The first major drop involves a blind slot on the right to a pool with no place to stop to scout. A lot of water goes left, under an enormous undercut that can beat you up, but should let you go. Stay right.
This creek is small. Like 15' wide on average and maybe 30' at its widest small. Its steep, blind and very technical. We put in at the pipeline. You put in on a small pool, the creek looks like little more than a ditch, you turn right and start crankin because 5' downstream (litlerally) is the first boof. Its on...right away. Zero warm-up and it only get harder. Putting more than one boat in an eddy, most of the time is, is not an option, so know your groups signals.
There are some VERY nice slides on this run...many are back to back. The slots average 4' wide...many are boofs. The last drop is a phat launcher onto a suprisingly soft landing slide.
We ran it at about 2" over the bridge footer at the take-out. There were plenty of eddies and it wasnt very pushy. We also never went more than about 50' without banging a rock just under the surface (except on the slides of course). We had multiple broaches throughout the day, but none were serious due to such low flows and plenty of rocks to use your hands on and free yourself. The slides were a little sticky (grabby). I would have liked to have seen about another 3". Put much more water into it than that and Im sure it would turn into a real bobsled run with very few eddies.
As of this past weekend, it was pretty log infested. We made 3 carries and a few spooky limbo moves. We didnt have a guide, so we scouted quite a few times (6-8 maybe) and still did this run in just over 3 hours. Most of the scouts were because we couldnt see what was around the corner and there were no eddies before going around that corner. Scouting can be tough with the thick rhododendron.
It really is a great run. I highly recommend it. But dont be fooled...class V skills are certainly required.
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The seive in the seive drop after the wooden bridge is currently full of wood, some water still goes through it, so stay right. There are currently 2 bad logs on the run, if you see orange ribbon on the trees, get out and scout. The rest of the wood you can get by with some finesse. This creek is awesome! Goofy smiles abound;)
9 years ago
This typically runs after a heavy local rain. Like most small creeks there is no online gauge on the creek. The cited gauge (Big Sandy Creek at Rockville) should provide a good indication of runnability. You can also call the Pittsburgh River Office at (412)262-5290.
The boater's gauge (the only way to find out for sure about runnability) is looking at the "OLD" Bridge footer just upstream of the take-out. The bridge footer is a cement ledge that sticks out on the river left downstream side. Consider the top of the ledge to be the absolute minimum level. I found that 3Â to 6Â above the footer is a good run. While IÂm sure it could be run much higher I would be careful! At high levels certain areas of the creek could be a flush. Daugherty tends to fall fast, so if you get there and it seems too high just come back in a couple of hours.
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Daug Haus, Sieve Rapid
Approach to the Sieve Rapid
Where You want to be at Undercut Rapid
Jason at a ledge
Last Drop Daugherty Run
Strainers, strainers everywhere
Walking the Dawg
Sliding down Daugherty Creek
No Warm up!
Walk-in the Dog
The Technical Side of Things
Sliding down The "Dog"-erty
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Nancy Kell, a very experienced Mid-States kayaker, died on February 24th after flipping in a Class II rapid on West Virginia's Red Creek. There were a number of strainers in the vicinity above and below the water. One of them snagged her tow tether, pulled her out of her boat, and held her under water. She was with a very experienced crew but they could not reach her quickly enough. Equipment snags are a real risk. In the light of this accident I strongly urge anyone using a cowtail, pigtail, or tow tether to recheck your setup, and to consider whether wearing a tow tether makes sense. Be certain that your tether releases cleanly at both ends. Do not attach the front carabiner to a non-releasable point, like a pocket or strap. Ms. Kell did this, and it may have been a contributing factor. Apparently many current rescue PFD designs to not feature a front release point! Do not attach a tether to the rear of your PFD with a non-locking carabiner, as that may inadvertently clip into a rope. The tether should fit very snugly, without sagging, but as the photo shows Ms. Kell did that, and it did not protect her! The harness release should be quick and foolproof. Practice harness releases under pressure before using it on the river. Finally, remember that any additional strap is a potential snag hazard. Ask yourself if the usefulness of a tow tether is worth the risk, especially on small, strainer infrested creeks. Carry it in a PFD pocket or dry bag if necessary. Click for a link to the report in the AW Accident Database. (Jeff Macklin Photo)
Get your groove on baby! This year Gauley Fest is a 60’s themed event to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. To memorialize that historic event we are flashing back to another era for a 60’s throwdown. Started in 1983 to celebrate the derailment of a hydro-electric project that would have disrupted the flows on the Gauley River, Gauley Fest has grown to become the largest paddling festival in the world.
American Whitewater received the following open letter to boaters from the rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area. This letter will keep you up to date on important management actions of the National Park Service on the Gauley River. Enjoy your paddling season on this classic whitewater river. As in past years, American Whitewater has leased the field above Masons Branch, also known as the Legg field, for overflow parking.
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