Lower Gauley – Friday 9-19-08

Well September is Gauley season, and this year Sept 19-21 was Gauleyfest weekend 11613in Summersville W Va.  I met up with the boy’s from the Damascus Va. area (Jason B. in k-1, Billy A. in k-1, Micheal C. k-1, Chuck R. k-1, and Kevin K. oc-1 ) on Friday morning for a Lower Gauley run In addition we where  joined also by Gif G. c-1 and Joey k-1.  I was in my k-1 playboat.  Typically the there is about 2,800 cfs released into the upper Gauley at the Summersville Dam during season,  and with very little coming in from other feeder creeks this year,  I expect that total flow at the top of the lower was just a little more than that.  Our day quickly shaped up to be a nice sunny day with a few clouds,  temps into the 70’s with little wind.  After setting shuttle and doing the climb down the mountain side, boats on our shoulders and aided by numerous sets of wooden steps at various angle and pitches we arrived at the put in,  caught our breath and got on.  (more…)

Chattooga VI Gorge – 8/31/08

11386Chattooga VI Gorge was on the agenda for Sunday 8/31 as part of a  Labor day weekend that had been a trilogy of gorges for me having run Watauga on Friday, followed by Nolichucky, and now Chattooga to wrap up a great weekend of paddling.  Having gotten up with John H. the evening before,  I met up with his group of mostly SRVCC members at the put in east of Clayton Ga.  Paddling in John’s group where John H. oc-1, Richard H. oc-1, James C. oc-1, David B. 0c-1, Bill H. in C-1 and Ann H. in fun-yak, plus paddlin-ed in k-1.

It was an absolutely beautiful sunny day warm temp. and clear water, running around 1.15 on the bridge gauge (around 300-350 cfs on the usgs with a good bit more coming in below from the feeder creeks due to rains a few days earlier).  The group had shuttle set when I arrived and they had headed down to the put in,  I took the path to above Bull Sluice and ran the Virgina slide and met the group at the put in for section IV 11412below.  This was a fairly laid back group with several very good paddlers in it a couple of which new the run well.  Oddly,  I was the only kayaker in the group and most all of them where canoeists, seems like only a few years ago I was usually the only canoeist among kayakers. (more…)

Nolichucky Gorge – 8/30/2008

11223Labor Day weekend 2008 was turning out to be a nice one.  Rains earlier in the week had had been big enough to still have water in the Nolichucky up for a nice run for the first time in over 2 months on this beautiful and technical class 3-4 run.   I was joined by the boy’s from Damascus Va. area – Jason B. K-1, Brian C. K-1,  Billy A. K-1, Kevin K. oc-1 and a couple of long standing TRR members  – Jerry H. K-1 and Bill H K-1, plus paddlin-ed in k-1.  The river, according to the gauge was running somewhere in the 1250-1300 range that morning but from experience it seemed to be a good bit higher and with having been extremely low for months and then getting over 8,000 cfs 3 days earlier may have been out of calibration.  Personally it seem closer to at least 1,500 but that’s guess.  Anyhow it was a beautiful clear sunny and warm day,  with the water almost completely back to clear after the rains several day before. (more…)

Watagua Gorge 8/31/08

Rains came in a couple of days prior to Labor Day weekend ’08,  and I was ready to get some paddling in after a long dry summer.  It was Friday and the Watagua gauge was reading around 178 by mid day.  Water was clear and clean,  with blue sky and plenty of sunshine, warm but not hot,  when Darron, Kevin and I met up at the takeout.  We dressed out quick and wasted no time in getting up to put in.

Watagua’s gauge is upstream several miles at the start of another section, and with the feeder creeks along the way and those into the gorge section its always a bit hard to tell exactly what you have getting on.  The level read to be a lower modest levels but quite doable,  and in fact once downstream a bit enough flow was coming in that it turned out to be quite a nice level but very technical.  I had run it before a couple of times at higher levels and actually found this level a good bit more technical.  (more…)