Monday, July 3, 2017


Jonathon and I got out for a fun adventure a few weeks ago that had Pisgah once again surprise me with more of her hidden treasures. We met up at The Hub with our only plan being to get on a rope somewhere and after a few minutes of pondering our options we settled on heading to Courthouse Falls where I figured we could rappel the waterfall a few times and have some fun swimming around. Once we got to the trail head we looked at the map again and decided to tack on Chestnut Falls as well. It looked like a nice little loop but a tad heavy on the road walk so we headed straight up Chestnut Creek.

I'd been to the waterfall before and expected a half an hour of walking up the creek before getting to the falls but after that half hour of walking we reached a hidden little shoot that we were unable to get up.


This left us with no choice other than to bushwhack around it. Normally a little bushwhack like that would not be a big deal but it turned out that this required more than just a little bushwhack. Both sides of the creek were blocked by enormous stone walls and the only way out and up was through an impossible tangle of dog hobble that just kept going and going. There were long stretches when our feet were nowhere near the ground as we wrestled our way across the vegetation.


We thought that all we had to do was get around that one little waterfall but somewhere along the madness we saw a second even larger waterfall blocking our way and continued to work our way through the jungle.


That meant instead of just Chestnut Falls there would be two additional waterfalls to rappel and what we thought was going to a short little jaunt was turning into a full on canyon trip. We finally freed ourselves from the madness and made it to Chestnut Falls which served as a perfect warm up for the more challenging terrain that lied further downstream.



The middle waterfall which we had only seen from the distance during the bushwhack proved to be very difficult to negotiate. We didn't know just how big it was and once we got to it there was a very serious pothole blocking the entrance at the top. I set up an anchor and rappelled down to the pothole where the creek narrowed to a foot wide torrent that was pouring into a seemingly bottomless hole before tumbling down the main drop. No matter how I tried I could not find a safe way to enter that hole and had to retreat back up the rope.

We scouted around and set up a second anchor off to the side of the creek and used it to rappel down to the top of the waterfall avoiding the hole of certain death. From there I set yet another anchor and we were able to finally descend the falls.



After that all we had to do was descend that final little shoot that had stymied us in the first place. We had a good anchor that put us right in the flow and there was no choice but to go right through the water. A true class C rappel.





From there it was just a short way back down the creek to the truck where we left Courthouse waiting for another day.

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