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Old 08-22-2006   #1
God Amongst Men
yetigonecrazy's Avatar
Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
Paddling Since: 1845
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,988
oh yeah? its neoprene, bitch!

so most of you are probably sick of this, but i am always jonesin fo more, so heres the report on my summer scouting missions. i went a bunch of places this summer and was able to see some cool shit.

in addition to the possibility of the Inlet creeks, glacier creek, and the upper big tommy, another RMNP run that should be checked out (if it hasnt already) is the Copeland Creek drainage. Theres at least two or three runnable falls on it, and the creek seems to be more bedrock than boulders.

in the roaring fork area, avalanche creek into the crystal river is definitely in need of a scout by some boaters willing to hike in. There's several small gorges on the run and some sweet looking drops all over. theres a lot of wood, but it tends to be more in the flatwater in between than the gorges. snowmass creek definitely goes and has a few quality sections on it. there is one steep section just below the lake that has wood issues, but several drops of varying size, some of which go. conundrum creek has good sections on it, including one really good looking bedrock section, but not all of it goes.

the colorado springs area has a few things that could possibly go. Rainbow Falls is just outside of Manitou and is a fairly good sized plunge into a small pool, but depth and the smallness of the room it falls into are questions.

steve garufi photo
Fountain Creek has good bedrock sections here and there, and after reviewing many many pictures of it, im convinced theres definitely boatable flows in that creek from time to time.
again, steve garufi
Theres also good bedrock ledge pools in Queens Canyon that look like they would go with some water.

in the south part of the state, both forks of the Purgatoire River have solid boatable flows, but wood and access would make it a challenge. by the time you get upstream of the private property, its too thin to boat. the huerfano has a good stretch way up high in the sierra blanca range, but it goes quick and is kind of manky.

the east fork and middle forks of the cimarron both have a LOT of potential. stout bedrock sections on both creeks present of lot of oppourtunities for boaters. theres big falls, big slides, small falls, small slides, and some good rapids to boot. there is a fair (but not as much as one would think...) amount of wood and youd have to hike in.

the only shot i could find of either creek...ill upload mine someday

mcelmo creek SW of cortez has a small canyon that starts just west of US 666 that flows for several miles, and has a few small falls on it. its mostly flatwater, it drains a somewhat agrarian area, and the access is somewhat hard, but it has a good amount of flow (300 ish cfs).

the big falls on the middle fork of the conejos might go, but its a doozy of drop (~80') and the pool at the bottom is questionable.
this photo was taken by jim larkey and it shows the falls better than any shot i took of it
the whole underlying bedrock of the area is all volcanic rock that forms bedrock drops really well. all of the drainages in the area (s.fork conejos, canon rincon, canon la osa, m fork conejo, etc) all have a different array of runnable features from ledges to falls to slides, to twisting multi stage drops. the in between most of these is lacking big time, floating through beaver ponds and manky brush, but a strong crew could clean a bunch of cool shit pretty easy up here.

clear creek into the Rio Grande is worth checking out by anyone whos interested in a hairy first d. on North Clear Creek, the stretch right below the big falls down to the campground is good to go. its a steep, bouldery cascade, but it has a surprising amount of flow and looks prime. a large pipe siphones some water off in this stretch, but it still goes. the S Fork of Clear Creek doesnt have much flow and isnt worth checking out. The main gorge of clear creek below the campground goes too, but it definitely deserves a scout. theres some rugged, steep boating in there.

texas creek into Taylor Park Res goes. we put on this year around 2 mi up, and boated through some fun and continuous class III+ rapids, with one big hole approaching IV. short and fun as hell, goes good with a run on the taylor from Rocky Brook Rd to below Dinner Station C.G.

i took a whole bunch of photos of all of these stretches, but im in the middle of a move and have personal computer access right now.

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Old 08-23-2006   #2
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 732
nice work--good info. will you be putting all this and earlier info you have gathered into some sort of attatchable file?

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Old 08-23-2006   #3
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Boulder, Jackson Kayak, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 911
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You definitely get the "Where the hell are more runs" Blue Ribbon.

I commend your efforts highly and have to say that I love hearing of your searches. It's great.

Not sure how much hiking you are doing these days with your boats, but let me know if you could use a crawpack. I am totally sold out of them for the rest of this year, but from the sounds of things you could use one.

Keep get'n after it!

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather...To skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... WOW !!!! What a ride!!!!!!"
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Old 08-23-2006   #4
gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 390
seriously man, you should rent yourself out next spring.. as a backcountry kayaking guide.. unless youve got something running this weekend, then i got a few bucks!
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Old 08-23-2006   #5
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 335
Cool,yeah there are hundreds of runnable"features"around,not so many new sustainable runs.It's largely a question of work to fun ratio.Keep searching and gems will be found then organize a cleaning,voila new classic.
I've looked at Avalanche and wondered why no one does it.Around NO.FK . Purgatiore did you scope out Guayatoya/Wahatoya or Cucharas?
Elk fk. Conejos?
McELMO?I heard about someone running Mancos thru Mesa Verde,but I think there are issues with Indian land and Natl' Park.

I scouted above that lake on the Piney once,looked like runnable hair to me{not by me}
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Old 08-23-2006   #6
God Amongst Men
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Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
Paddling Since: 1845
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,988
thanks everyone for the support! thats why i keep doing this stuff. now to answer your questions..

steven- im not sure how ill release all my info, but it will happen this winter sometime. ive got a big huge box full of notes, pictures, maps, trip reports, hiking reports from friends, etc of just colorado related rivers and creeks info. im not sure if ill compile it into a ghetto book, or maybe just a pamphlet, or maybe ill just mass upload everything i have onto eddyflower. ill figure it out, but when i do ill let you know.

craw- i havent been doing too much hiking this year because my shoulder is still pretty screwy. but next year i might definitely take you up on that offer. theres a bunch of milder runs id like to hike into.

&d- you tell me what kind of creek youre looking for and ill take you there!

cayo- its getting harder and harder to find sustainable runs, but thats really what im after. it would take a lifetime to find and document all the runnable features around the state. shit, just go to any big clump of mountains (elks, san juans, la garitas,etc) and start hiking. its always just in a section of flat class II or a stretch of class VIII gnar, and im more about trying to patch together whole runs. as far as Avalanche goes, i dont know if people are just keeping it to themselves, or what, but its sick! so many good drops that look good to to go rigt now. guayatoya and wahatoya both have flow, albeit a small one, but its runs into the same problem as the N/S Forks Purg, with the only accessible parts of the creek being way above the boatable section. cucharas goes, but it looks MIGHTY woody, and the access looks sketchy all around. Elk Creek into the Conejos has two gorges on it that would probably go. somebody on here checked out the bottom one and said it was good, but havent had a visual on the 2nd one yet. McElmo runs from the hills/mtns NE of cortez, down just past town, and then it flows through a small canyon for some ways before evantually pouring into the San Juan. it gets sizable levels in it and i think the only access issues would be right at the beginning.

ive got more info to post about the creede area (i forgot some creeks) that i will post later on today or tomorrow.
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Old 08-23-2006   #7
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 321
Season must be over already (sigh), now that we're back to this stuff. I've often poured over maps looking at all of those blue squiggly lines wondering what lies out there. However, Yeti, unlike my lazy ass actually goes out there and scopes that stuff out. You gotta commend that! Keep up the good work!
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Old 08-24-2006   #8
God Amongst Men
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Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
Paddling Since: 1845
Join Date: May 2005
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alright, i got access for a few minutes so heres the aforementioned creede info...

BELLOWS Creek is a no go. The access is too difficult, hitting a boatable window would be really hard, and the "rapids" consist of bouldery cascades. I thought this one went for a long time, but it doesnt. BEAVER Creek, which flows into the SF Rio Grande just above the town of SF looks good to go below the namesake reservoir. The creek comes out of the bottom of the dam, through a gnarly stretch of class VI, then into a short and manageable V, before finishing in a nice long IV runout. There is a head chopping gauging station about a quarter mile below the dam that would need portaging, but from there to the campgrounds below (~2 mi) is nice bouldery class III-IV. The flow was low when I was there, but the high water mark looked well high enough to float comfortable. CLEAR Creek as I stated above has one gorge that goes below N C. Creek Falls, and then a possibly runnable box directly below the campground. The section from below that to the Rio G is brushy, and full of beaver ponds. It would be the perfect place to see a moose though. WILLOW Creek through Creede would go at lower levels- but it would be a really quick ride down a man made flume. There's a short stretch of runnable from the forks to the start of town that looks to be class II+ with one small dam drop (III). Both forks from here take off uphill at a steep rate, I dont really know what to call that. They look like they go, but it would be furious steep creeking ala Rio Guadalupe or Toltec. RIO GRANDE River above the reservoir looks like it could be a great run. Theres a few small brushy sections, but the river has a channel through them all. Theres a handful of good looking rapids, including one in a bedrock formation towards the bottom. Higher up are several boulder gardens. POLE Creek cuts through some volcanic tuff and has a gorge similar to Clear Creek, with really stepp, boxed in stuff that may go for the hardcore. UTE and BEAR Creeks both looked good, but I did not get a chance to scout them. Anyone been there? RIO GRANDE River Box Canyon segment is loads of fun at the beginning, but the long paddle out sucks. We took out at a bridge some miles down, is there a legal access at the end of the canyon we missed? RIO GRANDE River Palisades segment is super fun class II (III) stretch. Lots of great scenery, just enough rapids to keep you awake, and loads o wildlife. Recommend to all.

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