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Old 03-31-2011   #11
bobbuilds's Avatar
x, x
Paddling Since: x
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,634
Yo man, what you said in your article is spot on. I have been paddling for the past 4 seasons and am happy to call myself a class III paddler, I am in full control. I know the hazzards, I know what to look for and how to measure the consiquences accordingly. I have paddled some class IV and these next 2 seasons will be spent learning class IV more in depth. I have had friends pass me buy telling me to step up and run harder stuff, these are the same people who end back up on class II or out of the sport entierly. This shit is mental and physical and everything you mentioned in your write up affects both drasticly. Thanks for saying what we have been thinking and it is helpful.

as far as zion goes, that guy fucked up and it cost us all now, he is probably out of the sport.

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Old 03-31-2011   #12
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,095
Great pics! Fired up for spring!

Thoughful write up on the narrows incident and river rating. WWSR is spot on.

On the Zion note, did the flow restrictions ever get modified? Zion is going to go off this year, and it would be a shame for paddlers to get shut down out there.

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Old 03-31-2011   #13
Tempe, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 40
Very interesting stories on both sides. I have read everything here (links) but not the guidebook. Ill get a copy and read the description of the run.

I think truth and exaggeration almost go hand in hand in any account (including guidebooks). At least thats my experience. I have been kayaking rivers for over 25 years now, so feel somewhat skilled and knowledgeable.

These posts have been good to read. I am glad both sides have spoken, it enlightens us all to how to define a safe trip and minimize the 'epic' As long as your kayaking there will be epics, its a given fact. Rivers are dynamic and change. Climbing guides just lke river guides, are just an opinion of the author. Not really a ~procedure~ on how to... I have never blamed a guidebook but certainly have noted when they are less than accurate. In this particular instance it appears that wood is everywhere but not really described as such in the guidebook (I have not read the guidebook yet). As well the paddler certainly was not prepared for remote run and made a bad decision to start at mid-late morning.

To all those involved, thanks for the great read, its a good reminder when it comes to running remote rivers.
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Old 03-31-2011   #14
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Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
you missed out today stafford..
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Old 04-01-2011   #15
tj@cu's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 983
I think kirk is the ultimate sandbagger, 5 miles my ass. Some sick pics for sure!
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Old 04-03-2011   #16
Mad Scientist/Creeker
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 803
Thanks bros.

Milo - Lotsa is hiding out under his bed somewhere in South America. Go visit him if you dare.

Access to Zion isn't closed to paddlers. The flow restriction though has not been modified either. The Park Service instituted a flow limit for permits of 600 cfs in the previous 24hours. So if the gauge has been over 600 cfs in the past 24hours you're not going to get a permit. Makes it pretty hard to justify driving 10 hours with the possibility of getting denied a permit if the gauge goes to 603 cfs overnight, even if it drops below again in the morning.

Their reasoning for the restriction was based on a group of local boaters comments on the highest flow that they would be willing to attempt a rescue. They said 600 cfs, and so God commanded it and the class III Zion narrows can not be run above 600 cfs, which with consideration for diurnal flow fluctuations may mean it can't be run above 3-400 cfs. It's kooky, totally reactionary and non-science based but I think they felt like they had to do something after the number of rescues that occurred over a single weekend.

Seangar5 - Always good to hear non-biased outside perspective. Just to clarify and then throw out my point of view on one of your comments, during our run of the Narrows wood was not everywhere and we really only encountered one dangerous log. In the top six miles there were a few branches but easily spotted and portaged or limboed. If the wood situation changed which according to the victims account it does sound like they encountered wood everywhere, it just re-affirms a previous comment that rivers change ALL THE TIME. A guidebook can't be expected to stay up to date on wood situations... that's what mbuzz is for.

As a side note, after talking with other paddlers who ran the run the year in question, the victims description of wood "everywhere" may have been exaggerated heavily... regardless this will be a new year and in a canyon as commiting as the Zion Narrows, wood is in all likely hood the most dangerous hazard and paddlers should be extremely vigilant in their boat scouting to make sure that all rapids are clear.

And Tom - Kirk is officially sandbagger numero uno, 5 miles my ass!!!

Casper - if I could've I would have.
Evan Stafford
Cub boater: "What do the spiders mean?" Old fart boater: "Trust your intuition." CRCII
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Old 04-03-2011   #17
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bc, CA
Paddling Since: 2007
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Posts: 316
Beautiful shots...only in my dreams though.
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Old 04-03-2011   #18
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 18
If you're interested in seeing restrictions on the Zion Narrows relaxed in the future, AW just started collecting input on the matter.
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Old 04-03-2011   #19
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 54
Great Shots. I personally don't think you're a sandbagger you just like torturing people who can't boat for the next two months with some great pictures. Loved that picture of the drop that I can't seem to run corretly in primetime.

I did have one question though, What is a good maximum flow for zion? Or does it ever realy get too high. AW has a flow survey going on right now and I would like to contribute but have never been there and won't make it this year like I hoped to.

Also Yampa flow survey ends April 6th so if anyone hasn't filled that out this weekend is a good time.
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Old 04-03-2011   #20
Mad Scientist/Creeker
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 803
Yes, please fill out both surveys if you haven't. I work with AW to develop these surveys and your input is needed... however, and in response to cold urticaria's question, please do not fill out the surveys for each particular stretch unless you have first hand experience with the section, i.e. have run it before.

Let the spring begin!

Evan Stafford
Cub boater: "What do the spiders mean?" Old fart boater: "Trust your intuition." CRCII
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