Nolichucky level question? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-08-2012   #1
PhilipT-N-TN's Avatar
Johnson city, Tennessee
Paddling Since: 2005
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Nolichucky level question?

Anyone know what the ideal river level is for the nolichucky, while in a raft? I know that American Whitewater has suggested river levels for running, but I believe that their information is tailored more toward kayakers. I would love some input. Thanx...

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Old 07-08-2012   #2
River Gypsy
Swannanoa, North Carolina
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It depends how big your raft is. I've taken little rafts (10') down it as low as 1400 or so and had fun, although it's a drag (literally) at the one shoaly spot. I think in a small boat like that it would even be OK lower, maybe as low as 1100 or 1200. I wouldn't consider it in my 14 footer lower than 1600-1800, and ideally would prefer 2000-3400 or so. Above that, things wash out a bit until it gets really high (maybe 6000+) and the action picks back up again.

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Old 07-08-2012   #3
Silt, Colorado
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american wihtewater hates rafters
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Old 07-08-2012   #4
Chesterfield, Virginia
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Riverscum, really? Check out the latest edition of AW magazine. All whitewater vehicles are represented and welcome.
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Old 07-09-2012   #5
Eagle, Colorado
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The Nolichucky is a freestone river and the lines change pretty drastically once it gets above about 2,000 CFS. Above that level, you are probably going to want to start to think about skirting a few rapids. I have run hundreds of trips down the Nolichucky in a 13 foot raft at levels that varied from the comically low to the scarey high. Generally speaking, I would not go in a raft under 750 CFS, but you can make it all the way down to around 500. Regardless of the water level, you are almost guaranteed to get stuck a lot in the different shoal sections. You would be wise to go with someone who knows the river well and stay glued to them through the rocky sections. Also, there are several bad pin spots on the Nolichucky and a terminal ledge, mainly in the rapid called Quarter Mile, but their are plenty of other bad spots outside of 1/4 mile. Unless you are constantly getting out and scouting and are a really advanced rafter witha solid crew, the Nolichucky is going to be really difficult to navigate comfortably by yourself. I would highly recommend teaming up with someone who has a lot of experience on the Noli before heading out there. The Nolichcuky is beautiful and has some great whitewater, but it also been the site of several fatalaties and countless close calls.
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Old 07-10-2012   #6
PhilipT-N-TN's Avatar
Johnson city, Tennessee
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Thanx for the info.
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Old 07-10-2012   #7
Paonia, Colorado
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check out Yahoo group APE or you can find other boaters at NOC's Noli base camp. The Noli has more boaters in the spring since it is free flowing. Marc
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