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submitted by Christina Kossis

Decker’s Creek is my local run, just 20 minutes from my house. It’s a short, stout class V roadside section located in southeast Morgantown, WV that needs over an inch of rain to get pumping and often flashes quickly. It is ideal to catch Decker’s on the downhill, after it’s spiked from a good rainfall. This is also ideal because the run is located along a road full of nasty debris and while the water is still nasty, it’s nice to get some of that flushed out before running it.

The run can give you that steep, boulder dancing, big boof fix that we all crave…. or it can show fangs (one of the rapids is actually named Teeth). This is a run not to be taken lightly and I can’t stress that enough. It’s a class V creek full of many undercuts and sieves, which are very manageable, especially when approached correctly. I’ve been doing this run for 2 years now and here was my approach to it:

1. I scouted the entire section when it wasn’t running and located the hazards that I could, observing the lines and the consequences.
2. You can put in below the class V section and have a blast lapping the Class IV runout slides (a few showcased in my video) for the last quarter mile. I did this for a summer.
3. Go with someone who knows the creek well and at a lower level (ideal first-time level is 270-330CFS, medium being up to 430cfs and high up to 550cfs). This is both an easy and not so easy task, but don’t be dismayed. Although there are few that run the creek, those of us that do are always itching to go if it’s in. It’s tough to catch at the right level sometimes, but I can’t stress enough to wait for the right time. And if it’s what’s considered a higher level, you always have the option to go upstream and run the less consequential waterfall section with 3 drops called “Cascades”.
4. ALWAYS scout for wood and take the first lap slow, this run is fast and it loves to catch debris. Take your time.

Here’s a video I made of the bigger rapids, you’ll notice in the video there is one that I always portage, it’s a hairy ferry in front of a siphon that finishes in front of another siphon. There is no shame in walking rapids. Hairline and Brows may not look scary in the video, but go back to advice No. 1, scout without water and you can see how gnarly those siphons are. Enjoy, and remember, have fun!