Black, Vermont, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III(IV) (for normal flows)|
|BLACK RIVER AT NORTH SPRINGFIELD, VT|
|usgs-01153000||300 - 3000 cfs||II-III(IV)||01h27m||160 cfs (too low)|
Review courtesy of TommyCBoat.
I made my personal first decent of the Black in Cavendish Vt. Carlton Road to Upper Falls Road with NHAMC today. No gage, no experience so I'll call it a medium level based on comments I heard.
NHAMC ran it as a class III and I won't argue. The first drop was billed as a III. I looked at it too long and listened to others declare it a IV- and finally chose to walk it (wimpy wimpy). Sean attempted to run it solo in a Mad River Freedom (16' tandem)with dramatic results. The short swim didn't seem to faze him though. John, Bruce and Dan, kayakers all ran various lines without any drama. Below that it started with fast class I building to fast class II and finally III.
As anyone paddling today is well aware it got colder and windier as the day went on. I was glad to be in the Cascade C1 and pitied the openboaters when the wind blew up the valley.
The gorge section was pretty sweet. Some of us had been hanging back surfing everything we could. We caught up to the main group while they scouted. The consensus seemed to be "plenty of water watch out for the holes". I was still wishing I'd not psyched myself out at the first drop so I took that as my cue and went for it. It quite reminded me of the gorge at New Boston at 5'. Tight and fluid with big waves and small eddies. No Decoration Drop though.
Below the Gorge it was II-III boogie water for a few more miles to the covered bridge takeout.
I was pooped by the time we finished which is to say it was a pretty great day.
Some of us drove up to and walked Cavendish Gorge Which has been compared to the Flume in Franconia Notch minus the boardwalk and cover charge. It's well worth seeing but I won't be paddling there any time soon... YIKES.