Green River (Lower)
|Stretch:||Garfield Rd to VT-15|
|Difficulty:||Class IV to V|
|Flows:||1 to 2 tubes. I am not sure where the releases get announced. We found on "Class V Vermont" facebook group|
|Gradient:||371 fpm average (from mile 1.0 to 2.8)|
|Put-in:||Downstream of the Garfield Rd culvert waterfall|
|Take-out:||Morrisville Used Auto on VT-15|
|Shuttle:||5.6 miles, (10 minutes one-way, some good dirt)|
|Season:||Dam release, only a few a year.|
|Featured in Video A Wet State #158|
North East Road Trip 2021: Day 11 Midday
A recently relicensed release allows for this rather nice bit of kayaking. Apparently, it went all the way to the Supreme Court of Vermont. So hurrah for the Clean Water Act, and for AW fighting the fight.
This "River" is really more of a creek. I do not know what 1 tube or 2 tube (the release occurs via tubes) corresponds to, but we had a 1 tube plus natural accumulation and it felt like 300 cfs or so at most. I have heard 1 tube feels very low and scrappy. I can imagine it as there were for sure some scrappy parts in the slidey rapids. I can also imagine that at 2 tubes it earns its IV to V rating, where as at the 1 tube it was on the very easy side of the IV to V scale, mostly III, a few easy enough IVs, and a few low stress -Vs.
But the rapids were super fun, and the canyon super pretty, which makes the run very worthwhile even at the lower 1 tube flow. Immediately below put-in you get to the first scout as the flow splits around an island. Scout on the right or left, the right is nice because you can see the exit. The left would be nice because you can scout the lip. Below, the run mellows off for a while as you meander through the woods and through a meadow or two. But eventually the action pics up as you get to the second class V rapid, a double drop that was full of wood our day. Below, the action pics up with slides and ledges and a few chunky drops. Another class Vish drop is a big ramping ledge that is an easy boof, but a crucial boof as the hole is powerful. Downstream, more slides fill the river with one last blind corner having a ledge that you want to go down the left as the right has a massive piton (trust me, I found it). You then quickly find take-out.
Wood is ever present on this run due to the forested canyon. So be on your toes and scout the horizons. If you do that, a great day can be had in here
- Moonshine (V- to V). The first rapid comes just 100-200 yards downstream from put-in. Scout left or right. While left gives you the angle for the top drop, the right gives you the view of the bottom stuff. Personally, I think right is the way to go assuming you are ok running a 10 footer. The river splits with 10% going right and 90% going left. Scout before the split on the right. The left channel is what you run. A short lead in wants to push you far left, but you want to drive across the lip of the drop and boof hard right going right to land in the eddy rather than being pushed downstream on the far left into the rocks. In the eddy, now go all the way down the right for two ledges. Around the corner is another pinch drop that has an undercut on the right, and a rock on the left. Go down the middle erroring slightly left.
Boogie (III to IV). The boogie starts at a slower clip. A few nice ledges fill this first section.
- Meadow: You enter a meadow and wind through it. Once you leave the meadow things start coming at you quicker.
- Young Buck (V- to V). We had to portage due to the bottom drop being full of wood. It is a double drop, reminiscent of the Island drop on the Upper Upper Cispus's right channel. A narrow drop into a pothole, and a pinch drop through a ledge hole. Scout left.
Boogie picks back up...
- Humble Pie AKA Money Shot (IV+ to V-). A pretty straight forward drop, a rapid leads to a pinch and a 10 to 12 foot falls are so. At the pinch the water ramps up giving you a great pad to boof off of making the rather big hole at the bottom a non-issue. Just don't go far far left as it lands on rocks over there but you would have to try to do that.
Slide (IV). Downstream is a nice section of slides. Just follow the water.
Ledge (IV-). A nice ledge is boofed far left.
Small Island (IV). This was a rather junky rapid that we went down a smaller left channel. You fade a boof off the right trying not to land on the rocks on the left. The left channel looked even chunkier.
Weird Boof (IV-). A weird off angle boof with an undercut on the right and a deep trough on the right and a sharp rock on the left. Error Left
- Runway (IV+). This was a long slide that looked like you wanted to be on the far right with the main flow, but that ends up getting shallow at 1 tube. So instead you want to be in the smaller left channel which converges on a ramp and small ledge over a large hole. But the ramp and ledge let you easily get your nose up to blast out and away from the hole.
Piton (IV). Just downstream is another blind rapid. After a busy entrance the rapid bends right blindly, the right looks like the spot to be but it boofs right into a big piton. I found it. The left of center is a much kinder step-down drop.
Take-out: Take VT-15 east for 4.1 miles out of Morrisville. In 2021 it was ok to park at the Morrisville Used Auto directly before the bridge over the Green. I would post on the Class V Vermont facebook page to confirm this is still ok if it has been anytime between when you are running this and when I wrote this.
Put-in: Head back west on VT-15 for 2.3 miles. Turn right on Garfield Rd and follow for 3.1 miles to a T, turn right to stay on Garfield Rd. Quickly cross over the river via culvert and then look for a wide spot 100 yards below to park and walk the 100 yards down to the water.
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