Crisp Air and Warm Water – Raquette Release Weekend

By:  Ben
August 23, 2010

The was another release this past Saturday, so once again we made plans to go. Then, a day before the release, I crashed on my bike, bruising my shoulder and getting stitches in my forehead. I optimistically decided to try to go anyway, but I was not feeling very good as we drove across the Greens heading toward the Dacks Friday evening.

This moose was on the loose in Middlebury gap around sunset

Nick has an amphibious car!

Saturday morning we woke up and I still wasn’t feeling good. My shoulder was even more sore than it had been the day before, but I put on anyway. I felt terrible in the entrance rapid though, and realized that it was not a good idea to kayak more until my shoulder was feeling better. Nick and Chris kept going with some friends from Vermont though, and I set-up to take some pictures at Colton Falls and run shuttle.

Erik showing off the boof flake on the Colton slide

Alan following along in fine form

But trouble awaits him at the bottom of the slide. He managed to pull out of it though!

One of Team Middlebury on the Horseshoe Ledge

Those Middlebury boys can paddle!

...although this is what the bottom of his run looked like

Nick comes in, repping Dartmouth

Alan shows VLS students can boof too

Nick launches into the slide

Making it look easy

At the bottom of the first run, Chris showed up to the take-out with bloody knuckles and forearms – apparently he had flipped in Particle Accelerator and taken a fast-moving grind from the rocks there. He decided to call it after that too. The rest of the crew went for another lap. This time at the bottom, Simone showed up with a broken paddle, having flipped in the same spot. Nick and Alan decided to run one more with a couple Middlebury paddlers, but the rest of the crew decided that there had been enough carnage for one day. Everyone was fine, but it was a good reminder that scrapes and bruises are part of the game if you mess up in the wrong spot in Class V water.

A great late summer day on the river

Epilogue – a few days later, my shoulder is much less swollen and feeling better. I got out paddling this morning on the easier Wells River and felt good, so hopefully nothing is badly damaged! Thanks for stopping by, and remember to check out the weather page where you can see our new on-the-ground weather report feed from readers like you. I’ll be posting any river levels I can there, so check it out if you’re interested in river level beta too!

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  1. colin_extreme
    wrote on August 23rd, 2010 at 4:37 pm  

    Looks great!

    Do you guys have any surfing waves down there?

    I’m assuming spring-time only… Don’t worry, we have thick wetsuits (=

    • Ben
      wrote on August 24th, 2010 at 10:23 am  

      there are a couple waves in the upper valley (hanover area)… the best one is on the White River, formed by the remains of an old low-head dam. It gets really nice and glassy at highish water (look for about 7000+ on the White gauge), which is basically springtime only. It still is ok between 1000-2000, but not as good as higher levels.

      Sumner Falls/Hartlands is a fun spot on the Connecticut river just south of White River Junction, it has a decent play hole at levels below ~5000. Above ~12k a really nice wave called the sign wave comes in higher up (near a sign on river right). The connecticut is dam controlled, so there’s usually some play all summer long…

      you can get some more info on upper valley play spots at

    • colin_extreme
      wrote on August 24th, 2010 at 5:25 pm  

      Thanks for the info Ben!

      I’m talking about surfing on a board, by the way. Do you ever see any river surfers at these spots?

    • Ben
      wrote on August 24th, 2010 at 5:39 pm  

      Hmmm, I don’t see river surfers a whole lot, although I’ve seen them before. Not sure if that’s mainly because there aren’t a lot in the area or the spots aren’t good for river surfing…

      Check it out and let us know how it goes!

  2. Lionel Hutz
    wrote on August 24th, 2010 at 6:49 am  

    Another winner Ben. Good work.
    2-3 inches of rain in 48 hours prob. has your crew out again. Keep up the off season stoke.

  3. Chris
    wrote on August 25th, 2010 at 7:56 pm  

    Nice Pictures Ben, looks like fun…

  4. Eric
    wrote on August 29th, 2010 at 9:01 pm  

    Will you be attending the Beaver River release as well? I go to school at UVM and I bet you can hitch a ride with us…

    • Ben
      wrote on September 1st, 2010 at 11:02 am  

      I’m not, unfortunately – I’m on a 3 week road trip (for climbing & biking) in the west… I’ll definitely be around in the fall and going to Moosefest, so i’ll be sure to keep an eye out for you!

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