Upper HAW14,000 cfs 27OCT18 Hala Atcha 9'6
A lot of water moving very fast. Cruising at 5.5 mph without paddling. Some features were bigger, some were washed out. Hell of a fun time though.
I kayaked this stretch from Chicken bridge on Sunday Sept 25 2016 I believe the water level was just above 3. If it was much less I would have had to drag my kayak over lots of rocks.
I put in under the Chicken bridge. For the first part it was pretty slow moving but scenic.
The second part was full of rocks and small rapids and was pretty fast. This was a fast moving and fun section to paddle. After the section of rocks the river became calm and for a few miles I paddled staying to the left as possible for the portage above the dam. I hugged the shore line as I approached the dam and there is a decent muddy take out to the far left. Total trip took about 2.5-3 hrs
The day before I launched from the new kayak landing on old Greensboro hwy and kayaked to the Chicken Bridge. This was about 3 hrs. Very slow moving.
Ran 11/28/2014 @ ~1800cfs, 5.5ft. in a dagger canoe. Most rock gardens washed out at this level, plenty of water over 'sawtooth ledge'. Trip took 2hrs, lot of steadily moving flatwater.
Have run at 3 ft, (~3-400cfs?) scraped a lot and a lot of maneuvering to get through, but doable.
The bank at the takeout appears to have washed enough to drop some trees across the entrance where the sluice gate is. I didn't like the look of it and took out at a spot about 100 feet farther up, where the trail comes to the bank.
Ran it in 2 person Old Town at ~900 cfs. Level seemed pretty much perfect. Most rapids boat scout-able. Had to frantically attain to make another run on the left to center at Sawtooth Ledge (A down tree on left side of the river bend forced us too far river right). Stopping on the rocks at Little Nantahala made for a great middle of the trip lunch/break spot. Not a human was seen until the takeout at the dam. Highly recommend this paddle to anyone interested in getting away from civilization for around 3 hours.
10-5-2012. Ran Upper and MIddle Haw today at less that 350 cfs. Not too bad, but scarped bottom any times.
Chicken Bridge got it's name after a truck, loaded with chickens, crashed at the bridge. The surviving chickens hung out at the bridge for several weeks afterward. The Air Force used to use the bridge as a target for mock bombing runs. It was not unusual to have an A-4 Skyhawk or an F-4 Phantom zoom over you at low levels. They made the Air Force stop this practice back in the early 80s.
This section is known as the Upper Haw or the Chicken Bridge section. It is a good run for the novice at the right level.
The gauge is downstream at Bynum.
Permits are not required for this reach.
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Upper HAW14,000 cfs 27OCT18 Hala Atcha 9'6
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The recent death of Chris Clark at Python Rapid on North Carolina's Cheoah River is the third at this site in the last six years. In each case, the person who died was an expert paddler and their paddling partners did not see exactly what happened. Let's take a close look at the Cheoah below Bear Creek Falls and develop strategies for future runs. The river here is very fast and continuous. After a fast lead-in (Chaos), the river drops over Bear Creek Falls, a 12' drop. Below, most of the flow pushes toward the river right channel (Python). Ferrying over to the easier river left channel (the West Prong) requires careful boat control. Python itself contains several nasty holes and sieves, with a bad hole blocked by a boulder at the bottom. There is a good route through it, but paddlers need to plan their route carefully. Scouting is a good idea for first timers, although catching eddies and getting out is not going to be easy. Groups need to stay together.. The rapid is tough enough that you can't watch your buddy all the time, but you can be ready to help if needed. Click through for links to the accident reports, photos, and comments from expert Cheoah River paddlers. (Photo above by Boyd Ruppelt)
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