Ran this on 6/9/2019 with Jack and Mike. The gate for FR 4071 was open and we put-on on New Years Creek upstream of the Thunderhole confluence. For reference Watauga hit 12k, Lost Cove was flooded, and last I heard there was 8" of rain reported around the High Country recently. Expect flood conditions for this thing to run.
From the put-in to the confluence, expect it to be super micro. The put-in drops on New Years Creek are sweet and the creek follows a very tight course to the confluence with Thunderhole. Wood and brush are common, eddies are tiny, and visibility is minimal. After the confluence the creek widens but follows a similar Class 3+/4 creeking nature EXCEPT for two bigger rapids, one of which being the horseshoe hole in the main photo of this article. With our much higher flows it created one of the worst-looking hydraulics I've seen in a minute. All risk, no reward, obvious portage. Riverwide strainers are plentiful. A low bridge crossing the river marked our take-out.
The rating is accurate, but I would not bring a Class 3+ boater out here. This is by all means a wilderness creek run. Eddies are tiny, scouting and portaging is difficult, and mandatory portages are plentiful. If there's a place where being able to drive onto shore and get out of your boat quick is a useful skill, this is it. Regardless, it's a beautiful run and a very fun adventure that few people experience. If it's running, give it a shot, especially because you won't have many other options
Wow! Just put a message on Boatertalk and you're on the AW page.Mack Roebuck and I attempted this at a water level that was too low. We were able to run one flume/waterfall where we got video and stills. I had no intention of making it public, but someone asked on BT, and here it is. I'd look for a few inches of rain in a short period of time on the Bailey Camp rain gauge at the afws.net site for Caldwell County NC. Best to be there when it's raining or everything else in the area is flooded. Now how do I add a photo?
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Thunderhole Creek @Globe Road to Upton
Matt on New Years Creek into Thunderhole Creek
Thunderhole Face Brace
Thunderhole @ Low Water
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