West Fwark Tuckaseegee

We stood at the lip of a 60 foot monstrosity that I thought we had walked in below. Granted it turned out to be a monumental adventure of which the likes many of my friends are currently jealous. The West Fork of the Tuckaseegee was giving for sure and the adventure that Tim and I had set out for. We were maybe a half a mile in and had seen that two horizon lines down it dropped off the face of the gorge pretty darn well. Knowing that we were in a remote spot with much to risk we hopped out to see what I currently to believe is a full 60 feet worth of raw energy from the gorge. As we assessed the situation and where to move with portaging I knew that just below lurked another monstrosity of more epic proportion to portage as well and since we were in NC that meant a nice rhodo fest down a steep gorge. After our decision was made the portage began of the first large drop, still unsure whether its runnable at the level it was at or not... its teeth were out. The boats were lowered to the safe spot using the trusty WRSI rope and then Tim took the plunge off as low as we were able to get into the pool. With a pat of the head, big smile and the motion to begin sending the gear we got ourselves and our gear to a safe spot to look up at the drop. After looking up we looked down the gorge to see another huge horizon line which told me we had gotten in upstream of what I was trying to avoid, a massive drop known as High Falls. We found the good portage rout around the drop and made our way to the bottom with a stop along the way to see the amazing view of the falls from the side. Once at the bottom we made our way to base to chill for a water break in the amazing mist from this huge drop (easily over 100 feet). After a chill break and telling Tim that we were where I was hoping to put in originally we both realized that had we put in here we would have missed an amazing experience in exploratory boating and teamwork when on a mission. We were greeted at the base of the drop by an awesome little staged continuous drop which was lots of fun and carried the wood characteristic which made this run so dangerous and difficult to do. There are many fun rapids tucked away in the gorge and an amazing plateau area which just has some beautiful scenery after the few rapids after the big drops. Then the run picks up again and you encounter a mixed in riverwide drop. On the right is a drop of around 30 feet total that has a top drop of around 5 to 8 feet ending in a 20ish foot drop that needs a good boof. The left is a nice slide which is fun and steep but pretty gentle. A ways after this you come to another highly wooded section. Once you reach the second good slide from where you can see the road most of the wood eases up but you still need to keep aware and you get some more fun slides mixed in there. All in all it makes for a killer adventure putting in above the falls however I would not recommend it for everyone as you are putting yourself into some situations where boat scouting and solid creeking skills are necessary. That is also why I encourage everyone to look at the beta out there about this run as it soon will be easy to access by all but should not necessarily be taken on by all comers as some groups have already had problems that ended in dangerous situations and having to exit the gorge, which is no easy undertaking.

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