Monday, April 17, 2006

A new season and Bay Bulls River

The 2006 whitewater season has been a bit slow to get going, but it all started last weekend with a high-water run of the Paradise River. This was great fun for everyone on the trip. The excitement continued into Easter weekend with local runs on the Avalon and an inaugral trip to Pipers Hole River.

On a personal note it has been a rough spring. I'm batting 1000 with swims on each of the three trips in which I have participated this spring, bringing the 2006 swim total to four. I wish my golf game was this consistent. Hopefully the beating I took on Sunday, and rolled up after, marks the end of my swim streak and I can enjoy another few years of swim free kayaking.

What I really want to share with the world this week is the Bay Bulls River. I first scouted portions of this river in 2001 when I first moved here. Island newcomer Cody Neal pointed out that there is an 8-9m (25' to 30') waterfall on this river, more important is its runnability. On Sunday Cody covinced me that we should check out this gem of a river 20 minutes from St. John's. Thirty millimeters of rain on Saturday night swelled the creek to epic proportions. The high flows exponentially increased the difficulty of the waterfall, but made the other fifteen rapids awesome.

The run is not very long, but certainly action packed. There are long slides, ledges, big pourovers, sieves, and blind horizon lines. Fortunately it is also well supplied with solid eddies and runs within 100 m of a road for its entire length. Bay Bulls River has become an instant spring classic and I for one cannot wait to get back to that waterfall and run it at reasonable water levels. This is one of the prettiest and easiest access waterfalls on the Avalon and is worth taking a picnic lunch down there on a nice warm afternoon.

I'll have a more thorough description of the run and directions to it up on the website. Until then I hope you've enjoyed these few pictures of the Bay Bulls River.