Glade Creek (New River tributary), West Virginia, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||125 fpm|
|Max Gradient||125 fpm|
Rody Walter 2004-03-14 18:11:55
This is a great stream if you can catch it with sufficeint water. I tried to figure out the level based on the stone bridge description in Wildwater WV but became more confused the more I tried. From the confluence with the Pinch, the downstream rocks had enough water flowing over them to be cushioned but still visible...definately a minimum level for enjoyment.
This creek is very enjoyable class 3 boogie water with approximately six rapids that require scouting, upping the ante to class 4.
The first scouting takes place a few hundred yards from the put-in. The river constricts down to a six foot ledge, eroding to the right side, boardered by boulders. Run right to center, punching the sticky hole at the bottem. A good eddy sits river left under and downstream of the ledge.
The next few rapids were simplistic boulder runs...just wind up and go.
The creek tends to calm a bit with some channelizing going on and should be boated with some caution do to the propensity for strainers. We had to portage one and limbo two in May of 2003.
The next major rapid I remember was a double drop with a short pool following and a finishing drop run to the left. The main line of the double had a meaty hole so we chose to boof left center. One member blew the line and spent some time in the hole contemplating why he enjoys this sport.
A very enjoyable S-turn rapid is the next biggy, moving from river left...across the center in the tongue, and finishing on a river right chute. Just like a log flume ride at Ceder Point!
The hardest rapid is just after. Pour over boulders and complex channels moving from center to left to center again. I was chasing a swimmer and didn't have the luxury of scouting...take time to do so. I do remember quite a bit of current piling up on a river left boulder before forcing you back right to center.
Glade Creek falls are announced shortly after when a stone wall appears on river left. The lead in is very shallow. Head for the nose in the center and give her a boof. The pool was very friendly across it's width. Take out on river left and up the root stairs to run it again.
One last rapid of note lies below the falls. A tongue of water pushes between two boulders at a ledge in the center terminating in a hole with a large boulder blocking the exit. A very bad place to be. At higher water you may be able to drop the river left ledge thereby avoiding this pinning area. We walked this one.
Boogie on down for another ten minutes to the New.
Overall, a very enjoyable stream with excellent scenary, clean water, and a trail that runs parallel to the creek if an evac. is needed. BTW...make sure to hook up the shuttle bunny with lots of love...it's a long, boring drive.