Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Asheville is back!

Ok - we all know the south east has been in a horrible drought for the last 2 years, and while it might not be over yet, Hurricane Fay has offered the rivers and our spirits some incredible relief.... Here is Clayton Gaar geeking out as we check out the Garden of the Gods section of the West Fork of the Pigeon.

photo: robin betz

Then we rolled down to the bridge above the 'runnable' section and look how scary that looks!! Yes, the scale is a little hard to make out but this is continuous, 10 - 20 foot drops with uniform holes and no eddies, rushing up into the trees.
photo: robin betz

Haha!! Then we ran into Sam Morgan at the put-in. Look at those eyes tweaking out! photo: Robin Betz

Sam had put on at reasonable level about 20 minutes before and he and his crew had to hike out because it flashed to flood stage.
So we went up to highest elevation run we could find nearby to see if we might be rewarded. But the Big East Fork of the Pigeon was stomping as well, and I kept expecting to see double wide mobile homes floating down the river, but nobody lives up there!!
After that disappointment, we thought to ourselves, well, there is always the Green River!! So we hydro-planed our way down the other side of Pisgah and stopped to catch a glimpse of Looking Glass Falls - we called Pat Kellar and Chris Graghtmans to let them know they could log another descent if they wanted to.
photo: Robin Betz

Looking Glass Falls - get out your batman cape!
photo: Clayton Gaar
We heard from Shane and Woody that even though there was no release, the Green River was running at some unknown level....
When we got to the take we figured it was a little higher than 200%....
When we got to the put-in Chris Graghtmans met up with us and we decided to check out Big Hungry Creek which flows into the Green. It had the same amount of flow that normally fills the Green at 100% release, in other words it was HIGH!! We thought we might have to hike out. But we got to the confluence and realized that the narrows would be scary, but really really fun, and Graghtmans predicted 21-23 inches.....and he was right.

Here we are portaging around the Gorilla and the slides, sorry for the dark photos, it was literally getting dark on us.

photo: Robin Betz

I knew we were going to be fine when I styled my line through Frankenstein. Yes, we were punching through holes in the lead-in, instead of scraping over rocks, and we were boofing off the top of the pyramid rock, but it felt great! This ended up being one of the funnest and scariest runs down the green for me ever, and I do not recommend doing this if you've never run the green at 200%.

Sunshine was another highlight - because you go straight through nut-cracker, into Groove Tube and straight off the middle of Sunshine (which is always a treat). I ran through the tube and hit some strange warp zone... when I landed I got sucked through the hole to right and was lucky to be let free - I would recommend avoided the Tube next time.

This is what Gorilla looks like at a regular 100%:

photo: Robin Betz

In case you wondered, this is what Gorilla looks like at 23 inches, whatever percent you want to call that. It was scary high and getting dark on us....
photo: Robin Betz

By the time we got to Toilet Bowl, it was pretty much pitch black. I eddied out below Toilet Bowl, and portaged around Hammer Factor. I'd like to say it was simply because I didn't want to risk losing my camera (and these crazy pics), but quite frankly I was just not feeling as manly as Daniel Windham, Clayton Gaar, and Chris Gragtmans who all ran Hammer factor at 23 inches in the pitch black.
photo: Clayton Gaar

1 comment:

Adriene said...

nice girl i dont know how to do exclaimation marks on this comp but there would be lots of them. was that your highest decent? glad the south got rain finally even if im not there