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Old 08-09-2010   #21
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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I'll give you that the blind horizons step things up a little, but hard to really go with full on IV rating for any of it IMO.

Good to see you and so many other people out there. Met several Buzzards I've been meaning to meet, including a large open boat contingent.

FWIW, I thought the top half of the first rapid was pushier than the bottom of it. We ran it twice and both KSC and myself agreed on that point. The Super Star was trying harder to bow stall and stern squirt up top half, than it was below.


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Old 08-09-2010   #22
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IMO, it paddles like class 3 for a class 5 boater but for an intro creeker there are enough blind non boat scoutable rapids and several consequential spots that bump some of it up to 4. Also its a really different character than most? runs in CO. with actual clean exposed ledge in much of it as opposed to the general state of mank around here. Class 5's bookending the run and enough moves in the heart of the run that the class 5 boaters I was with considered it a great day on the rio. We had a little discussion about what class it was and the best answer I heard was it was class fun. Plus the granite walls in there are spectacular. The climbers were drooling.

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Old 08-09-2010   #23
cadster's Avatar
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A shot of Kraig at Logan's humbling hole for scale:

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Old 08-09-2010   #24
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Silverdale, Washington
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I would guess I'm a sandbagger too then, but that's not the first time I've been told this. I am probably biased though since I know the lines on all of this run and take first and second year boaters down it on a semi-regular basis.

Dave, below where you stopped paddling, there is a rapid that breaks up two mile long flat stretches that I would call Class IV-. Comes under a bridge and is pretty busy at the top, with spots to get pinned on, often has wood to maneuver around as well before it then breaks down into a pool drop nature. This is the rapid that has the hole that Logan was humbled in and that Bruce posted the photo of Kraig next to. Other than the two Vs, it's easily the toughest rapid in the canyon. I agree
the lead in to the top V- being pushier than the bottom half of that rapid, but only at higher water. There is more consequences in the lower half should a person swim I think. At least that's my opinion on having seen and boated that rapid at much lower water levels.

No offense to Logan, but he is the only person I've heard of get munched in that hole however. There is actually a really straightforward tongue to go down and takes people through the hole quite easily. It's visible in Bruce's photo. As far as other Class IVish rapids, the only other one I could see is the one with housesized boulder Logan posted a photo of talking about it being undercut. What he failed to mention is that there are two sieves on boulder. One is out of the way, but choked with wood. The other is very much in play, as it is next to the little tunnel you boat through. I have seen boats go through the sieve and have recently witnessed a boater swim through the sieve. It is a pretty big sieve however, and is fortunately clean of wood so far.

As a whole, the run boats like class III to III+ in my opinion. And Josh, you can actually see every rapid of any note from the road, if you know where and when to look. The ledge you mentioned Josh, where a couple of guys in my group swam, I wouldn't call more than III+ due to just the sticky nature of that ledge. It's really only a problem if you let yourself get turned sideways, and is exited if swimming. It's just different than other III to III+ runs people creek usually.

I am glad everyone had a good time there this weekend. I love that run, but I can't blame Class V boaters for not wanting to make that drive often. Just not exciting enough as a whole, but it's scenic and I am biased since it's a short drive for me. That's why it usually only seems to get paddled by people from Salida/BV or people from Colorado Springs, as it is out of the way for just about everyone else.

As for myself, I have to own up to my own humbling Saturday. While I had a smooth run on the bottom V Friday, I had my ass handed to me there Saturday. Of course, that was right after I had told someone it was the first time that I wasn't nervous putting onto that rapid. No swims, but it was probably the ugliest thing to have witnessed. Three rolls, three drops backwards, plus sidesurfed out of a small hole. I was so disappointed with myself so I hiked up and ran a second lap on the bottom V.

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Old 08-09-2010   #25
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Here's me running the ledge after the top V:

That couldn't be nearly as exciting as seeing Patrick run the bottom V, but I had fun.
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Old 08-09-2010   #26
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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In my opinion I would call it a solid III-III+ run with a couple of -IV's. I think that it is more difficult than Numbers at comparable flows (400-800), and people call that a class IV run...but that might just be because I know the lines on Numbers so well.
I enjoy Elevenmile everytime I go there, but don't really have an excuse for my sloppy paddling at the end.

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