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Old 06-29-2006   #21
Edwards, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 101
This is going to sound strange but learn to playboat in bigger holes in playparks and it will help you on the river.

With the advent of playparks, we now have a great training groud for holes on rivers. I got stuck in a hole on Clear Creek the other night and was able to side surf it and push myself out but this hole was a bit friendly.

I'm not saying that this is going to save you from the big meaty keepers but it will at least give you another tool in the belt for running rivers.

On the subject of easier runs, I got stuck in a hole on the Eagle on a really mellow stretch of class II/III water that I run all of the time. Nasty little ledge hole that I thought I could play in...I thought wrong. Held on to me for a while and yes I had the "I may not make it out of here thought".

I did not know Laurie but I am sure that she would be glad that her death is spurring all of us to take a second thought about how we run rivers and being more careful out there, even on easier stuff.

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Old 06-29-2006   #22
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
Sorry for OT, but which hole are you referring to on the Eagle, so I can be aware of it?

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Old 06-29-2006   #23
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 646
There have been several deaths this year from swims that didn't seem that bad. It's bothersome.

I once inhaled a mouthful of water from a wave while I was in an upright position going through Skull rapid. I couldn't breath for 60 seconds. Kind of frightening. If I had flipped I would have been in serious trouble. If I had paniced, I may have run out of oxygen faster than the 60 seconds.

Yes, play park holes are a good place to learn.

I also had the same experience in a hole on a mellow stretch of the Eagle. It was a random pour-over. Certainly not a named rapid. Very humiliating.

Shit happens on the river. Look out for each other.
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Old 06-29-2006   #24
Edwards, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 101
I wonder if Basil and I got into the same hole.

Not a named rapid but it was next to the Eagle Vail golf course below the first diversion dam. Looked harmless enough but took me for a ride.

Definately humiliating...but a great lesson.
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Old 06-29-2006   #25
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 15
Rescue Documentation

If anyone would like to write a narrative or visit with me at the site. I would like to document the incident. So that I can use it as an example for the swiftwater course I teach on the Poudre. Thanks Dave Zader I would also like to pass the info onto Charlie Walbridge for the river accident report.
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Old 06-30-2006   #26
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
If you post the report here their are two of us that update charlie on incidents.
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Old 06-30-2006   #27
fort collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 10
I boated with Laurie a few times and I am friends with the people on the trip. I have only talked with them very briefly – enough to know that they are very shaken.

These boaters are very experienced. They know about accident reports and in the past have read the yearly publication of white water accidents. They have been boating 20 years. Usually we get a report fairly quickly, but the loss is overshadowing the need to document.

I believe there are two factors that are different. One is that they were very good friends with Laurie on and off the river, for many years.

The second is that death was never a consideration. If you run harder water you think about the possibility of dying. The rapids are scary. You think about getting in trouble and talk about it with your partners. Like me at my current level of commitment, the possibility of death is considered very very unlikely.

The funeral is today. I am sure we will get a report. It may take a few weeks.

How to pull an unconscious person to shore in a long rapid, that is something to think about.
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Old 06-30-2006   #28
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 49
last response pretty well wraps it up

I also knew Laurie as a very careful boater that really just wanted to have a realy fun time on some interesting and enjoyable water with very low risk for dire consequences. That is doing something with probably less risk than the drivefrom Boulder to our office in Lakewood or up to the Poudre or wherever for fun. Still, I know that she always took to the water very seriously, had great safety knowledge and awareness, and wanted to paddle the stuff that had minmal minimal built-in risk.

Laurie was a treasure to be around. She was a great friend and comfort to many, a great geologist/hydrologist, and I can't even begin to fathom what her family and boating friends that day are experiencing. As Bridges is the upper end of a run that I consider as an open boater, the possibility of what can happen on this and a run like lower Mish is really on my mind as well. I keep thinking about the recirc hole and what her friends went thru in trying to manage this afterwards. The lessons will come, as surmised by the previous post; it may take a little bit of time.

I think this post keeps coming up, because it so emhasizes how vulnerable any of us can be as boaters, even in the percieved low consequence type runs. I've have yet to be spun around in a hole, but sure want to have a better idea of how to maximize my chances of getting out of this type of a situation.

I think the posts on this matter have been incredibly sensitive and thoughtful. Here's to Laurie, one of the very brightest stars out there.


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