So, I've driven past the section from Boulder Falls down to diamond splitter about a million times over the past 14 years I have lived in Boulder... And a million times I have said, "that looks like an OK short stretch of creek"... Also thinking it's not that steep, but looks like something I should do one day. Another thing to mention is that I am sure it's been run a good bit, but personally don't know any of my paddling buddies that has ever done it, nor have I ever seen anyone paddle it. And after our run on Friday... I am totally confused why .. IT'S AWESOME!
On Friday Darren Livingston, Mike Brodene and I fired it up as the start to our long evening run from the Boulder falls to town. WHAT A KICK ASS RUN THAT IS!!!! Total surprise to me and all in our group!!! From the put in at the falls, the paddler will be stoked on a run that is somewhat akin to a little brother to SSV. Very continuous rapids, a couple bigger holes then most on SSV and certainly some moves that will surprise you as you come barreling into them. I have heard over the years that this is a IV section, and I would not agree at 380ish. But since I have only done it once and was hugely surprised at the quality and continual nature of this run, I will hold off until after my second run again today to put a class on it... But my opinion at the time was that someone should be very comfy on V- to be in this upper section at that flow.
Here are my comments:
- A bit short from the falls to Diamond Splitter, but very much worth it, especially when mixed with Blue Bridge down, it's a 3.5 hour IV run into town. One could lap this upper section very easily as well.
- As usual, (but a bit more-so this time) this run turned out considerably bigger then it looked from the road. I guess I got jaded after 14 years of driving by it...
- The rapids in Boulder falls to Diamond splitter section is less manky then SSV (a couple shallow shoals) and has a feel of less road blasted rock, and far less pinny.
- The rapids are not as steep as SSV, but the boofs and rapids in there are fantastic, a bit more spaced out and certainly as continous.
- There are some exceptional holes in there above 400... Keep your boat straight.
- There is a fairly dangerous log that is not visable while paddling about 600 yards after you put in. It crosses the whole left channel and is where most of the flow is going. Everyone should scout this. It's not visible from the uphill side of the road while driving up. Only thing I can say is that it is shortly after a BIG rock (island) in the middle of the creek that also has large trees growing around the rock. This would be a big mess if you weren't able to get over it. Suggest going far right, which again is not intuitive. Hopefully a gremlin will get this out early this next week... Hmmm DF???
- You better have your takeout figured out well. Good eddies get super rare as you approach Diamond Splitter, beyond a really good eddy about 8 feet above it. That is a chance our group wasn't willing to take the first day so we took out about 100 yards above. Rolling into Diamond Splitter is f'n serious and could seriously hurt the unfortunate paddler that didn't catch an eddy, not to mention a really big rapid that continues after it.
- There is a much bigger step up of rapids from DS down to blue bridge, that I am not recommending for the aspiring V boater (although I did run it two years back and haven't since) due to lack of eddies before a rapid that should be portaged (but was run by Forrest Nobel last week). Might have been a first D for Forrest for all I know, but regardless is a sieved out shit hole of a dangerous rapid backed up by a massive undercut boulder with again, little to no eddies for a good takeout above.
- For those mixing it in with Blue Bridge, just plan on putting in at the falls parking, enjoy a great IV++ or V- 1 mile stretch, then walking a 150 yards past DS and said portage and get ready for some more great action all the way to town.
Wouldn't surprise me if a bunch of people chime in with great comments about their runs in that upper stretch, but for me and my crew, all of which have lived/paddled here for many years, this was a great surprise and now an all time favorite of mine, just right up the road. Puts a whole new spin on trusty rusty Boulder Creek...