Meatcleaver
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Meatcleaver was the only rapid named on the first descent. It is also one of the names that didnt stand the test of time. Tom was leading the way, and as they arrived at a sharp bend, the “skeleton of … Read More

The Upper Yough Race
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Now going for well over 30 years, the Upper Yough Race is a community institution. It’s the lone long release guaranteed each season, so that the dozens of racers can have the river to themselves while speeding their way through … Read More

The Learning Curve
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It took a decade for boaters to tame the Upper Yough. In the 1960’s, kayaking was organized around slalom racing; it was the lens through which everyone viewed the sport. The best would train daily on gates, trying to shave … Read More

A First Descent
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An expert run! At the start the creek was shallow and slow. Soon it picked up until for 4-5 miles it dropped 100 feet per mile. Through huge boulder patches water funneled between rocks and tumbled in below… …Probably the … Read More

The Guides
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The Upper Yough was in the middle of nowhere. According to Bill Kirby, before the highway was built to Friendsville, the drive from DC took about four and a half hours. You had to travel down winding gravel roads, often … Read More

The High Water Mark
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Nobody makes it through Tommy’s Hole unscathed. Jack Wright and Frank Birdsong were the first to contend with the Upper Yough at high water. In the late 1960’s, they found themselves at the Sang Run bridge, the water hovering around … Read More

Shootout At Sang Run
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“The shooting has stopped at Sang Run.” That opening sentence, lying beneath an equally benign headline of “Upper Yough,” fills only a small corner of a page in the American Whitewater Journal. Tucked away between articles on finding paddle buddies … Read More

Jackson Wright
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You could take a 2×4 to Jack Wright’s boats and they wouldn’t break. In those days, Jack had a reputation for “adventure through misadventure” as he wandered his way down the un-run rivers of West Virginia. He was always looking … Read More

Bob Alexander
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As he paddled the flat water below the Sang Run bridge, Bob thought the river might be a big practical joke. He had heard the stories of boats being ruined and boaters leaving the river bruised, but all he saw … Read More