sensation in our feet. Now, for all of you people who think that we're totally nuts, let me assure you that it was no colder than skiing or snowboarding and quite safe if you're dressed for it. The absolute minimum would be a good long wetsuit, paddling top, gloves, beanie hat and neoprene boots. Then, you really want to stay upright!

We all kept our boats in the mainly upright position for the whole run. Fred and I opted to walk (well, actually wade and line at this level because the level was high enough to cover the portage) the chute. It wasn't that the chute was particularly scary. I'd call it a big class II, bordering on III. But, there's really no pool for quite a way after the chute and there's no where to get out easily since it's a gorge. I wasn't confident I could roll in the giant slushy, and my boat was already weighing an extra 10 pounds with the ice! I waded down then acted as safety boat for Jamie who hit the first big wave and immediately filled with water. He stayed afloat, but had a bit of a hairy run-out.

At this level the gorge is sweet! Lots of places to play and no really dangerous areas. As it rises, some nasty holes appear.

I think that's probably about it for the season. Elora dropped to about 5 cms on Sunday so I'm sure Fred and Jamie are thrilled to have run it Saturday since they were trying to talk me into going Sunday instead! I expect that it's mostly frozen over by now. The lower Credit is now ice, I noticed as I passed over it this morning on my way to work.

Now it's time to hibernate and dream about spring. I am a total freakin' addict. So, when's the canoe party?

posted by: Caroline Owen

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