Thursday, April 30, 2009

French Broad Rafting Video

So while the rest of us were chained to our desks on Tuesday, these guys were rafting on the French Broad, and boy what a trip! Great weather, great water and great fun. There's footage of the whole river here, but especially Frank Bell's Rapid. This great trip is only 25 miles from Asheville! (I think it was running somewhere between 1,300 and 1,400 cfs.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Great Weather, Great Whitewater!

Spring is definitely here, arriving with fantastic weather and great water levels for whitewater rafting. A few of us here in the office were anxious to get outside, so we headed to NOC's Nolichucky River outpost. Here are some video highlights of our trip. They're a bit bouncy—it's hard to keep the camera still through some of the Noli's great rapids!

This time of year, it's hard to beat the Nolichucky's cool whitewater, breathtaking scenery and fun, wavy rapids. We made some friends who came rafting on their Senior Class Trip, all the way from Pennsylvania. Everyone had a blast, with a little extra time for a short waterfall hike.

If whitewater is a good remedy for spring fever, Nolichucky River rafting is a great prescription!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Raft Guide Rescue Rope Throwing

Part of being trained by the best raft guides includes rescue rope throwing, an essential skill for both raft guides and kayakers. Being able to hit your target can be critical in a rescue situation. Just ask the guy in the water! Here, students in NOC's Raft Guide School learn and practice on the Nantahala River.

Instructor Will Norris looks on as raft guide hopefuls toss their yellow rescue ropes into the Nantahala for a few practice throws. It's best to throw underhand or side-armed when throwing rescue rope. An overhand throw can get slowed down by wind or caught up in branches.

This beach is a great place to practice throwing. When on the water, it's important to make sure you're standing on a secure rock. You want to ground yourself and control your body as much as possible, to avoid being pulled into dangerous water yourself.

Rescue rope throwing is all about timing. Wind, current speed and whitewater hazards all need to be assessed within seconds. Remember to look downstream for a clear path to pull your swimmer to safety. Here, instructor Will Norris paddles a duck to simulate a moving target for the novice rope throwers.

Learn more about rescue rope throwing with NOC's kayak paddling school this summer.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Samantha Brown Ducks Nanty Falls!

Fans of the Travel Channel's Samantha Brown will be delighted to hear that the active host of many a travelogue made her way to the Nantahala Gorge this past weekend!

Samantha and crew arrived at NOC after an overnight hike to LeConte Logde with the guides from A Walk in the Woods in Gatlinburg. (One of this blogger's favorite hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.) What troopers! They eagerly took to wetsuits and whitewater, with a late afternoon raft trip on the a portion of the Nantahala.

Samantha began her Nanty adventure in a raft with our own Wayne Dickert. Before long, she was shredding the river in a ducky. When it came time for Class III Nantahala Falls, Samantha made it look easy, sailing through with a few strokes and a big smile.

Check us out this summer on Samantha Brown's Passport to Great Weekends on the Travel Channel!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chattooga Spring Runs

The Chattooga River in GA/SC is running at spring levels, which means the water is big and the rafting is thrilling! That's what we love about this Wild & Scenic River—it has many moods, and each offers a distinct adventure. Check out some pics from one of our first trips of the year:

Seven Foot Falls isn't quite seven feet at this water level!

Even Long Creek Falls is looking big.

NOC Guide Hazel rocks it through Corkscrew Rapid.

There's still time to get in on the spring whitewater of the Chattooga, and all of our rafting rivers. Click here for more information.

Thanks to Roz for these pictures!