Sandy Stream, Maine, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV-V (for normal flows)|
|Carrabassett River near North Anson, Maine|
|usgs-01047000||2000 - 8000 cfs||IV-V||01h07m||699 cfs (too low)|
Jeff Sharpe shared on 5/25/07:
This is a surprisingly high-quality run tucked away in a little valley near the confluence of the Carrabassett and the Kennebec. The nature of the river is smooth granite bedrock slides and falls, of which there are many, separated by pools. There are some big drops on the section including a near-vertical 15-footer with a shallow landing and a few other bigger sliding falls. Everything was run in my one descent of the river. Most drops are Class IV, but there are maybe 10 or so Class-V rapids. Portaging and scouting is very easy and the scenery is quite good with only an occassional glimpse of a seldom traveled dirt road that parallels the river for the entire run. The initial descent was by Dave Gatz with Bill and Joan Hildreth in 1991.
Shuttle: The dirt road to the takeout is obvious on a Maine gazetteer. I believe it is called Sandy Stream Road. Leave a car where the river turns to class 1 and 2. To get to the takeout, it is wise to head back to the paved road and continue a few hundred feet further to a second dirt road that is much better than the takeout road. This road looks steep and rocky initially but quickly becomes more gentle and well maintained than the takeout road, which was in very bad shape at the time of this writing. The two roads in question join together approximately one mile above the takeout.
Follow upstream five miles to a T in the road, go right, over a bridge, and then put in at the next bridge.
Water Levels: We ran it when the Carrabassett was 2000 and dropping. Supposedly ideal levels are in the 2400 range. 2000 was still quite fun, and although low, all the drops were still very fluid.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|1.0||Slip and Slide||IV+|
|1.5||Cat and Mouse||V|
This very fun and big auto boof has a twisty III+-IV entrance rapid just above it. Very fun!
A riverwide near vertical waterfall that runs out onto ledge. It can be floated down the middle or the right, and the transition is very soft.
Clean boof into either a slide on the right, or boulder garden on the left. Both gorgeous and classic!
Cat and Mouse is also referred to as the "Mini-Gorge" Run the cats paw starting left, then working right to avoid a small sieve. Many set safety here (see pictures). Below lies the exit: The mouse gets the cheese, a nice 4-6ft boof into a pool!
Crusher is not burly slide, but the entire sequence. Scout right. Portage right (or left to have a fun seal launch at the bottom). Man set safety at the pool just above the crusher slide, and the entry rapids are a little rocky. The very top drop is regularly run by some, but sneaked right into a cool room on the right.
Boof center, or take the challenging fade move on the left. Very clean!
This is the double ledge drop after Rope Swing. Boof into an aerated hole, there is a low angle slide following this rapid.