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Old 05-22-2012   #21
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
Do you have a V crew? If not then you aren't ready. If you do then you wouldn't be asking MBuzz. All the pieces have to come together skills, mindset, crew, safety skills and gear.

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Old 05-22-2012   #22
BV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 131
I am swift water trained. From you guys advice I think I'm going to fire up some 4 and 4 plus run here soon with a good crew. Im a strong paddler and I do agree that I need experience I know what I'm comfortable with and what I'm not. Upper a is close and sounds like a good step up

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Old 05-22-2012   #23
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
So the question is: "I'm solid in class III, should I move up to class V?". Move up incrementally, not just through the full steps, but also through the partial steps, class III+, IV-, IV, IV+, V-, V, etc. Don't cheat either. Lots of people seem to declare themselves class IV boaters because they ran the numbers at 600 cfs. Run the #s at 2500 cfs and eddy hop your way down all the rapids, and then you can call yourself a class IV boater.

It's silly to be impatient, esp. as a second year boater, unless you're terminally ill or something and then you might want to push it.
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Old 05-23-2012   #24
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
Many class IV runs - Bailey, Lower South Boulder, etc. have class V rapids on them. It is much better to step up to a more difficult rapid on a run you are comfortable with then to jump into an entire run that's over your head.
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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Old 05-23-2012   #25
Arkansas during the off-season Nomadic during the summers! :), Arkansas & Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 945
I'd also like to add that when I hear someone say they are a class V boater it means they consistently run and play on class V. I've ran a few class Vs and consistently play around on class IV and never had a bad line on any of them I wasn't screwing around on...but I only say I'm a IV+ boater.

Don't get caught up in being a class? Boater...most boaters are much more impressed if you say you've styled the big south or barrel springs or black rock versus saying you're a class whatever boater.

So develop the skills to run what you want to!
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Old 05-23-2012   #26
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 44
Yeah just because you've run the numbers, doesn't mean you're ready for class V. Someone said "just go do it and find out". Thats terrible advice, you could endanger yourself AND the guys you're with.

If you want to step it up, go run Bailey. It's a class IV creek with three Class V rapids and if you're feelin good, you could probably run the third one (deer creek rapid). The class IV on that run is really fun (especially the steeps) and its a beautiful canyon.

take your time man, no need to be a hero
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Old 05-23-2012   #27
Horserump, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 458
If ya gotta ask you ain't ready boy
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Old 05-23-2012   #28
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
This blew up faster than a turkey leg. All the advice in here is good. There really isn't much Class IV this season to test your abilities on.

With the current flows, try eddy-hopping Pine Creek rapid on the Ark. Nail the boof on the left a few times. Feeling good on that? Hook up with a competent Gore crew later this summer when flows rise and give'r a go. Walk Gore rapid for the first time out of respect and because a swim there is a huge pain in the ass for everyone involved.
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Old 05-23-2012   #29
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700
yak 1 summed it up. If you have to ask, then you would probably benefit from more time in IV. Once IV gets easy and more about play than avoidance, then the progression will occur naturally.
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Old 05-23-2012   #30
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
Read the book Deep Survival, and get some more experience. This advice from a catboater who stepped into Class V stuff pretty fast, and I consider myself lucky to not have gotten hurt. Now I work hard on gaining experience, getting "nearly" in trouble and making sure I've developed the muscle memory to deal with situations without even thinking about it.

Did anyone say that you should start running lines that you don't want to run on your "normal" runs? Is there a line in a rapid that you usually avoid? Hit it, find out what happens, come out clean.

I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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