River: Upper Yough
Paddlers: Me, Rich, Matt, Jeff, Carl,
Date: 28 Sep 07
I have had my eyes on the Upper Yough for a while now, but not sure if I was ready for it. The majority of my experience has been with big water like the Ottawa River, and the Yough is steep, continuous, rocky class IVish.
Normally I only would have trusted Jeremy to lead me down the river, but unfortunately today was the beginning of the US Nationals, including the Squirt Competition (which saw Jeremy as the 2007 US National Squirt Champion). I was getting desperate, and knew that while I was here would be the only change I’d have to paddle the Yough. I posted on the Monocacy Canoe CLub board, and with the help of Rick Roberts, who assured anyone willing to take me down that I was cuter than a spotted puppy under a red wagon, I ended up receiving an email from Jeff, whose group was willing to take a beginner down and show her the lines.
Rich wasn’t sure if he would be able to paddle with a bum shoulder, but after an ‘EJ Cocktail’ decided that he would be fine.
We ran shuttle and put on. The one thing I really liked about the YOugh was that it started off slow and then began to pick up pace. I was able to get a good warmup before the steeper drops. Once they started however, it was full-speed ahead until the river tapered out again at the bottom of the mountain. Few sections of flatwater between drops, and do-or-die technical lines. OK, so maybe it wasn’t do-or-die, but there were a couple sketchy spots on the river.
I barely remember any of the rapid names or the lines, and have no photos as the river was non-stop, hardly scoutable, but I was definately ready for it, and it was definately a step up for me. I’m glad I was able to get on it, and that I made it down without any major mishaps!
Now I’m back at the ASCI Whitewater Course at the WISP Resort in Deep Creek, MD getting ready to volunteer at US Nationals tomorrow.