West Branch

rural river run, gorge
Class: II+/III+ Length: 11.5km
Location: Midvill Branch Character: Gorge/Pool drop
Gauge: Water Guage Contributor: Karl Vollmer, Lukas Dee, Dave Dunne

Hazards

The crux move of this river comes right after a easier double drop and at highwater can have significant retentive holes. There is minimal time between the two to recover and get out of the river so care should be taken at higher water levels, even if you’re planning on walking Kayak Falls.

There are also a number of trees in/near the river so blind corners should be scouted to make sure there isn’t new wood since the last flood.

Access

Put-In

Upper Branch Rd Put in at the bridge, there is almost no parking available here, we were able to fit one car at the put-in. Take care to make sure it is all the way off the road, and not blocking the view from someones driveway.

Take Out

Cookville Provnicial Park. There is plenty of room for 2-3 vehicles here. The take out can be identified, as it is just after you pass a large house with solar panels on river left, with significant river infilling with rock, which is a striking difference from the normal shoreline.

Named Rapids

Hirtle Falls II-

This is a serious of small Class II rapids with large boulders, as the water drops this could become more like going down a pinball machine.

Double Drop II+

After the right takes a lazy right turn just as you come out of the boulder garden there is a gentle double drop of about 1-2ft per drop. At mid-levels there were no observed significant hazards beyond shallow rocks. Pick your line and have fun

Ledges III-

After a series of S-turns in the river comprised of small Class I/II rapids you wil come to a calm section with a horizon line. This is the Ledges. This rapid can be scouted from the road as you are driving up to the put in. At mid levels this is a realitivly safe 2-3ft drop/slide following by a 4-5ft drop. There are multuple lines available. There can be a significant consequence if you swim here as there are very few places to get off the river between Ledges and the crux rapid Kayak Falls. Care, and potentially safety should be setup.

Kayak Falls III/IV

This is a four ledge drop just after a hard right turn in the river. Each Ledge is 2-3 feet high with about 10-15ft between them. At mid-to-low runable levels there are multuple lines, with one of the safer ones being staying far river left all the way down. This should be personally scouted every time as depending on levers there can be significant partial or river wide holes. At the low end of runable there was a signifcant river right on the 3rd ledge with a boil line ~6ft away from the drop, this should be run with care.

Darrs Falls III

Near the end of the run the west branch merges with the [Main Branch]/south-shore/main-branch/ at Darrs Falls below the only hazard in the falls and makes for a really fun finally to the run, especially at higher water

Gauge

This uses the LeHave Gauge. At flood levesl the class of the main rapids significantly increase, as such significant care should be taken if you are running it at or near flood conditions.

Media


Last modified December 18, 2021