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Old 04-02-2007   #11
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 342
Is "danger" Dan Wooley? If getting stuck in a hole that won't let you out without assistance from people on shore is not class IV, then what is a class IV rapid to you? Perhaps you should consider rating rapids based more on their consequences rather than entirely on the difficulty of the move. The point of my post was to say that even a routine run like Royal Gorge can be "danger"ous. Granted that equipment is far better than it was even 10 years ago and the ability of paddlers has improved, I think we still swim the same way we did back in the the old days. I really don't want to dog on any particular group of people ("sandbaggers"), so I'll stop there. I guess the most important thing in the rating system is that when you rate a run, the people that you paddle with understand the basis in which you made that rating. Dan we should go paddling some time as long as it's not too "danger"ous. Give me a call or drop me a line.

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Old 04-02-2007   #12
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 316
I think that the rating should weigh more heavily on consequence than on navigability. Mostly for the sake of beginners, not bad asses to prove how skilled they are. Generally a rating is a balance between the two but the thing is, skill level is somewhat relative. I know that for myself after paddling for 13 years I tend to forget what is like for a person who is still learning. I tend to assume that the moves are just as easy for them as it is for me. Maybe that flaw is only limited to me, I dont know. None the less I would rather a beginner read a desicription or hear the rating and know that if they get off the line that they may pay. honestly it is amazing how beginners tend to gravitiate towards the nasty stuff.

In climbing we have some letters that follow the rating. R is for run out, meaning that the bolts are really far apart which may result it a huge fall. Or sometimes it may get an X meaning that the route is hard to protect with gear. A rating of G may mean that it is easy to protect.

So maybe some letters could be good...

U= undercut
S= sieve
H= hole
NS= no safety
LS= long swim

or just the basic film rating like climbing. G low risk X high risk and everwhere in between.


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Old 04-02-2007   #13
student, 4CRS
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 46
Just Boof it Baby!!! holla
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Old 04-02-2007   #14
Engineer, Vail
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 57
I've never been down to the gorge buts it on my list of places to run season. My question is why did the boater swim? What was his/her skill level? Most holes I can just cartwheel/surf out of in a bit of time. Is it possible to surf out of this hole or must you exit your kayak to get out?
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Old 04-02-2007   #15
Dirt Bag USA, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 16
I ate it once there. I broke a new AT paddle, had to hand paddle the rest...kind of sucked.....
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Old 04-02-2007   #16
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
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I've surfed out of it and I know intermediate paddlers who have surfed out of it at this level. But it is not easy and there is a little bit of luck involved sometimes. If you haven't run it before, I would say that between 700 and 1000 is a good level to hit it up. The hole is much friendlier with more water.

"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 04-03-2007   #17
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Denver, Colorado
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speaking of the royal gorge, that boat-eater hole is naaaaasty looking at higher water.
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Old 04-03-2007   #18
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Greater tri cities metro area, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 794
Originally Posted by danger View Post
so should we call it a III+ then? and if that's class III+, then maybe we should upgrade zoom flume from a class II+ to a class III. and then that bumps pine creek into the fours and before you know it...

dan (admitted sandbagger)
so are we going to set up a local chapter of sandbaggers anonymous?

Dan, are you boating this weekend? looking for a 3rd on gore or something comparable, you know, I want to keep it to something III+ish! first time in the boat this year.

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Old 04-03-2007   #19
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Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 805
so should we call it a III+ then? and if that's class III+, then maybe we should upgrade zoom flume from a class II+ to a class III. and then that bumps pine creek into the fours and before you know it...

dan (admitted sandbagger)
dude who ever rated Zoom Flume II+ and Pine Creek is not class V now? Come on....rating rapids is not an ego thing. If you can grease a rapid that does not downgrade it to something easier. Ratings are for folks to use as a general guideline and if you know that Class IV or Class III or whatever is not going to give you issues then you just run it.

If you see that a rapid is rated Class IV and that makes you nervous then you should get out a look at the rapid. It is total bullshit to say a rapid is say, Class III, like Sunshine when you know full well there is a hole in there that will hand someone their ass. Maybe you are throwing clean blast wheels in there but someone with less experience or ability may get recirc'd within an inch of their life.

How many people have drowned trying to swim out of the S-bend hole in Pine Creek? A lot, including a local guy here in Salida named Rob, back in '96, who was a good boater. It has been a few years but that does not mean that it won't happen again. As my friend Cory Nielson used to say, Pine Creek is Class III with Class V consequences. Therefore call it Class V and let people make up there own minds. At least folks will be warned....

sorry... I get sandy panties over these issues. It just seems like people are too cavalier anymore. It has been a while since we had a summer like 1997 when we lost some of the best paddlers on the planet in, like a 5 month stretch. That was a total wake up call for a lot of people including myself....changed my perspective permenantly....
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Old 04-03-2007   #20
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 475
be good stewards and learn something here

Give the guy a break. The childish disrespect so often voiced on the buzz is disappointing. I know heckling is mostly perceived as fun and games, but I think it fuels a poor image of boaters too. I realize many in the sport are young, but please think and behave like good veteran stewards of the sport, community, and our environment.

The drop at low water is an example of a "Keeper". The hole doesn't smile upstream or frown downstream. It is a channel wide, straight across, capped off at both edges, pour over hole. Any boater will probably encounter these during their continued boating experiences. Yes, "Keepers" should be considered dangerous. However, either through experience or by training, all boaters should learn how to either identify and portage, successfully smear past on the edges, and/or self escape in the event of a swim. Escape generally lies on the bottom. Often the hydraulic will force one to the bottom, which literally grabbing the rocks and crawling out the side on the bottom is advised. Floating and panicing on top can lead to violent recirculations and exhaustion. I would consider it a worthy experience if you ever get to execute a succeful low volume bottom escape during your early learning. Not only might it be life saving then, but gaining the experience and knowledge developes confidence to react more calmly if it ever happens again. Which, boat long enough and it probably will. Possibly in bigger and badder circumstances someday.

Peace. -- kv

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