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Old 07-20-2005   #1
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 12
Crystal Gorge?

Has anybody been in the crystal gorge lately? A few of us are going to be in the area this weekend and would like to run it. Is the flow good? Is there any wood? Any info would be helpful.


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Old 07-20-2005   #2
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dropzone, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 845
i am no expert, but i don't think people run it much over 500cfs (and that would be really high). when the gauge dropped out yesterday, it looks like it was around 670. could be too big. see:

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Old 07-20-2005   #3
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Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1992
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The one time I did it the flow was 300cfs and it was too high to do the inner gorge, but the upper gorge was great at that level, all 300 yards of it.
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Old 07-20-2005   #4
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
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we did the upper part at 400 one time and a few guys went into the lower; and there was trouble. i think that was one of the highest runs through the lower, but i could be wrong.
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Old 07-20-2005   #5
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crested butte, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
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....years ago i heard that my buddy, robby dastin ran it solo at 600...he said it was "white knuckler"......robby is a true sicko and understates everything...i am sure it was worse than he said!!!...
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Old 07-20-2005   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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My first time in the Inner, it was @ 320.... definitely do-able and definitely scary for me at the ability level I was at... but all was good.

Next time in the Inner was @150...definitely low for the upper gorge, fun all around, pretty mellow in the inner except for perfect piton (dont think that one is really ever mellow).

Waiting till its below 400 would probabl be a good idea if its your first time down. If you plan on doing the Ineer (it really makes the trip) wait till its in the low 300's or below.
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Old 07-20-2005   #7
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 12
thanks everyone for the feedback. i guess we'll probably look elsewhere.
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Old 07-20-2005   #8
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 80
You can get the forecasted flows here:

Unfortunately, this time of year, when the snowpack is really running out, we don;t quite capture the magnitude of the diurnal fluctuations. But, you get the jist of it... It drops to around 360 on the 31st.

The drop today, looks like something went wrong with the gage. We'll check it tomorrow.

Hope this helps. For what its worth, I was comfortable at about 220 -- but I had tripled my daily dose of vagasil.
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Old 07-20-2005   #9
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,302
I think there will be a ton of wood in the Crystal Gorge this year due to two huge avalanches that leveled trees and everything else in a 100 yard wide path. Both of them crossed over the Crystal below the Mill falls and above the gorge. They were strong enough that they knocked over trees on the opposite side of the valley.

I'd be cautious if you end up being the first group on this year.
Kyle McCutchen
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Old 07-20-2005   #10
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 168
Cutch is right, that valley slid huge this year and the river went high. It will be a miracle if the inner gorge isn't choked. As far as flow. I did it at 275 and I thought it was a perfect combination of upper a little scrapy but fun, and inner manageable. I would not recommend going into the inner above 300 unless you know what you are getting yourself into. The upper looks like it could be run much higher, and would probably be worth it if you're there. Looking forward to a wood report.

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