teamjk 14/04/2019 | Posted in Creeking, Nirvana, Whitewater, WW Disciplines
This past January provided plenty of rainfall in the SE. With all of the rain, it made for a great opportunity to explore some new runs in my home state of AL. My buddy and fellow JK teammate Josh Huber decided to go check out Miller creek, AL on Sand mountain. Sand mountain is not really a mountain. It is a large plateau that begins at the TN river in Chattanooga (an extension of Walden’s ridge )and extends its way almost to Birmingham, AL. Sand mountain is composed up of sandstone, and overtime this has created several large boulder garden creek beds that drain into lake Guntersville. Generally speaking, the creeks are steeper, more exposed, and more challenging the further north that you drive on the mountain.
Miller creek is the steepest creek in AL with a continuous gradient of 400 fpm for a mile and a half mile section that is close to 600fpm, and it is not something that is frequently ran. The whole run is close to 5 miles long with an added bonus of a 6 mile long lake paddle out for a cherry on top.
When Josh and I decided to fire up this run we started early and ended up putting on the river by 930 am. By our guess we had medium flow for this run by looking at the riverbed, pictures, and a general feel for the rapids. As we picked apart the run, we were pleasantly pleased by the lack of wood in the rapids, and the overall quality of the rapids. We found several high quality drops and besides a handful of portages we were able to run all of the rapids. All in all, it was a great day of winter exploring, and boosted our confidence for some other projects to explore in the future!