Okay, this is a mean one. The first half of the run has been run by a few. Those of you on that run, I would love to add your story. The last half, Class III section, was first ran by Chuck McHenry, Frank Wentz, John Tansil, a friend of his (name???), and myself.
This creek is tough, it offers absolutely no warm up. You have to put in maybe 15 to 20 feet above one of the three toughest rapids. The first rapid is split in two, with the river right side the better choice. It requires the boater to go over a 6ft. waterfall that has a rock midway down the falls that must be boofed. Maybe 6ft. downriver from this drop is a large boulder directly in the way. From here there are two possible routes as the creek again splits in two. Which is best? I don’t know. Probably the left.
The right side is another drop much harder than the first. It will require the boater to first; navigate the brush choked channel, second; avoid a broach and/or a verticle pin as you go down the very narrow slide without smashing your head into overhanging rock on river left, and finally make a quick eddy to avoid the large boulder just downstream. Okay, now my choice, the left route.
After running the first drop, make your way to the left side and eddy out. From here, shoot to the river right side, again avoiding the brush, and make a mandatory boof off the ledge. You must land flat, I’ve seen this drop with and without water, its all rock, maybe 6 inches of water. Also be careful of the little curler wave that forms at the top of the drop, don’t let it knock you off line.
Finally the last of the big ones is ran on the left side. If is also very tough and requires alot of quick moves to avoid the pins scattered throughout. After this drop, is where we put in when we first ran this creek. The next drop is a very nice, quick slide that will feed you to river right and into a cedar tree. There is then a large pool to catch your breath and get used to the altitude change.
After the pool the creek gets tree ridden and brush chocked. There are two nice drops before the takeout. The first one is best ran on river right and the last, right down the middle. Take out just below the bridge or run the rapid below if you don’t mind walking back up.
Whatever you do, be sure to scout this one. If you choose not to run it, at least make the hike downriver so you can get a look back up at the impressive gradient. If you do choose to run it, you might to want wait to do this little gradient look until after your done.
Class IV-V that drops 110′ in 1/2 miles.
The put in and take out is on hwy. E east of Marble creek park. The simplest directions are to go to Ironton on hwy. 72. Get on hwy. 21 and go south. After about 3 miles turn left on hwy. E. Drive for 13 miles and you will go over Marble Creek, another nice creek run, keep going. Continue on E for roughly 5 more miles. You’ll know your getting close to the creek because you’ll be driving through rather open field land when you suddenly enter a hilly, curvy, wooded area that has a sign warning motorist of no shoulder. After about 0.5 miles, the road will make a sharp turn to the right. Slow down, for on this curve is the put in on the left hand side of the road. There is a pull-over spot big enough for only one vehicle. From here there is a nice trail to the put-in.
The take-out is about 0.75 miles down the road. You’ll cross over a small bridge where the creek crosses the road. There is no good place to park, just pull-over in the grass if it’s not too wet.