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Old 07-21-2010   #111
cadster's Avatar
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A relevant essay by Doug Ammons here:

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Old 07-21-2010   #112
jonny water's Avatar
Geologist, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 583
I wish I could answer Ammons' question about death. I have seen it on the river, among friends and among people I don't know. I have been a part of rescues and I have been put in life or death situations myself. I have 2 children and since the birth of my first one, five years ago, I have stepped it down. I went through a phase where I never ran any class V. However, I found myself wishing I could run all those tough rivers that I have read about and season by season, kept stepping it back up. I still don't run anything that I am not completely confident in running, but I wonder how long can I keep this up. Eventually, if you roll the dice enough times, you lose. But my passion in rivers is strong, and I will continue to paddle, just not blindly or because my friends are. If I were to die on the river, my family would never forgive me. Maybe if your young and don't have anyone relying on you, then you can do what you want, but for me, I need to keep myself in check and remember what is important. Don't be stupid, especially on the river. Thanks for bringing me back to reality.

My condolences to Kim, her family and friends.
I will keep you in my prayers. I think this situation is terrible and I don't think that Kim was paddling out of her ability. Sometimes, you just make a mistake or are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Old 07-27-2010   #113
Paddling Since: 96
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Paddled from Elephant Rock to the whitewater park last night. Put on with the sun setting over Frog Rock... Hard to think about Kim still being there. Said a prayer for her and her people.

Be careful out there brothers and sisters.
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Old 07-29-2010   #114
TOUCHDOWN, Mississippi
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 144
AHRA SUA Contractors and Private Boaters,

Today, Wednesday, July 28, 2010, two rescue dogs performing a scent search at Frog Rock strongly indicated that the missing person is still located at Frog Rock Rapid. Therefore, Monday, August 2, 2010, a recovery operation is scheduled with the following time table of the reduced flows.

Steve Witte, Division Engineer, Arkansas River Basin, Colorado Division of Water Resources has provided the below noted schedule and operation table regarding the six hour window of reduced flows. Please note that this window of reduced flows is approximately six hours in the upper stretches (Section 3 and above) and six to seven hours in the lower stretches (Section 3 and below).

Proposed Schedule / Operational Time table (All times shown as military time)


First Cut of 100 cfs at Twin Lakes

Second Cut of 100 cfs at Twin Lakes

Third Cut of 100 cfs at Twin Lakes

Cut 125 cfs at Clear Creek

Expect to see first effect of combined first Twin cut & Clear Creek cut @ ARKBGNCO

Expect to see first effect of third Twin cut @ ARKBGNCO

Expect to see first effect of combined first Twin cut & Clear Creek cut @ Frog Rock

Expect to see flow @ Frog Rock approaching minimum

Reopen Twin Lakes and Clear Creek

Should begin to see increasing flows at Frog Rock

Flow at Frog Rock will be approaching pre-existing levels unless reopen is delayed

Expect decreasing flow at Nathrop

Expect minimum flow at Nathrop

Expect decreasing flow at Wellsville

Expect minimum flow at Wellsville

Flow at Nathrop should be recovered to pre-existing levels

Flow at Wellsville should be recovered to pre-existing level


Expect decreasing flow at Parkdale

Expect minimum flow at Parkdale

Expect decreasing flow at Canon City

Expect minimum flow at Canon City

Flow at Parkdale should be recovered to pre-existing level

Flow at Canon City should be recovering to pre-existing level

The attached additional table (pdf) is provided by John Kreski (AHRA) regarding reduced water flows by sections (projected estimations). These time blocks for reduced flows are for the entire section. Example, in Section 5 Mr. Witte is projecting pre-existing flows to recover at the Parkdale gage by 9:30 am. However, within Section 5 the reduced flow window is still in the Royal Gorge Canyon. My recommendation is to check the Parkdale Gage the morning of August 3rdfor exact readings.

If you have any questions, please contact AHRA.

Thank you,

John Kreski

AHRA Rationing & Agreement Coordinator

307 West Sackett Ave.

Salida, CO 81201

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Old 07-29-2010   #115
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Here's my experience with Frog Rock:

I ran it in a ducky with my 8 year old son when I had just arrived in Colorado about 10 years ago. I read CRC carefully. A small mention about the rapid. Water was 1000 cfs and at that level I just ran it down the middle. Easy. I would have called it a class II- rapid. What's the big deal??? And fractions is a great run with kids.

A few weeks later, I invited a friend with kids. Water was 650 cfs. Middle and left line is gone. All the water goes right. It's a tricky move to avoid the sieve in a 2 man ducky. I make it. Friend doesn't. He and 8 year old kid get swept through tight sieve. Luckily, no problem except all of us scared shitless. That sign above the rapid is nearly worthless.

There is a difference between a subtle pin danger and a flush danger. For a pin, this may be the most dangerous rapid on the Ark. The thing that makes it bad is that it is on an easy run and it doesn't look dangerous.

I agree that we generally shouldn't change the river, but we shouldn't take things to extreme. This rapid really calls for change.
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Old 07-29-2010   #116
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Frisco, Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 36
OMG, you guys must have been two fathers, as I doubt the mothers of these children would approve. Poor judgment IMO, you were lucky.

My husband and I are thinking of this poor girl and her family. I do hope they are able to make a recovery upon lowering the waters, so her family may have closure.
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Old 07-29-2010   #117
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I love it when people quickly blame the victim.

Undercut pin spots are not obvious.

A rapid that changes from easy at 1000 cfs to life threatening at 650 cfs on an easy river section is asking for it.
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Old 07-30-2010   #118
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BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
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I hope the family can find some closure one way or another.

Concerning modification of the rapid I think the AW review of dimple rock on the lower yough is good to look at. The CL 3 rapid has claimed 5 lives due to underwater pinnings/entrapment. The main culprit was thought to be dimple rock itself. The main flow pushes into this undercut and moves right. The move is easy, but many people flipped on the rock. While scouting there my first season boating I saw no less than 5 commercial rafts (some guided some not) flip, as well as a number of ducky's. Most people are washed away, but an unlucky few do get pulled into the undercut.

After reviewing the hazards the board (made up of AW members, park officials, Army Corps of Engineers, commercial rafting representatives, and paddling clubs) came to several conclusions.

1. Education, and warning systems should be improved.
2. Better portaging options for those who do not want to run.
3. Changes may be made to rapids under these conditions
a. The section is high use
b. The rapid or hazard has a history of being deadly
c. The modification work can be done in a way that is not visible
d. Every effort is made to prevent new hazards from being generated by modification

It was suggested that the Dimple undercut be filled with cement. Plans to remove the rock were shot down because other undercuts existed downstream and would pose additional threats if Dimple was moved. I believe it remains unchanged to this day because the cement plan went nowhere.

It is my feeling Frog Rock has some issues that need to be addressed. Education and warning systems can be improved. As mentioned the sign at the rapid is difficult to see. Also CRC, and Whitewater of the Southern Rockies fail to give any info on the nature of this rapid at low water. By all means, the authors are not at liable for the omission, but it does beg the question... Did really leave out a deadly feature on a beginner section, or did they simply not know? The first time I ran the rapid the water was high, and I did see the sign. I got out, scouted and figured the jumble of rocks on the right was the deadly feature, but did't understand what the fuss was about. After asking many veterans of the area, I finally got some answers.

I feel the portaging options could be improved here to make it a more appealing option. Perhaps the guides would have portaged the raft, and would do so with commercial trips if there was an improved trail.

Finally I feel the frog rock hazard meets the AW criteria for modification. If modification is done, it must be done the right way. I would think filling it is the most obvious option, but perhaps there are others. Blasting certainly leaves the door open to many more hazards being created. Also it is far more intrusive, changes the rapid to a far greater degree, and is certainly visible.

The criteria set forth above is restrictive enough that it should provide guidelines when it is and is not appropriate to modify, taking away from the slippery slope argument.

I think the fact that it is highly used, recommended by guidebooks, rafting companies, and many in the community as a beginner section should be a major consideration. So it is not just a matter of the nature of the section as a whole but the reputation by knowledgeable people for beginners to go on it. I believe (maybe not rightfully so) that at higher flows, it is a perfectly reasonable section for beginners. Because of the non-obvious nature of the hazard at river level, and the main current pushing you towards the hazard that of course this is a terrible section for beginners at lower flows.

There are hazards everywhere, however for beginners this hazard is unreasonable. It's akin to having a driver licence test on ice with explosives instead of cones for parallel parking. Sure, there are driving situations where there is extreme danger, but you don't include them in a beginner drivers experience. Likewise for a beginner section we should remove an unneeded, unwanted, hazard. This hazard provide no aesthetic value, no character value and no ecological value that I'm aware of.
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Old 07-30-2010   #119
Cisco, Utah
Paddling Since: Dawn
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 351
On the Shotover river in New Zealand there is a crevice that runs the length of the rapid below the Oxenbridge tunnel that they filled with concrete as it was deemed a possible entrapment danger. I dont know how many years passed before the river dug its way through the concrete, but it did, and I beleive they just filled it again. I am not a proponent of this type of action or any other alteration personally, but wanted to point out that the 'concrete option' may not actually be a fix, in fact may just give a false sense of 'security' for a few years (as I fear any alteration would). Not to condone this in any way, but how would you be able to moniter this band aid, see if it was still in tact / in place and able to do the job it was intended to do... And if it failed down the road sometime, is the person or entity who filled it or consented to filling it, are they then liable for any further incidents there?... In these Litigious States of America I think there would be a definate case there, a good or bad one I couldn't say.

I would guess in order to accomplish an effective alteration, consider some sort of diversion into the left channel above frog rock, making it more an obvious line and hence a deeper channel.... that is until the river digs into or undermines the next hazard, but perhaps a better and less intrusive solution than any of the more common and 'drastic' measures (in my opinion) i see being presented in this thread.

Again, I personally think leave it alone and help the uninformed understand the hazards of kayaking and of this run. This 'should' be everyone's responsibility in any and all adventure sports. I think this thread is most valuable in that it is doing exactly this. Letting others know of the realities, dangers and hazards inherent in the sport, and of Frog Rock and the Fractions run in particular (regardless of any one promoting it as a beginners run).

And another thing.. (lol).. We in colorado are fortunate to NOT have an abundance of undercuts, basically because these mountains and rivers are relatively young ones and havent dug down to the bedrock yet. There are other parts of the country where undercuts are basically everywhere (West Virginia for example). So again I would recommend that where every you go kayaking, you get some solid beta on the nature of the runs you are running, including hazards, portages, etc, above and beyond just 'what class is it?". Consider 'your' responsibility to not only let others know of these things.. but to also find out for yourself.

Again my thoughts are most certainly with the friends, family and rescue teams with this tragic incident. I pray for a recover as soon as possible, and my thoughts and respect go out to the loved ones
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Old 07-30-2010   #120
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Posts: 4,208
Very good information/perspectives on both sides of the Frog Rock debate from glenn and UserName.

I am still undecided as far as the alteration debate goes...

but I did run Frog Rock yesterday, and payed my respects while passing through. My thoughts and prayers are with Kim's family and friends...I hope they find closure soon.

GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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