With everyone back from Montana, it seemed like a good time to head out to western Mass to do some boating and catch up with everyone. Saturday night a bunch of us got together for a big barn party. It was great to see everyone and kick off the season properly. Unfortunately we didn’t get much rain so none of the creeks were running.
Over the past several years, creeking has become one of my favorite styles of paddling. Teaching Creeking Clinics at Zoar Outdoor, allow me to introduce experienced paddlers to some of the best local creeks. There are many great creeks in western MA and southern VT and it is important to know the levels. For the creek clinic we look at the abilities of the people in the clinic and the river levels for the day. For this clinic we decided that our best choice was the Swift River. The Swift is a fun creek that offers lots of good boofs, micro eddies, and some fun slides. This was the perfect destination for our clinic.
If I had to describe slalom, I would say that it is the more refined side of whitewater. Even at a small event such as this, people still arrived with their polished glass boats, and it’s a very different atmosphere and paddling style when compared to river running or play boating. As described by one of the paddlers there, you have to go where the gates are, and use the river to help you get there.
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Every year, for one day, we get to one of Vermont’s hidden gems - the West River. The West River is a perfect mix of adventure and leisure - it has a little bit more adventure than the Zoar Gap and is a little mellower than the Dryway.