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Old 08-24-2010   #31
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 144
Something inside me is opposed to altering frog rock. I've floated past many times and can honestly say that I was acutely aware of the sieve every time. I think that the sieve's very presence changes the nature of the fractions. My feeling is that the notion of the fractions are a learning ground is at least as deadly as the sieve itself. The fractions is a great section (especially at high water) there just happens to be a heinous sieve in it. My first few runs I walked around it because I knew it could kill me, and I was not yet 100% confident in my ability. I'm inclined to think that ego, a lack of reverence, and even laziness are also at work in the Frog Rock dilemma. The good news is that the notoriety of the sieve at Frog Rock has received a major boost as of lately. The sieve is deadly, but to neglect the human element in it's history is foolhearty. I'm never opposed to a play-feature.


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Old 08-24-2010   #32
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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My first SWR class was at Frog Rock and we heard all about the young couple and others who went under that strainer. I've always had a strong respect for that easy rapid.

I've never heard a serious discussion about filling in a strainer until now.
I don't mean any disrespect to anyone who has been affected by this particular rapid -or recent tragedy- but I think we need to leave the river alone. Sure, pull wood out - it's a little less permanent, but blasting and filling rock with concrete? If it's too dangerous then go find another stretch of river. What's next, lowering Mount Everest to keep people out of the death zone? (maybe an extreme comparison - insert your own here) If we're going to pull out the dynamite let's do it to redesign the diversion dams that kill people every year and remove something manmade at the same time.

As an advocate of Leave No Trace outdoor principles I don't feel good justifying the action because the area is already impacted. I spent more than one summer camped at Frog Rock and it's really pretty. It doesn't need fixed by man, even if it is already impacted.

I'm sure this will inflame or insult some of you, but please take it with a grain of salt. I'm just expressing my opinion. I'm also leaving for a river trip soon and won't be able to defend myself if anyone wants to call me a whiny bitch or an idiot or a stupid duckier.

The deaths are sad, as they are on Miller's Folley or the Thumbnail in West Virginia, or any of the other undercuts that make floating a little more dangerous in this world. But who wants to turn white water boating into the American ski business, where all hazards are well marked and mitigated to guarantee safety?

Thanks to anyone still reading this rant. I'm aware that there is a slippery slope whichever way you slide here. I did email community leaders recently asking for a whitewater park in my community. I'm certain that this makes me a hypocrite at some level, as does my skiing slopes hammered by Howitzer cannons to prevent in-bounds avalanches. But filling in an undercut? It seems different...

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Old 08-24-2010   #33
The next zone, .
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It seems a lot or well most of you dont know the problem rock has already been blasted once... Yep..

Looks to me like it fell into that spot maybe 100 years ago when they were blasting while lookin for gold... There are old school hand driven drill as well as blast marks all over the rocks in that area....

Also this is the exact spot where Colorado Springs still wants to put a dam and drown the entire section under 60+ feet of water... Hmmm I wonder if they will blast or use concrete??? Oh yea and if the SDS hits a snag frog rock is Co Springs 2nd choice to get the water they need for co springs suburb's endless blue grass fields ......

So fair to say frog rock has already been altered by man (with dynamite) and there are plans already in place to alter it a lot more in the future... For me the dont alter the river argument just does not hold water... Also it is very very possible and my opinion that the frog rock sieve is not natural but rather a man made hazard.....

I have been running that rapid both private and commercial for the past 30 years and I would have to disagree with the opinion that it "adds" anything to that run... If it stays the same and the trend continues we will see another 10+ or so die at this spot in my next 30 years...
"I feel better than any other time when I am in the mountains and uh I cant explain it ya know...." - Shawn Farmer..........
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Old 08-24-2010   #34
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The High Ground, Colorado
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There is a safe quiet alternative to blasting.


Demolition Agent Dexpan, Dexpan Non Explosive Demolition Agent, Dexpan Silent Demolition, Dexpan Controlled Demolition Agent for Non Explosive Demolition

It's also safe for underwater use and could be used during the winter off season. If you want the left channel deeper just start a rumor amongst all the gold dredgers telling them there was significant gold found in that stretch. Those guys are up there changing the river everyday. It's just a matter of degrees.
"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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Old 08-24-2010   #35
Hawkeye, Iowa
Join Date: Jun 2010
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That makes great sense and I guess is obvious when thought about. Lots of good advice in the thread and those pics were really good as well. Thanks
Originally Posted by gh View Post
Pillow is a pile of water usually upstream of an obstruction. No pillow indicates that water is flowing through or under the obstruction instead of around or back from it. No pillow is usually a bad sign.
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Old 08-24-2010   #36
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Lyons, Colorado
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Originally Posted by SummitAP View Post
Using Missouri Boater's guesstimate of 20% risk of fatality per swim at frog rock, that swim is roughly 200,000% more dangerous than the average whitewater day. That's a bit much for class III, don't you think? If we don't alter the feature, maybe we should rerate Fractions as Class V+ based on consequences. Or I guess we could put up those risk numbers on a sign... I bet that would reaaaaaaaaaally help
I think he was guessing a swim through the sieve, not the rapid in general.
I'm sure more than 6/0.2 = 30 people have swam this rapid.

I still think we should alter the sieve. There's nothing natural about the Ark.
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Old 08-24-2010   #37
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moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 08
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Posts: 59
As only a third year boater (and having taken this past season off guiding) and having been personally affected by more than one river tragedy already, I have to say that I really appreciate the input of all my experienced river brothers and sisters.

This discussion has been invigorating to read, and while I cannot add much to it, I just wanted to thank all of you for your opinions and your grace in dealing with such an emotional issue. Hopefully we as a community can affect positive change in this world: both opening access to new boaters and preserving the enlightening lifestyle we so love.

Let our friends who have passed before us lay at peace.

just because it's diet don't mean it's good for you!
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Old 08-24-2010   #38
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 21
RDNEK, thank you for your info on the previous blasting. I always suspected that these boulders which form the sieve were not "naturally" placed there. Their edges are just too sharp and jagged. If they had been there for eons like the boulders just up river (see photo), the edges would have been worn smooth and more rounded. Would be nice if someone could find a "before blasting" photo of the area. I'm curious to know what it looked like. Mother Nature did not design this rapid!

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Old 08-24-2010   #39
Join Date: Nov 2005
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I'll pledge $500 to a reasonably unabstrusive solution that either fills the sieve, places a natural boulder to divert the water from the sieve, or dredges the left channel.
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Old 08-24-2010   #40
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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Redneck, it's obvious now looking at the picture that you and the gentleman from Missouri are correct. This looks like it's more likely to be manmade than I remembered, though it may have just broken off of the above rock in recent geologic time.

So it's a class 2 rapid with the kind of hazard our friends the class 5 creek boaters deal with in the gnar. I've got to say I don't know where I stand now. It's mentioned in any guidebook or boater's discussion of the fractions section, so it's fair to say informed and responsible floaters (who are my only concern, generally) should know about it and decide whether to run the stretch.

I guess if the undercut can be plugged with something that I can't see when I'm fishing there or floating by, I'd support it. If it looks like a bridge base covered in concrete I wouldn't. Memorials and plaques, when tasteful and legal, seem entirely appropriate and are usually respected. The one that many of us know about on the Poudre is classy and not seen by most river users.

Maybe they can helicopter those rocks out of there and put them in Seidel's and make it a class 4 rapid.

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