© 2009 Adam Johnson The Mighty Cerro downs Bull Run

Messing with the Bull, Old School Style…

 Ben Ledewitz passes some ice near the Putin.

For some strange reason, this winter in WV we had about two weeks in February that were not just tolerable, but even warm (::gasp::). We used these days, combined with the rain the few days before, to get some high water snowmelt kayaking done on tha’ goods.

 Jay Ditty routes the first part of Brutus (C1).  

First up in the line was Elsey Run near Albright, WV–a micro creek that drains into the Cheat just above the Canyon. All I can say is that it is steep as $^#! and tight. Eddies are few and rhodedendron is everywhere. Coming off of my Chile trip (see below posts), I was used to boating vertical pool-drop stuff. This was not that. For the update, check out JB Seay’s Creek WV blog via the link above.

Bill Sheppelle on the 2nd half of Brutus.

Next up in the lineup was Bull Run. …you know the saying, “Mess with the bull, and you get the horns!” Bull Run is a great steep creek that runs when Deckers Creek is too high. It has the character of a vertical, cleanish, semi-north-fork-of-the-blackwater creek. One of the most notable rapids is called the Matador.

 Ben Ledewitz on-sighting the Matador. Photo Jay Ditty.

The Matador is a three to four stage rapid. 1) Boof a 3 footer onto a 15′ slide. 2) Catch the eddy in between the burl (optional). 3) Peel out, boof the 6′ ledge onto the slide and duck under the undercut on the left, at the same time driving left. 4) Roll off of the left side of the Matador proper, a 25′ drop into a deep pool.

Adam Johnson still in Chile-Plug-Everything Mode. The Matador, Bull Run, WV. Photo Jay Ditty.

In the photos here, you can only see the final stage of the drop. Upstream are the two other slides.
VIDEO: Visit American Whitewater to see a video of Bobby Miller running the drop from the top.

Adam, after plugging it to the bottom, heading downstream in the semi-old school Cerro.
Don Smith routing a slot somewhere below the Matador.
Ben Ledewitz runs Blind Betty, a rapid first run named by DEMSHITZ Jared and company.
A bit of the way down is this rapid called Blind Betty, a slot into the drop pictured above then immediately into another slot/sluice between boulders. Apparently Demshitz ran this one blind one day and they had never run it before–true Demshitz style. The word on the street is that this rapid has been run since people started boating this creek. An added note, Demshitz Jared and Grahm, as well as Bryan Kirk, Matt Fithian, and Jeremy Laucks and more ran the Bull later this very same day.
This drop is close to the takeout. It has been run; however, it has a shallow landing and usually is reserved for someone who is on a mission to chase the stouts.Some names have been “Long Shot” and “Horn of the Bull”.
So why did I reference running Bull in “Old School Style”? Here is your answer:
Oh yeah, the Eskimo Cerro. Big thanks to Nori Onishi for letting me borrow this classic.
During my interim between creekers, as I sold my Magnum in Chile (shout out to Rodrigo of Kayak Pucon) and have been using this beast. While it is not quite as long as a green boat (I am told), it’s still pretty long and old to be taking down creeks like Elsey and Bull. It just makes for a more interesting run…
For the rest of the photos from this run and the Big Sandy at 8.6′ afterward, click HERE. Visit Creek WV for the Elsey Run writeup.
And with that, I will leave you to more internet surf-age and the following words of wisdom via Demshitz: “Run the brown, bitches!”

-Adam Johnson


  1. Omapitiro Weyuva
    Posted March 7, 2009 at 2:34 pm | #

    just wanted to say you the man…hope ur lovin life! Ed

  2. RiotAJ
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 3:48 pm | #

    Life is good. Cheers bud!


  3. britney
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 2:19 am | #

    I have been in search of such interesting Articles, I am on a holiday its good to see that everyone are trying their best to keep up the Spirit by having such great articles posted.

    Cheers, Keep it up.

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