Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door
Ray's Campground (Hico, WV)
Greetings Paddlers! Doesn’t this warm weather make you want to get out onto the white water? Especially before the rivers become warmer than bath water, eh? Let’s get this season started right with a trip to the New! I will open this up to all levels EXCEPT river first timers. You MUST have taken the intro class with me (or have similar experience) AND have paddled through at least class 2 rapids at least once. That level of experience will earn you a trip on the Thurmond-Cunard section of the New (see below for description). If you want to step it up and your skills are appropriate, i.e. have paddled class 3 numerous times, class 4(ish) at least once (recommended), and have a solid flat water roll and decent combat roll, then you might enjoy running down the Cunard to Fayette Station (aka “Gorge” ) section (see below for description).
The section of the New River above the gorge is a 7 mile stretch from Thurmond to Cunard, WV and has 5 class 2 rapids separated by a bit of calm water and ends with the famous class 3, “Surprise” rapid. This is a great place for beginners-intermediates to get an intro to big water, and work on river skills like reading rapids, ferrying, eddy hopping, and combat rolling. This stretch also serves as a warm-up for intermediates who want to step up their game and run the gorge on Sunday. We’ll start Saturday with a hearty breakfast (I might do camp food, get breakfast from the campsite – Ray makes a mean breakfast – or, most likely, hit Cathedral Cafe – the best pre-adventure meal experience ever!) then pack a lunch and our gear, and get to the water. We’ll be on the water for several hours so please be sure to bring plenty of food and water (which the club will provide).
For more info about the river check out:
The gorge section is an American classic run with its six class 4 rapids and numerous class 3 drops. The 6.5 miles of numerous rapids are separated by sections of flat water, which makes it a great place to experience big water; if you swim you will likely get deposited into a pool (at low-medium flow).
For more info check out:
A few important notes:
1. Again, PRIOR EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY. You must have taken the intro to kayaking class with me or have similar experience to go on this trip and prior river experience. Since I will have to screen your qualifications your name will get added to the waitlist upon signing up, and then moved to the trip list if appropriate.
2. I MIGHT NOT BE YOUR GUIDE. It’s likely that I will be paddling with you but if I find a qualified guide who would love to take you under his/her wing, I might paddle the gorge section instead, or I may end up paddling both in the same day. Either way, you will have a competent guide and a great day on the water.
3. You will have the opportunity to paddle Saturday and/or Sunday. If a lot of beginner kayakers are interested in paddling, I will set it up to try to get everyone on the water which means you will probably not get to paddle both days (I expect lots of interest), in which case I will either try and find an early way home for you or help find something else for you to do on your off day. There are numerous outdoor activities to be had near/in the gorge.
You should bring: swimwear, footwear that can get wet (though the club has an ample supply of neoprene booties), towel, change of clothes, sunblock, food/snacks, water, your boat and gear if you have it, money.
The Club provides: boats, spray skirts, paddles, pfds, helmets, noseplugs, drybags, float bags (limited quantities), wetsuit, drytop or splash jacket, neoprene booties, boat transportation, shuttle ride, camp fee, camp food (enough for all meals), ga$.