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Old 06-27-2005   #31
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1
I'm an old high school friend of Daryle's, having known him since the 7th grade. He was a popular kid (always had that hilarious bowl cut) and a gifted athlete. We skiied and played soccer together in pretty competitive environments (Germany and Switzerland).

When I got the call the other day letting me know he died, I figured there would probably be talk of the accident in some forums (I started looking at TGR and found my way here). While I've only been rafting a half dozen times (although I've rafted some cool places, including New Zealand), I'm an experienced skiier, so I know the risks inherant in such activities. Daryle was living the dream, or so his old high school friends would say. Our paths diverged, some played division one soccer, some went to medical school, I went to DC and became a consultant. But Daryle stayed true to what he loved, spending all his time doing the things we can only look forward to a few weeks a year.

One question, for someone that is not well versed in water-sports. As many of you know, we have a variety of safety equipment available to us in skiing in case of an avalanche. Is there no such equipment available in rafting/kayaking? Specifically, I'm thinking of something similar to an avalung that would provide oxygen for 10 or 15 minutes in the case of getting pinned.

I'd be interested in any further information about the accident, what's happening with his young wife, or any funds set up. Daryle has a network of friends around the country from his overseas days, and we're all saddened to hear of the accident.

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Old 06-28-2005   #32
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 43
I know this thread has been going for a while, but somehow my previous reply didn't make it onto the site. I have been guiding for nearly 15 years, and have run a number of class V commercial trips on both Gore Canyon and on Clear Creek from Blackrock through Rigor Mortis, and so I think I have something worthwhile to say that has (still) not already been mentioned. So here's another go....

First off, I hope that most will realize that CatJockey is a bit of a reactionary. Now I will give CJ some credit in his criticism of commercial guests, but I think it is not as much about being aware of the risks and more a lack of self-preservation instinct. Furthermore, I believe that (true) class V trips are probably the safest commercial trips to be on. True, class V water has more objective hazards, but there are more safety links (such as safety kayaks/rafts and throw ropes on shore) in place. I am far more worried about the risks of a fatty-fatty-no-paddle custy flushing downstream through Browns (class III) at 3500 cfs where there are no throw ropes on shore and no safety rafts to assist the downstream swimmer. I believe that the statistics back up my opinion. It sounds as if CatJockey has guided on (I assume) class III/IV water. Don't fool yourself CJ! You are putting people in as much, and sometimes more, risk on class III/IV water, and all for a few measely bucks....

OK, a little more jockey abuse. CatJockey's attitude is exactly the kind that fosters fear and does NOT encourage learning and growth. You assume (and almost command) that someone who has swam big whitewater will never go rafting again. What would you say to a child that falls off of a swing? Would you magnify his fear so that he/she never got on a swing again or would you encourage him/her to get back on the horse. I know its different, but your attitude is clear. The world is not flat my friend.

Now a little criticism of the industry. There are so many class III/IV trips that are advertised as class V. For example, many companies rate the Royal Gorge as class V (and even V+). Consider the class VI rating for iron ring rapid on the Gauley?!%#@? Heck, I recently had a custy tell me that he had rafted class V. When I asked him where, he told me the Ocoee? Give me a frickin' break. Now all these folks want to book true class V trips. We even had to stop advertising ours on Clear Creek and make it a trip for select customers only. The point.... if companies rated trips at the true grades we might have less unqualified people with interest in true class V boating. People should realize that class V is experts territory.

Now I want to clarify that I have no criticism of the companies on the Upper A. I have only paddled the Upper A at low to medium flows. Granted, I felt it was class IV+ at those levels, but have no doubt it is true class V at the current levels. It sounds as if these companies run a tight ship and do all that could be done to prepare their guests.

My condolences to the Durango community and the family of the departed custy.


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Old 06-28-2005   #33
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2
I am sure you all have your best intentions for the incident, But there is more to this story. Journalists are hired to sell papers. Customer comments are fairly uneducated. I have been a guide on the Upper A for five years, six in Durango. Daryle has been my friend since he moved to CO in 95. I was one of the last to see him before the coroners took him away. I don't wish to describe the details, but as a response to the comments above I will say this. The customers were in full wetsuits, booties, helmets, gloves, splash jackets, fleece jackets. Daryle was in a dry suit. it was a warm day no rain. high level but one we have seen before.

As far as the safety orientation. We as guides make it our priority to bench customers who do not size up. We swim them, we make them paddle hard. we hit rocks and hyside. We try all in our power to knock them out of the boat in the orientation. We take them sideways through every hole. We give them the class five death speech. Our goal is to put this river in perspective, we try to scare them. and we let them know that they cannot go if they are not fit. We end the orientation by telling them that they have an option but the ultimate decision is the guides. We also let the customers examine if they want to risk there lives by going up there.

Flipping a boat in the orientation would not enhance anything. we tell customers to swim to shore if that is the best option. the reason the victim didn't swim to the shore is because he was holding onto the boat the entire time, even after Daryle flipped it over 10 sec. after the flip.

As far as the safety boater goes, he had three years experience up there. Kayaks cant help retrieve a boat, he can only save one person if that person doesn't submerge that boat. there are numerous reasons not to have a kayak. But in some cases it may be a better option but on a whole the raft is a better option. The safety boater saved one person and a chase boat followed Daryle and was hung up on a rock to give Daryle some room. He lost sight for 15 secs. in that time something happened and none of us will ever know. the last sight of Daryle alive was him getting back in the boat. That to me says he's OK, but the chase boat ensued and found them both face down in the river.

Its the hardest thing a lot of us have had to experience because everyone involved with the incident have gone to high school together and after that we worked together as guides for six years, hell we have lived together for six years(all of us) Boating communities are tight groups and the reaction albeit sad, has been tremendous. Being in this position has made me snappy to criticism so I apologize. Daryle was a great person so tempers run high when you lose someone like that unexpectedly. But the one customer who has reacted to this with comments in the paper doesn't know his ass from his head. Read through the lines and you will see some creative editing and BS.

All i ask as a friend is to keep your thoughts to his family and wife of less than a year who we have known just as long. This isn't a pitch or anything but if you would like to help her out or donate to his memorial you can send money to the Daryle Bogenrief memorial fund at Wells Fargo. We all know raft guides are poor in money but rich in love. Angie is a proud girl and would never take donations, nor would Daryle. We are just trying to help out and get through this together. Thank you all for your intentions. Kevin
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Old 06-28-2005   #34
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 6
People are bringing up legitimate points concerning the safety issue. My issue with a safety raft was not one of the raft but rather of having a single occupant. Lot's of things can happen when you let go of twenty feet of oars in serious water and I have been involved in incidents where getting somebody back in a boat was delayed either through having to rely upon and direct a customer to pull somebody in or manuvering the raft so that when I did let go of the oars it did not smack the swimmer in the head or the fact that I needed to manuver the boat to prevent further and more serious issues before I could get someone out of the water. That was my only point. If you are going to run a safety raft, throw another guide in for the ride so they can actually retrieve somebody and still have somebody in control of the boat. Small price for a company to pay in the interest of the safety of the people's money they just took. No?

As far as me being reactionary rasta, not quite. It is my opinion and has been and in the off and on years I have been lurking on this site, I have not seen a thread come up discussing such. Further, I understand the risk that I put people in on III/IV water, but throw ropes or not, safety boater or not, I would choose to swim any rapid in Brown's before Gore, etc. And as far as putting fear into people, well, they ought to be afraid of swimming class V - class V water kills experts in this sport every year. And no, I did not command anything and your swing analogy is ridiculous, stupid even. I suggested that the other people who were in the flipped raft that day would probably not be booking another class V trip adreniline rush now that they actually have empirical knowledge of what a bad day on the river in such water means. I doubt you can prove that speculation wrong.

You and I are in agreement concerning the upgrading companies and mainly guides do to the calssification of rapids. I routinely dissappoint my customers by saying, no, that was maybe a III+, or no, that wasn't a V.

People should realize that class V is experts territory.
My point exactly, and a customer, unless they are an experienced boater is not expert. That is my gripe and it is not reactionary. In fact, you appear to be agreeing with me now. If you think that class V water is experts only, why are you criticizing me for criticizing companies for taking people's money to put amatures that do not, in most cases, appreciate the seriousness of a bad day on the river in this experts territory? That are helpless if the guide falls out of the boat? That do not have the skills and experience to qualify as anything other than an amature?

Further, my point in speaking up here, as I initially stated, was that nobody was going to speak up for the customer that died, that was most likely put into a situation he did not full yappreciate, even if told, the consequences of for a mistake. Plenty of those to speak up for the the indiviual company, guide and practice of such trips - and are, but not the dead custy. And again, I do not doubt the safety talks, procedures or quality of class V guides. I do doubt very strongly, however, the appreciation the customer has for class V water, their knowledge of how many experts class V water kills every year and how many of them would actually book such a trip if they did know the ramifications and the true danger and risk involved. That is my issue with the ethics of this.

About one quarter million people go through Brown's every year, fatty-fatty no paddle people. Far less on the class V sections, yet this year, two customers have died on commercial class V raft trips in Colorado.
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Old 06-28-2005   #35
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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My condolences go out to those affected by this tragedy, those who loved the men that were taken from us.

It is good to see the discussion that's going on - hopefully the increased awareness from this sad happening will save others. Also good to see is that members of the commercial community are providing perspective and expertise in this public forum. The posts by Casey and PJ are insightful and well written, as are many others in this thread.

I'll always want some competent kayakers along if I'm going into any kind of moderate to high risk situation. Rafting's what I know so its where I'll make a technical comment. It seems that if a safety raft is used, the optimal configuration would be either as a paddle boat with 3 or 4 guides or an oar rig with 1 or 2 paddle assist guides, ready with throwbags. The paddle assist guide(s) should be the lightest of the squad, a plus if he or she is an EMT. If it’s a safe setup, the oar rig could bring a table/backboard along with the safety gear mentioned. Working in conjunction with kayakers who would bring in swimmers seems like the way to go, combining commercial trips until the size is too cumbersome seems wise too.


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 06-29-2005   #36
Join Date: Jun 2005
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I don't want the usual buzz-brawl that could shape up here with CatJockey. So I'll try to cap it off here. I think that we do agree on many points. One of which is that commercial stretches are overrated in advertising and also by guides as well. My point for running class V trips was that a commercial customer is equally likely to eat it in class III as in class V. In class V there is far more training of guests and more safety links in place to deal with the greater objective hazards. In (especially high water) class III/IV the probability of someone flushing downstream is high. I've seen it many times. That is why I thought you were being a reactionary and not taking a rational approach to the issue.

I wasn't very clear about one other thing. I do believe that class V is experts territory. That to me means that a kayaker needs to be an expert to run the stretch, or that the GUIDE needs to be an expert. Most guides are NOT experts as you can train a monkey to run class III/IV. It takes an especially skilled guide to safely run class V trips. I think class III/IV can be thought of as "intermediate/advanced" skill level rapids. I hardly consider most commercial guests to be in either category. So should we stop taking them until they have reached an advanced skill level?

Now granted, people should not be on trips that are inappropriate for their level of conditioning. I have routinely pulled custies from class IV trips as they were fat pieces of shit. I believe that the day-before-training conducted on the Upper A acts as a suitable screening system. Someone who is 300 pounds will unlikely be allowed to go, whereas this person would be taken down Browns at high water any day of the week. Maybe we really need to screen the "easier" trips if we want to eliminate unacceptable risk?

I don't know how to use the quote thingy, but you should reread you first or second post where you suggest that they will not step foot in a raft again. Please be accurate before you call me stupid. And by the way, a child falling off a swing has potential for just as serious injuries as someone swimming whitewater. Yes, even death! The point was, life is dangerous and we should encourage people to overcome fears and bad experiences so they don't become pathetic fearful slobs that can't do anything for fear of getting hurt. That you "suggest" that these folks will probably never get back in a raft tells a lot of how you would react to these types of situations.

Well, I've just been put on a class III/IV trip, and all for a few measely bucks. Thank god that they are intermediate/advanced skill level or I would consider myself to be a reckless bastard.


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Old 06-29-2005   #37
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Greetings to all.

I wish to ask the professional boating community whether or not the contempt that Rasta shows for some of his guests is typical of river guides. I would certainly feel less secure as his customer, regardless of his ability to run the river. Can one expect a “professional” with such a level of contempt to act in the absolute best interest of his customers? I think not. Has contempt such as this resulted in previous accidents that any of you are aware of? Perhaps, is the assurance of guides that their customers are perfectly aware of the objective risks, while in fact the customers may not truly be aware of the hazards, a form of contempt? I ask that someone offline please tell me which company he guides for, so that I may keep my family and friends away from this situation. While I myself feel that many Americans have become far too complacent and soft from lack of exercise, I will never belittle others for such inadequacies in this manner, because I know that I myself certainly have all too many shortcomings, perhaps intellectual, physical, emotional, as a husband or a parent, and so on. Perhaps Rasta has no shortcomings, or in life never he attempts anything for which he is not perfectly qualified. If so, kudos.

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Old 06-30-2005   #38
Join Date: Jun 2005
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DBL, you missed the point. I am the one standing up for people taking risks and pushing their limits. I was simply playing the devil's advocate when responding to CatJockey. But simply put, some customers are fat pieces of shit. Not pieces of shit because they are fat, but fat people that are truly obnoxious people and worthless in a rafting situation. If noticing this gives me "contempt" for my guests, well then you got me. I'm not sure what else I said. Anyway, I'm sure you are critical of people (yes that's me) in your life. Get off your pedastal. Calling out your shortcomings so you can criticize me for being perfect is an immature low blow.

By the way, trying to get info about me offline shows that you are a coward. I work for Clear Creek Rafting.


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Old 06-30-2005   #39
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shit happens.....

This is wildwater..shit happens and you can only do so much to prevent accidents and fatalities. We've all had our brief moments of stupidity, misfortune, and flirtations with Darwinism-in-action on the water, be it as 'professionals' or otherwise.

Playing arm-chair quarterback under any guise doesn't resolve anything and leaves most feeling angry.

I think with the high flows this year that we're lucky we haven't had even more deaths and serious injuries on the river. Personally, I've already broke my left wrist this year, plus bruised both shoulders, and jacked my back up, and bashed a log with my head.. shit happens, it's all part of the game
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Old 06-30-2005   #40
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Rasta...Yes, I certainly got your point. However, I don't believe you quite understand my prior question (or you were unwilling to address it?), which is asking how a guide with such contempt for certain guests can be truly expected to act in their best interests. It is well understood that safety must be a cornerstone of the professional boating community.

Rasta, I am sorry that my posting is regarded as a personal attack towards you. Of course, how could you view it any other way? I am sorry for this. I believe my concerns are legitimate, though, and calling me names in response doesn't further the discussion.

I ask someone else to respond. Are my concerns unwarranted?


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