Post by Brent Samples on Jul 12, 2013 23:13:54 GMT -5
What an awesome highwater summer! Usually this time of year the only option is to bang down the Lower New at near zero or negative levels. Today the choice came down to the Dries at a nice prime level of roughly 8.5'-9.0' or Piney Creek at lower level of 2.75'. We choose the latter. It was good to get on a creek as most of my paddling time this year has been spent on the Dries or NRG. Piney has been a creek Charlie Redington, Tony Daniel, and i have discussed for sometime and when we noticed it running we jumped on the chance to paddle it.
The AW Page noted runnable levels between 2.30' to 3.30' and the guidebook noted 'look for a low to moderate flow at the takeout" both were met (with regards to levels due to the nature of the riverbed there could be some very large holes at high water, today most holes were easily punchable), Tony's wife Val graciously provided shuttle from the takeout to Beaver. The creek starts out slow very similar to the middle section of Paint Creek, once the sewer treatment plant is passed the gradient starts to pick up and the first pick ledge is encountered, it appeared to drop directly onto a shallow shelf. we could not decide on a line so we opted to walk around as we were early in the trip. After this ledge the gradient picked up a bit. A short distance later we entered the inner gorge and the gradient picked up considerably, according to the guidebook this 1.50 mile section drops at roughly 160 feet per mile. most of the drops were boulder strewn ledge drops, it reminded me of several creeks in the NC / TN, at this level this section was very comparable to the run out rapids on the Green or the some drops on the Watuaga. Big Rock Falls marks the midpoint of the steep section, after several more nice drops you come to Razor's Edge Rapid, the drops toned down a bit after this, changing to boulder type rapids and slides, and eventually to boogie water. there is one surprise drop a ways down from a river left side tributary. A pretty big drop which i think is called Flusher.
The run out to the New River was not horrible, with only a few rocks causing trouble. in fact the most trouble of the day occurred within a couple miles of the confluence where all three of us where flipped at some point by "no see um" rocks.
All and all a great day on the river, 12 miles paddled, 5.75 hours, portaged one drop and walked two twice due to wood in the lower runout section, total vertical drop roughly put in at 2150' to take out at 1175'. Definitely a fun way to spend an afternoon.
Post by Tony Daniel on Jul 12, 2013 23:38:56 GMT -5
nice reporting Brent, I enjoyed the run and found it challenging. I walked a mile on the tracks when it got steep but enjoyed the rest of the run with you guys. Thanks for taking care of me. Charlie was also great about helping me with landings, portaging, emptying the boat and the like. The creek had a variety of challenges: big drops, bouncy chutes, wood, and plenty of rocks to hit. I enjoyed it all but was still glad to see the takeout. Thanks for figuring out the overall elevation drop. I wondered if we had dropped 800 or 900 feet altogether and it looks like we did that and maybe a little bit more. That's a lot of bouncin', no wonder my legs are stiff!
Post by Charlie Redington on Jul 13, 2013 7:54:35 GMT -5
WHAT A HOOT!!! start earley..do not rush..pack food and warer and expect a lot of fun....at least three OOOWA OOOWA POOA moments in there.....the smal creek and the hudge bolders withvthe high mnts in the backgrond was unexpected...Another beautiful day in WV....thanks guys and special thanks to Val! lets go boating!
The Flusher used to have a huge boulder at the bottom of the drop. Flow was squeezed down to two very narrow and fast channels against the extreme right and left banks, making this a very disturbing drop which most people portaged. I don't remember exactly when it was, but very surprisingly this boulder was displaced by high water. There is no trace of it now. I was never able to believe that a boulder of this size in such a small stream bed could completely disappear, but it did. Sounds like you all had a good run. I would like to see this again sometime.
Post by Brent Samples on Jul 13, 2013 9:18:45 GMT -5
i definitely would like to get back out there soon, maybe Julia can make it rain , i found out the first ledge drop we walked is runnable. we should have scouted from the other side of the river. there is a somewhat gradual stairstep slot in the middle going from left to right--found a video on line showin the move at a lower flow...
Post by Lauren Beyer on Jul 13, 2013 10:41:56 GMT -5
Wow, sounds interesting. Something I probably don't want to try, at least not yet, as I'm not big on drops... but it sounds neat & very pretty. Good report, thanks for sharing, glad you all had fun! Cool to hear about rivers/creeks rarely paddled & how you guys get out there to try it without having seen it yourself or someone with you who has, at least on a challenging creek like this. Kim, that's crazy that a huge boulder could disappear like that, neat to hear about the change.