As of March 9th, there was a huge log across the "notch" above Bricklayer. It crosses the entire river channel, may not be a problem above about 6 feet. Also, looked to be a log in the chute leaving the river left eddy at Cosmic Crunch. And more wood in the next drop right below Cosmic Crunch.
The USGS gauge is located on Turtle Pond Road, but is not readable there, only online. There is an old gauge on the river left downstream pilon, but I think sediment has caused the gauge to be inoperable.
The USGS corrasponds with the painted gauge at the Peaks Creek Bridge (take-out for Lower section) and when it's at 1.5ft on the bridge it's close to 4ft on the USGS gauge.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
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Johhny Ky at the Cullasaja
Slide/Flume Above Dry Falls
Drop above Nemesis
Final Drop of Nemesis
2nd Drop of Nemesis
1st Drop of Nemesis
Slide/Flume above Dry Falls
Triple Drop on Cullasaja
2nd Drop of Triple Drop
Last Chute at the Bottom of Bricklayer
Log Blocking Middle drop of Bricklayer
The BIG drop of Bricklayer
Middle Drop of Bricklayer
1st Drop on Upper Cullasaja
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
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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