This photo needs editing.
Difficulty IV-V(V+)
Length 2 Miles
Gauge CULLASAJA RIVER AT SR 1620 NEAR HIGHLANDS, NC
Flow Range 4.60 - 7.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 9 years ago 2.91 [FT] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 08/15/2005 5:07 pm

River Description


Big Creek runs 2 miles from Hwy 28 to the Three Forks confluence. There are still 2 more miles of paddling out on Overflow Creek to the take-out.

The final half mile to the confluence drops 214 feet in the half mile for a nearly 430 fpm average.

"The First time Russ Kullmar and I ran this. It had already been run once before by a local C1 paddler back in the late 1970's.
So we tracked him down and asked him... whats it like?
"Great run, but don't take your kayak. It gets in the way in all the portages!"
He was right... great run, and we only walked 1 1/2 drops ("Jesus Christ" and "Holy Shit" - aptly named by our first utterances when we saw them).
Holy Shit is the one that ends in the big fall at the end.
Jesus Christ is the one above it that goes into a bowl... used to have a tree in it.
The names were all very expletive. Rock Bottom, Kullmars Courage, Bruces Sluice, Oh My God, Fuck Me.... I suppose most of these names have changed now." Corran Addison from RBP circa 1997.

There is another named drop called thunderdome.

Corran Addison's page on a Big Creek descent in the late 80's

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

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Scott McCorvey
|
14 years ago

This run is very serious. There are rapids on this river that are as difficult as the hardest creeks in the SE. Without knowing where the rapids are, one could flush into a "Russian roulette" type swim and death could follow. This run is no joke and should not be tried without a seriously good group and major scouting.

Scott McCorvey

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Jerry Jascomb
|
14 years ago

Hiked in recently with Scott M. and took a few shots (above). I think the big one is "Holy Shit;" did not get much further than that, as no trails exist. Another hike for another day.

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BradR
|
16 years ago

From: Savage Yak (savageyak@aol.com)
Subject: Re: Big Creek in Chatooga watershed?

Original Format
Newsgroups: rec.boats.paddle
Date: 1995/11/25


It was first run by Alan Singly (singly's falls on Overflow), but the
rapids were mostly pioneered by Russ Kullmar and Myself. It has three
basic gorges, with two very serious rapids called Holy Shit and
Thunderdome which have not been run to date (though the last drop in
Thunderdome has been run - beware rocks just below the surface). Holy
Shit, the first of the portages you walk on the left, and it's a
precarious portage. Thunderdome, on the right. The rest is continous, and
fairly difficuld with undercuts and pin spots. It's a lot like Overflow,
except steeper. It's fun, and the Overflow Guage should be minimum 1 foot
before you attempt to run it. Enjoy.

Corran Addison

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BradR
|
16 years ago

From: Strickland (frans@mail.tds.net)
Subject: Re: Big Creek (Chatooga Watershed)
View: Complete Thread (16 articles)
Original Format
Newsgroups: rec.boats.paddle
Date: 1998/04/28


cgeist@usiatl.com wrote:
>
> Can anyone give me some specific information on Big Creek (One of the two
> rivers that drains into Overflow creek at the three-forks confluence).
>
> Has it been run before? Where are the mandatory portages? Can the thing that
> looks like a "triple gorrila" be run at all, etc.
>
> My girlfriend and I hiked down it this past weekend and I was intrigued, to
> say the least. Some of the rapids, though, looked like death on a stick.
>
> -Craig
>
> -----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
> http://www.dejanews.com/ Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading

A group of us "ran" this stream in the winter if 1975. My notes are
titled: "First and Possibly Only Descent of Big Creek." Today, this is
funny! It has been run several times since then and our "First Descent"
is certainly a question of semantics since we walked as much as we
paddled! Mark Warren found this interesting squiggly line on a topo and
one Winter's day found us putting in off the Hwy 28 bridge. Mark and Joe
Stubbs were in a C-2! Contemplate THAT for a minute! As my notes say,
"May the Lord look after the widows and little children of the world,
and also those simple souls willing to paddle a C-2 down a stream such
as this." Ray Stang was in a K-1, as was I, and Tom Moye was in a C-1.

Anyway, the first portage comes soon, perhaps within 1/4 mile of the
put-in. A steep approach rapid roars over a vertical ledge of perhaps
ten feet into a seething cauldron of foam before dropping another five
feet or so into a pool. Is it runnable? By today's standards, yes, by a
VERY few. However, the logs protruding out of the foam usually make it
an easy decision as to what to do! There are several large ledges before
one encounters what is now called "Thunder Dome." We never called it
anything but "scary" from a paddler's perspective (and perhaps
"magnificent" in our private thoughts). It reminds me of Linville Falls,
somewhat. Perhaps dropping a total of sixty feet in several stages, the
final one on spilling on top of a boulder or ledge before making the
plunge into the pool. Can IT be run? Back off folks, we've got to save
something for future generations of paddlers! The last half mile or so
drops steeply down to the Three Forks. From my notes: " From the topo we
know that this section, perhaps a half mile in length, drops incredibly
steeply in its haste to join the West Fork. Quite unrunnable. We feel
that portaging along the riverside will be difficult if not downright
impossible. We elect to leave the river and find the trail on the ridge
above the river." and, "During our portage along the ridge we look down
through the trees and view many cascading drops. The water seems to fall
in slow motion, an indication of just how large these drops are." I now
know that all of this section has been run, but of course we were in ICF
regulation length glass boats, cop-out of the Ancients. (I was in a
home-made Lettmann Mark V - oops, has the statute of limitations
expired?).

We relaunched on Overflow Creek, just above the confluence aptly named
"Three Forks". It is quite possible that we were the first ones in boats
on this section of the West Fork, but, no matter - we portaged most of
it!

And now, if my history is correct (are you out there Robin Socemdog), we
told Allan Singley about this run which got him to thinking and looking
at other squiggly lines in the area. Soon, perhaps later that year or
early during the next, he soloed Overflow Creek (okay, maybe his dog
went with him). The next run was a dual one by Allan and Robin Socemdog
soon followed by a third descent, a threesome of Robin Socemdog, Joe
Stubbs, and myself. I still remember, with fondness, Robin Socemdog's
incredibly animated descriptions of how to run the big drops. He'd
spout, "Just paddle up, pppttttuppp!!! off the lip into a pool!" We
always turned our heads as he usually sprayed us with spittle when
describing how to run them! Robin Sockemdog, the king of the riverine
onomatopoeia!

Oops, sorry Craig. You asked for specific information, not a history
lesson. But it's the best that I could do. I haven't been back!

Regards,

Ken (S).


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Gage Descriptions

Gauge painted on the downstream center bridge piling on the Hwy 28 bridge.

Directions Description


We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

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Matt Muir

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1190262 08/15/05 n/a Checking Gauge