Chandler Mill Stream
|Stretch:||Smalls to the Walls Alternate Race Course|
|Difficulty:||Class IV to IV+|
|Flows:||Sandy River in Madrid from 60 cfs to ~600? cfs. USGS Sandy River in Madrid gauge|
|Gradient:||~500 fpm average|
|Take-out:||Confluence with Sandy Stream|
|Season:||Spring of snowmelt, summer and fall off of rain|
|Featured in Video A Wet State #158|
North East Road Trip 2021: Day 5
The expected rain was still one more day away... so options were limited. But, temps were warm, so there was a chance that Small Falls would come in off of snowmelt by the afternoon. So with that, and basically no other options, we decided to go check out the Smalls to the Falls race and quickly found ourselves signed up for the race. The race was a time trial followed by a winner goes on bracket. Water was still low on Smalls at the noon start time, so the race began on Chandler Mill Stream which is literally 100 yards away and uses the same parking lot. The hope was that by the later bracket rounds Smalls would come in so the race could move there. Sadly that did not work out the way that was hoped, but we had a great time running this little stream.
This is basically two good slide and two small ledges. The fact that it is slides rather than falls means that this run can be done with Smalls is too low. Basically just need enough water to lubricate the rock to empower the sliding. When you are done with the final drop, you can climb steeply up the left shore and walk back to the top for another lap. Including our first "whats this creek about" lap, we did 5 laps that day. I made it to the Quarter Finals (via beating Diane in the round of 16) and Diane went on to win the women's Final. It was a great day, and a fun event. If you find yourself in the area the last weekend of April, make sure to check it out!
- Put-in Slide (III to IV). Its always hard with this style of rapid. It is really only class III, but it is tall and still poses some risk to your back if you don't have technique. Anyways, you put in halfway down the first drop. There is no clean line down the top half. So on river right there is a shelf you can slide off of to run the second half. The line is down the right, kinda impossible to mess it up.
Ledge (III). A small ledge can be run basically anywhere, we raced it down the center. Do note if you run far right there is a bit of a pocket on the right wall, so maybe avoid that.
Pinch Slide (IV). There is more to this slide than the put-in drop. At the low flow there was a gravel bar just above it making you swing right and make a hard right turn onto this drop. The bedrock starts and you hit a kicker which then drops you onto the slide which is in a trough. Easy enough but I am sure people can find ways to mess it up!
Exit (III). Exit anywhere, many went right which I felt was slower so I went left.
Access: To get to the "Small Falls Rest Area and Trailhead" you could google that, or drive 2.9 miles on ME-4N from Madrid Maine to the trailhead. Once there, walk down through the lower parking lot (commonly gated early in the year when this is running), walk over the path over Sandy River and look at Small Falls, then on the otherside, where the trail goes up Small Falls, go left and follow it up the ridge to the top of Chandler Mill. Ferry across the river and walk down to the halfway spot of the first rapid and seal launch in there.
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...