Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summer's Un-official Start on the Chattooga River

So it wasn't the first day of summer, but it was a great way to kick off the Memorial Day weekend. Here's a video shot from a raft trip on Section III of the Wild & Scenic Chattooga River, on the border between North Georgia and Northern South Carolina. We were lucky enough to be joined by great students from the Hammond School, on their senior trip.

The Section III trip option flows through a beautiful section of river, and is available to kids as young as 8 years old. As you can see in this highlight reel, there are lots of opportunities to get out of the raft, splash around and swim on Section III. The Chattooga's remote location and protected wilderness really give you a feeling of being 'out there' (while in the hands of the best guides around). It's no surprise this river has remained a favorite for so many years.

Check back with us later this week for another Chattooga-related story about rigorous guide training on the more-intense parts of this river!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Whitewater Film Fest at NOC Nolichucky

Come enjoy "An Evening of Whitewater Kayaking Films" with our friends at Rapid Transit Video on Tuesday, May 26 at 8:30pm. This event is held right on the shores of the Nolichucky River, at NOC's Rafting Oupost as part of RiverLink's Paddling the Nolichucky multi-day expedition.

Here's an article about the event in today's Asheville Citizen Times:

Entrance to the Film Festival is $7 and goes to benefit RiverLink's work. RiverLink's expedition will spend two weeks paddling the Nolichucky monitoring the water, educating citizens and raising awareness for this great natural resource. If you'd like to get involved, visit them here. We hope you'll join us in supporting a great cause on one of our beloved rivers!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Asheville Citizen-Times Announces "Unofficial Start" of Rafting Season

Technically we've been rafting since March, but I'm willing to concede that for most rafters—not necessarily whitewater aficionados—the rafting season begins on Memorial Day like any other summer activity. The summer doesn't always offer the optimal water levels or the big Class V runs (the Cheoah only has one summer release this year, June 20-21), but obviously it's fun to go rafting without having to wear neoprene or a bunch of Under Armour or capeliene.

This article discusses rafting the Pigeon, Nolichucky, French Broad, Ocoee and Chattooga, but it omits the Nantahala, the second most rafted river in the Southeast—perhaps because Karen’s been there, done that.

I’m quoted here. Notice my use of the word “superexciting.” That’s eloquence money can’t buy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Guest Blogger: Adventurous Barbara

Barbara from Riverbank's Outdoor Store sent this post over, and I liked it so much I'm reposting it here. Feel free to submit your rafting blog entries, and we'll try to get them up.

Monday, May 18, 2009

High-Action Video Postcard: Cheoah River

Hey rafting fans! Our Cheoah River photographer Pat McDonnell multi-tasked this weekend, shooting both stills and video to capture the high-water excitement on this Class V river. Don't try this at home, folks. The guides and the photographer (capturing video while bicycling) are trained professionals!

There are still two chances to raft this river in 2009—May 30-31 and June 20-21. Find out more information here!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Big-Water Recreation on Northern TN Rivers

via NOC Nolichucky Raft Guide Jeff Clewell

"The calm before the storm. Guides Nathan and Jackie enjoy the scenery before the action picks up on the Doe River Gorge. Normally a pretty narrow and shallow river, the recent rains provided enough water for a raft to make it down comfortably."

"We saw the Nolichucky rise up to 4.5 feet, that's higher than I've ever seen it! Here Nathan and Jackie drop into the top wave at Rooster Tail."

"A lot of the smaller, more technical features of this rapid get washed out at higher water, but the waves certainly get a lot bigger. This is Nathan and Jackie getting soaked by the big waves."

"French Broad River manager Steven Sherrill drops into the slide in the middle of Bodysnatcher Rapid on the Doe River. The Doe is a favorite of many local paddlers, and it's close enough for us to run after a day of work."

"This is me, your Nolichucky River guide taking my last stroke at Stateline Falls on the Watauga Gorge. Consistent rains have made this creek runnable for the past three weeks! Quite a treat for paddlers."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday High Water Higlights

Nantahala rafters were in for a treat today, as an entire week of rain helped to swell the Nantahala River to levels we haven't seen in a few years. You can really see that there is literally water everywhere, not only in the riverbed. Small waterfalls pour off rock outcroppings, feeder streams are churning into the Nantahala and it is absolutely beautiful. Here are some highlights I caught with the camera this Friday afternoon.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Water, Water Everywhere

Hey, just wanted to point out the great water situation up here! Here's what I'm reading at around 1:30 on Thursday:

Chattooga: 2.17 ft (probably about 2 feet on the bridge).
Nantahala: 1,370 cfs (Looks high from here. AW says normal power generation is at 700 cfs).
French Broad: 4,180 cfs
Cheoah: 1,530 cfs
Nolichucky: 6,900 cfs (Where I wanna be!)

Here's a photo of a swollen Big Wesser about 150 yards from my office:

Hopefully I'll get to run the Cascades and the Upper Nantahala after work!