Head Works on the Green PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paula   
Saturday, 20 January 2007 19:30
2007_0120hdwrks0004Eight winter kayakers found their way down the Head Works on a chilly (not freezing) cold January day.  The river was running at 800cfs.   The  air temp was 40F.   And the spirits were high!

Anne, Clay, Samson, Dave, Sydney, Eric, Jeff and Paula met at the Palmer/Kanasket state park takeout for a run down one of the nicer II+ stretches of the Green river.


Anne described this 800cfs level as one of two really nice levels in this river.  800cfs and 2000cfs.  Below 800 and the moves can be a bit more difficult.  Anne didn't describe what it would be like at 1500cfs!!


We put in at a nice calm pool below a short rapid.  Several members, (Clay, Eric, Jeff, Samson) headed over to a small whirlpool to play with some squirts.  Sydney, Dave and Anne practiced some ferries and Paula played on some of the fast water on river right.


There were a number of play spots interspersed with some flat water and riffles.  The first interesting move was on at a bend to the right where a wave train hugged the brush on river left.  Last time I was here at 500cfs, the only way down was along the wave train.  Today there was a nice sneak at river right with an easy eddy.


The next drop was railroad bridge drop.  Railroad bridge drop is an old weir with its center blown out.   I recalled that last June when I went down at lower water, it was a pretty tricky move.  As Dave and Sydney had never been down this river we decided to scout it out by climbing a hill on river left.  We watched as the four advanced crew picked perfect lines through a gap in the weir.  Anne critiqued and pointed out river characteristics we could read on our approach to line up properly.


Water was pouring over most of the gap (unlike last June when there was only a gun sight to slip through).  However, there was only a very narrow slot that would take you through without ending up bouncing off rocks or sliding into a thrashing channel.  The slot was only the width of a kayak.  Our visual aid was a hump of water before the drop.  We needed to hit just river left of the peak of the hump.


(Paula's description) As I approached the drop I got a good bead on the hump and the angle of the water.  I hit the top of the drop right where I wanted and as I went into the foam below I could see the nasty hole to my left and the foaming jaws to my right. Blam into the white water and paddle like heck!!!


We all made it through, hitting our lines just as we liked.


Further down we came to a real sweet ledge with nice waves.  Paula even ventured into the surf and caught a few small ones while the advanced guard hit the big waves. (see pictures)


We then arrived at the boulder garden.  Last June, I did the boulder garden with Craig (SF friend) and we did it on river right.  Bony as heck.  Scraped our way down.  Anne had other ideas for us.  She described a three point move involving a ferry, an eddy and another ferry that kept us in deep water.   We all did the moves perfectly, avoiding the various holes boulders and pour overs.  Eddying out on river right we chatted about the final drop.


In our move back into moving water, Sydney decided to play in a small wave and got flipped.  Anne was right there as Sydney bailed.  Anne and Sampson got Sydney to river right with her paddle while Dave and Paula chased the kayak.  There were lots and lots of boulders.  Dave got a few good pushes into the kayak and I stayed near by just in cased he got into trouble.  It was rather interesting trying to keep an eye on all the river 'features' while positioning to move a loose kayak.


The kayak finally got pinned not to far from shore.  Dave and I eddied out and Anne and Samson were soon to follow.  Sydney found her way down along the shore.


Anne went to work organizing us to recover the kayak.  Demonstrating buddy walking in currents and describing how Dave and Sampson would go out to the kayak and hook a rope onto its bow.  This all went off without a hitch and we were soon back on the water.


The last drop was over a small ledge riddled with large boulders.  Anne described a two point move with a ferry behind a river left moss covered rock and a ferry drop to river right just left of a sun drenched rock.


Anne went first.  I followed getting good eddy out at the moss rock and looking at the drop.  Clearly it was not exactly a ferry drop.  There was a drop then a move further river right to avoid a blocking rock.  Not a problem  and we finished off a great day on the Head Works!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 August 2009 22:17