Thursday, December 31, 2009
"I wanted to get EMT certified in another county other than my own," said Trevor, who already works for an EMS squad in his native South Africa. Below, Trevor checks on a patient in an in-class simulated scenario.
These students have signed up for an EMT-Basic intensive course, meaning a large amount of material will be covered in four short weeks. Class runs every day of the week from 8am to 5pm, with some night sessions included. Students are also required to complete four three-hour sessions volunteering and shadowing area EMS outfits and hospital emergency rooms. In addition to receiving EMT-B certification upon successful completion of the course, students also participate in a final week of Wilderness training, vital to providing the highest level of care in backcountry situations.
In the photos below, students are practicing their skills in a simulated scenario, assessing a non-traumatic patient by taking vital signs and obtaining some medical history from the patient. We'll check in with these students throughout their course and update on their progress.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
We were right next to the Claro River. It was another one of those places where we could have school and eat lunch. Then quickly throw on our stinky paddling gear and head out onto the water. While we were there we were able to go to these beautifully formed waterfalls called the Siete Tazas (Seven Teacups). We did everything you could possibly do off them-boof like a madman, freewheel, plug super deep, and even jump. It was truly was a waterfall paradise.
As their name describes they’re definitely teacups…7 of them! Each has a round basalt pools at the bottom and the water flowing from each one was mouthwash blue. Sometimes it made me wonder if we were in some giant’s cup of Kool-Aid. It was so surreal and the waterfalls were the friendliest I have ever paddled on. Sitting in those big circular eddies with friends all around kept me smiling from ear to ear. It was so awesome to be another colorful speck in the pictures with them all. It was another amazing adventure and I’m so excited for all the more to come.
Taylor Cote is a NOC Teen Camper and winner of the New River Academy Photo Scholarship. To read Taylor’s blogs click here. Special thanks to Melina Coogan for the great photos!!!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The Nantahala River (picture above), typically flowing at scenic but scanty levels this fall due to Duke Energy's Nantahala Plant maintance, is at robust high water levels this morning, along with every other runnable stratch of river in WNC after the remnants of Hurricane Ida passed over the region yesterday. Though we predicted last week would be the year's best whitewater week, thanks to the abundant rain, the Green River Narrows Race and the releases on the Tallulah and the Cheoah, it's hard to imagine a more ideal rain scenario. The rains came down evenly and steadily, slowly saturating the already wet watersheds, so we expect many of these flows to hold for the weekend, though the micro creeks will flush out sooner.
Micro creeks really are the story here. Below is a photo of Wesser Creek, a small roadside creek in the Nantahala Gorge that usually has about six inches of water in it. Today it looks really fun! Check out the waterfall dumping into the Nantahala below Worser Wesser. (Be careful on these micro creeks. You can see trees in the middle of the waterfall; running these creeks presents numerous unusual and dangerous challenges and hazards.)
I won't try to enumerate all the rivers that are going off today since American Whitewater already has that info here. Some highlights? Big Laurel, near Hot Springs looks awesome right now, and you'll get to finish the run on the swollen French Broad. I'm a big fan of the creek to river transition on this run. The easier sections of the Watauga look good right now as well as the typical Nantahala run, though it's at a high 2380 cfs . Many of the big runs, like Big Creek need to come back down, so if you can't make it today, that's cool. The Nolichucky at 5900 cfs would be a good way to spend the day waiting.
Check out some of the runs our Nantahala staff like when it's wet: Snowbird Creek, Santeetlah Creek and Slickrock Creek up near Joyce Kilmer if you're looking for something new. (These are way "out there" and there's not much info available. You'll need to be excellent to do the harder sections of these runs and very aware of your capeabilities to do the easier sections. AW and Boatertalk are the best places to get the skinny on these runs.)
Running flooded rivers and newly energized micro creeks not your thing? The other good news is the abundance of waterfalls that appear (sometimes out of nowhere) in WNC after a good rain. For instance, below is the waterfall across the street from NOC's Outfitter's Store that you really can't see on a normal day. So, if your significant other would rather not tangle with high water, s/he will have some nice views to check out while running shuttle for you.
Monday, November 9, 2009
We caught up with Andrew around noon today to ask some questions about his awesome run on Saturday:
NOC: So, How did you feel about beating your own record? Did your 2009 run feel that much better than the '07 run?
AH: At the time I wasn't sure if it was that much faster, but I knew it was better. I had better lines [than in '07]. In '07 there were obvious spots where I could have had a cleaner line. Also, I feel like I was in much better shape this year. I'm a lot stronger this year.
NOC: Did the water level make a difference?
AH: It was at a really good 100, and higher water makes you go faster, but in some places higher water does make things harder.
NOC: What about your boat? You were in a prototype of the Greenboat in 2007, right?
AH: Yeah, and the prototype was faster in a straight line, but the production Greenboat is much easier to paddle. Plus, you know, we've been in the Greenboat for three years now. That certainly helps.
NOC: Shaving 9 seconds off the record is really impressive. That's almost 3.5% of your record run. Can you do that again?
AH: I still think you can go faster, but there was only one place my line could have been cleaner (I kind of plugged at Powerslide). Overall though, my lines were very good, and of course there were a couple of places where I wish I didn't hit a couple of rocks, but to beat my time I'm just going to have to paddle harder. The lines aren't going to get much cleaner.
Hello everyone! Wayner your friendly NOC Ambassador here. I wanted to introduce you to one of the faces from our kids and teens programs Taylor Cote. She is the recipient of the NOC Photo scholarship at the New River Academy. This fall she will be sending her updates from beautiful Chile. We invite you to follow along with her adventures as she travels the world studying and paddling. Enjoy...
"Kayaking. Such a simple word, yet it is everything that I am now.
Paddling has helped me grow up from my younger years into the teen that I am now. Boating has brought me through so much. Kayaking is that good output instead of getting into the mess and sickness the world has. It gives me the confidence to walk with my head high everyday even in the gloom. I love to be me and be my own little individual in this huge world.” ‘I Am Significant!,' screamed the dust speck” –Calvin and Hobbes.
Kayaking has given me many friends. I definitely have made friendships that will last a lifetime. Then there is the trust between those friends especially, when you need them in the scariest of rapids- but also during our regular everyday lives. The amazing rescues we’ve done to get each other out of trouble on the river have helped us bond together. I’ve even seen my kayaking buddies weddings seeing them getting married. I probably wouldn’t have met all these amazing people if it hadn’t been for kayaking.
Kayaking gives me my individuality because really, how many girls kick ass like me on the water? Have the guts to drop into the holes on the Ottawa? How many girls have hucked themselves off Short Creek Falls? The aroma of the outdoors is spread all throughout me, with the mountaineering, mountain biking, and a many other plethora of sports I’ve worked at. I still can recall the crunching of the snow under my mountaineering boots and crampons, leaning on that cold pick axe for support. Even though I do all those things, I still have those nights where I wear the prettiest of dresses; my dad taking me to a lovely musical at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.
Kayaking has brought me to many places no one will ever see, even in their wildest dreams. So far, it has brought me many places around the U.S., Canada, the Dominican Republic, and now even Chile. It lets me see the world."
Taylor Cote is a NOC Teen Camper and winner of the New River Academy Photo Scholarship. To read Taylor’s blogs click here.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Get ready for Survivor: Nantahala Edition! This April, NOC's Wilderness Medicine instructors are working together to offer a brand-new, one-time weekend workshop on Wilderness Survival Skills. The course features four of the area's top experts on survival psychology, shelter building, food sourcing and first aid, and will take place in the outdoor classroom of the Nantahala National Forest.
While the weekend is sure to be a lot of fun, you'll take away valuable survival skills including navigation techniques, fire building, signaling, preparedness and much more. Time is split between NOC's classroom in Kleinrath Hall and scenarios in the outdoors.
This course is a result of the many requests that you, our fans submitted, so book early! NOC is now taking reservations for almost all 2010 adventures, including Wilderness Survival Skills. Stay tuned to the blog for more announcements regarding new courses in 2010!
Monday, November 2, 2009
From Duke Energy's Press Release:
With a prolonged outage at Nantahala Hydro Station and higher than expected rainfall, Duke Energy is expecting to begin releasing water through a gate at the Nantahala Lake Dam on Monday, November 2. On a weekly basis Duke Energy will post an update to our operating plan on the Nantahala Lake and Rivers website. Please note that the website will be updated by noon on Monday projecting operations for the week looking forward.
Thanks to Duke Energy for managing and communicating these spills on the Upper Nanty. If you plan to paddle this section of the Nantahala, be sure to use caution when parking along Wayah Road. A little extra care in these instances can help safeguard future recreational releases and keep everyone safe.
In addition to the Upper Nantahala, the Cheoah River in far western NC is scheduled to release at 1,000 cfs from 9am-5pm Saturday, November 7, and Georgia's Tallulah River is releasing Saturday and Sunday from 9:30am-4pm. The Chattooga River has been running above 2 feet and the Nolichucky River is currently running well above 1,000cfs. For the latest information about river flows, check out AW's River Info Page.
Don't forget "the single most famous, most respected, and most competitive creek race on the planet," the Green River Race is this Saturday, November 7 beginning at noon. NOC instructor Andrew Holcombe still holds the open division record in the Green Race, and instructor Laura Farrell won the women's division in a tie last year. For more information about the Green River Race, visit this page on American Whitewater.
Anyway you slice it, this weekend's paddling prospects are looking awesome. Visit noc.com and vote for which river you'll be paddling in this week's poll!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
NOC’s pitch to travelers focuses on the southern route’s scenic splendor, as the route winds through the Nantahala Scenic Byway and the Ocoee Scenic Byway—both designated by the US Department of Transportation as National Scenic Byways. “For travelers able to circumvent the Knoxville area completely on their way to and from Asheville and Nashville, the southern detour provides a less-traveled and more scenic option than the interstate” says Charles Conner, NOC’s Marketing Director.
The southern detour is actually 17 miles shorter than the NCDOT’s recommended route, which requires travelers to take I-81 to Johnson City and I-26 back to Asheville, though the southern alternative does take longer due to two-lane roads in the river gorges. Starting from Asheville, the southern route goes West on I-40, exiting onto US 74 in Waynesville. From Waynesville travelers stay on the same highway all the way to Cleveland, TN (though US 74 becomes TN 64 upon crossing the state line). From Cleveland travelers take I-75 30 miles to Chattanooga, and then take I-24 to Nashville. Other than two-lane sections through the Ocoee and Nantahala River gorges, the entire route is four lanes.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The list includes extraordinary adventures across the globe such as biking through Pacific jungles, trekking into the Arctic Circle and snorkeling with humpback whales in Tonga. According to the list’s introduction, “travelers want their dollars to do more—for others, for the planet, for themselves… [h]ere are 25 brand-new adventures, all of them just right for right now.” NGA labeled the expedition a “difference maker” trip, noting its objectives: delivering medical supplies, conducting basic physical exams and relaying information about common health threats.
Jono Bryant, director of Adventure Travel and Wilderness Medicine at NOC commented, “I’m elated that National Geographic ADVENTURE recognized this trip. It is sure to be challenging, but the rewards will be significant. This is a proper expedition that will have positive outcomes for people who live out of reach of traditional medical care. The trip is a totally new concept that has huge potential worldwide. I’m thankful that NOC continues to push the boundaries of whitewater by providing these new and exciting opportunities.”
About NOC’s Boaters without Border Expedition to Bolivia
The Bolivia expedition is the first trip for Boaters Without Borders (BWB)—a new series of unique, expedition-based trips conceived by NOC in association with medical relief charity MedicForce, combining NOC's whitewater expertise with volunteerism in remote riverside communities. Teams of kayakers, medical professionals and expert raft guides will travel to areas of remote jungle only accessible by rivers, training locals to treat basic medical conditions and recognize more serious ones. These individuals are then provided with a comprehensive first-aid kit and interpretative material.
The initial expedition to Bolivia explores the rarely visited whitewater of the Rio Tuichi, in northern Bolivia. This river flows through Madidi National Park, part of one of the largest tracts of protected land in the world. The 21-day adventure begins in La Paz and travels through the upper Amazon basin, with stops in remote villages to deliver medical relief in the form of supplies and sustainable education.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Nantahala Outdoor Center announces the first-annual selections for Paddlesports Manufacturers of the Year. With 37 years as a leader in the paddlesports industry, NOC has selected two companies to receive top honors in two categories: Dagger Kayaks was named Kayak Manufacturer of the Year, and Immersion Research was recognized for excellence in paddling accessories.
Sutton Bacon, President and CEO of NOC, said of the awards “We are proud to present these honors to two highly motivated manufacturers who have been great partners in our industry.” NOC works with hundreds of top-quality brands, and selecting top companies in particular was a challenge. Bacon explained, “We resisted offering this award in the past, as there are many quality companies out there, but we felt the time was right to begin recognizing the companies who go above and beyond in our industry.”
Dagger is a well-established leader in the paddlesports industry. In 2009, Dagger made concerted efforts to engage paddlers in online programs such as Paddle it Forward and Dagger Community. Their dedicated sales force, highlighted by Rep. Adam Motes, accompanied by a team of accomplished athletes promoted kayaking in a way that strengthened the popularity of paddling across the board. In 2009, these Dagger ambassadors were seen around NOC more than any other company, promoting a quality product and a general love for paddling.
While only a handful of kayak manufacturers exist in the market, companies that make paddling accessories are almost limitless. NOC honored Immersion Research (IR) in recognition for innovation and customer engagement. From drysuits, tops and pants, spray skirts and decks, hip apparel, layering options and accessories like pogies and creek bags, IR makes products that are functional and prized by paddlers everywhere. IR is one of the most active paddling companies in the social media space, and has utilized their website to highlight user comments and reviews. Sales Rep. Spencer Cooke has been integral in customer engagement, and a quick scan of their site shows their dedication to talking to their customers not just listening.
Friday, October 9, 2009
The competition begins early Saturday morning, October 17, when anglers register for the weekend's event. Saturday features several casting-based qualifyer competitions, including "Hoop There it Is", "High Roller", "Quick Fish" and "Handy Angler". In addition to these competitions, NOC Fishing will offer 40% off all gear in the Wesser General Store & Fly Shop. A gear swap is free and open to the public.
Bluegrass group "The Tuckaseegee Playboys" take the stage at The Pourover beginning at 7pm. With members from The Freighthoppers, The Bluegrass Lumber Company and Queen Anne's Revenge, the Playboys are like a WNC supergroup converging at NOC.
Sunday features the actual One-Fly Tournament, where anglers will go head to head in four hours of fishing with a single fly for a cash prize. For a complete list of competition rules, click here.
Grab your gear, practice those casts and enjoy the beautiful fall scenery here on the Nantahala River. You might even win some cold cash!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Frank Hubbel and his wife, Lee Frizzell are the founders of Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities, the pioneer school of wilderness medicine certification and training. They are still active in the organization, currently working to develop SOLO schools abroad, with major projects in South America and Africa. NOC opened SOLO Southeast back in 2007 as a destintion for SOLO training in western NC.
The famous Stonehearth for which SOLO is named has been updated for more energy efficiency. SOLO has more than 100 instructors on the road, teaching courses in the field. This weekend instructors were invited back to New Hampshire to receive training updates and instruction enrichment. Instructors were also able to catch up on new procedures and guidelines to ensure the highest level of training in SOLO courses.
Here, a new splinting technique utilizing two splints is demonstrated by Josh McMillan, assistant education director at SOLO. This technique is being introduced into the curriculum. All new technique methods are assessed by the top brass at SOLO before being added to the rigorous curriculum.
Here, Jono coordinates a rescue scenario with other instructors. The scenario is a simulated 'deer kick' to the chest.
NOC is proud to be the home of SOLO Southeast, where this winter, you can enroll in a Wilderness EMT intensive course. This 4-week course covers the EMT basic certification, with a 5-day Wilderness Module completing the course. Click here for more information on the WEMT program at NOC's SOLO Southeast.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
This post is aimed at providing you a visual reference for these satellite lots. In each instance, the lot will be clearly marked with "NOC EVENT PARKING" signs. Lots open on Saturday morning, as soon as NOC's on-site parking fills up.
SILVERMINE ROAD LOTS
This is the junction of Hwy 19 with Silvermine Road. Turn behind NOC's Wesser General Store and proceed less than half a mile up Silvermine Road until you come to the first lot, located on your left. The second Silvermine Road lot is a fenced-in field on your right.
WESSER CREEK ROAD LOTS
Almost one mile EAST of NOC on Highway 19 is the Nantahala Food Mart and the junction with Wesser Creek Road. There are two parking lots accessed by turning onto Wesser Creek. The first is at the Gem Mine. You have to pass the Gem Mine and proceed to the driveway, marked by a sign. Just a few bends of the road away is a lot at the junction of Wesser Creek Road and Dills Road. It's a bit easier to turn around and approach the lot entrance from the south.
HIGHWAY 19 LOT
Located just a couple of miles past Wesser Creek Road on Hwy 19, you'll find the Pittsburger Grill (formly PRO Rafting). Their large lot on the south side of the highway will also be utilized for GAF parking. Here's what it looks approaching from the Bryson City side.
IN CASE OF RAIN
In the even of a heavy downpour, we want to make sure these lots don't become a muddy mess. For this reason, lot locations are subject to change. Your safest bet is to arrive early, be patient and park where NOC EVENT PARKING signs are clearly located. They'll look just like this:
Have safe travels and we'll see you this weekend at Guest Appreciation Festival 2009!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sweet helmets are 35% OFF
Drytops, dry pants and drysuits by Palm are 30% OFF, and they come in great colors
The PeakUK Riverguide PFD is 30% OFF
Peak UK Freeride Drytops are 30% OFF
All Werner and Adventure Technology Paddles are 20% OFF
Purchase any NEW boat and receive $150 off of MSRP! (Includes canoes, recreational and fishing kayaks.)
NOC's Outfitter's Store sale officially begins this Friday at 9am. Store hours for the weekend are as follows:
The store's used fleet of demo boats goes on sale Saturday morning at 8am.
Here's a link to our festival announcement in the Asheville Citizen-Times.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
|Men's Venture Parka|
Anyone who's hiked in the Smokies knows a rain storm can catch up with you at any moment. Whether you're on the ridge to Andrews Bald or in the hollow starting the Bartram Trail, The Venture Parka is the ultimate rainwear piece for any occasion. This popular piece has been updated to include an improved hood for greater coverage.
Your GAF Price: $78
|Men's Hedgehog Mid GTX Shoe|
Designed for multisport athletes and adventure racers, the Hedgehog Mid GTX XCR is the optimal all-terrain shoe. Designed with a grippy Vibram outsole, this do-it-all speed-hiking shoe offers a mid-cut profile for added support. Break them in on NOC's Flint Ridge Trail!
Your GAF Price: $66
|Men's Half Dome Hoodie|
Designed with athletic-inspired ribbing at the cuffs and hem, the Half Dome Hoodie is a classic pullover layer for cool weather excursions. Contrasting color logo is screen-printed on the chest. Your lady will definitely want to borrow this one on layover days.
Your GAF Price: $24
|Women's Carmen Shirt |
Perfect for meeting friends for lunch or hanging around the river on sunny fall afternoons, this soft cotton shirt features feminine detailing throughout that flatters all shapes. Smocking along the back and empire waistline creates a close-to-skin fit. The Carmen Shirt also features a longer torso length provides greater coverage while reaching and moving.
Your GAF Price: $21
|Women's WindWall 1 Vest |
A sleeveless version to the favorite wind-inhibiting fleece. The WindWall 1 Vest delivers athletic warmth in cold weather and excellent insulation when layered. Great for training on cool fall days at Tsali.
Your GAF Price: $48
|Women's Akira Sport Pants |
Designed for low-impact use, the Akira Sport Pant is made with 8 percent elastane for increased stretch during workouts. A wider waistband hugs your hips, ensuring a secure fit while squatting, kicking or pivoting. Stitching details accentuated on the outside in contrast color add modern style lines to these timeless pants. All-day cozies.
Your GAF Price: $27
|Women's Hedgehog Mid GTX XCR Shoe |
Decked out with all the same features as the Men's Hedgehog, the women's version comes in beige as seen at left, and in gray/blue. All-terrain shoe is lightweight, waterproof, breathable and durable with Vibram sole.
Your GAF Price: $66