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Old 05-07-2006   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 14
Alto Alto

Anyone done it yet this year? Is there wood? It looks like it's on the rise.


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Old 05-07-2006   #2
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Never done it before but I've been trying to get down there. I'm thinking of a Tuesday afternoon or Thursday morning trip. Is there anything I need to know about this run before I go? I was just planning on doing it read'n'run style.


"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 05-07-2006   #3
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Alto Alto is OK- class III with one class IV section. Its kind of short, really cold, and does not have much good play. Its definitely not worth a long drive and I would not run it under 300. I'd say its worth it if you live close by and the water is high.

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Old 05-07-2006   #4
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
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PS- if you paddle all the way to Pinecliffe, there is a bridge with several possible routes between the pilings- GO FAR LEFT to avoid an encounter with a chest high steel I-beam.
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Old 05-07-2006   #5
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Better yet just take out above that ugly trestle bridge, if you bother with the run at all. As stated earlier it is some of the coldest water available, but that shouldn't scare you off.

The river bed is is pretty much sterile. The majority of the run is pool drop stirp-mining left overs. The stripers left behind a wide gravel bed with few eddies and few decent features. A typical mile of fast class 2 is punctuated by several steeper jumbled ramps. The waves are great if you can catch one on the fly. Few have eddy service and none are easy to catch on the fly.

Maybe someone who's done it mare has something more positive to say about it. Kayaker?

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Old 05-08-2006   #6
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 373
I did Alto with Dave once, it was about 1000. Everyone else showed up with their creek boats, I think I was in a Delirious or something. The waves were sweet at that level.
I remember a wave/hole just below the put-in that no one surfed (too big), some boogy, a gorge with some debris and gradient that snook up on us.
Above the take out trestle there was a sweet ass wave, one shot, river left, almost next to the road.
Another time we hiked up above the run & the train tunnel, if I am remembering this correctly and ran some low volume mank (creeky).

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure. - Helen Keller
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Old 05-08-2006   #7
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Snowmass, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
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COUNT, if you're going up Tuesday afternoon give me a call. I'll join you. Thursday is out for me (family in town for graduation).

"A witty saying proves nothing."
- Voltaire (1694-1778)
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Old 05-08-2006   #8
Metro Area, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 214
We ran it this past weekend. It is clear of all wood.

Count- it is def. read and run from top to bottom. There is one section right after the RR tunnel that might be worth a look, but can still be run w/o scout. I agree with above posts, probably wouldn't go unless there is 300 min.

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Old 05-08-2006   #9
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 689
i hit alto alto on saturday. the flow was around 200 and it was way boney. i wouldnt go back unless it was definitely quite a bit higher. everything was read and run or boat scout from an eddy. the little gorged up section was fun. i would reccomend taking out on river left above pinecliff to skip some flatwater and avoid that nasty bridge. there's a nice big turnout.
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Old 05-08-2006   #10
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
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I'll defend Alto Alto. Besides the cool name, it's purty up there. The two class IVish sections are fun at most levels and there are fun wave trains throughout when the water gets higher. If you're looking for class V creekin, then this might be a little boring, but it's a great run in the III-IV range. As a bonus you rarely see any other boaters up there. Yes, the water is cold and clear, but hey, it's Colorado, get used to it. If the water's up, you can put in a couple miles above the normal put-in for a longer run. I wouldn't do the run below 300 cfs. If you do it at 200 cfs, you only need to bring half your blade, as that's about as much of it as you'll get in the water.

Sward - Nice Helen Keller quote there, but you think she'd apply that to kayaking?

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