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Old 06-20-2011   #1
qsjones's Avatar
Lakewood, 80214
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 95
Duckies in CC tunnel 1 down

my wife and i want to get into kayaking and so we bought quality duckies last season. we got comfortable with the golden playpark but im sure the levels were not as high as they have been at run off this year. was wondering what anyone thought of taking duckies from tunnel 1 down to the playpark at levels over 650? thanks for any feedback -Q

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Old 06-20-2011   #2
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
Tunnel 1 to town is a fantastic way for a beginner to start venturing away from the play park.

There is only one dangerous part (well, maybe 2).

After you go right where the river splits into a left channel that goes into a canal there is a large cottonwood tree with its root ball creating an undercut overhang full of roots and stuff. I think it is a death trap for inner tubers. You should be fine as long as you have some boat control.

The other part that might qualify as dangerous is that you have to go right where the river splits so that you don't enter the canal plumbing, but that part is very easy to do.

Oh, if you swim then keep your feet off the bottom while you are moving downstream to avoid foot entrapment... a swim up there by tunnel #1 is a notch more dangerous than swimming in the park and I've had a few beginners get bruised and scared up there.

Wear a helmet and a PFD, of course.

After that run gets boring then just walk your boat up higher or park on the other side of tunnel #1 and go from there. Put in somewhere below the low head dam... which would eat a duckie for sure.

I like the tunnel #1 run for beginners because you don't even have to set shuttle... it is only 1 mile so you can jog back to the car if you have to.

Oh, and if you swim then keep your feet off the bottom while you are moving downstream... foot entrapment is probably the biggest hazard in an easy section like this one. The water is super cold and moving crazy fast right now, so easy might not be the best word... call it relatively easy.

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Old 06-20-2011   #3
qsjones's Avatar
Lakewood, 80214
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 95
thanks for the info ture. are you in golden? i am i need for someone to paddle with and help show me the way of the river. we havent taking any ww classes yet, waiting until we get hardshells
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Old 06-20-2011   #4
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
Yep, I'm in Golden. I'd go with you later in the season when prime time is over... I'm trying to get my days in on some harder stuff right now.

For now, I know you will find a ton of beginners and intermediate beginners if you post on the Trip Planner forum here: Trip Planner - Mountain Buzz

Also, I think the Colorado Whitewater Association is a good resource for new paddlers.

Right now, in Colorado in June, it is going to be hard to find an advanced paddler to go with... they are all skipping their best friend's weddings so they can paddle harder stuff... but I bet you can find some other people who are starting out. But be careful because everything is cranking right now.

In order to prepare for paddling in a natural river channel with other boaters go ahead and get a river knife, a whistle, a throw bag, and some decent river footwear. A throw bag takes some small amount of expertise to use and to safely stow in your boat (so it doesn't come out when you swim and cause a hazard), but I'd get one now and ask a more experienced partner how to throw it and how to stow it (get a caribiner for that, preferrably one with a 'quick lock'... I don't like non-locking caribiners on the river unless they are in a pocket). Don't carry a rope without a knife attached to your PFD.
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Old 06-20-2011   #5
CUBuffskier's Avatar
Erie, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 237
Another good run along the same lines is Chicago Creek to Kermits - through Idaho Springs.
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