Cheat Canyon WV - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-26-2011   #1
 
gobigohome's Avatar
 
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 170
Cheat Canyon WV

Has anyone rafted the Cheat River in WV? what level is this good to run at?

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Old 07-26-2011   #2
 
bruceton mills, West Virginia
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 40
Just saw ur PM -- thought I'd post here so more could read:

The Cheat Canyon is a great raft run... it is mostly run during the spring and late fall bc it does not run often during the summer... with that being said -- it is running right now... bc the headwaters got soaked this wknd.

The guage that AW refrences has been changed in the last year and now reads 10ft more than the visual guage on the 'put in' bridge in Albright WV. So when I talk about levels it will still be in the context of the 'standard' bridge guage.

This run's difficulty is level dependent:

2-2.5 ft Takes many of the biggest holes out of play. < Coliseum/Particle Accelerator is always there - regardless of flow > A seasoned raft crew could stumble down the cheat @ this level with a few scouts and minimal risk.

2.5 -3.5 ft brings the rest of the 'big ones' in play... big nasty, high falls, Coliseum/Particle Accelerator, pete morgans, .... best to have someone with you that knows where they are...

3.5 -5 ft I have hardboated it at this level, but never pushed rubber on it... if the cheat is this high, then all the creeks are typically running... so, more fun elsewhere... serious buisiness @ this level -- swims are very long - holes are big -- commercial companies high water cutoff is 5ft these days... they used to run it higher... but now the companies go upstream and run the tamer Cheat Narrows -- a good high water alternative

above 5ft... I have never been on the Cheat Canyon @ this level... I would hardboat it with the right crew... but I don't think I would raft it any time soon.
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Old 07-26-2011   #3
 
Terra Alta, West Virginia
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 56
agreed. i have taken my raft down at 1.7 and it is brutally low. a touch over 2 feet is pretty easy. 2.5 to 3 is very fun. 3 to 3.5 she becomes very serious. the big 3 down below can make for some very rough situations if you miss your lines or are underpowered. i have rafted it at 4 but personally would have rather been in a kayak. again due to the severity of the big 3 at the end 4 feet was my cutoff. i too would kayak it upwards of there with the right crew but not push rubber. the keelhaulers site has a conversion calculator you can use to convert the usgs reading to the bridge reading. and yes swims can be unbelievably long. all that said the cheat has become my favorite big water run. i hit it about 15 times this spring at various levels, broke a leg at one point and came back for more the next day! its scenic and fun.
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Old 07-26-2011   #4
 
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Golden, Colorado
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Thanks...I am debating running it this thurs/friday but I heard it has an ever changing river landscape and I keep going back and forth debating whether I need someone in another boat or kayak or just to scout the rapids first.
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Old 07-26-2011   #5
 
Terra Alta, West Virginia
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it changes yes but it wont change between now and friday! whats your plan? i can probably get you in touch with about a hundred locals if you need it.
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Old 07-26-2011   #6
 
Terra Alta, West Virginia
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 56
a couple things. if you can read and run class 4 with excellence you would be fine under 3 or so. mabye higher.
will the cheat still have water on thursday is a whole other discussion. she tends to rise as fast as she falls.
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Old 07-26-2011   #7
 
Terra Alta, West Virginia
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Sep 2010
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KEEL-HAULERS NEW GAUGE PAGE

2.2 today. so if you want to kayak it thursday you would probably be fine. rafting it a 2 feet aint a whole lot of fun due to about a trillion f u rocks.
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Old 07-27-2011   #8
 
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Golden, Colorado
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Thanks I will keep looking at the water level and go from there, it does not look like there is any fronts coming threw so we will see if the level will hold. We will be rafting this weekend so we I guess we have a narrow water level to be within.
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Old 07-28-2011   #9
 
Terra Alta, West Virginia
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Sep 2010
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upper yough is right next door. if you have a small enough raft and can find someone to show you the raft lines thats an option. lower yough is not too far. new is about 3 hours away too.
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Old 07-28-2011   #10
 
bruceton mills, West Virginia
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 40
HA -- yup... and Dave will be there on the Upper Yough to laugh at you when you get stuck @ F up falls... just like we did last week...
Not sure what my buddy was doing when he did a cannonball off of baseball rock.... 4 stitches later.....

If you haven't been on the Upper Yough a few times... and you are not paired up w/ somone that knows it well ( raft lines do differ slightly from kayak lines )... I'd think twice before rafting it blind... makes for a long day... particuarly at these low summer release levels of @2.1

I run a Aire Super Puma w/ 2-4 people... wouldn't want to try any larger....

But if you do try it... aim for Dave in the Green Nomad... 10 points!!!
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