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Old 07-20-2008   #21
Coon's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 48
You sure you're ready?

In my opinion, I would really consider getting some more miles under your belt before taking on Gore.

I was a raft guide for many years, who feels confident in my paddling skills and I would feel queasy about taking on Gore...
just the thought of swimming there makes me want my mommy (Kinda kidding, kinda not)

What worries me is that you don't own your own watercraft, but instead rely solely on commercial outfitters to get you down the river.
The only reason I point that out is because that tells me that you have minimal experience depending on yourself on the river.
Ie, getting outta trouble, reading water etc.

The fact is, even if you're guide is stellar, you have to be prepared to swim and okay with that notion.

My intention here is not to tell you what you should do....I guess I just read your post and I felt I had to respond.
It would be devastating to hear that something happened to you because you didn't have all the info to make an informed decision.

P.S Gore isn't going anywhere, it will be there next year...I promise

All the best

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Old 07-20-2008   #22
Join Date: Feb 2005
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commercially they portage gore, and the rest is solid class four with the exception of tunnel which lands in a pool. While swimming in scissors or kirschbaums would suck if you are in good shape you're probably gonna be ok. Paddle hard and swim to shore. It'll be big, scary, and fun. I say go for it.

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Old 07-20-2008   #23
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
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Producerchick probably has as much or more experience then the other commercial yahoo customers (no offense anyone) that hit up Gore. The outfitters do a reeeeal good job pre-screening custies for that trip. Gore rapid is typically a portage for the guests. Bottom line is like any trip, know the risks, swims are very possible, maybe even 50/50.

Expect safety kayakers, and guides with a gazillion miles of class IV and V experience. FYI- the stats in Gore Canyon commercial fatalities are a lot better, probably due to the pre-screening, extra safety, experienced guides, customer training, etc. (Zero so far vs. average of one or two per year on Brown's Canyon)
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Old 07-20-2008   #24
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Lakewood, Colorado
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I appreciate everyone's advice on this post. I will take everyone's comments into consideration, before making my decision whether or not to do the run through Gore Canyon. There are some people who have made some uneducated comments toward my post. That's because they haven't kept up with my blog, like some others have. Most of the comments were regarding my experience. Don't get me wrong, I am by no means a certified raft guide. But for the record, I have 16 days on the river this year alone and have already done most of the runs suggested to prep me for Gore Canyon. Thanks. If I end up doing Gore, you bet you're sweet a$$ it's gonna be talked about on my blog. So stayed tuned. I'll let everyone know what I decide.
Check out my whitewater rafting blog, at
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Old 07-20-2008   #25
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Eagle County, Colorado
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Look forward to reading about your trip!
It takes a big man to cry...It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man.

-Jack Handy
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Old 07-20-2008   #26
Tim Kennedy
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Avon, Colorado
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Posts: 106
Gore Canyon rafting info

Call an outfitter that runs Gore commercially on a regular basis (not ones that just advertise it in their literature). They can answer any questions you might have about the trip.

Timberline Tours is one of the pioneers of commercial raft trips in Gore Canyon. They have been running it commercially since the early nineties and have run more commercial trips through the canyon than any other outfitter (as few as 12 per season and as many as 50). As soon as the water level at Kremmling drops below 1250 cfs, Timberline will book commercial trips on Gore. (disclaimer: I am more than a bit biased towards Timberline as I used to guide and manage for them. I guided and safety kayaked on Gore from 1994 to 2006) 1 800 831 1414.

AVA has been running Gore as well for quite a few seasons. AVA usually starts running trips regularly on Gore after the Ark drops (Aug 15th). 1 877 RAFTING.

The Adventure Company, Lakota Guides, Nova and Up tha Creek also run trips in Gore, but not as often as Timberline and AVA.

Gore is probably the most technically difficult stretch of commercially rafted whitewater in the state and arguably one of the top three most difficult regularly run commercial sections in the country. Lately, it's rare to see a commercial raft run of Gore Rapid. The current has changed a bit since some wood got parked on the left bank at the "meat" entrance a few years ago. It really pushes into the hole (Ginger) now. All the "stars" have to be in alignment to prompt a commercial raft run through the meat. Most companies have their guests walk at river level on river right to the eddy above decision rock or just above Scissors, while the guides line/portage/drag the boats along the right bank. All trips also scout Tunnel Falls and give their guests the choice to run it or not. It's rare to run a trip in Gore Canyon where nobody swims (but it happens more often than you'd think). Although, sometimes there have been trips where everyone swims and some people swim more than once.

Previous class IV and V rafting experience is not as important as being in good physical shape and willing to take instruction. Are you active? What other sports do you participate in? ("running, hiking, skiing and biking" are better answers than "golf, softball, bowling") Are you able to hike/climb over rocks? Can you swim? Also, having a positive mental attitude and decent sense of self preservation can serve a swimmer much better than how many rivers they have rafted. And most importantly, do you have any existing or previous medical conditions, allergies, or injuries that can be affected by rafting or affect your ability to participate in a rafting trip? Please include any medications. We also like to know your height and weight, not just as a gauge of fitness, but for wetsuit sizing. Wetsuits are mandatory (included in trip price) for all commercial guests for flotation and padding as well as warmth.

Also, ask to talk to guides who guide commercial crews through Gore Canyon for honest informed opinions. I know of quite a few guides who have only guided "training boats" (boats with other guides as paddlers) and have come out of the canyon with unfavorable opinions of rafting in there. I personally would much rather guide a commercial crew through Gore Canyon rather than a boat load of other guides and guide types. Commercial crews are much more predictable and easier to train than a boat full of raft guides and experienced river types.

See you up there,
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Old 07-21-2008   #27
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
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Originally Posted by whitehouse3001 View Post
I've only seen videos of gore canyon, and I didn't realize that it had such a reputation for bad swims/life insurance/etc. What is it that makes for such a nasty swim there?

gore would bea super nasty swim, same with tunnel. i don't think i would enjoy a swim through kirsch either. have a good time and hold the fuck on....
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Old 07-21-2008   #28
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Just for the record it does suck to swimm kischbaum
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Old 07-21-2008   #29
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Lyons, Colorado
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I may be wrong but this looks like some weird advertising scheme................

This thread seems absolutely bizarre
Go Dawgs!!!
Happiness is a way of travel not a destination
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Old 07-21-2008   #30
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Bozeman, Montana
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I will volunteer. you can ride in my walmart raft with me.

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