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Hook 99/Harmon’s Rapid, Lower New River Gorge



RAPID NAME: Hook 99 / Harmon's


RIVER SECTION: Lower New River Gorge - Cunard To Fayette Station

This Class III/IV rapid is named after one of the original boaters of the New River Gorge, John Harmon. One year during a downriver kayak race, Harmon found himself vertically pinned against a boulder at the top of the rapid. He was able to free himself, but his kayak stayed there. His racing bib was number 66, but as the boat was vertical pinned and now facing upstream, the number 99 was marking the rapid for the rest of the racers.

32,000-14,000 cfs(12-7’), 14,000-7,500 cfs(7-4’) – At these higher flows, the entrance is on the left, between two pourovers and following the wave train. Once past the entrance, there are viable lines both right and left, with the main objective being to stay out of the middle and avoid the huge hydraulic known as Greyhound(the size of a Greyhound Bus). Greyhound is one of the more powerful hydraulics on the entire river and must be avoided. It can be run to the right or left.

7,500-4,400 cfs(4-2’) – At these mid-level flows, the entrance gets a little more well defined but is still basically the same on the left. Another entrance called the Blind Alley opens up on the far right, and there is also a line just right of center, just to the right of Turtle Rock. In between the entrance and Greyhound gets a little more ledgey, with stiffer waves and more pour-overs to avoid, but the objective is still to run either right or left. Greyhound is still powerful and recirculating at these levels.


4,400-2,400 cfs(2-0’) – At these low flows, Greyhound actually becomes one of the most fun surfs on the river. After dropping either left or right of it, the surf itself and the Greyhound rock actually form a huge eddy in the center of the river which makes accessing the surf extremely easy.