For those interested in coordinating with other Packrafters to paddle the Lehigh, we can keep this thread running.
I’ll be paddling the Rockport to Glen Onoko section this Sunday, 8/13. Meeting at 830am in Glen Onoko in the paved lot just over the wooden bridge. If you’re interested in joining, please message here so I know who to look for
Thanks for making this thread Jeff! Wish I could make it up this weekend but won’t be able to.
I’ll be up again on Saturday 8/19 to run Rockport to Glen Onoko and will follow suit with an 8:30 am meeting time at Glen Onoko, meeting at the paved lot across the bridge. Anyone who wants to join in, let me know.
I’m looking at either the weekend of 8/26-8/27 or 9/2-9/3 for a Leigh river trip. Leaning more towards 9/2-9/3 weekend. If anyone is interested in meeting up.
Hey Logan, it was great rafting with you last weekend. I’d be up for doing the Lehigh again on 8/19.
Hi everybody. My first post took a week or so to go through, but I now have clearance. Looking forward to seeing everyone again 8:30 Saturday at Glen Onoko. I don’t think we decided where to go on Sunday. Mary, the two next weekends sound tempting. Is there something special about the one on Labor Day Weekend (larger release)? If I had to choose, that weekend would be better for me as well.
Oops, somehow I deleted my post & can’t seem to edit it back to the original (see below). Was trying to add the NE tag to it, but I realized that seems to only happen in the first post, not the replies.
Thanks Jeff for the thread! Paul and I are planning to paddle the Lehigh this Sat & Sun 8/19 & 8/20, I believe Rockport to Glen Onoko on Sat and TBD on Sun. After that I won’t be free for Lehigh trips again until potentially for the October release.
Hi Mary, I thought I already replied about this, but I guess I goofed it. I am interested in both weekends. My only hesitation is based on what happened this past Saturday. It was my first whitewater run without any of the “pros” around. Out of four of us doing Rockport to Glen Onoko, there were six swims; two of us bailed before the last rapids. But everyone came out alright, I think, largely due to Logan’s good leadership. Based on the experience, Miska and I decided not to do whitewater (just the two of us relatively inexperienced paddlers) on Sunday and instead paddled on a reservoir. I still remember that green Classic coming to my rescue (so far, my only swim). I think I thanked you in my message that didn’t go through. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you feel confident leading (I don’t really know how experienced you are)—maybe even on one of the milder stretches—I am willing to follow. But I am also thinking the more the merrier, especially if that includes a more experienced person. I really dug those final rapids (3 times), but dealing with swimmers and loose boats and paddles—especially when I was the only one left to help others—was a sobering experience. What do you think? Paul
I may be able to make either the 9/2 or 9/3 release if other plans fall through. I won’t know until a few days prior, but I’ll post back here. Please plan around me for now.
Much respect to those that made the decision to portage the final rapids and those that changed plans the following day to paddle flat water instead. Those are tough decisions!
The release levels were definitely higher than the standard 850 cfs releases, and this wasn’t reflected on the Corps of Engineers forecast page. It may have been posted on Facebook. In any case, I recommend checking the online gauge prior to launching to verify what you’re getting into. This doesn’t do any good if you don’t know what levels you’ve previously paddled, so I also recommend keeping track of this, perhaps even with a River Log/Journal. If the standard release felt like the edge of your ability, it’s wise to hold off on paddling bigger releases until you have more experience and/or have a very strong and capable team to lead the way.
Paddling section III (Glen Onoko to Bowmanstown) or some of the CL II stretches of the Delaware are good alternatives until you feel confident in tackling the upper Lehigh sections. Everything above still applies, and selecting appropriate teams and destinations are still important.
Following Francis E. Walter Dam on Facebook is the best way to get up-to-date information on current conditions, projections, and changes to the release schedule. They often post multiple times per day about changing release levels, including after hours and on weekends.
Thanks Jeff & Eric for the helpful advice and those resources. A river log is a great idea, something I had intended to start, and my mistake was not getting on it sooner before this trip. Definitely learned a lot of lessons (albeit the hard way) and glad we made good decisions in the end to avoid any further swims and potential chaos. I will for sure be putting in more time to studying levels and beta ahead of time in the future. -Miska
I have heard that there is going to be an especially large release this Saturday. I wonder if anyone is up for leading a trip.
I think I would like to do another run through the final rapids between Rockport and Glen Onoko. But section III between Glen Onoko and Bowmanstown in high water might make a good eddying out, peeling out, and ferrying exercise trip. With a few people, we could also practice rescue/safety techniques.
For those planning on the double release this Saturday, 8/26, please consider that at 1700 cfs there will be 22% more volume than last Saturday, which was 1,390 cfs. Not here to be the Lehigh Police or to discourage folks, but I would reconsider if you don’t have a very reliable self-rescue and feel confident in CL III. Like @plippert mentioned above, section III is a good alternate to the gorge sections. Also keep an eye on the dam forecast and the gauge as it may wind up higher or lower than 1700!