|Stretch:||Bridge to Bridge|
|Difficulty:||Class III- (2 IV+)|
|Flows:||No Gauge. Estimate at put-in: 1,200 cfs|
|Gradient:||88 fpm average|
|Put-in:||Road bridge to Chikuneti|
|Take-out:||Road bridge near Acharisaghmarti|
|Shuttle:||5.7 kms (10 minutes one-way)|
|Season:||Spring and ?|
|Featured in A Wet State #130|
Our thanks to our trip leads at Two Blade Adventures.
Republic of Georgia 2017 Day 6 Afternoon:
The Middle section of the river is for sure easier than the Upper. The in between boogie is more class III than IV like the Upper, but two of my favorite rapids of the run were on the Middle section. The first is after a few km, you will find your self entering a gorge where the river constricts tightly against the right wall, go with it and ride the curler. Downstream is a super scenic cove in the wall. The next rapid is near the end of the run, after you have gone through some small towns. The river bends right and gets steeper. It is hard to scout prior unless you know where to get out as once you round the corner and see it it is too late. The rapid though was straight forward down the right following the bulk of the water. Below, things mellowed with just a few more noteworthy rapids before getting to take-out.
This run is for sure worth it as well. Doing both the Upper and Middle only took us a few hours as the miles go by very quickly. We could have done laps, but 6 days into the trip I think we were all getting tired. Plus with the hike in, the two of us recuperating from back injuries within the past year were also feeling aches a bit more than normal. So instead, we headed back to Batumi and took naps at Egor’s house. That also allowed Egor a chance to take his van into the shop to fix a faulty e-brake. That night, we went to Batumi and had a dinner of Khinkali. Khinkali is a wonderful dumpling dish… but the dumplings are big, you eat them with your hand, first take a small bite to make a hole, then suck all the juice out before eating them, leaving the doughy top that you held uneaten on your plate as a sign of how many you ate. They are so so good. I am going to miss those!
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Next: Republic of Georgia 2017 Day 7 Midday - Kintrishi (Middle)
Mileage is measured from the Middle and the Upper put-in, since anyone doing the Upper is also likely doing the Middle as well.
Mi 0.0 / 2.3:
- Boogie is pretty mellow for most of this run, not like the IV boogie in the Upper. More like II and III-.
- Shoulder Slide (IV+). One of the more fun rapids of the river, this one can be scouted on the left though it is a long scout. I hoped out to take some pics but saw how far it was and decided to just take over the shoulder from a distance. The entrance is run with the main flow down the left, and has a small ledge that I am sure gets stickier as flows come up. But I think you could start to cheat further right in the entrance as flows come up. The main move is a constriction against the right wall which forms a shoulder against the wall before dropping into a slide and a soft hole. Try to get right and onto the shoulder, a long class II straight away is below for you get to a super cool river feature where a cove has been carved into the wall and only a small pinch exits well upstream from the base of the cove.
- Last Rapid (IV to IV+). This rapid is hard to scout… only because by the time you know you are there you are in it. If you get out just before the right bend, the scout is easy in a field on the right. The rapid was run down the right and had a fold that you just negotiate followed by a ledge that can be boofed left, or a tongue is also present in the middle even though it looks like you might run into the house size boulder.
Boogie (III). Some last few rapids exist, before the final rapid at the take-out...
- Islands (III-). This rapid rapid is super scenic as you come into town and there is a footbridge overhead. The river splits around a bunch of islands. As I recall we stayed with the main flow center and then left.
Put-in / Take-out: Use the GPS coordinates in the map and a mapping program on your phone. The street names will not be legible anyways…
Put-in: At the bridge over the river, the only bridge over the only spot above the Middle take-out where the road crosses from river left to river right.
Take-out: Just below the main road’s bridge near the town of Acharisaghmarti.
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