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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

First time poster and relatively new rafter. I rafted the New River once a couple years ago and am going with a group at the end of September to do the Gauley Marathon. We booked it through ACE (not sure if that is good or bad, heard mixed reviews). Safe to say I am really excited about this and was wondering what tips or pieces of advice you can give me. There is a group of 6 of us going. 2 have rafting experience, 2 have minor rafting experiece (me included) and 2 have no rafting experience. Thanks guys!

Bryan
 

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Tip your guide 10-15% if they do a good job, more if they are awesome.
Tipping I can definetly do. Any other words of advice? I've been trying to find good websites to read up on the Gauley and what exactly I have in store for me but I don't seem to be having any luck finding any.
 

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check out youtube. Bring lots of beer and be ready to party. Also, check you guides sobriety before putting on, If he/she isnt at least half wasted you may want to have them shotgun some beers first.
 

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check out youtube. Bring lots of beer and be ready to party. Also, check you guides sobriety before putting on, If he/she isnt at least half wasted you may want to have them shotgun some beers first.
Haha fantastic. Drinking is definetly something else I can do. I am going to be a little bit worried if my guide is drunker then me though :eek:
 

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I did that trip last September and loved it. It was not bad at all. I had three guys from Poland who wanted to paddle the whole way down and at one point we did 200 strokes. We were over an hour late to the river because of a jumper on the New River Bridge and off the river an hour early. My arms were jello. Overall though, the trip was awesome. Buy one video and split it. Go to Riverman and do their Zip-Line Tour and ATV Tour. They are awesome!!!
 

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That's how we sell tickets here in the east. All rivers are called class v year round regardless of the actual water levels.
 

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Gauley River Info

Hey Brian -

Just saw your post. I guided and safety kayaked the Gauley in the mid- 90's through early-00's. I'm still involved in the industry and with river recreation. Please check out the articles below. I wrote the one for Paddler Magazine and Mark, who wrote the one for National Geographic, is a friend of mine. You and your buddies will probably enjoy these if nothing else.

Advice - I would say don't worry too much. With enthusiasm and a bit of fitness you guys will have a great time on the Gauley with Ace. There are several great companies who run the Gauley; and they're one of them. I've paddled about the globe, and I still consider the Upper Gauley one of the greatest day trips in the world. The rapids are really big and fun with generally little consequence (Class V-ish drops with Class III-ish consequence, in general,) which makes the place the mecca that it is. On top of that, the water is relatively warm. Take some polypro/capilene and whatever splash tops/pants you have and you'll likely be overdressed for late September in WV. (That said, it might snow on you!!!)

I'd say, for the best trip possible, get in as best shape as you can, talk to the river manager at Ace when you arrive and tell him that you guys want a helluva ride, and he'll set you up the the best guide that he can that day - if you look like you're indeed gung ho and in shape. You might even consider upgrading to the extreme trip - I'm not sure what Ace calls it, but most of the companies offer a wilder trip in smaller rafts where they take looser lines.

Anyway, enjoy. I hope this helps. Articles:

Paddler Magazine Online : Gauley Daze!

What Makes West Virginia's Gauley Rafting's Madcap Mecca?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey Brian -

Just saw your post. I guided and safety kayaked the Gauley in the mid- 90's through early-00's. I'm still involved in the industry and with river recreation. Please check out the articles below. I wrote the one for Paddler Magazine and Mark, who wrote the one for National Geographic, is a friend of mine. You and your buddies will probably enjoy these if nothing else.

Advice - I would say don't worry too much. With enthusiasm and a bit of fitness you guys will have a great time on the Gauley with Ace. There are several great companies who run the Gauley; and they're one of them. I've paddled about the globe, and I still consider the Upper Gauley one of the greatest day trips in the world. The rapids are really big and fun with generally little consequence (Class V-ish drops with Class III-ish consequence, in general,) which makes the place the mecca that it is. On top of that, the water is relatively warm. Take some polypro/capilene and whatever splash tops/pants you have and you'll likely be overdressed for late September in WV. (That said, it might snow on you!!!)

I'd say, for the best trip possible, get in as best shape as you can, talk to the river manager at Ace when you arrive and tell him that you guys want a helluva ride, and he'll set you up the the best guide that he can that day - if you look like you're indeed gung ho and in shape. You might even consider upgrading to the extreme trip - I'm not sure what Ace calls it, but most of the companies offer a wilder trip in smaller rafts where they take looser lines.

Anyway, enjoy. I hope this helps. Articles:

Paddler Magazine Online : Gauley Daze!

What Makes West Virginia's Gauley Rafting's Madcap Mecca?
Thanks Riley! Just what I was looking for
 

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Brian - Just another positive review on the Gauley. Riley33 had some good advice and articles. I also used to guide trips, for ACE in fact. They are a good company, and big. A gung ho trip usually means multiple swims and flips. I had a standard trip with 7 corporate guys that wanted the "Big Ride" and promised a big tip. We did a double upper Gauley, no swims on the first lap, over 50 swims on the second lap. For rafting and kayaking, the Upper Gauley is one of the best FUN trips. Have a blast!
 

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Brian - Just another positive review on the Gauley. Riley33 had some good advice and articles. I also used to guide trips, for ACE in fact. They are a good company, and big. A gung ho trip usually means multiple swims and flips. I had a standard trip with 7 corporate guys that wanted the "Big Ride" and promised a big tip. We did a double upper Gauley, no swims on the first lap, over 50 swims on the second lap. For rafting and kayaking, the Upper Gauley is one of the best FUN trips. Have a blast!
Exactly what I am hoping for when we go. It's going to be six guys including my dad who's had a tough year so I think it's going to be a blast. We are doing both the upper and lower gauley in the marathon. I know the lower isn't as well hyped as the upper, but we had still planned on doing it as I've heard good things. Do you think it makes sense to try to change to the upper twice (more money) or keep with the marathon (both upper and lower)?
 

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I used to video kayak for ACE... Quality outfit... Look up Tug, he runs the kayak shop now. Bring him beer and kind. Ask him to take yall bridge swinging too.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
What other rivers in the area do you guys recommend? I'd like to run another river that weekend we are there. Prefereably something in the WV area as we don't want to drive too far from the gauley area.
 

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The Lower New is a bunch of fun. Big rapids, less stressful. The Tygart Gorge and Shavers Fork of the Cheat and the Cheat Canyon are three runs near that area that are comparable to the Upper G; however, I don't think they take commercial guides on it. You might want to look into it though in case they do.... Those rivers are really fun!
 

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Also, the Upper (not lower!) Meadow is a really fun with a 4 mile long rapid. Also almost sure that they don't take commercial trips on it, but worth a shot
 
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