Sunday, December 03, 2006

The one and only... Toxaway

I have thought about this run a LOT, and I finally got on it. It's even more awe-inspiring then I expected it to be. It was 70 degrees out, the rapids were way bigger then I imagined, the portages were more heinous then I envisioned and it was relatively high water. A truly epic day. The last part of the put-in slide:

We weren't sure if it would run the night before, but with two inches of rain in in 24 hours, Gragtmans called me Friday morning and he thought it would run. Good enough for me. Turns out there was more then enough water! I packed up my crap and met Gragtmans, Spencer Cooke, Brad Key and Dylan Bruce at the BP off the Asheville airport exit. We were all really pumped up, and someone was saying it was going to be pretty high. We all loaded up in Dylan's car and Spencer's truck and headed towards the river where we met Paul Stamilio. We clambered down the mountain next to Toxaway falls, and got to this one 20' drop-off where we had to push our boats off. Gragtmans and I pushed ours off to the right, and Dylan decided to try and fire up the left line of the cliff. He chucked his boat off and it bounced down about twenty-five feet before pitoning straight into a tree, bending the bow up. What a hilarious start to the day.

The first slide is super long and not too steep until the last 50 yards or so where it drops off into the pool below. A really cool warm-up for the rapids to come. We cruised through the boogie water, until we got to the first of a series of class IV+ gradual slides. These were super fun, and we just blue-angeled our way through, briefly stopping at the bottom of each rapid to regroup. The first major rapid is called Minigizer, it has a tricky entrance where you charge left then slide down sideways and brace into a big curler. Here's a shot of Gragtmans cruising down...
Dylan "the blue blur" Bruce, moving fast on Minigizer.

Paul on Minigizer

A few rapids later we got to Energizer, another extremely narrow, very steep chute. We got there just in time to see someone from the group in front of us spin out half way down and run the rest of it backwards. Hmmm... Here's a shot of Gragtmans on Energizer.

Dylan enjoying the Feeding Trough...

Sorry, didn't get any good photos from the two biggest rapids, Landbridge and Wintergreen, but stay tuned to the Riot Blog for video of the trip... We got to the take-out just as it was getting dark, and hiked out in the moonlight. Luckily it was warm and clear, so hiking out in the dark was not an issue. I felt truly privileged to get on this run with such a great group, and such good conditions. On a more serious note, the Toxaway is a truly irreplaceable treasure, and I would hate to see anything happen to ruin our access to it. Please be extremely careful when running this gorge, and always remember to leave a note telling the rangers that you are in the gorge. Be safe out there!

-Nathan Silsbee


At 6:44 PM , Blogger Cooper Lambla said...

Nice Nate, glad to hear you got on the magic carpet ride. Tis a fun run. Any other goods from the rain?


At 7:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nathan ! Cool site, I like the videos


At 10:34 AM , Anonymous The Geez said...

I love those narrow slots... nice shots! Looks like a great creek. Go back and get some shots of those last two big ones.

Way ta go!


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