This is one of the steepest runs in the area, dropping at an 800-fpm rate for a quarter mile, according to JB Seay. Check out his description, with some great photos, of a run in the winter of 2009; click here.
There's a serious access problem on this crick; one landowner has reportedly threatened to shoot kayakers if he sees them. For this reason, JB Seay recommends parking at the takeout for Daugherty Run, just downstream on the Cheat, and moving quickly when checking levels or finishing a run.
Click here for a 260k video of the Zone Dogg running a boof on this stream. Click here for a 451k video of the Zone Dogg's first attempt at a slide; Click here for a 471k video of his second, better attempt.
Just a reminder: Last summer a good friend of mine from WVU obtained permission from the landowner at the end of the run to sample Elzey Run for fish. He noted that the landowner couldn't stop talking about how much he hated kayakers, and that he wouldn't hesitate to shoot anyone floating down the creek in front of his house. Apparently he doesn't have too much to lose...
No point in writting a howto for this creek. For your own safety, scout *everything*. Strainers and undercuts abound.
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Elsey Run: Tighter than a...
Typical strainer on Elsey Run
Stumpfell on a short slide.
Ace Joe Stumpfel on Elsey Run
Typical entrapment on Elsey Run
One of Elsey Run's first slides
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.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!