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Old 06-01-2006   #1
no tengo
mania's Avatar
Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
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Durango Herald is the one confused

Durango Herald Online

Knowlton said if Barron is confirmed dead, he would be the first to die on Vallecito Creek. He said this is likely due in part to the recent vintage of the run's notoriety, noting that many put in without a full understanding of the dangers they will face.

A survey of white-water Web sites shows considerable uncertainty about the classification of Vallecito Creek. White-water is rated on a scale from the easiest, Class 1, to yet-unconquered runs in Class 4. While some sites rate Vallecito Creek a Class 2 or 3, calls it a Class 5-plus.

Knowlton is responding to this confusion and the difficulty of scouting the river located deep in a gorge by posting pictures of the white-water on the Web site of the county's Office of Emergency Management,
so Adam was confused that it was class 3 and butch is our hero here to save us. give me a break. And what the heck is yet-unconquered class 4?!

the pics are actually worth looking at, i just wish they wouln't patronize us:

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Old 06-01-2006   #2
pnw, Washington
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Sounds like some of the worst reporting I have ever seen.

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Old 06-01-2006   #3
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Dude read on it gets worse. I wrote the reporter some hate mail. His other comments & quotes were unacceptable.

Never really understood why people say don't trust reporters... this guy is scum.

He didn't reply to me, hope he read this

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure. - Helen Keller
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Old 06-01-2006   #4
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Jackson, Wyoming
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Steve please send me that pukes email or contact info. What a jackass!

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Old 06-01-2006   #5
Golden, Colorado
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With shitty reporting like that I think this guy must be trying to get a job at Fox News or something. retard...
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Old 06-01-2006   #6
Join Date: Nov 2005
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I recommend writing a letter to the editor correcting the errors in the article. Don't be too mean. But, say that it is a disservice to Adam's memory to call him ignorant of the run or not have a full understanding of the dangers.

Reporters are not experts at everything and they often don't have much time to write these articles. This guy probably wrote 2-4 articles in a day and had 1-2 hours for this article. Yea, he screwed up. Embaress him by writing the letter to the editor. But, don't be too hard on him.
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Old 06-01-2006   #7
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Boulder, Colorado
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Thomas Munro

Unbelievable. The guy's writing about whitewater and doesn't even take the time to learn the basic river classification scale.

Let him know what a retard he is. Misinformation is only gonna get more people hurt.
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Old 06-01-2006   #8
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
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For the "unconquered class 4" ...I wonder if it is also possible that he was looking at the roman numeral version and got IV mixed with VI. Dumb but perhaps an honest mistake to someone not used looking at the ratings much.

It does suck that it implies that a skilled paddler like Mr. Barron maybe did not know what he was getting into though.

I do agree it might be a good email to write tonight and then go over it in the morning and the article again before sending it.
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Old 06-01-2006   #9
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2004
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See below the email that I wrote Thomas early yesterday morning and his reply. He was polite in reply, but I'm not sure I buy that it was an editor's mistake. Don't editors get paid to correct errors like that?

Hello Thomas,

You've probably gotten an earful from the boating community on this one already, but I'll chime in as well. The second to last paragraph in the "Officials Identify Lost Kayaker" story yesterday is dangerously inaccurate. You live and report for a paper in a town that is filled with world class kayakers. How could you get your whitewater rating scale so wrong? Why not make a quick trip (or call) to 4 Corners Riversports and ask for info on the currently used rating scale? Vallecito Creek is rated as Class V+ by all sources that I know. What source said that it is Class II or III? In one sentence you describe Class IV as "yet unconquered", then call Vallecito class V+. Kayakers run Vallecito safely on a daily basis every spring.

In the future, if you need more information for a whitewater story (which is likely in Durango), has a "Boater's Forum" full of experts to answer any questions. is another great source for information regarding specific rivers and creeks. And to reiterate, you are surrounded by expert kayakers. Use them.

Best Regards,

Baird Kleinsmith
Durango, CO

Mr. Kleinshmith,
Thank you for your input. The most dangerous whitewater is of course a VI, but it appears an editor chose to change the Roman numerals to arabic numerals and mistranslated a VI into a 4. As far as the "danger" of calling Vallecito Creek a 2 or a 3, that was precisely my point. There is misinformation out there. Perhaps I could have made clearer that the "V+" appears to be the accurate rating.

Thanks for your help. I will definitely follow your advice when I write about whitewater again.

-Thomas Munro
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Old 06-01-2006   #10
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Indian Hills, Colorado
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A few people to copy on your emails. publisher and owner general manager cheif editor

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