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Old 05-23-2011   #11
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 44
On swimming: "we're all between swims" Its unavoidable. Just paddle within your limitations and comfort level. Mostly you'll style it. Sometimes you'll swim.

As someone who's been boating only several years and not extremely often, I appreciate the saftey concerns of experienced boaters. Some Class V kayakers take safety cavalierly and ignore the less experienced when they're on the river.

I boated with Hans and the rest of the group saturday. They asked "is this your first time running numbers?" I made sure they were aware I'm in the transition of advancing into class IV. Hans and a few others waited in eddys for me, explained what to expect in the upcoming rapids, made sure everything was copesetic and the run went great. They later helped those guys out when 5h1t hit the fan. Those are the kind of folks I always have paddled with and will continue to paddle with.

Gannon, somthing like throwing a swimmer a rope is extremely situational. It depends on factors unexplainable in a forum. With three people swimming, you may not throw to one when they're not looking so that the next guy who is looking for a rope will get one. Or during a swim, you might also need to focus on what you're about to swim into and not for ropes on the side.

Like any sport, debating on how decisions could have been made is never as productive as discussing preventative measures for the future. I'm sure you back country skiiers and alpine mountaineers would agree.

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Old 05-23-2011   #12
islandertek's Avatar
Rocky Mountain Hooliganz, Rocky Mountain High
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 364
Originally Posted by De la Boot View Post
Holy carp. I want my 15 minutes back. Do they offer Threads on Tape? Next time I'll listen in my car during the NPR pledge drive. Ok, just kidding, but seriously. Two paragraphs just to announce the intention of the thread? And the meat of the thread read like a freak'n sudoku logic puzzle. Wait - who's in the 3rd red boat if number 2 of the 5 isn't looking for the 1st rope???

Besides - everyone ALREADY knows that too many newbies don't take swimming seriously - so why not sum up the novel and just say - "hey newbies out there, swimming isn't cool so please do everything you can to avoid it. Also, don't dive into another's group without asking. And don't follow to close. Oh - and to the people who created a cluster on Saturday at Pine Creek - this is meant for you."

As Elvis once said - a little less conversation and a little more action....
Ok..I couldn't read the first post but I thought this was funny!! I would like recorded threads as well!! Ha haaaa!!

Dream as if you'll live forever; Live as if you'll die today - James Dean
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Old 05-23-2011   #13
Hans's Avatar
Louisville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 110
alright, some of you deciphered my true intent, others did not. & sorry it was semi-rambling, no sleep last night & was covertly writing at work.

i said straight up, the class v veterans generally know when is & isn't the right time to swim & who they have along with them & whether they can be bailed out if need be. i was not casting blame anywhere in this, & nor was i being an asshole & choosing who i felt worthy of my efforts to rescue if need be. try reading before you get all up in arms & pointing fingers, did I not ask for constructive input, not a blasting session so we can all try to do better in the future?

btw, of the 5 laps parts our group did of PC over the two days, I ran safety all 5 times without question, & yes since it's been a while since i've done any creeking, I pussied out of running PC, as id rather get my skills back instead of "scouting the riverbed upsidedown" like the first time I did it 10 years ago when i had no business being there & twachted my head a good one with only a play helmet on.

what i was hoping to get to, if this didn't turn into a blame game, was other things i noticed such as little understanding of z-drags, etc., or that even my rusty hand at throwing a bag earlier had a rocket's trajectory, & more of us should be practicing this, z-drags, etc., on a more regular basis. basically, it is not the time to learn how to perform a rescue when there is an immediate need for rescue.

yes it was communications issues that were heavy influences in the aftermath of this incident. there were plenty of people there, but when push came to shove, it turned into a bunch of chickens with their head cut off ^^^^ see point above &/or those of us with good knowledge of rescue technique were rusty as well.

apparently i'm missing something here... i said in my opinion people were too close. but really my opinion doesn't matter one bit, given 3 people were in the same hole at the same time crashing down on each other. how was that closeness safe? maybe it was me being an asshole, not carrying a paddle with me & giving the two followers a stop signal as the first person was stuck in it. oh right, had he even slightly been stuck in the hole & had to work to get his way out, they would have been landing on him anyways. and given they were one atop the other coming down, as one went into the hole the other was hitting the little effyou hole just above it & at that point were fully committed to running the meat.

ok, seriously... now back to my original intent & i'm not trying to sanitize running rivers & making it as safe as disneyland, but ffs have a good roll b4 you hop into a river, that yes you can run it granted all goes as planned, but something goes awry, come a little sticky hole out you come swimming. you're right, it's not my call, whether a person decides to swim out at their choosing, but it's not that person's right either to be so irresponsible to jeopardize those who are going to bail him out either. & you know what, eff all the rest that have to live with it, if that person gets a foot trapped & drowns. i'm not talking, last resort & this the best option after all other OPTIONS have been considered or tried, i'm talking swimming is the first, middle & last OPTION they consider before pulling the cord.

flame away if you want... i'm moving on.
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Old 05-23-2011   #14
Georgetown, Earth
Paddling Since: 92?
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 4

Being the front kayaker from the run in question, I was just going to straighten out that this whole explanation is dropping one person. I knew one member of the group of four. He said he had paddled the run a few times. Apparently two of the others had not(the two that swam), and the first to surf the hole was number 3 I believe. Then 5 or 6 would be the one that swallowed his teeth.

As for the "Never Swim", comments, please refer to some of the posts of waterslide on escalante. It's a violent fight in a boat that you're not going to win, and swimming you can just hang out and wait on a rope and save your energy. If i swallowed my teeth in pine creek I would probably swim, and I hate swimming.
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Old 05-23-2011   #15
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Jackson, Wyoming
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I'm sure Hans is great and a very safe paddler, but you my friend are all over the place. I 100% agree with you on practicing throw bag tosses, z drags, hand signals ect.. You don't need a paddle to stop someone in the water, there are other signals, just an fyi. 3 people stuck in a hole is a bad day and is not safe. Shit happens! Would giving each other 10 seconds apart have made a difference? Usually not. Props to you for being smart enough to know you didn't want to put on PC, I wouldn't call you a "pussy" for knowing how you're feeling that day.

"you're right, it's not my call, whether a person decides to swim out at their choosing, but it's not that person's right either to be so irresponsible to jeopardize those who are going to bail him out either"

This part pisses me off, if you're not out there to help then paddle alone. You sound pretty righteous in this sentence which is exactly how I took a lot of your first post. You paddle to have fun, people who try to use this excuse go by what "they" think is smart. EGO, doesn't work in kayaking! Everyone looks at rapids, waterfalls different, support the people you paddle with and always give them good vibes, even when there is a party at PC and the hole is the host. Just chill, help your whitewater brothers and sisters when ever you can on the water, they don't have to be in your group. Strangely enough you sound like that kind of guy. Who knows, I might be all screwed up now.
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Old 05-23-2011   #16
GWS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 486
If we all took the approach that it is irresponsible to swim because it puts other people at risk then none of us would have ever progressed. The entire sport would be polarized into flat water canoeists.

Swimming is no more irresponsible than kayaking. They go hand in hand. If you don't want to swim, don't kayak.

Hans, you are correct. Communication is key. If you are the type of paddler that is pushing his/her limits and there is a chance you will swim, you should communicate this to your group and be sure they are 1) ok with it and 2) understand that you might need help.

Gary is right. If you don't have an attitude that you are going to do everything within your power to help out a swimmer then you should paddle alone. The reason so many of us on here are able to kayak at the top of our ability is because we have crews that will be there when the shit goes down.

As for swimming... My philosophy is that I will not run it unless I am willing to swim it. The only problem I have found with this philosophy is that I don't mind swimming much.
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Old 05-23-2011   #17
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Louisville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 110
seriously Gar, i was just watching u paddle class 19! You know who I am, as we paddled with all the same people in CO 10 years ago.

wish they were all still around, as it was a great crew & everyone had each other's back & made sure each was well prepared. i'd fall on a grenade for any paddler, it's how I was "raised" as I started this intermittent addiction. <-- this is the meat & potatoes of what I intended to get to with some other topics, keep raising the up & comings with good safety practices, being on your a-game when the need (for anyone) arises & have fun on the river while being as smart as you can.

note, my first paragraph.... "for newer paddlers" & "don't blast away", & "don't take personally", etc. MB can be as toxic as politics

This is more intended for the newer paddlers out there, & of course are my own opinions, with the intent of keeping all safe on the river, please if some of the more veteran of you could not blast this, but rather offer constructive critique that would be appreciated as none of us benefit from injury or worse amongst our community of paddlers. Also, Iím going to use a few examples I saw this weekend, please if it was you donít take it personally, but allow others to learn what you have obviously learned the hard way. As this part is pretty long, Iíll address other safety topics in separate threads.
returning to the premise.... not the example & to be honest I was not intending swims out of PC Hole to be in the class of unnecessary swims

Personally, I say never & it should only be as a last, absolute last resort. All you class 5 veterans understand this & know it is much more dangerous to be in the water than in your boat, and itís only once all other options are exhausted that you will bail out of your kayak. The risk for entrapment, drowning, pins, etc., is infinitely higher when 90-95% of your body is in the water, versus 40-50% while you are in your boat.

As newer paddlers are coming up in skills, I think they mistakenly perceive going for a swim as a light undertaking, as they see the videos of the Beer Booties & the laughing it off afterwards as no big deal. What they donít grasp however, is the fact that there generally is a well organized safety system in place with multiple fellow paddlers all skilled & practiced at hitting the swimmer on first throw of the bag, multiple Z-drag kits at the ready & able to be working in a minute or less, 1 or 2 safety kayakers on the water at the ready, & a well organized communication system.

Pickup groups organized at put-ins, take-outs or via the Buzz, donít have this necessity for the most part, which instantly elevates the danger to a swimmer, as each kayaker unfamiliar with the othersí skills may take valuable minutes to ďorganizeĒ a response, and although well intentioned, tends to be very poor in execution, with several either standing around not knowing what to do, or inadvertently getting in the way of those that do &/or putting them or the rescuers in further danger.
is any of this above wrong?
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Old 05-23-2011   #18
NathanH.'s Avatar
N/A, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 325
I think there's a couple simple things trying to be said here.

1. When you meet people for the first time off the buzz ask them some general questions about their boating and safety abilities.

2. Make sure you can responsibly run safety, like Hans said with hitting someone with a bag and efficiently setting up a z-drags.

3. When there's a sticky hole at the bottom of a long rapid consider a little space for when the person in front of you hits the speed bump and gets stuck.
This mustache has a weight limit!
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Old 05-23-2011   #19
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Jackson, Wyoming
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LOL, I know Hans. Knew you would come back, lmao! Thinking of how to re stir the pot please hold. Mut, no one should ever paddle with you. 4 rolls, you left that part out!
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Old 05-23-2011   #20
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Louisville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
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Originally Posted by Gary E View Post
LOL, I know Hans. Knew you would come back, lmao! Thinking of how to re stir the pot please hold. Mut, no one should ever paddle with you. 4 rolls, you left that part out!

damn u Gar!

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