Upper Yough Whitewater

Upper Yough Whitewater


Maryland Panhandle, Sang Run to Friendsville.
Click for an overview map, or a detailed map.


The most exciting of the rivers listed here with the exception of the Russel Fork. Class IV rafting experience recommended (Cheat or Gauley). 3 miles of flatwater, 3 miles of class V (well, hard IV's at least) rapids, with no screw-ups permitted. Then 3 miles of cool-down. One of my favorite runs.

Water Levels

Dam release from Deep Creek Lake. Runnable on the whims of mother nature and the Maryland wasser meisters. 1.9 foot level at put-in is minimum, 2.5 foot is the highest I will run it, and 4 foot is monster.

Online gauge:Friendsville, MD (no realtime data yet).
Telephone gauge: Pepco - (814) 533-8911

River Description

Not responsible for the accuracy of any info. If you are relying on this to get you down the river, you are crazy. Any updates due to changing river conditions appreciated. Good for levels around 2 foot.

MNEMONIC Gentlemen Bet Candy Takes the Zealous Heart. Must Portage Fuck-up, Can Win Diamonds. (hey - its the only way I can remember the rapids. Its running 3 feet and I am terrified out of my mind - and I don't portage fuck up, thank you).

GAP FALLS After warm-up riffles, run river left - aim for center right at bottom. Eddy of death on left side just above hole. Eddy out there if you've got guts and surf the hole over to the right eddy. One mile of class III follows.

BASTARD River drops left below good-size pool, cliff on right shore in distance, and large rock with tree in middle of river. Start left and head for eddy in center of river (about 40 yards down)- boof into eddy. Then ferry left and run the left side. End in eddy on right. Fractured Seda helmet still hangs in the guide house from the last poor soul I guided down it.

CHARLIE'S CHOICE Landmark being the end of Bastard. Start and stay left as long as possible. From left eddy before last drop run to right, going either left or right of the bottom washover rock. Small pool below.

TRIPLE DROP Start center right and run straight through 3 frothy holes in Snaggletooth and Middle Drop. Ferry hard left into small pool above National Falls. Run from left to right, passing below rock above the falls. with a sharp left turn as you go down the drop. Run left side of hole, watch out for small washover rock just below the start of the drop on the left. Large pool below drop.

Hero run is boofing over the right side of the falls. Watch out for the rock wall on the right as you land.

TOMMY'S HOLE Obvious left run, so go far right. Ferry far left below hole, run rest of rapid on far left.

ZINGER Eddy out left at top. Go for right side of mound of water, surf the wave to the left and eddy out in the center of the river behind very large boulder. Ferry right and run right class III section.

HINZERLING FALLS Go to large eddy on right shore through scratchy passages (hard to find entrance to passage). Drop down long narrow chute to small left hand eddy. Turn down river towards large pillow. ride up high on pillow and go left. Miss hole just to left of pillow. Pillow can be snuck on right then go left.

MEAT CLEAVER Go right at pool after H. and eddy out. Start river right and cut 45 degrees left between two large boulders. Line up for second drop between two rocks standing on end at water level. Alternate low water route is to drop over left hand side of 4 foot ledge into turbulent eddy behind left large boulder. Peal out and go between rocks. Scoutable from shore if you are a wussy.

POWERFUL POP-UP Next comes several drops, run on left side, a pool and several more drops. Pup-up is run left to right. Death slot is to left of pop-up chute. Run slot left to right and try not to broach on triangular rock.

FUCK-UP FALLS (LOST AND FOUND) Landmark of island in left side of river with tree (faint hearts can scout from island). Eddy out on right, take the left channel (sneak route on right channel). Start run between two small rocks at top, down right side of chute. Head towards eddy on left shore at bottom . Don't go near undercut Tombstone rock on left side of chute (undercut rock caused 1 fatality, and almost prevented this from being written). Go far left below eddy to miss hole on right. This is the last V, so if you made it this far you can start to relax and change your underwear.

CHEESEBURGER FALLS Start far river right and run over the drop at high water six inches from rock on right shore - run three feet from rock at low water to avoid nose-pinning.

WRIGHT'S HOLE Run left side until you see a large horizon line extending from left shore. Make quick right hand eddy behind large rock, ferry over to right side of river and run slot on right side of hole.

DOUBLE PENCIL SHARPENER Run down left side of river to eddy. Run to right make a quick left hand turn onto a right pillow which drops you towards hole on left. Head right as you come off the pillow. Class III then II until the take-out. Well that's it, just don't get off the bubble.

Text underwent a hard disk crash so is a little incomplete. Missing most of the slots, but has the main routes. Don't use this for your first run down - follow someone who knows the river and cares whether you live or die. Comments, additions and alterations will be appreciated.

Body Count

One rafting customer has died at the undercut Tombstone Rock at Fuck-up Falls.

This information is my opinion only
and may not reflect actual conditions.
It is based on my usually hazy memory,
and should not be used to decide whether
you or your guides are qualified to run the river.
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