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Old 07-05-2006   #1
Down by the River, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 19
Baileys Sandbag

Now I'm not from CO, just moved here this spring from the NE, but after taking it easy for a couple months trying to figure the area and paddling golden a lot I finally got on baileys this weekend around 520cfs.

All I have to say is whoever says that baileys in 4+/5- is full of a bunch of *%&?. The first drop in four falls worked someone over in our crew pretty well and I spent most of supermax and deer creek upside down. Apparently other people have been having the same difficulties as evidenced by the two boats I saw pinned and few broken paddle remnants seen.

What a load of who'ie. Next time someone writes a guidebook for the area maybe they can deflated there egos for a second and get things right.

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Old 07-05-2006   #2
Edwards, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 111
quote from CRC II:
IV+ (V) 165 - 400
V- (V,V+, V) > 400

i don't understand, where's the sandbagging?

first falls of four falls V
supermax V+
deer creek V

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Old 07-05-2006   #3
Weapons Specialist
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 62
It is actually a class IV run, with exception to SuperMax and the first drop of four falls. It seems big to you because your class everything one over in the NE. You probably consider Waterton Canyon a IV and Shoshone a V. Stick to the playparks for a couple more years, most of the stuff out here is over your head.
If you were from the SE, Bailey would be considered a III+/IV-. You Yanks are a bunch of babies, even Texans consider Bailey a IV.
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Old 07-05-2006   #4
I kayak DH.
Waterwindpowderrock's Avatar
Greater tri cities metro area, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 794
It's inline with other runs around here.
just like anywhere else though, you may think big water runs are harder, or creekier runs are harder, but a lot comes down to what you're used to. when I went out east I thought that the ratings were a joke, I was waiting for the fun stuff at the end of the run!

Go to cali & you'll have the same step up you've got here over the east.

btw, I don't think anyone calls supermax or 1st falls 5- (not crc anyways)


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Old 07-05-2006   #5
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
Well, had you followed the guidebooks recommendation to get a guide for your first time down, that would have been a good start. Due to changes in the rapid itself, the first drop at Four Falls is routinely portaged- but simply observing the water dynamic flowing out from under the cliff wall next to the drop should give any boater pause. Also, the flows this past weekend were running at just a little over 600, which is getting to be a beefy level for even experienced Bailey boaters -the AW guide puts that in the "High" category, and big holes appear in places where you can usually coast through without problems.

One of the local known facts about this run is that Bailey gauge is a little lower than what show up at Pine- that gives you a more accurate representation of the water coming through the canyon.

Bad wood placement in the last year has made some of the boogie water a little more treacherous as well. Also, the run has been flowing uncharacteristically at a very high flow for weeks now (800+), so the carnage factor has been higher than normal..hence the pinned boats.

I don't think Max has been called a V- at any level, but I could be wrong. Deer Creek is a clean run at most levels if you know the lines, but feels bigger than it looks even at lower flows.

Now that the level has dropped to 425, get back in there and re-gauge your assessment at a medium flow. Bailey is routinely run by gung-ho intermediate boaters who walk the big three.

BTW- although there's been a few postings recently about hazards and trip reports from Bailey, you can always get a pretty reliable report if you post here ahead of your trip; and either ask if someone will show you the lines, or get a gauge on whether your skills are appropriate to the river. You'll probably get a few assholes responding with snide comments (see above), but you'll also generally get some quality information.
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Old 07-05-2006   #6
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 646
All I have to say is whoever says that baileys in 4+/5- is full of a bunch of *%&?.
When I saw this, I thought you were going to say Bailey is easier than 4+/5-.

Yea, scouting the big three drops and having a guide helps a lot. In my experience, people are really cool about helping new people down the run.

If Bailey was a real V, what would that make Gore or SSV? They don't fit the VI category. If you read the official classifications, the rating for Bailey is accurate. In fact, doesn't the V rating say scouting is important and hitting a difficult line is crucial.
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Old 07-05-2006   #7
Costa Rica Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 19
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Southlander are you trying to blame someone else for your own poor judgment?

c'mon everybody knows river ratings are imperfect, and that they vary greatly from one place to another. at the end it boils down to looking at a drop and asking yourself: "well, am i gonna run this or not?" The answer to that question is your very own responsibility, not some guidebooks. I get the feeling that you're the only one here who's got his ego deflated, and the fact that you had bad runs on rapids that you (hopefully) looked at before and made the decision whether to risk running them or not, is not to be blamed on the guidebook. I mean, it's not like the portage was impossible...

River ratings are a guide to help people who don't know a run have some idea of what they're getting into, not to boost people's egos and fooling someone into thinking that if they've run a rapid rated a certain class, they'll be able to run anything with the same rating. Being imperfect and subjective as they are, they should always be taken with a grain of salt, and anybody out there paddling class 5 should have seen enough of this happening to be well aware of this fact. Maybe you should have gone on reading past the beta box, where some more accurate description of what the main rapids were like would have provided a lot better insight.

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Old 07-05-2006   #8
bowen's Avatar
Asheville, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 98
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 211
Well put CR.

Ratings definately vary depend on who you're talking to, for example:

A raft guide might tell you that The Numbers are class V, while a kayaker says class III...

.... I guess if you're a raft guide and a kayaker says its class V you should probably walk....

....if you're a kayaker and a raft guide says its class V you should probably get your playboat.
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Old 07-05-2006   #9
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
I dont know any kayaker who says numbers is III.
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Old 07-05-2006   #10
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Asheville, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 98
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 211
I'd say Class III (except #4 and #5) below 1,000 cfs. I just think that class IV on Bailey is harder...way more moves

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bag, bailey

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