N Branch in Flood. Enhanced Awareness of White Water. Folks ask what is so special about Mt. Holly paddling, beyond normal flat water paddling?
Creek in flood brings about the Mt. Holly Rips. A word of warning. These are not conditions you paddle alone. There is little or no tolerance for paddling mistakes. You should have braces, eddy turns, a roll and other such basic fundamentals down. Be prepared to get wet. Wear proper gear, life jacket, leave paddle plan. Scout the rips from shore first. Be mentally attuned to the risks. Read the creek and rips before paddling. Spend more time studying the Creek and the rips before paddling.
Make sure you yak is 100% outfitted for white-water paddling. There is little or no room for error when paddling the Mt. Holly rips.
As for the Mill Race weir. Its called a "suck hole" because you can easily get sucked into it by currents alone. It is a mega-tight/shallow chute. Mega tight. You blow it here there will be issues. 3 people should be present. 2 in the water and another person downstream w throw rope. You get sucked into the suck hole, it is an dangerous situation.
Having said all that. Get instructions before you poke about readling and paddling the rips. Exemplary location to get mentally comfortable w paddling white-water. Downstream escapes and eddys are wide and shallow. Only fools even think about running the gates. That is a good way to muck up access for everyone while you bring damage and injury to self.
Leverage paddling in the rips to gain comfort in lateral currents pushing your yak about, standing waves, small wave trains, eddy pull outs and turns in churning water, chutes, and the like. As you gain experience one can paddle deep into the rips.
Where the tide meets the downstream current adds a unique force on the water. You will encounter standing waves that traverse laterally below the rips, Easy enough they "grip" your yak and flip it over. Do not underestimate the power of water.
If anyone wants to go out and paddle in the rips drop me a note. its is at the end of the day a fine place to play-boat. If you have any questions here post away.
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