This past weekend OPS paddlers Philip Kompass & myself headed down to New York State to take advantage of releases on the Taylorville, Mosier, and Eagle sections of the Beaver River and releases on the Raquette River. Traditionally this weekend is jammed packed with fun, friends, great camping and a lot of kayaking. “Beaverfest” as it is known, comes together through the great work of American Whitewater. If you are interested in the back story, check out  Currents Season 1 Episode 11 Part 2.

To give a break down of the sections:

Taylorville section of the Beaver is a beginner creeking paradise. It has everything you need to get on the steeper rivers but offers them up at moderate pace perfect of intermediate boaters. There are slides, boofs, technical rapids, and even some nice ledges. They are all relatively friendly which makes them great for paddlers looking to get on harder rivers, and this section is short enough that an easy walk brings you back to the top in 10 minutes time for multiple laps.[FYI, Mike actually nailed 7 laps on Taylorville this year. Not sure if it is a record, but it is a heck of alot.]

The Moshier section of the Beaver is a slight step up from Taylorville, providing some larger, steeper drops including a perfect 10 footer at the start that is a great place for people to try their first waterfall. The notable exception is Moshier Falls proper, which is an absolutely stellar class IV+ rapid, offering stacked drops in pushy water with multiple moves throughout. Sadly this year this year a tree blocked the entry making it necessary for paddlers to skip the first tier. Thanks to those folks who took the time to wave down incoming boaters, as that strainer presented a real hazard for people who would have otherwise just rolled into the drop on the fly. Moshier Falls is a gorgeous rapid, and worth running several times.

The Eagle section of the Beaver is short and steep. Super fun, not overly difficult but a big step for those who are not familiar with steep and channelized slides. Since it is short it is and easy section to lap and get many runs on. This year the boys from 'King of New York' hosted their second stage of 4 races on the Eagle. It proved to be a great success and attracted nearly 40 racers. Times came in as low as 1:30 for those using Green Boats.

After a jam packed weekend of hitting the Beaver we all rallied over to the Raquette. We found that rather than the traditional 720 cfs release, it had been ramped up due to heavy rains the night before. This made for some more bite to the already hard rapids. For me, this was my second year organizing the Raquette Race and was very happy to have it as the third stage for the King of New York. Things went very well and the race was success for the second year in a row attracting some very fast and strong paddlers.

For more on the Raquette, see the earlier OPS post on fall creeking: Raquette Heads Up Article.

Over the weekend I had a great time paddling my Jackson Villian S. It proved to be a great boat for taking down some more technical lines as well as getting some serious air off some of the sweet boofs. Also, since it was such nice weather I was happy to be in my Level Six Chochee. This might just be my favourite piece of gear. I love the neck gasket. It keeps water out of my boat but I also stay cool while paddling.

All in all, a great weekend. Great turn out. Awesome times with friends. Looking forward to hitting some more fall releases and spending as much time on the water as possible.

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