Sunday, March 25, 2007


Finally spring had arrived! Warm temps and wet weather were making this weekend look pretty promising for some good creeking. Scott and i decided to join a group heading to Fikes Run. I'd been interested in doing that for some time and though it wasn't going to be as challenging as the Canaan Valley creeks it sounded like a good time. When we arrived at the takeout we were surprised at the number of cars and people. It looked like Friendsville on release day!! We all broke up into smaller groups.

After being told that it was running rather high and that eddies would be scarce we decided that a group of four was big enough. Willy and Ed joined us and after confirming the location of the known hazards on the run we were off. Willy had done the run a few years back and once he got on he was able to remember the important stuff. He easily recognized the 'unrunnable' drop, Hubbard's Cupboard, and we all ran the sneak on the far left. It actually had a fair amount of water and did not require much scraping.

At The Room of Doom we got out and scouted then ran it with varying degree of success. With the flow that day there was not much of a hole but rather a big pillow.

Overall I was impressed with the quality of the run. No wood to speak of, quality class III-IV rapids, very continuous but still a fair amount of eddies, no flat water to speak of at that flow. I would call the flow we had medium not high. Would have liked to have seen some more water on a few of the drops, especially the slides. Great run,would highly recommend it. The scenery was also fantastic. Gorgeous evergreen forest and clear water really made the run even more enjoyable. Unfortunately it was a rather foggy day and although it made for a great paddling experience photos did not come out great.

We ended up doing 2 laps with a diversion over to Ohiopyle to check out Meadow Run in between (some drunk local had crashed his truck on the put in road at Fikes so we decided to give the ambulances time to clear out before heading back there).

We arrived at Meadow to find it raging. Scouting the slide we decided it would be too high to do the run. Ed grabbed his boat though and ran the big slide. He made it look really easy but the hole in the crux was just plain nasty.

Finished off the weekend with four laps on the Top Yough at about 800 cfs. Two laps with Scott, Colin and Pete. Then Pete and i finished off 2 more laps on our own. Pete had been running the right line at Swallow Falls and convinced me to follow him down. That middle line is rather boney even at that level so i was willing to give something else a try. As you come down the tongue you realize just how huge the pillow coming off the right bank is. On the first run had no problems, bounced off the pillow, hit the hole straight on and bounced over it. But on the 2nd run the pillow spun me around and i hit the hole completely sideways! That thing is huge! After getting side surfed for a few seconds i flipped and hoped it would let me go. It did but not before trying to rip my paddle out of my hands. It only got one and i was able to grab it back and roll up. Nothing like a little excitement to finish off the day!

Ed running Meadow Run Slide

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