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submitted by Shane Groves

The Headwaters of the Gauley are easily overlooked by the vast amount of whitewater in the region. The multiple branches of the Headwaters take off with several runs offering dozens of miles of class 3 fun. This was my childhood home and moved back to the Headwaters right when the pandemic hit to have my first child, Edith! So for most of 2020/2021, getting a quick run on one of these gems was my go to during big rain events.
As February 2022 started we had inches of snow melt with over an inch of rain! Everything was running. Narrowing down the best option during these perfect conditions can be maddening. But with Edith the decision was made easy. I dropped her off at the Grandparents around 9:30 am and was at the Cherry Bomb Wave by 10:00. The Top Gauley was peaking at that moment running 18,000 cfs. Just upstream of the Gauge the Cherry had about 6,000cfs. The river narrows at this roadside rapid with a bedrock shelf creating two large waves.
The RSV immediately made quick work of a tricky wave hole corner. It truly is a great boat. Within the hour the top wave formed. A perfect wave offering any trick in your arsenal.
These rapids and waves don’t get paddled often. But for anyone looking for something new and approachable, the Headwaters can be miles of joy.

Enjoy my edit