Spruce Flats Prong, Tennessee, US
|Usual Difficulty||V+ (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||1000 fpm|
|Max Gradient||1000 fpm|
|LITTLE RIVER ABOVE TOWNSEND, TN|
|usgs-03497300||5.50 - 10.00 ft||V+||00h22m||3.84 ft (too low)|
Nevertheless, all the drops are completely doable and relatively clean in their own right. The scare and seriousness comes from the stacked nature with which they are assembled. One leads right into another with little recovery time.
The drops go something like this: Entrance is a crappy 8 foot ledge. The second drop is around 20 feet and is a super steep sliding turn with big hits. It currently has some wood in it. These first 2 will probably not be worth the hassle. The final two cascades are of most interest. The drop above the big one is a clean 10 footer with a tiny pool before bouncing off another clean 20 feet of verticallity. After this, the river flattens for around 70 feet before falling off of the biggest and most dangerous drop, a 35-40 foot waterfall. The waterfall starts bouncing for the first 15-20 feet and then the last 20-25 feet is air time. The pool at the bottom is shallow, thus the high water required for the descent. Pencilling wouldn't be good, but flat would be just as bad. Look for 30 degrees from vert with your face on the deck. This high water requirement commits who ever is ballsy enough to attempt it to a flawless run of a pushy series of class 5+ steepness before even dropping the big one.
It should be noted that below the big one is another short and steep series of ledges dropping into the Middle Prong of the Little. The first one is fine, but the last one is probbly not runnable. Be carefull here.
If the drops weren't so relatively clean and runnable, this would not be worth note, but seeing what is being done these days, this will get done pretty soon. It would be more doable than Linville Falls, and less scary than Toxaway Falls, but easily as difficult as Trashcan Falls, and as commiting as the Inner Whitewater box canyon.
It is state of the art and whoever runs it first should tell their safety crew to shoot lots of quality pictures.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.1||Warm Up Falls||5.1|