June 18, 1996. Upper Gorge, Cuyahoga River, 700 cfs!
Note (disclaimer, so’s nobody gets the
wrong idea and gets all testosteroned up for no good reason):
lowhead dams can be killers by nature, even those that don’t
look dangerous. The one depicted here is a rather nasty one,
with a thin margin for error, and requiring substantial,
Class-V, skills to extricate if one were to be caught in it.
“When in doubt, scout!” Butt, with respect to lowhead dams: when in doubt, walk around them! Without giving them a second thought!
If you look at the following and decide it looks cool and you can run the next lowhead you see without substantial knowledge of the drop’s unique characteristics, every appropriate safety precaution, and solid skills to extricate yourself in the case of a scroo-up, then you’re an even bigger idiot than your wife/husband/boss says you are! And that’s pretty bad.
That said, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride:
||Looks like a fine hole at the bottom of this lowhead, doesn’t it! You want to head far, far right, catch the edge of the eddy.|
||...like this, pretty much. But the hole has a little backendering power...|
||(Looking for surf in all the wrong places!)
...which typewriters you over...(see American Whitewater, Nov/Dec 1996, p. 72, for Jeff Campbell’s description of Stuey McFlip’s experience in this hole!)
||Sorry, this bunch doesn’t show how you get out of this mess. All’s we got is the aftermath.|
||Heeeere comes Colins! Show us how it’s done, Colins!|
||Hmmm...Monkey See, Monkey Do!|
|Both alive and happy! As you look upstream, you can see the big-ol’ rock that's on river left. That rock creates a fine sliver of a tongue that you can use to extricate your sorry butt from disaster. That’s how it’s done!|
|And you can follow it up with a very nice boof at “Rookie Drop.” (Shakes of the Ratt Tail to Sean Stokes for this photo essay!)|