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Old 10-13-2010   #1
NathanH.'s Avatar
N/A, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 325
Gore Beta!

At the beginning of my paddling season I said I wanted to get Gore under my belt this year and unfortunately my window to do that is quickly closing. I have a few questions I was hoping to get answered...

1. At this flow around 900 is the sneak still in for Gore Rapid?

2. I watched a lot of videos of Tunnel and am wondering how difficult the move is to hit tunnel over the rocks right of center? ( I have heard the scout/ portage of Tunnel is more dangerous than just running it)

3. Would a dry-suit be recommended for this late season run?

Thanks a lot.

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Old 10-13-2010   #2
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 807
1) Yes

2) Don't even think about portaging Tunnel.

3) Yes, but hardly necessary.

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Old 10-13-2010   #3
Colorado Springs Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 254
I can verify that the walk around Tunnel is no big deal. Not that anyone would ever want to do that...
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Old 10-13-2010   #4
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
The line to boof off the rocks on the right of Tunnel is harder to make running it straight though than it may look from the videos, just so you know. Some folks will catch a river left eddy and peel out to try to hit that rock-boof, but remember that the risk is that you miss the boof and/or come off with less speed and land off-angle in the stickiest part of the hole (river right). Then the beatdown will commence; and you'll be looking for a rope, or Jesus, or both.

I'd wear a drysuit for sure, but then again, I'm the puss that wears his drysuit in the middle of July. I like having it just in case I have to get in the water for a rescue, or if I swim.
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Old 10-13-2010   #5
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 586
You also should know that 970 is one of the worst possible flows for Tunnel.
It's much cleaner and flushier from 1,100 to 1,500.

But other than Tunnel, 975 is a terrific flow for a first Gore run.
Go get it this weekend.
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Old 10-13-2010   #6
NathanH.'s Avatar
N/A, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 325
I will not go to gore until I have it set in my mind that I will run everything. I should have said, I have heard it's very difficult to scout Tunnel.

So the left of center on tunnel is the lest sticky part even though everyone that gets of angle ends up being pulled to right of center?
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Old 10-13-2010   #7
smauk2's Avatar
Near water (hopefully), Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 770
Scouting Tunnel is not hard. Portaging Tunnel is not hard, or dangerous. I can do it, and I suck at portaging. Easiest of all is running Tunnel, there is a giant pool after the drop so swimming is no biggie. Gore and Kirshbaums are much nastier if you swim.
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Old 10-13-2010   #8
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
Here's the deal - Both Gore and Tunnel are very portageable and easy enough to scout. Yes you will need to carry your boat over rocks (some are sharp) and on uneven ground to make the portage - if you aren't up for that you probably shouldn't consider this run (or most class V runs). I also have to say that if you aren't comfortable with the idea of going down a run, looking at the rapids - and then making a choice about both line and your ability to execute that line, then making a decision about portaging - you probably aren't ready for Gore and other runs of similar difficulty. Nothing wrong with pushing your boundaries - but it's a bit foolish to commit to running rapids that you haven't seen that may be above your skill and/or comfort level on a given day.

The center left side of Tunnel is flushier and there is a "sneak" line far far left that is sometimes in for kayakers. The water in the lead in to Tunnel is pushy and pushes left at the lip of the drop. Follow a guide or scout it.

Also know that Kirschbaum's is still below Tunnel and that rapid is long, technical and a long portage -not to mention Toilet Bowl. Dress for cold air, cold water and a long day - yes a drysuit would be a great choice but not mandatory. Things will go smother if you find a someone to guide you down. If you don't take a guide add hours to the descent plan - you will probably scout a lot of horizon lines and the Canyon will get dark early. But it is a real adventure (with real risks) to run something like Gore without a guide the first time and figure it out for yourself.

Gore is a great place and the home of many great memories for me - some of which are quite humbling. Treat it with respect and remember that it will still be there next year.
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Old 10-13-2010   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Originally Posted by Solid View Post
I will not go to gore until I have it set in my mind that I will run everything. I should have said, I have heard it's very difficult to scout Tunnel.
Why the need to run everything? Many first timers portage gore and tunnel. Many gore paddlers regularly portage tunnel. A good attitude for a first run on gore is that you can run IV/IV+ on verbals and following lines, and that you should be ready to scout/portage gore and tunnel. I walked tunnel most of my first season on gore. There is no rush... it will be there. Don't let ego get the best of you. There have been epic beatdowns in both gore and tunnel and its not wise to make up your mind if you will or will not run a rapid without seeing it in person. Keep an open mind and make smart decisions on the river.

Its not difficult to scout tunnel. You can see the entire rapid. The issue is that the scout is deceptive. The lead in is always faster and pushier than you think, and there is a stong right to left cross current at the lip than catches paddlers off gaurd.

A drysuit is not mandatory, but good cold weather gear should be. You are a long way from the road and the water is getting cold this time of year. Its a good idea to have a good safety kit as well.

Yes there is a big pool below tunnel, and swims out of the hole are usually mild. The more significant hazard in my mind is blowing the line and having a high speed encounter with a very large rock. Don't underestimate tunnel or think the consequences aren't there.

Good luck.
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Old 10-13-2010   #10
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Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 481
I think your attitude is perfect. Just be able to change your mind once you scout.

My only advice: scout tunnel on the left. The trail is way easier over there.

Go big.

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