Written by Chris Preperato

Charlie’s Choice

Charlie’s Choice by Chris Preperato

Most people remember their first time down the Upper Yough.

The building anticipation as you drift through the flat water below the bridge. The tinge of nerves as you approach the lip of Gap Falls. The awe of seeing the crowds at National, and the relief of finding yourself in the pool below Double Pencil Sharpener. The memories of those first moments linger years later. But most of those memories likely pale in comparison to the memory of Charlie Walbridge’s first run.

Charlie felt he was ready. Sure, there was snow lining the banks. And the river was running three feet, a level that kept most boaters away. But he had run all the other hard rivers, and in April of 1972, a phone call with Dave Demaree set his course for Sang Run.