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Old 08-24-2008   #1
COUNT's Avatar
Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
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...Was a damn good year to be in CO (and surrounding areas).

And as the paddling season is drawing to a close and we are relegated to the few late season gems we've got, someone always asks:

What were the highlights? The lowlights? The stories that will be told around the 2009 campfires? I know a lot of guys who got out there and fired it up with 1st D's, personal first D's, big air, carnage and everything else that goes along with being a dirtbag river-person.

I had by far the best season yet. Hit up every major drainage (I think), got something like 50 new runs and 150 days, went through a set of tires, and met tons of awesome boaters.

Highlights for me were:

Starting the year out on the damn river I've ever paddled.

Froze my ass off on mid-winter runs on the Salt and Dolores.

Grape's better than you think.

Paddling SSV with Booth (actually, any day with Booth turns out to be fun).

Vallecito and Big South...Best two runs in Colorado.

The best season yet cost me more money in gas and booty-beers but it absolutely worth it.

Lets hear it!


"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 08-25-2008   #2
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 732
i enjoyed:
numbers and royal gorge at high water
gunny gorge at 7300
juicy clear creek ark
big sur
hi-water glenwood wave
buzzard at good flow
couple of great days on the poudre at around 4 ft.
3rd gorge lime/rockwood
some random new runs for me like the big T and upper rio
big flow alto-alto
and finally- getting luckily spit out of the pine creek hole at about 1600 (3.2 ft.) with no paddle, but still in my boat, and being able to hand paddle and catch up to and grab my paddle just before the sisters

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Old 08-25-2008   #3
ballbuster's Avatar
, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 26
how is buzzard creek?..thought about doing it but didnt get the chance

Originally Posted by steven View Post
i enjoyed:
numbers and royal gorge at high water
gunny gorge at 7300
juicy clear creek ark
big sur
hi-water glenwood wave
buzzard at good flow
couple of great days on the poudre at around 4 ft.
3rd gorge lime/rockwood
some random new runs for me like the big T and upper rio
big flow alto-alto
and finally- getting luckily spit out of the pine creek hole at about 1600 (3.2 ft.) with no paddle, but still in my boat, and being able to hand paddle and catch up to and grab my paddle just before the sisters
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Old 08-25-2008   #4
jonny water's Avatar
Geologist, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 583
I think my highlight was the Big South with Joe Keck, Count and Scott. Big Sur, Royal Gorge, and Bailey at high water round out the top of the list for me
Bootie beers? Count I think you still owe one from BS!

I finally did an overnighter with my fam thru SlickRock Canyon.

My carnage included going deep in Rigo and pinning temporarily underwater against a log but holding on and rolling up and skirting around the meat.

I was with Steven for most of those other runs, but you forgot Eleven Mile.

This winter is supposed to be colder than average, like last year so here's to snow in 2009!

As for gas money....cost me probably $150 total and that included a trip to Nashville and back...all on homemade biodiesel! Oh yeah!
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Old 08-25-2008   #5
Commercial Paleontology
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 182

Buzzard Creek is an very good fast pace run when the water level is right. Unfortunately ther is no guage. It is a bit rocky & even at higher flows. There are 2-3 mandatory portages....log sieves..the first one you can actually boof but there are branches extending out so you best get it right or just walk it. the next two you can't even mess with. It's definitely worth doing if in the area. This fall/winter a group of us from GJ are talking big talk of getting up there to clear all that crap out & turning it into an excellent run...We shall see. Also it can quickly change in between those portages because there seems to always be new wood interpersed so heads up even if you ran a day before.


Having Escalante flowing for that long of a season locally.
Hucking some stuff over in the CB area
Middle Fork of Salmon in ID & adding in Big Crrek as one of its tribs
Just as great season overall with the higher water.
And it aint over yet!

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Old 08-25-2008   #6
brandf's Avatar
Filmmaker, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 104
*Gilman at 1100 with 4 boaters surfing holes in Slurry pipe at the same time
*Gore at 2700 that same evening with Rolf "I'm gonna plug the middle of tunnel" Kelly

low lights:
*swimming Double Trouble
*any creek I paddled with Joe. loser.
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Old 08-25-2008   #7
GoodTimes's Avatar
Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 794
In the books

Yep, this one is going down as my best season ever. Had the opportunity to kick off the season on the MF Salmon at high water where I got to row our crews boats (5) through Dagger Falls to avoid the portage...met some AWESOME peeps. Came home to high water here that was kickin' for a MONTH or better. New paddlin' bro's (56 and Iroc-Z)...that led me down some shit this year. S. Mineral, OBJ, Big South (x2.5), Upper A.

Rafting highlights - MF Salmon, High water RG, Upper A., High water Numbers.
Kayaking highlights - Big South, OBJ, Daisy, Upper E., S. Mineral, Escalante.
Carnage highlights - Watching 2.5 of our rafts in front of me flip in Velvet on the MF and chasing one for 1.5miles. Upper A. blown cat tube that ended our day (and trip) at No Name. Getting worked in Pine Creek hole at 1,300, little rodeo session in Slideways (BS).

And there's a possibility I'll be ending this season with a trip through the BIG DITCH in November. I don't know how this season can be topped.
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Old 08-25-2008   #8
tj@cu's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 983
USB, NSV, Vallecito, CB stuff, upper T box, GOAR and the best of them all even with the 3 mile hike out is cheeseman. All of these were of course training for British Columbia that did not disapoint while kicking the shit out of all of us. O yeah and welding everyones boat, watching jace swim, watching Christian try to keep up and going with alex to the acropalus.

But the season is not over yet, lets get out there and make the most of gore and the M-box before its way too cold to paddle.
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Old 08-25-2008   #9
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Moscow, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 269
The Great '08

Wow, what a season. I would go so far as to say 'Best Ever!' Some favorable snow pack coupled with equally favorable work assignments (hell yes I will work in Hood River for a month) equals more class V than I have ever packed into a single year. I guess my second day on the water set the tone: Little White/Green Truss double header for my first runs down each. And the hits just kept on coming:
  • Enough runs on the Little White to go from unsure newby to confident bomber. Ran the Little White Race in April- what a course. Fired up Spirit for my first (last?) time with passable results. Also got my swim out of the way early thanks to the paddle snatching cave at the top of the mini gorge.
  • NF Payette as it crept up, up and up some more. Peak was somewhere around 4,600 cfs and I recall looking over and seeing car tires at eye level on my way through Juicer. Thanks to Simo for providing the beta on where the holes appear at high water. My head still hurts from the big one in Disneyland.
  • Big Water surfing on the Main Salmon at Chair Creek Rapid. Video-worthy waves next to the road with no boaters in sight.
  • SF Clearwater Golden Canyon near peak (~6,500 cfs), friggin' richter in there. Just ask Gary.
  • SF Salmon at 8.5', the run that almost wasn't until McKee threw down the gauntlet. Put on for a 50 mile day around 10:30; took off around 7. Clocked the flat water on the Main Salmon at 10 mph on the drive out. Easily the biggest water I have ever seen. Mule Kick lived up to its name.
  • Then the Bladder Wave came in for a month. Day after day of epic surf with the best crew anywhere made it feel like there wasn't a line even if there were 20 people there. Managed to dial in clean blunts, which I have been working on for years.
  • PBR weekend featuring the North Fork Payette version of the LVM Giant Slalom and the time trail that was actually a le mans start 20 person boatercross down the Lower 3- action.
  • Secesh morel hunting expedition. Special thanks goes to Andy Maser who, while in Africa, unwittingly provided our shuttle out of the YP zone.
  • Upper Cherry Crik- my first run in Cali, and surely not the last. No need to harp on this one, the videos don't lie. This is also where I learned first hand that Colorado has a different definition for unrunnable mank than we do in Idaho.
  • More North Forkin' until they turn the water down. After work T to B anyone? Props to the Shady-7 crew for squeezing in those last minute bridge to camp runs.
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Old 08-25-2008   #10
Snowhere's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 844
Great season for sure, but best ever? I guess if you were not paddleing during the last real big year, 95, you could say it was the best. 95 say 7G to 8G on the ark, you should of seen the gorge! Even the Blue below Silverthorne ran from May into June and hit 3G that year. Don't get me wrong, it was a great year, I just was a little disapointed the ark did not go higher, dam water sucking vampires from the front range!

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