Around a year ago Evan and I started looking for potential Whitewater projects in the piedmont of North Carolina. We found a few decent spots in the area and began scouting a couple of them. One of the places we found and were pretty stoked to run was the Lower Haw. Unfortunately, Evan’s big move came before we found time to run it. Luckily, I noticed the rivers in the area were all flooding this past Thursday and managed to catch the Haw the next day for a Personal First Descent after it came back down.
I had talked to my friend, Josh, the day before about coming with me to try out Whitewater Stand-Up Paddleboarding on the Haw. So we made our way to Pittsboro and hopped on the river while Jamie shuttled the car for us.
The Lower Haw is only about a mile long so a single trip down, but has a healthy mix of Class II and III rapids. It’s a big river with multiple channels to take making it impossible to hit up every rapid in a single trip. I had heard Gabriel’s Bend was the signature rapid on the run, a long wave train that runs alongside a rock bluff. It didn’t disappoint. Probably one the most interesting things about the run was the last section. You have four rapids you can run and I ended up running The Maze without knowing it.
I didn’t get to run every rapid on the run and even missed one I had been excited to look at, Moosejaw Falls. I had confused The Maze, The Slot, and Moosejaw Falls. That just means it will be worth the trip to check out the Haw again. At 2,150cfs the river was okay, but a lot of the surf waves weren’t really there and a few of the rapids were boney. I am hoping to catch the river the next time it raises up again and hopefully will catch it for a couple laps around 6,000cfs. Its supposed to be more of a Class III+ river then and I'd love to see that!
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