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Old 06-24-2006   #1
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
beginning creeking?

If you were a class IV boater and wanted to start trying creeking what runs would you suggest. It seems that most of the creeking runs are class V runs. Do we have any creeks in the IV to IV+ range?

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Old 06-24-2006   #2
oh yeah
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 535
bailey, just walk the bigger drops. black rock at lower water walking rigor. boulder canyon in the 200-400cfs range. lower ten mile. lower west fork clear creek at medium flow through lawson (into idaho springs for a longer run). clear creek of the ark ~150 to 200cfs. pine creek <500cfs. royal gorge and numbers at low flow get creeky.


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Old 06-24-2006   #3
Highlands Ranch, CO Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 482
Alto-Alto is a good class 3 start to creekin
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Old 06-25-2006   #4
gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 390
im not sure how you enjoy your runs (paddle hard and straight or heavy play), my suggestion is to find harder lines to take down familiar rapids, go for the biggest boof you can find on any class I/II/III/IV stretch you know, try and catch air off the biggest rock you can, make the scarey ferry or whatever, etc.. then id drop my happy ass w/ kayak attached off some increasingly high cliffs, just to get a sense of an gravity rush and the danger of surface tension and landing on a brace etc, of course, go do bailey anyway, its beautiful and should the big drops be too big, they are easy to walk
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Old 06-25-2006   #5
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
Done the gorge/numbers low water runs and can probably still work on harder lines but I guess I was looking for beginner drops that dont have the words, wood/sieve in the drop. I guess a normal creek drop with less than normal consequences so that when I miss my boof I dont die.
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Old 06-25-2006   #6
gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 390
well the east river in crested butte is great for that, the boofs are hard to hit, because the slate/shale riverbed moves that water right along (its very shallow, and only nearly vertical most of the time), if you miss your boof your feet will bounce but you wont get pinned vertically, if you boof, youll bounce on your ass, there is no pin danger on this run to speak of, and the hole at the bottom of midget wrestler is almost a doozy. lesse front range style.. from what i understand those guys in ft. collins keep their runs very clean of wood, and ive seen some pics of the big south that make class V boating look alot more beautiful than scary, but ive yet to make it to the poudre so someone else can help you out there way better than me.
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Old 06-25-2006   #7
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Greater tri cities metro area, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 794
I second &D's thoughts on harder lines on familiar runs.
even a run like foxton has tons to offer as far as different lines that can challenge you.

I think lawson is also a great run to prepare on, it has tons of drops, lots of different lines you can take, and offers volumes to learn about boat scouting. I live right nearby & still can't remember what's behind each of the drops, so you learn to figure out the smart lines from your boat, quickly, which is a HUGE NECCESSITY when creeking.

I also agree with bailey being a great place to learn, you just run more as you get better.

We also have a run on west fork CC below empire that's fast 4+/5- creeking depending on the level.
when it's running bear creek is also a sweet intro to creeks.
middle tenmile, gore creek, boulder creek, lower big t(the 4+), and left hand were great stepping stoones for me on the way to the harder creeks.

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Old 06-26-2006   #8
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
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Good question. I was about to ask the same question myself. I've done some V boating but nothing in state and am looking to run some of the bigger stuff near home. My biggest issue has been finding people to take me down these runs where you want someone who can help show you the lines. I've found skill honing on Tenmile, the Ark, and Clear Creek to be very helpful. The runs I've been looking at so far have been Upper East, Bailey, Clear Creek of the Ark, Pine Creek, Upper Tenmile, Cross Mountain, and Willow Creek. How would you guys say Wolf Creek, Escalante, Poudre Narrows, and Gilman fall into the progression of things? Anyone want to take a first-timer down any of these? Thanks.


P.S. Anyone know if, when, how to tell if Lefthand Creek is running?
"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 06-26-2006   #9
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Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
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Posts: 696
Escalante would be a great choice. But, it rarely ever runs.

Poudre Narrows offers 3 ranges of "creeking". Also a good choice and it runs all the time.

Gilman is more of a big water type day. I wouldn't call it creeking per-se.

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Old 06-26-2006   #10
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 557
Upper East-crested butte is one of the best class 4 creeks in the state.
Lower south boulder
alto alto
gore, if you walk gore rapid, the rest is class 4 and clean pool drop (for the most part)
3rd gorge of lime is 4+
Black Rock is 4+
Upper boulder creek from Sugar loaf road to the whitewater park(maybe next year)
Clear creek of the ark

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