March 20, 2007. I ran this after on-site inspection. After returning home, I saw that the Savage (Barton) level was 2.7 and 400 cfs and still rising slightly. This was a good, but definitely minimum, level---rocky at times. I couldn't find the in-water gauge at the gauging station. The level was rising due to some (light?) rain on some small amount of snow (possibly heavier residual snow locally on the river-right, north-facing slope---brrr). I put on at the last railroad crossing, 1.7 miles downstream from Swanton. The creek upstream of this point looked trivial and annoying, and there was a wide, dryish rocky bar just before the last tunnel. I'd say that this is the best put-in. The creek seems more natural below this point. I walked the shuttle up the railroad tracks, after leaving my boat at the top. There is a trail down to the water near some RR switches/signals, river left. This would be a great, fabulous, Class 4 (5) run except for about 15+ log jams. Now, I'm better than average at snaking under, over, through, or around log jams without portaging, but they nevertheless severely reduced my enjoyment of this otherwise excellent run. The first time that I swam at a log jam on this trip was merely annoying, even though I had to walk about 300 feet downstream to reclaim my paddle (lost gear doesn't get far on this creek), and I really should have stopped to scout the 4 drops where it jammed, anyway (4, including a "ledge" formed by a log). (Also, I did pull a large branch out of this slot, before running it, so that was good.) But soon, there I was, headed backwards down a slide toward yet another horrendous log jam after missing a not-really-last-chance pseudo-almost-eddy. I made it over, under, and through that one (but definitely not around), but there is another one down below, soon after where the road appears on river left, where I pinned in a fast, meaty, and blind rapid, and was definitely in fear for my life (can't see it from the road). After pulling my boat loose (lets see: 75 gallons times 8 pounds per gallon . . .), it got away from me (through the barely-boat-size hole under the log, hint) and went 1/4 mile or so downstream through some trivial rapids without me, stopping just above the private bridge. True, I carried or pinned at only four or five log jams, and the creek would be fabulous without the logs, but I can't really recommend this creek under these conditions. Hands down, this is the loggiest creek that I have ever paddled, and I thought (until this) that I had paddled some stinkers!!! Oh, and if, after this "glowing recommendation," you still just have to paddle it, watch out for the big roadside ledge below the drainage ditch tributary waterfall. The hole is sticky and the undercut on the right that it feeds into seems deep.
I ran Crabtree on Monday May 15, 2006 and the Savage was running between 1000 and 1100 cfs in Barton. Crabtree should have been raging but it was at a nice level. The upper part was pretty scrapy. As more tribs dumped in, eventually the creek changed to a great level. I ran the lower stretch along the road once at 500 cfs but I doubt you could go any higher upstream at that level.
What a great creek! I ran it for the first time 10 years ago and always love going back!
Alan Vitek May 5th, 2011 6:35 am Just a fair warning to a siuoatitn thank I dont think has been addressed yet:Facebook instant logins or connects can be a little dangerous. For instance, I was logged into a Facebook Page account for my work, and then tried to register with MacWorld.com via the Facebook Connect option. I think that because I was an account as a Page, and not a User, it ended up looping me into this weird 404 error, that would automatically pop up even when I tried to revisit the homepage, logout, or re-sign in with a different account.I had to clear my cache in order to fix the issue, however, I also had to be completed logged out of Facebook as well, or else it would automatically try to reconnect again.It was a pain. Other than issues like that, I typically enjoy not having to create tons of new accounts with websites now, if I can simply login via Facebook.Just my two cents. :D
The online reference gauge - Savage River at Barton - is merely an indicator. The gauge is on the main Savage above the reservoir north of Crabtree Creek. Several observations indicate 700-800 cfs at Barton is a good level, while around 500 CFS may be minimum. Above 1000 it is probably getting high.
There is an old staff gauge just upstream of the takeout near the Savage reservoir. At the old gauge shack, look for the stick gauge attached to a rock on the upstream side a few feet upstream and out in the water. This gauge stick tops out at 3.3 ft. If this is under water the creek is getting juicy and 2.1 ft. is a good minimum - bangy at times but just a little knuckling.
Given it's gradient, there is a fine line between a great level and too much water. Expect a solid Class IV-V run if it is juicy when you put on.
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Down We Go
Largest Drop on Crabtree Creek
Another Ledge Ho Hum
Upstream of the railroad tube
Typical stairstep rapids of tiny Crabtree Creek
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Tonight American Whitewater presented the Town of Friendsville, Maryland with a $5000 check towards the extension of the Upper Yough Access Parking Area. This, combined with a $1000 donation from Keelhaulers Canoe Club, made a strong statement of how much paddlers value the river and the town! Under the leadership of Mayor Spencer Schlosnagle and long time paddler and Friendsville resident Jess Whittemore the town raised $7 in additional funding for every dollar paddlers donated - just like they did on the initial construction! This makes these gifts a great value for the whitewater community. A big shout out and thank you to ALL who donated!
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