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Old 05-20-2013   #1
Gunnison, 81230
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 95
Looking for intro to creeking creeks

Hey there all. I live in Gunnison, Colorado these days and am looking for a good creek for learning on, preferably close. I've never done any creek boating before and am a little hesitant to step in through the door to that realm. I definitely don't have elbow pads or a face mask yet, so a class III would be fun. I was thinking about Plateau creek which leads up to Mesa from I-70 and looking at the Upper East. I'm aware that the East is mostly class IV, but I think it's that just because of the slides it has which I'm comfortable with the idea of. Anymore suggestions would be great. Thanks

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Old 05-20-2013   #2
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BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
If you are a CL III paddler just get runs in. Don't worry about whether or not you are creeking or river running or whatever. Just build skills and paddle different streams. The best creeking practice a CL III paddler can get it running hard moves on rivers that have rocks in them. Catch every eddy boof every rock, surf pillows, etc.

The sunshine walked beside her
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Old 05-20-2013   #3
GoodTimes's Avatar
Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 794

Upper East has a midget wrestler that will surprise ya.
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Old 05-20-2013   #4
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 200
Foxton on N Platte

Just go up to the boulder garden section when it's running (i.e. above 300 cfs) and run laps
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Old 05-20-2013   #5
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 594
So i am not a class V'er, but i got a little beta for you if you're interested.hopefully this is informative and not redundant or demeaning...

I Second on the taylor if it's flowing...thats your home 'creek' ..... low volume III with IV up top. if the Taylor is home, then the Arkansas river could be your second home. (i SO want to move up there, but it aint happening for about 14 years...til i you have a great opportunity to hone your skills here.

2. Also x2 on what Glenn said. Catch every micro eddy and find hard lines through familiar rapids. dont worry about 'creeking' just yet.
the Ark at is a great place to learn test and push your skills. depending on which section youre comfortable, and certainly depending on flows, that will tell you where else to look, or... what to avoid. (the ark is certainly not the hardest, but its got the 'Colorado standard' class III & IV runs per the guidebooks, and is more then capable of serving up some humble pie...just ask me how i know... )

3. dont skip the essential gear, its essential for a reason. maybe look up 'creeking kit/ gear' for the other pieces you will need sooner or later.
a couple more things:

4: Take a swiftwater class asap, and try and find a small crew that you have a good rapport with... you need to have a good team for challenging runs. You take swiftwater rescue for your own safety, but also for the group, so they should be prepared similarly. you have to practice skills more then once a year too

5: Check out the Creeking clinic at Paddlefest this weekend. That will be an invaluable opportunity with some Pyranha team dudes, that is precisely what youre looking for. you need the foundation of the skills first, the rivers are all around you. you will meet tons of cool folks at paddlefest, and definitely (maybe) go home with more friends... i've alway tried to learn everything on the cheap,that is, from friends.... but sometimes paying for professional lessons are invaluable. you can spend a long time correcting bad habits you've acquired from paddling buddies.

CKS PaddleFest | May 24-26 2013 - Kicking off the paddling season!
ON WATER EDUCATIONAL COURSES - CKS PaddleFest | May 24-26 2013

I try to go every year. I would like to do the playboating clinic this year if possible, but i certainly would do the creeking clinic too. one can always learn... in years past i never went to any clinics, cause i was too busy trying to get laps in...!
Taylor is almost up to minimum per AW, but i bet it goes... check with a Taylor Local like Yetigonewild.
I sure wouldnt mind hitting the Taylor again, maybe on the way up to check the Upper East...
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Old 05-20-2013   #6
Durango South, 4CRS
Paddling Since: 07
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 173
Taylor is a no brainer given how close you live. Also, gunny gorge at low water has a nice creeky feel, and it is all III in my opinion at low water. Another fun beginner creek is lower East Fork San Juan near Pagosa, but wood can be an issue so keep an eye out.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. - Helen Keller
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Old 05-20-2013   #7
Gunnison, 81230
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 95
Wow, all of that is great info. I think I've got some pretty good skills in. I could always use more. The things I've got under my belt are, a solid roll, a whitewater park worthy backdeck roll, a skulling brace on my right(still a little sketch on my left), a solid brace on my left, a sketchy offside, I'm aware of my edges in attempts for eddies, I know that it's good practice to stick your paddle across eddie lines and dip that sides edge of my pyranha burn into the eddie to catch it, and I just recently ran Westwater running at 5800 in a playboat without even needing to roll once. However I portaged skull since the newbie rafters ditched us. I also self supported with two friends Cataract Canyon and ran satan's gut upside down then rolled up in time to punch the hole at the bottom of the right line. It was running only about 5000cfs. This is only my second year of really kayaking, so again, I'm tentative to run a solid class IV. Should I be?
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Old 05-21-2013   #8
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 594
Yes. but caution is a sign of intelligence. you'll last longer that way.
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Old 05-21-2013   #9
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
Originally Posted by wabisabimike View Post
This is only my second year of really kayaking, so again, I'm tentative to run a solid class IV. Should I be?
Creeks scare me. I like big water class IV.
This is my 15th year in whitewater. You're progressing a lot faster than me.

Do what makes you happy, not what makes other people happy.

Originally Posted by abron View Post
Yes. but caution is a sign of intelligence. you'll last longer that way.
Amen to that!
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Old 05-21-2013   #10
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
For intro creeks road or trailside runs are good so you can get a look first and bail easily if you are in over your head or lose gear....practice catching difficult eddies on easier runs, if you can 't catchem on bigger slower rivers. you 'll have trouble on tight pushy stuff...creekin ' is not necessarily harder than big water...creeky character but not really steep or creek elfin 'runs are not so pushy just tighter and more manuevering with wood and other creek hazzards bring able to stop /catch micro eddies is critical...

Lake Fork seems perfect for you :small, semi technical in spots, roadside, close to Gunny, mostly 3, a couple better drops to step up to or portage...I think WWoSR mentioned some 3 /4 creekin' above Lake City on Henson (Capitol Flats ?)....Anthracite is creeky 2 plus or carry up to Dark Canyon easy 4, is cranking right now..carry up to where you feel comfortable ...

Tim Foxton is No.Fork of So.Platte ..N Platte is mostly in Wyoming...lets fl some easy creeking

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