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Old 07-16-2010   #51
Gary E's Avatar
Jackson, Wyoming
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It needs to be filled in. This stretch draws beginner paddlers and people that just want to float. Fill it, it has done too much damage already. Nobody wants to go right, they might be upside down or trying to recover. This is a learning section of the ark and the ark is a cash cow for the community. There is no reason not to destroy it. This is a bad sieve on a beginner stretch of water, get rid of it.

Extremekevin you have got to calm your agro ness down. You're right people do die on the water, there's no reason for anyone else to die at frog rock.

23 yrs old, so sad. Thoughts go out to Kimberly's family and friends

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Old 07-16-2010   #52
Eagle, Colorado
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I would view this section of the Ark like an "in bounds" section at a ski resort. I have no problem whatsoever with ski patrol bombing avalanche-prone areas at a ski resort just like I would have no problem with someone altering such an extensively traveled section of river to provide a safer passage. A death on the river does no one anywhere any good. If you could easily prevent another death from occuring in the same manner (which will happen again one day at frog rock as we all know,) then why in the world wouldn't you? Get down off of your hippy high horses and let mankind use its advances in technology to do something positive for a change.

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Old 07-16-2010   #53
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Greater tri cities metro area, Colorado
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Originally Posted by Theophilus View Post
Knowing what you know about Frog Rock and its character/history would you put your kids in a raft with a first year guide down Fractions?[/COLOR]
I get you point, and... NO. I watched my wife swim through the slot a few years back, scared the piss out of me. That said, had I paid more attention to the sign I would have been more cautious about where we went.

Do we get rid of the rock that Derk got caught on then though? How about the sieve where James died? I don't mean to trivialize their deaths, I just really think that it's a sport with inherent risk & to assume that you can eliminate that risk is just not terribly realistic.
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Old 07-16-2010   #54
dark center, of the universe
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Long time lurker...first post.

I want to extend my deepest sympathy to the family, friends and fellow guides of the deceased and the rescuers that are involved.

What I am going to say may come off as a bit calloused and idealistic. Leave the rapid as it is. We cannot dumb down nature to our level. By removing hazards we are lowering the risk, turning the Arkansas River in to a “safe” water park.

While our predecessors have modified the river to great extent to serve a purpose, it does not justify the boating community making a stretch “safe”. Boating, at least for some, is about challenge, the unknown, making order out of chaos, and understanding the power of the river. It is a simple equation that if you miscalculate the equation you will pay the price; from a modest swim to a fatality.

I have gone past the spot well over 100 times in my life. I have pulled out more dead bodies from rivers than I care to. Each time I pass frog rock I am reminded that while commercially guiding, the people in my boat are paying me for my judgment, to keep up the illusion of safety and to be able to react when the curtain is dropped and they find themselves in the water. Not that one should need such a reminder, but occasionally I forget.
People take risks when they are not aware of the consequences. They guy who died earlier this year in pine creek had no idea what he was getting himself in to. Does this mean we should change pine creek because people die there?
This is a sport similar to mountaineering, bull fighting, race car driving and people need to realize it. While the chances are exceedingly slim, YOU CAN DIE FROM RUNNING RIVERS. Someone made a mistake and someone died, it has happened several times in the past and will happen again in the future, at frog rock or elsewhere. The fact that this was a group of commercial guides tells me that either they didn’t know about that spot (?), or that they didn’t respect that spot, or that there guiding skills were such that that they couldn’t stay on the left side of the river. Perhaps there are factors unknown to me in this situation and I should not be so judgmental. Making a mistake, whether it be over estimating your own abilities or trusting your life in the wrong persons hands unfortunately has consequences.
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Old 07-16-2010   #55
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Compression drownings, cold water, entrapments in Pine creek, dowd, gore ect... These are 4+/5- rapids, Give me a class 3 rapid that has a sieve that has killed 4 river people. This shit about things happen is true.

My argument is we all need a safer place to learn these skills, paddling, catching eddies, decision making, rescues, ect.. Until you're at a top level, kayaking cannot be compared to Mountaineering, bull fighting, and race car driving. Although I see your point, you are talking about upper limits. People need to build their skills and experience in a more controlled environment, that is how we all learn.

I know I didn't run class 5 my first time kayaking and I didn't learn the decision making in class 5. I know bullfighters learned how to move and kill correctly, mountaineers learn to tie knots, use ice tools and dress, nascar drivers race go karts ect.Getting rid of a sieve in a class 3 run doesn't make the river safer, but it does make a death trap not a variable to people cutting their teeth trying to learn and enjoy a sport that has brought so much to so many.

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Old 07-16-2010   #56
pnw, Washington
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I do however see your point that this a bad spot in an otherwise easy section but as someone pointed out, when does it stop? If you do this one, what is next? My earlier comment wasnt to keep the river pristine, that ship has sailed.
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 07-16-2010   #57
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Originally Posted by Waterwindpowderrock View Post
Do we get rid of the rock that Derk got caught on then though? How about the sieve where James died? I don't mean to trivialize their deaths, I just really think that it's a sport with inherent risk & to assume that you can eliminate that risk is just not terribly realistic.

I think one big difference is that Fractions/Frog Rock is a Class II/III run, with Class V consequences, on a very busy commercial river. Not to be compared to Big South (sorry, do not know James or what river he was on). Earlier posts compared it to "in bounds" and "out of bounds" at a ski area. When I am running remote Class IV/V, myself and everyone I am with, is very aware of the consequences. Not sure that is true of passengers (commercial or private) on a Class II "float". Also am very aware that alcohol can be more of a factor on a "float" than on Class IV/V.
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Old 07-16-2010   #58
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
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I'm with Gary

It's killed four people on a highway that sees a continuos flow of people. It adds nothing to the value or merit of the run. Fill it in. blow it up, whatever. Let's just keep it from taking someone else's son or daughter.

It's a freakin class 2 or 3 run. The slippery slope doesn't cut it for me. It is not an "extreme" run. It's a scenic float that you do on a hot day to keep cool and have fun with the kids.

I'm very sorry it took another kid. Lets get rid of it before we have this debate again.
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Old 07-16-2010   #59
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
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Frankly, I think better signage there is the primary need. Both sides of the river and with fresh bright paint and maybe more perilous wording.

Perhaps also more educational warning of Frog Rock on the BLM signs at the BLM put-in sites in the area.

As far as play parks go, within city owned lands the parks are mainly a beautification to enhance the community appriciation for river walk areas and are a potential economic stimulus.

I am opposed to dumbing down all of nature, though.

Education, training, and signage seem the higher need. This is were raft companies, instruction companies, dealers, manufactures, and magazines can maybe contribute more towards the goal of reaching those that are pursuing interaction with river use.

My sincere condolences to those involved with this recent tragedy.
No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
"If there is no risk there is no adventure."- Bill Briggs
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Old 07-16-2010   #60
Arvada, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 29
If someone dies from crossing the street at an intersection with a light on a relatively non busy street, what do you do? Lower the speed limit? Put up signs? Put a police officer at the intersection 24/7 ? Close the road? Maybe, Probably, Most Likely No, and hell no! The same goes with blasting up the frog rock. What happens when someone dies because of a long swim at frog rock, or they hit their head on a rock causing them to become unconscious and drown? Then what do you do? Even when you take away a risk (ie put up a stop light or cross walk signal), people will still die no matter what you do. You can even close the river and people will still die. Engineers have spent hundreds of years trying to figure out how to make this or that safer, yet people still die after something is made safer. Sometimes even the safe guards that people design cause fatalities, (think Toyota and Firestone).

I'm not saying let people die in frog rock, what I'm saying here is that no one seems to get the point. Someone died due to something that went terribly wrong somewhere (not saying it's anyone's fault, it's obvious though that something went wrong somewhere), so lets learn from this and move on with it. No need to take drastic measures and make something worse. If you make it better, good for you. But we all know that even the best engineers can make something worse (ie Lawson or BV's upper Hole). Learn from these accidents, educate people, don't make the same mistake twice. Imagine the slippery slope of what your actions might cause. Instead look at all the positive that you could produce from educating people and learning from accidents like these (experienced rafters, something going wrong).

Again, condolences to the family and all involved.

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