Sunday, July 14, 2013

NOC week 2 - Heavy rain

Big water on the Nantahala

Last week in just three days over seven inches of rain fell in the Nantahala valley making it feel more like a tropical rainforest than the Great Smokey Mountain Range. Every few hours the heavens opened and the rain begin to pour. Because of the super heavy rain the river rose loads and my training schedule had to change. Instead of my usual routine of two freestyle sessions each day I began to mix up my water time with some fun runs on the upper and main Nantahala. Some play sessions on what was left of the hole. A few classic big water creeking / river runs and even some big wave surf sessions on the new wave train that had formed on the Nantahala falls.

Passers by watch as experienced paddlers run the high water falls

As the weekend rolled in the rivers stayed super high and we managed to get in an interesting tree infested run down the Green River Dries and a couple of awesome fun boof filled laps of the Big Water Creek. Then on Saturday night we made a quick trip into Asheville. where we had chance to celebrate the 4th July with the local kids as they launched a very close up and definitely unofficial firework display, right next to us in the middle of town!!!

Crazy climb in to the Dries

Jez boofs the final drop on the Dries

Fun Boogie runs down Big Creek

As the week went on the weather began to calm and the levels settle on the Nanty. It dropped from its weekend peak high of 4,000 cfs back to a more normal ,but still high water, level of 800 cfs and the freestyle hole returned. The big water had moved a few rocks which changed the feature a bit but in a great way it seemed less pity and a lot more stable after the rain. I'm not 100% sure if its just because of the rocks moving or the water still being a little higher than normal or wether it was just that I was beginning to dial it in, but its super sweet at the moment.

The Worlds hole turns into a big wave

In between kayaking sessions I got to experience loads of other fun activities in the valley including mountain biking the Tsali trails, rafting the main Nantahala run and even zip lining 1.5 miles through the mountains. The Nantahala valley is turning into a truly awesome place to be based to train.

Mountain Biking

Super Fun Ziplining through the mountains

Everyday new people are turning up to paddle and everyones super positive and happy to be out on the water. I am surprised theres not more paddlers based here yet training for the worlds. That said... I don't mind at all its been great having this time to get to know the hole before it gets super busy. As the days roll on here at the NOC I am definitely beginning to figure out the feature and i'm getting more excited about the forthcoming worlds.