Information on Long Branch (EFLB)

Long Branch (EFLB)

	Rating: III-V *
	TDCR: ????
	Location: Newton Co.; Go North on CR 28 from Deer toward Wayton and
		Parthenon. This road takes you past the Alum Cove recreation area. 
		Continue for 2 miles North past the rec. area and park on the side 
		of the road. Drag West down the through the woods aiming for the 
		confluence of the top two forks. (Elevation 1800) The creek is small 
		and basically a shallow bedrock shoal for first 0.25 miles.  Reach the 
		take-out by continuing North to the community of Wayton from the put-in.
		Turn left (West) on CR 96 at the Wayton Baptist Church. Go 2.3 miles and 
		turn left (South) on CR 95. Snow cemetery should be on the right. 
		Continue ~2.5 miles down the mountain to the community of Murray. Be sure 
		to check out the scenery on the way down. Especially the small but tall 
		waterfall above the first creek crossing. At the bottom of the hill, 
		there are a couple of houses on the right then a triangle intersection. To
		the left, Willis Park is beside the creek at the low-water bridge and there 
		will probably be standing water in the field. Park at the community
		building next to the park at the intersection. Be sure to thank any 
		locals and leave a donation for this facility. (Elevation 1065) 
	Topo Quad(s): Murray
	Gradient: 285 fpm (450 fpm for last .4 miles on Long Branch)
	Length: 2 miles on Long Branch followed by 4.5 miles on East Fork Little Buffalo
	Season: FLOOD
	Gauge: Gauge at Richland Campground should to be above 6 or headed that way.
		Look for 1.5" or more rain at the Deer and Mockingbird Hill and Murray 
		rain gages, at the BNR Data Page. Rain must have fallen within the last
		6 to 12 hours.
	Hazards: Undercut ledges and rocks, overhanging branches, strainers,
		waterfalls.  Very tight in places (pinning hazards). Watch your
		head at 'Duck and Cover'. The last 0.5 miles of the creek is 
		essentially one long steep complex rapid.
	Description: First known descent was March 19, 2002 by Lance Jones, 
		Cowper Chadbourn, Greg Churan, Heath Day, Scott Hanshaw, Bryan Hughbanks, Mike
		Jacobs, Jeremy Kasouf, Nate Kline, Matt May, John McCoy, Jason Mellor, Mike
		Oglesby and Ray Skinner.  The creek starts out very narrow with a 0.2+ mile 
		long shoal. Shortly after crossing an ATV trail a third fork enters from the
		left. Immediately below this fork is the first set of drops. The first horizon
		line is a steep fast slide dropping 12-15 ft followed shortly by a 6-8 ft
		waterfall (run on left or right) followed shortly by a 20-ft steep fast slide
		into a small pool. Leave the pool far right in a narrow slide, ramp up on the
		right bank to avoid slamming the boulder on river left and ride the flume out
		the bottom. After these first drops, the creek becomes boulder drops. The next
		horizon line is an interesting double drop named 'Duck and Cover'. The first
		4-ft drop is under an overhanging rock into a sticky boiling hole. The second
		part offers a nasty slot with pin/piton potential on river left or shallow
		slide down river right. Lots more nice class III/IV for the next mile with 
		some nice drops like "Baby Zwick's" and 'Switchback'. Haunt Hollow enters from 
		river right to add a little more water before the meat of the lower gorge begins.
		The bottom gorge offers very steep banks and 450+ ft/mile for a third mile. 
		Big complex boulder drops with holes, pin potential and undercuts. The portages 
		are worse! The lower gorge consists back to back drops with small eddys 
		scattered about. The beginning is a boof from the right aiming left. Go 
		left of the first rock and boof off the second back to the right. This 
		avoids the two holes to the right of the rocks and lines up for the final 
		slot on the right. Small eddys on each side offer a break before dropping 
		over a 3-ft ledge preferably right. The left side below the ledge feeds a 
		boiling eddy which pillows on a rock blocking most of the exit.  One more 
		small eddy and through a 5-ft slot drop, eddy left. Boof center over the small 
		hump into the next eddy on river right. Pin potential in the river right 
		tongue beside the hump. Below this river right eddy is the 'Particle Separator'. 
		Name has dual meaning. First, the rapid requires a 3-ft boof to the left over 
		the broken ledge aiming for a boat wide slot on river left beside the 'separator'
		rock and over an 8-ft ledge at the bottom. Going right of the separator rock 
		will take you into a nasty looking notch. Will probably flush though but it 
		may be a bumpy ride. Second, it separates the boaters from the walkers 
		(The portage is high and tough on either bank.) A couple eddys are available 
		below the ledge before entering the 'Long Branch Saloon'. Majority of 
		the flow funnels left toward a house size boulder. Enter the door to the 
		left onto the tongue beside the pillow and get ready for a punch in the 
		face from the hole at the bottom of the 10-ft drop. At high water this 
		hole could become nasty as the creek is constricted between the large 
		boulder on the left, the cliff on the right and water pouring straight 
		down into the deep pool. Out of the pool and work between some rocks 
		and back to the right. Boof off the 5-ft ledge onto a sluice/slide. 
		Follow the flume around the sharp left hand turn, avoid the left bank 
		and eddy right. The main rapid is next. The gorge ends in a bang with 
		'Freeride'. This rapid drops 45-50 ft over 100 yards. A long complex 
		solid class V rapid starting with 3 boulder slot moves followed by a 5-ft 
		boof into a small eddy on the left. There is no stopping after this eddy 
		until the pool at the bottom. The creek turns sharply right over a cluttered 
		4-ft rock pile. Best line is middle to right, ride the bow high on the 
		right bank as it turns back to the left. Negotiate a route through some 
		trash rocks down the right side as the creek turns back to the left. Line 
		up for an 8-ft boof onto a slide. Hit the boof right with left angle to 
		avoid the right shelf rock and the hole and undercut wall on the left. Once 
		on the slide, quick acceleration takes over to the final 10+ foot waterfall. 
		Punch through the curler pushing you right on the approach to the waterfall. 
		You want to be left to avoid the large boulder on the bottom right side 
		of the pool. Just around the corner from the pool is the East Fork Little 
		Buffalo. The creek enters ~ 0.5 miles below Johnson's Falls so get ready 
		for 4.5 miles of big water through the meat of the EFLB at flood! This is 
		class IV+ big water with juicy holes, swirlies and crosscurrents. Like other 
		micro-volume creeks, meaningful ratings are difficult to establish on the 
		accepted International scale. At lower levels, the creek will seem like a 
		very technical Class III, with much rock bashing, scraping, and some 
		portages. At higher levels, several rapids are solid Class V. Thanks go 
		to Lance Jones for the description of this run. See Lance Jones' Pages 
		for more info.

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