Pyranha Logo
facebook twitter vimeo




Checking in from the Northeastern U.S.


Matt Young enters the Middlebury Gorge (Photo: Justin Beckwith)

It would be too easy to simply say the last few weeks of paddling in the Northeastern U.S. (as well as the entire East Coast) has been awesome!!  To say that it has been special, or unique would be a good start, but still far from doing justice to the absolutely incredible summertime paddling conditions we have recently experienced.  Flows seemed to be on the rise right after my teaching job in Lake Placid finished up for the year and only now, 3-weeks later our options for paddling seem to be dwindling.  I have been fortunate enough spend in both New York and Vermont this summer season logging runs on both sides of Lake Champlain with great friends.

Options for paddling in Northern New York subsided for a brief moment during the last three weeks, but happened to coincide perfectly with recreational release on the Stone Valley Section of the Raquette River.


Tony G. making sure to stay upright through “Particle Accelerator”



Spending time in Burlington, VT has positioned me conveniently close to Montreal QC and the amazing waves there for surfing.  As a change of pace my good friend Joe Whiting brought me up to the “Habitat 67” wave to see what it was all about.  The waves are super fun, but waiting in line next to board surfers, took a little getting used to.  I’m looking forward to getting across the boarder more with my Jed.


Matt Young dodging River Surfers at Habitat 67 Wave in Montreal (Photo: Joseph Whiting)

At one point just before July 4th weekend flows in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks reacher their highest since the infamous Hurricane Irene in 2011.  On that day myself and other local paddlers tried as hard as we could to find something…anything, with a managable flow.  Eventually we found ourselves at the end of a dirt road as high up in the mountains as we could get a vehicle.  We shouldered our boats and put on an upper section of the Seldom paddled, Klondike Brook, which eventually becomes the more popular class III West Branch of The Ausable.


Matt Schmidt enjoying the West Branch of the Ausable River at flood stage.

At the extreme high flows we were blessed with the mellow class III run turned into an action packed big-water adventure.  The waves were big, brown, and your face for almost ten miles.  We knocked of the trip that usually takes a couple of hours in less than 45 minutes.


West Branch of the Ausable River at Flood. Non-stop class IV action for miles. (Photo: Matt Schmidt)

The climax of the three week period for me has been my last two days in the Middlebury Gorge in Vermont.  The gorge is an absolutely magical place that is both unforgiving and enjoyable all at the same time.  I’ve been lucky enough to be able to follow the local gang in Northern Vermont through the gorge, who know every nook and cranny of the place.  One harrowing experience included me sliding 15-feet down a steep bank with my boat on my shoulder only to come to a stop with the the help of a tree a few above the point of no return into the river.  luckily, with the help of the others I was able to complete the slippery portage, rope back into the gorge, and paddle the lower section at extremely high water.


Sunshine, boofing, warm weather. It really doesn’t get any better. (Photo: Tony G.)


Hiking to a drainage that might actually manageable flow.

Even though dry weather has returned to our area there is still a lot of paddling to look forward to in the Northeastern United States.  Tomorrow is the Annual Deerfield River Festival in Charlemont Mass. where Pyranha will be well represented.  Beyond that it’s on to the Black River Festival the following weekend and the first race in the Whitewater King Of New York Series.

Stay Tuned…