Season: Spring through to Autumn
Gradient: 15km per kilometre, (first 2km at 20m/km)
Time: 4 hours
Level: Between 1 and 4 power turbines!!
Shuttle: Car, easy drive
Character: Deligthful Alpine Forest, with Bouldery Rapids, Cold Water
Suits: White water boats
Assuming enough water to paddle (see comments), the paddle starts with a hard to scout class four, but is relatively straight forward with a few interesting holes to avoid (or aim for).
From here the river gradient stays tipped up for about 2kms, with a variety of beaut mountain creek paddling with the bonus of potentiallay very pushy water. Take it easy.
A rapid certainly needing closer inspection is signified by a landslide from river left, and a sharp left hand bend (G.R. 275 765). It will be class 5 in higher water - lines exist and it has been paddled, watching out for pin potential. Portage and inspection from river right.
After that there are several left and right channels around islands all deserving a paddle. Further down there is an island which holds a larger sieve/droppy/damny thing on the left channel. (Also paddleable).
The section from the the Locked gate and gauging station (GR 301782) offers a good exit for cold paddlers, access for less confident paddlers or people wanting to change baby nursing duties for a paddle and cold hands.
What a truly amazing paddle, enjoy. This river is one of Australias greatest paddling assests, offering an exceptional quality of river travel. Cold water, beautiful trees, mossy rocks, unpredicatable water levels, interesting rapids, pushy current and ease of access all conspire to make for a truly great day on the river.
The unpredicatability of the river results from the presence of the Guthega Power Station (also adding an unsettling buzzing) at the put-in. This is the end point for diversion of water from Guthega pondage back to the original Snowy channel. This whole stretch of the catchment must have (if you could brave it in a glass boat!) been sublime paddling prior to the ambitious (some would say fundamentally flawed) Snowy Scheme.(See Seddon 1994 "Searching for the Snowy")
It is hard to obtain accurate statements about river levels from any local authority, since no-one will commit to upcoming releases (perhaps due to fear of litigation). Luck pays a good part in paddleable water, since you need at least one turbine to paddle and an ideal level is two (is some debate whether there are three or four turbines - the works crew there told me four in April 2002), and recommend less than more for your first trip (unless some one knows the river and you are comfy with pushy water, cold hands and holding on to you hat!)
Sadly if there is no generation going on there is zero water in the stream bed, apart from water in the odd pool (unless Guthega is spilling). It is a further demonstration of an environmental inequity created by humans, then the debate starts about coal fired and hydro!!
If Guthega is spilling allowing water to flow in Snowy down to Munyang, be careful, especially if power is generating!! Tell us about the run!! While in this area keep, your eyes out for the run on Munyang Creek foot access.
Putting In: Munyang Creek (Off Guthega Road)
Taking Out: Island Bend, Upstream end of Pondage
Map: Mt Kosciusko 1:50 000
Camping: Great camping at Island Bend take out
Entry Date: 29th May 2003
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