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Old 02-25-2009   #11
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Here's some nice vid of Lake Creek and Paralyzer in particular. Of course these boys aren't any good.

The Colorado Kayak Chronicle: Awesome quality Lake Creek, CO video of local pro paddlers

How about Pandora's Box? I don't know if a specific rapid would stand out or if the whole run is the scary part. I've looked at Paralyzer, guess there ain't no roadside access to look at P's Box. My son has run both and he seemed to describe a higher pucker factor dropping into P's Box. I'll ask him.


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Old 02-25-2009   #12
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Seattle, Washington
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Sitting in the eddy above Swollen Member is super intense, but it's relatively easy to drop because at that point there is absolutely no other choice.

I still think the Crystal gorge has to be the burliest full run in CO, especially after last season's changes.

How about some real gnar like LZ above 800 or any of USB over 800? High water Double Trouble (Jackson Kayak - Kayak News, Kayak Photos, Kayak Videos and Kayak Stories=) or Harmon Falls.

N.F. Slate.


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Old 02-25-2009   #13
Join Date: Oct 2006
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I'll throw in another vote for Paralyzer. It's the kinda rapid you throw up in your mouth right before you run it.
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Old 02-25-2009   #14
The next zone, .
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#1 The unrun section of the cascades on chalk creek.. I was up there just the other day and I bet no one runs it again this year..

#2 NIMBY (lake) at 1500 - 1600 cfs (7 -7.5 ft).. Hardest rapid/level on lake or that I have ever run. IMO at these flows it is nearly impossible to have a clean line..

#3 Yule at super high flows... The video of demshits gettin it done last year was one of the most amazing clips I have ever seen.

#4 Brains, Paralyzer, and Kiss Me section of Lake at a similar 1500 - 1600 cfs level.. 2nd hardest rapid/level I have ever ran.... The middle line is the only one that goes and as scary as it is this section is still easier to paddle than NIMBY... If anyone drops the caldron over 6.5 feet - they will be my new hero..
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Old 02-25-2009   #15
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
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too many

There are many things I still haven't made into to yet. I know, though, that there are dozens of runs that compete for the titles and I doubt there is any definite #1. THe competition is too close.

Just to comment on a few mentioned above, in my opionion:

Super Max is not up there. I've run it more than a couple dozen+ times, from solo at 150 cfs up to 850, and will continue to. It is very inviting. (Frankly, I think Deer Creek rapid could be considered to sometimes dish up more consequences.) Where as, I think others runs in the state are not so inviting to do over and over.

In my opinion, Melt Down, at medium-high levels, is harder and scarier than Cool World. Double Trouble's hole is a sure qualifier, too.

A no-portage descent of Cross Mtn Gorge at 4000 cfs was huge excitement. So was no-portage Gore at 2500.

I like to condsider Northern New Mexico as part of our territory too, and, frankly, the last mile of the Pueblo at a medium+ level (not sure what it was at, but I have one hell of tale doing it) was nearly nuts.
The Embudo at 3'8", too. I'm not exactly sure I find them repeatedly inviting me at those levels again. But the Embudo is one of my, if not most, favorites from 2.6' to 3.3'

The top runs at certain levels generally become situations where "They have control of you. You don't have control of them." When we are at the mercy of steep, manky, non-stop, cannot truly see what's happening, action ... getting sucked in, pulled through, and little able to direct the action, ... then, yup, it is questionable as to how often a person wants to challenge those runs. Which, like I said, there are dozens of those runs around this area to compete for the title.
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 02-25-2009   #16
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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This looks pretty intense. I thought it was the Eagle, below Redcliff, but the URl says it is Lake Creek.
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Old 02-25-2009   #17
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Snowhere - that's Escalante.

Pandora's has a serious pucker factor - especially the first time you drop in. Lake Creek at high flow looks nutty. Never dropped in too high there. Big South at high flow can also get nutty. The top is cleaner, fluffy and powerful but towards the bottom it gets real scary and not just one rapid but everything gets stacked, the wood is in your face and you're already winded from the upper shit. Double Trouble at high flow shakes the ground in the viewing zone. Crystal Gorge definitely has that locked in intimidation factor as well.

Scariest single rapid though might just be an off-season juicy flow put-in right above the Garbage Disposal on the Big Stompson. You're never quite sure if you still have it cause you haven't been in your boat for a couple of months and you know you've just got to stick the line or your face is going to ge re-arranged and everybodys milling around getting their gear on debating the sharper points in the landing zone. I get nervous as I ever get there every time.
Evan Stafford
Cub boater: "What do the spiders mean?" Old fart boater: "Trust your intuition." CRCII
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Old 02-25-2009   #18
Join Date: Nov 2003
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It's not in Colorado, but my single rapid pick for both hard and scary would be Haagen Dazen on Bull Lake Creek, WY. The most unique drop I've ever paddled... full on big water entrance into a pillow rock with must punch laterals into a sizeable slide to vert thing. Five descents, two flips, and many portages by good paddlers.

Hardest & scariest run I'd have to say is Pandora's Box. Vallecito and Crystal Gorge don't compare for me, because you could scramble out (without a boat) and thus they aren't quite as scary. Pandora's has the smoothest, most polished rock I've ever seen. No escape. Granted at flood all three runs are pretty hairy/unrunnable.

Yule creek bottom 4 might be the scariest. I wouldn't say the paddling is very hard though. Just line up and go. Demshitz high-water descent was amazing...balls of steel. But still not technically hard. It's like OBJ, only the slides are longer and steeper.

Lake Creek at high water is a good argument. But its pretty straight forward at most levels that it actually gets run.

Upper Death on Barrel Springs is hard and scary at almost any level.
Kyle McCutchen
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Old 02-25-2009   #19
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Bozeman, Montana
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awsome lists.... ill pass on my response.
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Old 02-25-2009   #20
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Scariest is the first stroke on any real deal V @ serious flows....Hardest, for me, is the Embudo (we'll call it CO) @ 4'+. It doesn't stop for five miles. Nothing else I've paddled in the area is that stacked.

And for the record, this is fun, not scary:

I will destroy you.
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