Originally Posted by paddlebizzle
I've never heard of a frowning/smiling hole. What's the story? I found this via Google:
A SMILE OR A FROWN - Outdoor Living - SOAK
I don't understand what part of the hole is smiling/frowning. Is it the boil/wash downstream? Is it the shape of the crease on the upstream side of the whole (where the obstacle/rock is)?
It is the shape of the crease. I never liked the frowning versus smiling analogy because I could not remember if it was supposed to be frowning or smiling looking upstream or downstream.
Mike Mathers (the swiftwater rescue guy) said something to me that finally made sense to me and now I can remember it: if the current of the river is flowing into the edges of the hole then that's the bad one.
In a smiling hole (bird's eye view from upstream), the upturned ends of the smile are facing downstream, so you just make your way to the edge and grab a piece of current and the current will pull you out of the hole.
In a frowning hole (bird's eye view from upstream), the downturned ends of the smile are facing upstream and if you work your way to the edge of the hole then the current will push you back into the hole.