Friday, December 26, 2008

Red Run

Red Run is a small creek that drains the southern backside of Canaan Valley. It sports the same tannic acid stained water as the other Canaan creeks. I think Red Run is the most difficult of the regularly run Canaan Valley creeks, and offers a fine collection of unique boulder gardens with a few bedrock slides for variety. A big group of us met up in Hendricks back in May to decide on a plan. The water level was minimal, so group A headed up to do Red Creek, flowing out of Dolly Sods, while Ben Dunham, Jay Ditty, Matt Walker and I chose to put on Red Run. This would be Matt's first time, and my first time in quite a while. The run is tiny and busy, and almost always seems too low for the first mile or so. The first real, long slide gets your attention, and signals the beginning of the goods:

Ben Dunham about to glide through. The hole here can get really big.

Shortly downstream is a large, multi-tiered twisting drop.

Ben again, starting at the top.

Me, in the middle. Photo by Jay Ditty

Jay Ditty at the bottom 90 degree turn.

Immediately downstream is the "Watermelon Seed Drop" Most of the creek funnels through a folding slot, then spits you out, often in a tailstand, over a pourover. A unique sensation.
Scouting the Watermelon Seed. The spitter is on creek right, about where Jay is standing.

About halfway down the run, it steepens up again, with several big boulder piles, then a transition to bedrock slides just above the falls of Red Run. Here's a few shots of the funnest boulder pile:

Ben picking his way through the top.

Matt Walker powers through the next to last slot

Me finishing up the pile. Photo by Jay Ditty
It had numerous slots and choices throughout, and is just an awesome rapid. I was so excited to snap photos of it, that I slipped and fell while scrambling to get a pic of Jay, and the camera flew out of my hand and over the boof pictured. The camera was later found, and the memory chip made its way back to me just before Christmas. Hooray!
Just below camera eater is the Falls of Red Run, and another great mile or more of serious boulder drops before you hit the Dry Fork of the Cheat.