Article Added on Wednesday, February 16, 2000
Confessions of a Kayaker
Story contributed by Jason Black, with photos by Julie Bertsch
|Black picks his line at Big Splat|
|Feeling the power of lower Splat's brutal crease|
|Jeff Busch gets ready for impact|
On Sunday we had five successful runs at Big Splat. I say successful
because we all came out unscathed, but it doesn't mean that all of our
lines were where they should have been. One member of our group came
off the last drop too far right, and dropped directly into the crease.
Splat chose to spit him out on the forgiving left side unscathed, with
nothing more than a broken paddle and his own story to tell.
|Jeff Simcoe gets ready to launch off the bottom drop|
Editors Note: The Big Sandy is one of the hidden jewels in Northern West Virginia. It's waters run into the Cheat River basin, where the take-out is for the Lower Big Sandy. The Upper Big Sandy put-in is at Bruceton Mills and the take-out is at Rockville, WV. A beautiful 5.8 mile run with class III-IV whitewater. (A great creeky run at lower levels for beginner to intermediate boaters, with help from more experienced paddlers of course.)
The Lower Big Sandy put-in is at Rockville and the take-out is at Jenkinsburg Bridge (Cheat River). A 5.1 mile run, this class IV-V river can be more difficult at lower levels. Lots of paddling experience is recommended, and many rapids can be portaged around such as Big Splat, and Big Sandy Falls for example. There are still rapids that must be run, and First Island has had it's way with many boaters.
American Whitewater Note: The AWA is in the process of negotiating a license with the Allegheny Power Company to provide better parking facilities at the put-in of this gorgeous run (Lower Big Sandy). Allegheny Power owns much of the riparian land along the Big Sandy, and the Cheat River.