Monday, May 21, 2012

cheat river recap

This weekend we visited Ohiopyle State Park in PA to climb the cliffs of the Youghiogheny River canyon and paddle the class III and IV rapids of the Cheat River canyon. The climbing attempt was dismal at best, with only one short 5.9 rated sport route involved. We showed up too late, had to catch a shuttle down to the crags, hike a mile and half on the rail trail, and return in time to catch the shuttle out. Fortunately, the Cheat River trip saved the weekend.

the crew at the put-in - photo by raft guide

lunch stop on the cheat before the coliseumn rapid series - photo by random rafter
lutz enjoying his bloody nose after the first small rapid - photo by mike f
The Cheat is the largest free-flowing watershed east of the Mississippi, meaning it has runable whitewater during the winter and spring. We caught it at about perfect flow - the rapids are good but not dangerous, and the water is high enough to avoid undercut rocks and shallow boulders. The water was chilly at 62 degrees, but the steady sunshine and workout from paddling made the occasional soak feel purdy good.
shredding hard on lower coliseum rapid, eric and i up front - pro photo from WWA photographer

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