Tumbling Creek, Virginia, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III+ (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||80 fpm|
|Max Gradient||80 fpm|
|N F HOLSTON RIVER NEAR SALTVILLE, VA|
|usgs-03488000||1500 - 10000 cfs||II-III+||00h24m||619 cfs (too low)|
What is commonly called the lower section begins at the first bridge on the gravel road to the top uf BTC. Some of this section is very boulder choked, so it would take quite a bit of water to run it. The difficulty doesn't exceed cl.III, with the exception of one slide which my be cl.IV at higher water. The run begins with a few boulder gardens and ledges, with one "tricky" channel on the left. About 1/4 mile into the run there is a steep slide of about 12'-15' which should be scouted. The line is straightforward, but has a hole at the top which looks to be sticky at high water. From here the creek consists of mostly small ledge drops. When you reach the point that you can see an old concrete bridge piling on the right, you should get out and scout the next couple of rapids. The first drop is a sloping ledge that runs into a shelf that may be undercut. The next rapid immediately after is somewhat boulder choked and should be scouted as well. From here the creek is pretty straightforward with some fun ledge drops thrown in here and there. Almost all of this run can be seen from the road on the way to the putin.
From I-81N take the Damascus/Glade Spring exit. (Exit 29) Turn Left and drive ~1 mile until you see a Coastal gas station. Here turn Right on Rt. 91, drive ~10 miles until you reach the town of Saltville. Continue on Rt.91 itno Saltville until you reach the only traffic light in town, there make a Left and follow that road for ~3 miles until a "4 way" stop sign is reached. Turn Left onto Rt. 613 (Wildlife Management Area) and follow this road for ~ 4-5 miles until a bridge crossing BTC is reached. Just after the bridge turn Right onto the gravel road. This road will take you to the put in for Lower BTC as well as the top of BTC.
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