Monday, December 15, 2008
to run a low head dam or not?
Here is Jeff, running one of two low head dams on the Farmill. The level is very low. Note how shallow the curtain of water is.
A good boof is what you'll need. Keep in mind that super low flow over the lip does not mean the hole will be weak.
Hopefully you are lined up to land straight and with the ability to take some super quick turbo powered strokes to make sure that you maintain enough momentum to get past the boil line.
Jeff had a good boof, and was squared up to the drop enough to glide past the boil line with a smile on his face.
Everyone had good lines on this day, but even perfect boofs, in high volume boats were not enough to render this hole ineffective. Notice how everyone sinks into the super aerated backwash the moment they hit.
Everyone kept paddling, clawing, digging their way out. On this particular drop, there is an escape route to river left. There are also ways to boof or scrape over the extreme edges and (mostly) avoid the hole.
Here is Jimmy taking the safer (smarter?) route around the dam. Find a rock slide, some other route that will take you out and away from the hole when you land and you can reduce the risk. But, if you mess up and get kicked back into the hole you might be in for a huge beat down. Decide for yourself.
Like everything else in whitewater, deciding to run a low head dam is up to you, and only you. Hopefully, you chose a good line, and will stack the odds in your favor by paddling hard, having someone on the side with a rope (and a good crew who knows how to use such things)