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Old 01-02-2014   #1
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kuuskv's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
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Ideas for a more "full-on" downriver race in Colorado?

Just a thought,

The south has the green race, ID has the NF Championship, there's a Little White Race now...

Is it time for Colorado to step up and have a more full on downriver race? I know we have pine creek, obj, fish, homestake, gnarrows, ssv, etc... But none of those put the fear of god in the eyes of racers like the aforementioned races.

I think it would be really cool to have a grass roots balls to the wall race. No entry fee, no prize, just straight up internet forum bragging rights. Maybe caspermike would even come! I bet KSC would show up, baby in hand. Ian would give a solid 5 hour description of the lines through each rapid. Tango would probably just win.

Something out of control and borderline dangerous would be key- vallecito (include the hike?), barrel springs, crystal gorge? Stomp or get stomped.

Thoughts? Go!

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Old 01-02-2014   #2
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Where ever the water is...., Colorado
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How about the 24 hours of Yule Creek. The most descents of Yule in 24 hrs wins. That might be too easy....Maybe to make if really tough you have to hike your shuttle with your boat each lap....

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Old 01-02-2014   #3
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BZN, Montana
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I'm no hair boater but it would be cool to see an event on any of these:

- Barrel Springs at high water, does it get serious enough every year for something of interest? Upper death is a hell of a starting line.
- Gore gets high enough every year, does having 2 races take away from the interest?
- Poudre Narrows at high water, but not always guarenteed. Same issue with 2 races
- Does big south have a serious of stacked rapids that would make a good venue? 3 signature drops stacked with moves and safety? Is it not stout enough for your interests?

Way more committing than you would probably want to do on a race run but...
- Black Canyon
- Crystal Gorge
- Bakers Box
The sunshine walked beside her
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Old 01-03-2014   #4
Durango, Colorado
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We have had a Vallecito Race in the past with spectators and racers. It turned out to be just locals. Parking lot to parking lot is the real race after/before a 8 hour work day. We will have another race this summer. A Bakers race is not going to happen. Still just a bunch of locals rallying after work. I would like to see a Upper A, Lime Creek or South Mineral race. I was contacted by FIB ark this fall about having a race series including Vallecito, but they failed to follow through with any kind of contact info.
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Old 01-03-2014   #5
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an Upper-A race would be super cool. Would it go through Rockwood?
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Old 01-03-2014   #6
Denver, Colorado
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The Gore race used to be THE race in CO but racers and paddlers have pushed the envelope significantly and there are many racesthat are harder now.

Gnarrows race has the grassroots do it for the buckle thing dialed. There used to be an obj race that probably fits the bill, especially the year they set up slalom gates. There may be a niche spot for a harder V+ race, but the number of folks who will run that type of race is pretty small. Gnarlfest in Cali is an example. I'd think resurrecting the obj race would accomplish some of what you are thinking.

There are races every weekend during runoff in co. The are events with races in every basin in the state. Races from flatwater sup to class v creeks. I personally think that racing is over saturated in CO. It's also somewhat of a logistical challenge to schedule an event on something hard with short flow windows and so many existing events.

My other two cents on races is that hard class v races are tough to do in a legit way. Permits are hard to get and so is insurance, which is very expensive. These become cost prohibitive for small events. An underground race has some risk to it though. Paddlers may be actively working with agencies on access or stewardship issues and may create issues if unpermitted river events come to light. There is also some significant risk over potential injuries etc. things to consider...
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Old 01-03-2014   #7
Durango, Colorado
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Rockwood is included in the Upper A always.
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Old 01-03-2014   #8
Join Date: Apr 2006
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lake creek? quadruple crown crested butte combined? eldo? a long distance race could be cool too. Granite to Canon city?
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Old 01-03-2014   #9
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Bozeman, Montana
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Building community is key and however you can do it is all that matters. Sometime the grass roots races like the poudre do face a more challenging playout in terms of legality but all it comes down to is people having fun and always make sure everybody understands the friendship aspect of it.. Quake race turned out good and people came out to a run that some
Had never paddled. It also allows the locals to see how much it means to us.

I say if you want it bad enough you will try.. And having the races is better than the other option which is not having them.

As far as over saturated races in colorado I totally disagree cause that's what allows our sport to grow. Lots of people see the racing going on and want to try it out same
For playboating.. Sometimes the racers are safer than festivals the festival people think its class 4 freedom day. I've seen more injuries from people messing around during the festival than the actual race...

I would say lake creek is top choice but kiss me sucks... Big south is to spread out, as far as super classics valle is your next best choice.. Set safety and give Er..
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Old 01-03-2014   #10
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Boulder, Colorado
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Good thoughts gang, my response:

Bakers Race - Irresponsible, from a usage standpoint, but would be an awesome and scary race. Maybe when the tides of land ownership change a future generation can make that happen. For now, let's table that idea. I think someday this could be the best race in Colorado. Perfect length, no portages (from the standard put in), and some big scary rapids.

Rockwood (just) - would be awesome. Adding the Upper A would make it a little too long, IMHO.

Valle would be fantastic. Probably the best idea on this board. Easy to set safety, manage timers, etc... It could be done in standard Green Race fashion. As it was mentioned above that this has already happened in the past, I would like to be there this year. Please post (or pm) information as it becomes available when flows come up.

OBJ - I was unaware that the OB race ended. Maybe 6 or 12 hours of Joy, foot shuttle, most runs wins? Put in boof to RL eddy above avalanche. Bring a spare boat. I think Ethan P would win.

I totally forgot about the Big South. I've only done it once so I don't really remember much other than it's really long. Is there a section that would be good for racing; maybe 1-3 miles? Prime time gorge? I think ending the race at the end of the pool after double trouble would give a nice green-race-eque type finish. Should swimmers be allowed to finish with boat in hand? Are there any good rapids immediately after DT? It's been way too long since I've been there...

Lake Creek Race - Interesting. If it's only bottom 4, that would be scary awesome. Flows would have to be just right for Kiss Me. That could be worked out. Isn't that all private land though? That could pose an issue.

Lime - I've only done 3rd gorge but liked it, and I think it would be a good race spot, so long as flows are in. The other gorges would probably bring in more of a "locals only" scene since not a lot of out of towners have more than a run or two under their belts.

No offense, but I think an Eldo race would suck. Some people love the mank, but there's maybe 5 people in the country that would be into that. One of the five would have to travel from Washington State. It's also roadside in a highly regulated state park that's a mile wide. Big brother would have an eagle eye, if it were ever permitted.

Ideas on a Crystal Race? That would be pretty big and scary... Maybe start at Zute and end at Millers? In order to race you have to set safety the rest of the race. The good thing about that is as long as we can keep the put in clear for the 4X4 traffic, no one (regulatory-wise) would even know what's going on down there.

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