© 2012 Adam Johnson Bobby Miller Runs the Putin Slide at the Beaver

2011 Wrap Up

2011 was unquestionably the best water year for WV I have seen in my seven years here. After an incredible spring in WV, a quick California trip, I finished the 2011 summer and fall with a trip to New York, Canada, Costa Rica, and had the opportunity to get on some seldom-seen runs here locally.

The low water hole on the Tygart

The low water hole on the Tygart. Photo: Barb Bragg

One of the places that I have been returning to during lower water has been a hole on the Arden Section of the Tygart near Phillipi, WV. This spot is 2-3 rapids above the bridge at the normal put in. It’s in at around 1,000cfs on the Tygart at Philippi gauge. I’ve been there as low as 850cfs and as high as 1150-1200cfs. If it’s on the upper end, look for it to be dropping. Vice versa for the lower end. At 1,000cfs, you can do pretty much every hole move. Loops, cartwheels, you name it. It’s not going to give up anything super epic, but it will definitely give you a fulfilling workout during lower water. Here’s two other albums with more photos.

Graham Seiler going first on the putin drop of the Beaver

Graham Seiler going first on the putin drop of the Beaver

Matt Fithian on the wave at Entrance, Lower Yough, PA

Matt Fithian on the wave at Entrance, Lower Yough, PA

Another great playspot to go to is this wave (above) on the Lower Yough. You want the gauge to be around 6.2′ for a perfect level. You can do any wave move around both ways (airscrews, clean blunts, etc), ‘cepting for combos. There’s eddy service and (occasionally) very good scenery.

Obligatory Garb shot. Chris Schwer on the wave.

Obligatory Garb shot. Chris Schwer on the wave.

Pacuare, Costa Rica

Pacuare, Costa Rica.

On my way back to the States after Canada, I got a call from a good friend telling me she was having a wedding in Costa Rica in a month and 20 of my best friends were going. How can you say no to that? Somewhat last minute I bought tickets to San Jose (the capital) for ~$500, got on the plane, and was flying to Costa for a whirlwind tour. When you land in SJO, skip all of the people offering you rides into the city ($20+) and go straight out of the airport to the main road. There’s a bus stop there. Look for the Tuasa bus headed to Alajuela, which is essentially a bus stop in the middle of San Jose. The bus may have been one or two bucks. From there you can take a cheap cab to where you are going, just make sure they start the meter.

Random lifestyle shot.

Some great colors from the Pura Vida lifestyle.

After arriving I met up with Brian Randall and Chuck Stark. Chuck had set up a raft trip with Exploradores. Chuck had been to Costa recently so he knew the ropes and was able to get whitewater boats for him, Brian, and I. Can’t tell you how awesome it was to arrive to Costa Rica and paddle within 24 hours.

Overall, Costa Rica seemed like a really friendly place to visit, as in it would be where I’d send my Dad on his first international endeavor. Lots of folks spoke English and were happy to help gringos. You can take the bus most places and, if you buy at the right time, tickets can be as low as $300. That, and it’s a beautiful place to visit, it’s cheap, and it has a good mix of geography. Recommended.

Zoom on back to WV. Matt Fithian on Tomko, Upper Blackwater, WV.

Zoom on back to WV. Matt Fithian on Tomko, Upper Blackwater, WV.

Fithian in the middle of "My nerves are shot & I can't take it anymore!".

Fithian in the middle of “My nerves are shot & I can’t take it anymore!”.

Throwing this in here to bring folks back to reality. This is where I am M-F, 9-5.

Throwing this in here to bring folks back to reality. This is where I am M-F, 9-5. Putting in work!

Took 2nd in both the Freestyle and Short Boat sprint at the Ohiopyle Falls race this year. Thanks to Dale for the photo.

Took 2nd in the Freestyle and 3rd in the Short Boat sprint at the Ohiopyle Falls race this year. Thanks to Dale for the photo.

Todd Richendollar on Morgans Run near Ohiopyle, PA

Todd Richendollar on Morgans Run near Ohiopyle, PA

In November we got a hard rain and heard that Morgans Run was running from some of the Ohiopyle locals. This run needs a ton of rain (as in everything else is blowing out) and is a lot of fun. We put in at the top at a bridge. The creek is tiny here, I’d say about the length of a truck. We had medium-low water and were scraping a bit at the put in. The first couple of miles had some wood. While others in our group said they would have put in below at the waterfall, I would still vote for the upper section.

Out from behind the Camera, woot! Adam Johnson on the slide above the main cascade. Photo: MacKenzie Hatcher

Out from behind the Camera, woot! Adam Johnson on the slide above the main cascade. Photo: MacKenzie Hatcher

Below the cascade the river is a gem. Lots of east coast continuous creeky class IV-V. Tight, technical, steep. Not too too hard though. I know Dave Carey did a bunch of work to make the lower stretch of this creek much more pleasant, so a big shout goes out to him for all of the log-choppin’. Here’s some more photos of Morgans Run.

MacKenzie and Keith towards the bottom. Classic Appalachian micro-creeking.

MacKenzie and Keith towards the bottom. Classic Appalachian micro-creeking.

Shane Groves running Big Splat for his first time at 8.5'. Pony up!

Shane Groves running Big Splat for his first time at 8.5′. Pony up!

I declare myself Mayor of Deckers Creek. Adam Johnson at TEETH. Thanks to Riley Adams for the shot.

Mayor of Deckers making the move at Teeth. Thanks to Riley Adams for the great shot.

Some weirdness at Hairline. Don't ask...

Some weirdness at Hairline on Deckers. Don’t ask…

Shane Groves killing it on the Dries.

Shane Groves killing it on the Dries.

So that about wraps up 2011. 2012 has been awesome and will continue to get better. I’ve already been to Mexico, North Carolina, and Quebec, not to mention some good days in the home country. In July I fly out to the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia for another week-long tour. Hoping to get Skookumchuck this trip.

Some words of wisdom to part with: “Chase happiness: follow your dreams, never settle, and do what makes you happy.” –Dave Gamache

Adam Johnson

-Adam Johnson

One Comment

  1. karyn cummings
    Posted August 2, 2013 at 11:05 am | #

    these are awesome photos, thanks for posting. This will be my only way to experience this 🙂

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