Saturday, September 02, 2006


This Labor Day a bunch of us decided to head up to NY for the Beaver/Raquette releases. The Raquette looked like a step up and ultimately I decided I wasn’t too keen on it. Plus at the last minute I realized it was another two hours farther north so we decided to save it for another time. I was pretty excited to get on the Beaver though and was looking forward to just running the three sections. Mark and I drove up with Scott and Jeff. Ben, Andy and James joined us at the campground.

On Saturday we ran the Taylorville section. I was surprised to find the rapids more exciting than I’d expected. I’d been given the impression that it was basically just class three. Although none of the moves were that difficult, and for the most part the rapids were pretty short, I would rate the run higher than a class III. At first glance the first rapid seems pretty innocuous. A big rock with water pillowing up on it and a sticky hole below. But within five minutes we watched as three people swam out of the hole and several others fought their way out. Ultimately a pretty simple boof to the left got you away from the hole but the line was pretty narrow. The run is all basically lake drop. After the first rapid you paddle across a large pool to the next. The second rapid is a long slide with a pretty beefy hole at the bottom. The slide can pretty much be run anywhere but its pretty shallow and fast so it certainly gets your heart pumping. The hole at the bottom is not very wide so you can fairly easily angle to the left or right to avoid it. Hitting the hole straight on can result in a lengthy ride…errr trashing.

Here's some videos of the slide: Maggie's run and Mark's run

After the slide the rest of the rapids are pretty tame but some do require a few moves. The third set of rapids consisted of two channels. One narrow funneling channel which was pretty straight forward, and a creeky channel with a somewhat blind boof. Lots of fun with a couple of fun eddies to catch. Next comes a ledge drop with a scrapey slide on the left. We ran it on the right over a shallow boof in front of a rock that requires fairly precise maneuvering. After that just a few more ledge drops till the takeout. We walked up the pipe and did a second run. Sadly Ben broke his AT paddle while surfing at the bottom. Luckily Mark was able to let him use his breakdown to finish out the weekend. Big bummer though.

Overall the Taylorville section may not be all that difficult but I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who isn’t a solid boater or working their way up to class IV. The rapids are all pool drop and recovery is certainly easy. But it is a shallow run and flipping in most places would be rather uncomfortable. I had a good time but wondered what to expect from the other sections since this one was nothing like I expected.

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