Friday, April 07, 2006


After spending a few days in Asheville, running the Nolichucky and hiking up to Looking Glass Mtn, the Green Narrows, and the Horsepasture we were out of water and out of things to do so we decided to head out to the Cheoah a day early and check out the Nantahala Cascades along the way. Jim called to say he had similar plans and we decided to meet at the NOC. On our way we stopped at Maggie Valley, NC so I could get some pics:

We got to the NOC early, had a really good cheap meal, and did some shopping. Mark enjoyed reminiscing about his first trip down two years before. While there we asked if anyone thought the Cascades would be running and got a pretty definite no.

Mark at the NOC

Jim arrived as we finished eating and we headed off to take a look. If he hadn’t been there that’s just exactly what we would have done: just looked. There was certainly some water on it but it looked pretty low. Jim assured us that he’d run it somewhat lower than this and that it was good to go. Slightly skeptical, we decided to go for it. It was a beautiful warm day and since it was a short run i paddles in shorts and a spray jacket, it felt great not to have to put on a ton of layering (i did however gladly put on my creek gloves and elbow guards for this one).

Cascades: Horns of God at top

The Cascades has an average gradient of 210 feet per mile and drops nearly 150 feet in just over half a mile. It has three main drops and several slides. Turns out there was indeed enough water and we all had good runs. Jim did a great job of leading us down and also took some great pictures with my camera. My line at Horns of God was slightly off and I hit my stern on the rock below. Mark had a much better line and got a great picture (total meltdown in the deep pool below). The various slides were shallow but still fun. Big Kahuna was a bit bumpy but go to go. At Chinese Feet Jim and I ran the left line while Mark opted for the right. We walked one rapid that didn’t quite have enough water on it. I had one mild piton and got into a two point pin at one point. A little scary at first but I was able to shift my weight to the back of the boat and swing the bow around easily. Overall it was a good clean run.

Mark running put in rapid

Maggie runing Horns of God

Mark melting down at Horns of God

Mark and Maggie on Cascades

Maggie on slide

Maggie checking out Big Kahuna

Maggie running Big Kahuna

Mark melting down at Big Kahuna

Maggie at bottom of Big Kahuna

Maggie on yet another slide

Mark on yet anoter slide

Mark and Maggie

Maggie runnig left line of Chinese Feet

Mark at Chinese Feet

Mark after successfully running Chinese Feet

Mark and Maggie at last rapid

Maggie running last drop

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