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Difficulty V
Length 4.5 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 09/27/2010 3:23 pm

River Description


To get to the put-in, take Retro-Hughes Road up Bakewell Mountain. About 8 miles up, notice a gated road on the left. Bowater owns the land and leases it out. The individual with the lease sublets it out to hunters. Access is a problem right now, as of 2004. Chattanooga creekers have worked around the problem and have their names on the lease and have keys to the gate. Please try and contact one of them before accessing this put-in (Ben Friberg, Ryan Allen, Todd G., Ted Hayes, Bryce Evans, Brent Meadows, or Ron Stewart

If the creek is flowing over the bridge, then hold on tight! However, most of the time it isn't, so don't worry. Enjoy class II bedrock for a good 1/2 mile. The first drop is a 15 foot 45degree angle slide. Soon, another larger slide comes into play. It's about 25 feet high at a 45 degree angle. After this big slide is a rapid on river right where you should proceed with caution. It has a nasty undercut and a troublesome curler to negotiate. I believe this is referred to as "Elvis's Truckstop." Several people have posted below about this one. No one has died at this rapid.

Soon, you get to the all the famous Little Possum rapids. When you see an obvious horizon line, it's probably Immodium Falls. Scout on river left or right, portage on river left. Immodium is somewhere around 25', maybe more, maybe less. Center right is the usual line, running off the flake. Far right is another route where you stay in contact with the bedrock a tad-bit longer. Just don't run far left, lands on a big boulder. After Immodium Falls, two channels exist for 25 yards. Take the river right channel.

After this, enjoy several pretty fast slides and good class IV+ for a little while. A noticable right turn will lead you into a rapid that I don't know the name of. However, I can try to describe it. Most of the water is on river right and it seems to be your everyday 8 foot ledge. Think again! A turtle shaped boulder sits below stretching almost halfway acoss the river. I usually ramp up on the right side of it. There may be other lines, but I would scout this one for sure.

Next up is Double Drop, one the hardest back to back big drops that Walden's Ridge has to offer. The first drop is around 20 feet+ and has a tricky entrance. I've seen two different lines here. One is to stay far left at the top, ride the ledge, then cut back slightly right. The other is to ride the curler that is made by the ledge mentioned above. Both lead you slighty left of center if your lucky. If you happen to be far right, hold on tight, you'll probably hit the bedrock below and might end up with a few cartwheels in the bag. Just downstream is the second drop. Several lines exist at this 20ft V-ledge as well. The most common line is to ride high river left and try to miss the slot completely. However, as of spring 2003, this line is almost out of the question thanks to a tree at the lip of the drop. A tougher line, and a line less traveled, middle and straight into the slot. Scout and portage on river left.

Next up is Holy Cross. This slide is long and bumpy. Enter on river right and work your way to river left or center towards the end of the rapid. The rapid is named after the two hemlock trees that once formed a cross or X in the pool just below the drop. The portage for this one involves launching in 10+ feet from a boulder on river right.

Enjoy a little break for a good 1/2 mile with some class II and III. The last named rapid is Whiteout, another V-slot. This time, go straight down the middle and become one with the whitewater as you disappear for a few seconds, try and keep your nose right here since pitons have occurred recently when angeling right. You may end up with your boat under the left ledge and you may get stuck in the hole but the piton is painful and potentiall dangerous since you are in the slot. At higher levels the hole in Whiteout gets big and nasty!

As mentioned below, close to a half mile below is an un-named rapid where all of the water goes through a slot on river right. This is the only rapid after Whiteout where the river narrows to this degree and is noted by large flat rocks and a slight turn to the left. Many people walk around this rapid out of respect for a kayaker that was lost here in the mid-90s. The rapid is totally different today than it was when the accident occurred. A flood during the last 2 years moved everything and there is no indication of any hazard at this point in time here.

The confluence with Big Possum is just ahead and several miles to the bridge. It's a little creepy down in the valley. The creek has carved out huge clay walls that get close to 25' tall at times. They collapse often. Trees are often a factor here(those standing and those that have fallen)

For your first trip, make sure you have a good 2 and 1/2 hours. People have done multiple runs on Little Possum and often check in under an hour.

The first decent of Little Possum is featured on "Falling Off Walden's Ridge".

 

For more information please click on the link below:

 

http://www.waldensridgewhitewater.com/waldensridge/LittlePossum.htm

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

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10 years ago

As of12/11/09 there are still lots of downed trees in the runout after Whiteout.. where the creek splits both have river wide strainers. must portage Also the gauge on the railroad bridge downstream river right of the road bridge has lost its luster and is no longer readable.. there is a readable gage on river left bridge abuttment.

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Steepcreeks.com
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14 years ago

The rapid in the warm-up section that cuts back hard right has a log going across it right now. Portage on right. Everything else was clean. Lots of people have been pitoning on the river right side in White Out also, not sure if something has moved in there in the last year or so.

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BradR
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16 years ago

From Ted Hayes:
Harry, Andy, & I cleaned all of the new wood out Sunday. There was a lot from the flood in May, mainly below Whiteout. There is a log at the entrance to Double Crop that shouldn't be an issue, except maybe at high water if you are on your knees. It's about 5'-6' above the bedrock.
The most impressive thing that I saw was that Teeth Puller is as clean as you could possibly hope for. The bad news is the trees are totally gone @ Holy Cross, as is the island at the entrance. The entrance at Elvis' Truckstop has also changed a little. Leaving Immodium, there is a line on the left now. There are a lot of changes in the boulder garden section, including one that is partially sieved out. It may not be that bad, but it's hard to tell without much water.

Ted

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paul haines
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16 years ago

I used Paul Haines computer but Paul Shoun wrote the last article and does not want to appear he was the person who died on Possum. Sorry if it looks that way.

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paul haines
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16 years ago

Little Possum is a super fast train ride down hill w/ some major drops. Immodium is very straight forward just be sure there is enough water going off in the center to run. I once saw a friend bottom out and then slide off the far river left on to rocks. Bulk head broke and saved his angles which were still very sore. The ledge discussed above called "elvis's truckstop" has a large room uncut on river right but a good left angle boof clears it. You can see it coming by a large boulder on your left as the creek makes a hard left. A rapid above looks very similar to it so don't let your guard down. I have seen a few go into the uncut but it has an escape out the backside. THIS HOWEVER IS NOT THE SPOT WHERE A FRIEND OF MINE DIED. After all the major drops are through and you are a 1/2 mile or more below Whiteout the river chokes down to a very narrow shoot. Strainers are very common here and that is the spot. You will see large flat areas of rock on the left and perhaps chimes hanging from trees. I try to walk this spot because I have seen several different blockages in there and I say a prayer to my friend. Paul Shoun

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BradR
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17 years ago

From Boatertalk:
L. Possum - look for the N. Chick to be on the high side for this to run. Levels 2'- ?, I did it @ 2.75'& it was a low-med level. I know of it being run up to 6'. Immodium Falls - 28' vertical, Double drop (18' followed by a 15' that falls in a crack, Holy Cross, & White-out. Alot of class 4 boogie water. All bedrock.

B. Possum - I haven't run it, but was told class 4.

Ted

No Gage

Gage Descriptions

Levels are strange now as the riverbed has changed drastically. The levels have probably changed by several feet, meaning, old 6ft is now 4ft, which is quite high.

Directions Description


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Ron Stewart Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

10/4/2007
Kevin Colburn

Last week, American Whitewater recognized Ron Stewart for his many contributions to river stewardship - or more accurately steep creek stewardship.   American Whitewater presented Ron with an AW Lifetime Achievement Award at an AW event in Atlanta Georgia on September 28th, following a presentation on the many rivers and creeks Ron has sought to protect.  The honor comes with a framed and numbered William Nealy "mystery move" print.
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1193376 11/26/08 Steepcreeks.com n/a
1198232 09/27/10 mark cumnock added link for local issues