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Old 06-19-2005   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 388
bad foot pin potential at BV & Salida holes?

I took 2 12 year old boys on the Ark this past weekend. Had a blast in Fractions and at Fibark. With the warm weather, the boys love to swim in the water. I have to be careful about picking the spots.

We had some extra time at the Buena Vista takeout. The boys asked if they could walk upstream, hop in, and swim down through the side of the wave. The hole was flushing. I'd have the throw rope in case they didn't make the eddy. If they still went downstream, it didn't look that bad. They know to keep their feet up.

When walking past the boulders that make the feature, I noticed that the boulders had slots between them that are perfect for a foot pins. The slots are about 2-3 inches wide. It's not a problem in the center part of the feature since it's deep, but on the sides, its a real danger. Foot pin is one of the worst things that can happen and this place has a zillion of pin spots. I think it's more dangerous than most rapids. I noticed the same thing with slots between the boulders in the features in Salida, but not as bad.

At Golden, they've got cement between the boulders to fill in the slots.

You are more likely to have people playing around the water parks. You may have people swimming accidentially or on purpose, you may have boaters doing some horse play just before the end of a run, or people may walk on the boulders and slip. You're more likely to have non river-aware people (tubers, etc) near these features who don't know to keep their feet up.

I don't expect a water play feature to ever be completly safe and I realize I have to take responsibility for my group's safety, but this foot pin potential seems excessively dangerous.

Any chance that the slots between the boulders can be filled in with cement, like at Golden?

Overall, I love the features at BV & Salida. I'm not trying to diss them. I'm just trying to raise the issue of the foot pin potential.

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Old 06-19-2005   #2
Snowmass ski patrol
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 86
Yes, and I also noticed several rocks of all different shapes and size on the shore next to the feature at B.V. One must be extreamly careful not to misstep upon these rocks causing ones ankle to roll. A fall on these rocks could subject a person to serious injury including severe head wounds, even death. So for God sake be careful out there. Just when I was starting to think park and play was totally safe.
(sorry to be a smart ass I just couldn't stop my self.............Bad self...)

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Old 06-20-2005   #3
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Technology Partner, Littleton, Colorado
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they definitely need to fix the gaps

I noticed them in Salida while swimming in and around the holes while my kidlet was boating
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Old 06-20-2005   #4
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Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 805
Yeah this is a problem for un-grouted features on any river (Yampa as well). We chink the voids as best we can with large cobble however a few years of high water will clean those voids. There is not really a spot where this is a problem in Salida due to the shape of the structure and width of the river. In BV there is more of an issue with this because on river right there is a wide, stepped wing which over-tops at realtively low flows. That drop is un-grouted because it was not permitted for grout by the USACOE. However all of the currently planned drops in BV will be grouted.

There are a million places to get foot entrapment on the Arkansas. Whitewater Parks do not eliminate any of the potential hazards that exist. I always make a stout argument for grout however in that one case I was not successful. Be careful and don't treat whitewater parks like water world. However I am preaching to the choir on that issue.
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Old 06-20-2005   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Glad to hear you are on top of the issue. Thanks.
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Old 06-20-2005   #6
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2
Foot Entrapment

Duh, let's think for a of the cardinal rules of being in any whitewater is not to stand up in it because of the potential of foot entrapment. That goes for nearly anywhere. Unless you can find rivers that do not require rocks to make features...good luck here in CO finding that! As a raft guide, we ALWAYS told people that if they fell out of the boat and swam, NEVER to put their feet down or stop swimming until they were completely on dry land and flopping like a fish out of water. Sound advice to anyone who is swimming in the river, either voluntarily or not...DON'T STAND UP IN ANYTHING DEEPER THAN YOUR KNEES! It just is common sense if you stop and think about it.

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