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Old 04-15-2007   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,095
Park n' Creek: Clear Creek Early Season Fun

After reports from a buddy who went climbing in clear creek canyon a few weeks ago that the narrows on the black rock run looked almost boatable, I decided to go check for myself. Learning to boat in the southeast I'm not sure if I fit the "wierd easterners who boat the morning dew", but my tolerance for low water is more than most.

Driving up the canyon, clear creek looked like a rock fest, and my hope faded, but upon inspection the drops in the narrows looked good. At the current water levels (93 cfs) the rapids are pool drop, with relatively deep pools and steep falls type slots to run. There were clear rock free lines down most all the drops, with most lines being a boat width or two wide to miss the rock bashing.

After verifying that the flow passed the "morning dew test", I was able to rally a partner after promising to probe it so that it would either be fun boating, or fun watching me eat rocks. With a little bit of nervousness I dropped in expecting to piton hard on some unforseen rock, but the lines were clean all the way down, with no pitons, no major rock bashing, and suprisingly fun drops. We ended up lapping it about 4 times, and took some extra runs on Mr. Bill.

Mr. Bill is still a lot of fun at this level, as is the entrance drop. There are lots of eddies to catch, and the boating feels like low water class IV with tight technical lines, but lots of time to make them due to the low water. Good boof practice, and a good early season warm up. Its easy to park at the pullout where the climbers usually park at the bottom of the narrows. We put in just below the bridge and took out below the boof just below Mr. Bill.

It definitely was fun and I'd recommend it for folks who want to knock the dust of for the upcoming season. I look at it as a good workout/warmup to get back in the creekboat and get the skills tuned up.

I put up a few pics in the creeking gallery

I'll probably go back and do some afterwork runs, as its a good option vs. low water waterton, golden playpark, or confluence for metro boaters.

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Old 04-15-2007   #2
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Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 739
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JESUSSSSSSSSSSS! Spoken like a true easterner.

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Old 04-16-2007   #3
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
Hey Ian,
I agree. I think Black Rock rapid, the Narrows, and Rigor Mortis are all fun class IV at super low water. I like to go really late in the season when it is hot and everything else is finished except for Bailey and Gore. When I don't feel like driving all day long for a paddle at the end of summer I go for super lowwater Clear Creek. I rarely see anyone on it. The playpark is full at that time of year with people hitting the bottom while being mobbed by inner tubers. I think a lot of those people would probably have more fun up the canyon but they just don't know.
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Old 04-16-2007   #4
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 807
Looks good enough to me. Let me know if you want to do afterwork runs deepsouth.
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Old 04-16-2007   #5
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,095
Ture, I completely agree. Lapping the narrows or other rapids provides some close to town fun and really extends the season for clear creek. I'll be there late season too.

I did rigor mortis at current flows last year, and it was a major rock bash in the 2nd drop. Just a bit more water and it'll probably be lap time down there too.

I didn't check out blackrock, I assumed that all those rocks would make it too low, but I'll go check it out too.
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Old 04-16-2007   #6
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 33
who needs water?

I hear Elmar Fichter has run it in his Topo on a flow of a five gallon Bucket and a good piss...

stop crying Gary E or we will send you back to the Frasier
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Old 04-16-2007   #7
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Jackson, Wyoming
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Fair enough J, i'll shut up.

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