By Eric Adsit
Perfect flows and unusually warm temperatures are forecast for New York's final whitewater festival of the season, Moosefest. Based in Old Forge, N.Y., the festival coincides with the annual drawdown of the Fulton Chain of Lakes, guaranteeing navigable water levels on three stretches of the Moose River even during drought conditions. Recent rains in northern New York have brought base flows up, meaning the Class II-III+ Middle, and Class V Bottom sections will be at a perfect medium once the releases start. The longer Class IV Lower Moose will also be navigable, but slightly below optimum. That's 20+ miles of river featuring sections appropriate for all skill levels!
Paddlers can expect to see the results of the drawdown beginning Friday morning. Releases on the Bottom Moose are scheduled for Friday through Sunday, with the King of New York Series Finale presented by NRS is slated for Saturday, Oct. 14. The course demands high performance in both long flatwater pools and Class V rapids, making it a spectator favorite. Current points leader Pat Keller will need to keep things fast and smooth, as Wyatt Hyndman sits just 60 points behind. In the Queen's series, Erin Savage will have to fend off an even closer Genevieve Royer, who only needs to make up 40 points to tie for the crown. The Moose Race is the longest running extreme whitewater race in New York, with some variation of the event taking place since 1995!
This year's event, sponsored by Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company, will feature Liquidlogic's Pat Keller and Dagger's Robert Rexrode as special industry guests, as well as a bonfire and KONY/QONY awards ceremony on Saturday evening. In a collaborative effort, KONY, Dagger Kayaks, and First Descents have teamed up to offer a raffle for an out-of-this-world Dagger Green Boat, featuring a custom KONY logo and intergalactic color scheme. Also up for raffle is a custom fit Werner Odachi race paddle and an Immersion Research Nebula Rival drytop. All proceeds will go to First Descents.
Continue the party in the unofficial paddler pub-crawl through Old Forge, making stops at the many staple taverns, or cash in early in anticipation of another day full of paddling.