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Old 08-29-2010   #101
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Leadvillian, Colorado
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BTW - I hadn't read this whole thread, and don't intend to

BUT, I always encourage buzzards to post with caution, especially when making definitive statements in writing on a public message board where friends and family members could be reading

ask yourself if you are qualified and willing to be an expert witness on raft guiding and training of raft guides before you call into question events you probably know very little about

and I am in no way associated with AVA

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Old 08-29-2010   #102
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Ahhh, welcome to the internet. So dude, I certainly have a better appreciation of where you're coming from. And I'm certainly appreciative of your involvement with the recovery attempt. And I'd probably bring some attitude if I were in your shoes. I apologize for busting on you but I was busting blind so to speak. I'll also point out that you did not identify your source of info initially and you brought a pretty sarcastic tone to your post to my bud Ken who I thought made a good faith effort to move the thread/issue along with a couple proposals.

IMO, this whole situation is too tragic and the topic too important to do anything but extend my hand in good will and move on.


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Old 08-29-2010   #103
dark center, of the universe
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just keep my lack of math skills on the down-low, also some day I may call on you for a figuring out an 18% tip.

Whether Frog Rock rapid gets physically changed or not I think we owe it to all of the deceased to learn from their incidents. With that knowledge some good can be salvaged from a tragic situation, possibly preventing others from having a similar occurrence.

People make mistakes, surgeons, presidents, pilots, raft guides, and even myself from time to time make mistakes. In no way am I trying to play the "blame game" with anyone. I can look back and see many mistakes I have made that certainly could have had different outcomes. Learning how the accident(s) occurred and coming to fully understand this river feature and then disseminating that information, (if only there were like a series of tubes that connected everyone and people could share information on), will save lives.

In medicine there is a thing called a M and M. Unfortunately it is nothing like the delicious anthropomorphic candy. The objectives of a well-run M&M conference are to learn from complications and errors, to modify behavior and judgment based on previous experiences, and to prevent repetition of errors leading to complications
This kind of judgment free analysis is what I am encouraging. I understand that it is a sensitive issue to people, but if you do this sport long enough there is a good chance you will be involved with a fatality in some regard. It may not be anything to do with you and your party.

We can't go around blowing everything up that we fear, especially without an understanding of it....otherwise I would have sharks blown up because, frankly, sharks scare the shit out of me and they kill people. Sharks, as long as they are around are going to kill people, and so are rivers. Seeing as a number of organizations frown on my "NUKE THE SHARKS" campaign, the best thing I can do is learn about how not to become a hor's d'oevure for a shark. For the record I don't support the 'nuke the river' campaign, but nuke the sharks....heck yes.

If the river is really like Ken says it is, (not sure if I have noticed that many really bad undercuts up in the nummies) then short of re-doing the entire river bottom, or nuking it from orbit**, the best method of cutting down the number of fatalities is education and gaining an understanding of how these things occur and then widespread dissemination of that information.

** the only way to be sure
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Old 08-29-2010   #104
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Throwing rocks in the sieve... probably just make it so nobody ever comes through.
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Old 08-29-2010   #105
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Leadvillian, Colorado
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I agree wholeheartedly with learning from mistakes. I also buy your argument about "Accidents in Mountaineering," etc., but let's remember that editors from the American Alpine Institute decide what makes it into that book, not a few monday morning quarterbacks on the buzz.

These forums are living beasts and sometimes when wounds are still sore is not the time to publicly question decisions made.

I'm sure everyone involved in guide training this year at every company on the Arkansas (me included) did a lot of soul searching after hearing the news of this accident.

And any of us that have been around this place (or anywhere on the intertronz for that matter) know that anyone with any personal liability involved in this or any other incident is not going to make public comment.

So, calling them out, second guessing them, etc. all the while knowing they're not going to comment is similar to "piling on" or kicking someone while they're down.

I for one think throwing rocks in a sieve or even considering pouring concrete into the river is ridiculous. It speaks volumes for how much paddlers care about each other and grieve the loss of a member of our community, but is not a solution. The only solution I know of is to enjoy every moment and make precious the time you have with those you love.
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Old 08-29-2010   #106
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ebbing, flowing..., CO, NM
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Originally Posted by skipper View Post
Were they trained about frog rock?
I can't imagine that they wouldn't be.
I don't work for AVA, so I can't say for sure... but really, I can't imagine that any new guide on the Ark wouldn't be informed about Frog Rock... If you were training someone on that stretch, would you not say anything about it? really.
Journeys of a River Mamma Blog "Ever onward, ever forward, ever down the River!"- Ed Abbey
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Old 08-29-2010   #107
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this is the most retarded thread period... okey people there are seives on damn near every strech that isnt flat water. seives you can go through, sieves you cant.

filling the Seive still leaves 99.99999999999999999999999999 percent of seives so what is it fix the people. or fix the seive? hmm which seems easier and more approachable... river saftey obviously.
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Old 08-30-2010   #108
front range, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1972
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my condolences all around.

Here's an alternative to the 'fill or blast' discussion...

At low levels the left side becomes pretty boney, causing river right to appear the preferred route, certainly for rafts since there's more water there.

If the left channel were cleared everyone could avoid the hazard. I considered this a couple of years ago and clamored around the rapid in the middle of winter when it was frozen over. I wondered if - using some webbing or cable, a couple of come-alongs and a decent crew the channel could be made more usable at lower levels.

I thought there were "only" 6 or 7 that seemed candidates for being pulled closer to shore to clear out the left channel.

Clear the fewer rocks just to the left of the second thumb rock and one can use the eddy behind the first thumb rock to transition right to left and still be left of the second thumb rock and safely avoid the hazard. Bit more of an advanced move then going straight down the left side.
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Old 08-30-2010   #109
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
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Good morning, Friends.

Tannhauser, no one is going to blow up the river. Lest they want to go to prison. Hopefully my several posts in this thread have been read and have not been misconstrued. I emphasize that awareness (signage) and education (preparedness) are the essential need here. If people feel compeled to do somenthing to improve Frog Rock they could consider contributing by filling the cave with rocks. Yes, it would take a lot of rocks, years worths of effort, and may not last. That is simpily a contribution available to people that feel that something has to be filled in there. Enough said.

Let's improve the awareness of where this place is and educate people on the dangers present there and literally existing in abundance on rivers everywhere. Wear helmets, PFDs, know the available discription of a river and it's difficulties, know how to read rivers, when to scout, when to portage, know how to maneuver your vessel, and know what to do if out of your vessel, etc. Know that their is suffecient risk to consider your participation and preparedeness.

As my posts have alluded to, we need not worry about changing the rivers. Instead, lets focus on our understandings and abilities.

More importantly, however, as Marco has so smartly reminded us in this thread, there is a matter of intense importance that we would be better to contribute our interests and energy towards ... and that is the pending toxic pollution catastrophe lurking upstream. If spilled, it will kill the river, the ecology of it, potentially human populations, and the economy.

Let do the awareness and preparedness solution to Frog Rock. However, anyone hoping to invest time, energy, and finances to a needed cause, let's move on to this bigger threat upstream. Getting involved with that issue is something we need to do.

Peace to all.


No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
"If there is no risk there is no adventure."- Bill Briggs
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Old 08-30-2010   #110
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
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In the brevity of my note this morning before leaving the house, I forgot to thank you. I do thank you for your skill and bravery to assist in the search. Also, for your insightful contribution towards our awareness of the physical characteristics of this rock. On my drive this morning I thought of two questions to ask you.

One, I think you know and may not be at liberty to answer, but if you care to ... we all have been in suspense about a recovery. Perhaps I have just not yet heard. My prayers are truly for this family and her friends.

Secondly, your description of the rocks character almost makes it sound like it may have somewhat of a narrow edge and potential fulcrum point underneath it. Might it be possible, if anything could pry it, to ever consider teetering this rock to roll? Just curious on that point. Otherwise, I hope we can move on to accomplishing the previously mention goals that we can accomplish.

Your comments are appreciated. Thank you, again.


Ken Vanatta

No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
"If there is no risk there is no adventure."- Bill Briggs
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