Upper West River Run in Jamaica, VT

Quick Details

Upper West Section River Running

The Upper West River Run is a great way to go kayaking or canoeing on this quintessential Class III run in southern Vermont under the guidance of an able instructor.

With just a few releases per year, this gem is worth catching every time you can. The Upper West is a fairly continuous pushy Class III with a few resting stops and lots of great surfing, high-speed eddies, and opportunities to whoop it up in your kayak or canoe.

Your clinic starts at our Zoar Adventure Center in Wilmington, VT promptly at 9 a.m. Grab a complimentary hot drink or two before hitting the river.

The instructor will lead a warm-up session before setting out down the river, and will set up a river order. While the day is set up to be experiential, not instructional, students may ask for help on specific skills while paddling the river.

More Information

  • Chevron down Class Prerequisites
  • Participants in Upper West River Runs should be strong intermediate kayakers or canoeists with solid river maneuvering, rolling, and self-rescue skills on Class III whitewater. This run is for those who want a chance to gain experience or paddle a new river under the expert leadership of qualified instructors.

  • Chevron down How to Prepare
  • You spend somewhere between four to five hours in your boat. You kneel (canoeists) or sit (kayakers) for much of this time. To prepare, stretch your thighs, hamstrings, and torso (back, stomach, shoulders and neck). If you increase your flexibility, you will have more efficient strokes and be more comfortable in your boat.

  • Chevron down What to Wear & Bring
  • The West River releases in the spring and fall so paddlers should expect a cool run, regardless of the air temperature. When packing your paddling clothes, please plan accordingly. Our clinics run rain or shine.

    Wear items such as:

    • synthetic long underwear, garments made of polypropylene, Capilene, or some polyester/spandex blend
    • fleece or wool socks
    • bathing suit
    • fleece or wool jacket/sweater (early/late season or if you tend to chill easily)

    Other items to bring:

    • sunscreen
    • sunglasses
    • retaining strap for glasses
    • nose plugs
    • towel
    • required medications
    • extra money for snacks, T-shirts, or coin-operated showers
  • Chevron down What We Provide
    • boat
    •  wetsuit
    •  paddle jacket
    •  booties
    •  life jacket
    •  helmet
    •  paddle
    •  sprayskirt

    If you own your own equipment, we suggest you use it in the clinic to get used to its quirks.

    We also provide a catered picnic-style lunch on all our clinics. Typical lunches include homemade rolls, sliced turkey, ham or other meats, sliced cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, chips, salsa, hummus, pasta or other salad, cookies or other dessert and hot and cold drinks.

    The following statement is required by state law: “Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy.”

    We do not use nuts in our food, but can not guarantee that the ingredients in our meals do not contain nuts or other food allergens. If you have food allergies or other special dietary needs, we strongly suggest you bring your own bag lunch in non-glass containers and we will pack it with the other lunches on your trip. Please inform our office at 800 532-7483 or [email protected] if you intend to do this.