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Old 04-24-2010   #1
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19
Prospective CU Student

I'm considering CU (have to decide by next week) and I'm trying to get the real info on the boating in Colorado. Some people say the season is really short like a few months at most and others say that it goes from like May to September. Looking for input on this issue so that I can get an idea of what my boating opportunities will be if I'm living in Boulder the next 4/5 years. I'm used to boating all year round in WV, Tenn,NC, Western Maryland, etc..


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Old 04-24-2010   #2
DragonUSMC's Avatar
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 42
I dont know about other areas but shoshone is runnable almost all year... I've got buddies who paddle it every new years... i think they are nuts but hey some people are polar bears.

But you should be skiing or snowboarding in the winter anyway... i mean this is the Rocky Mountains.

" This is the perfect war. They want to die, and we want to kill them".
Sgt Maj Henry Bergeron USMC:
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Old 04-24-2010   #3
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19
Yeah, I don't mean to imply that I want to paddle all year but I was just trying to confirm just how long the kayak season could be. I'm a skiing/snowboarding and mountain bike junkie too.
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Old 04-24-2010   #4
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
May to September, with some creeks coming on in April and October, is pretty realistic. You can drive to Arizona, or even Mexico, during the winter months, but your ski pass will be your best friend December through March. For year-round boating, CU isn't the best school - but there's certainly lots of other distractions as well. As a boater, you have to love the winter stuff around here to make it through between paddling seasons.

The good news is that there are tons of river options in CO/WY/NM and 4-5 years is a good amount of time to sample them all - especially if you've already sampled a lot of the east coast runs & are looking for a different style of rivers.
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Old 04-24-2010   #5
earthNRG's Avatar
Snowmass, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 429
And mtn biking is available year-round too, except for a few weeks in the winter when we get storms here on the front range. Of course, it does get old riding the same two or three low elevation trails all winter.

I'd imagine CU has a kayak club that holds pool sessions throughout the winter. I know at Mines (just down the road from CU in Golden) we did. We also took a paddling trip every spring break. If CU doesn't have a club, I'm sure you can get in with the Mines club if you get to know any of the students. When I was there we had plenty of people who where not Mines students or even alums.

Out of curiosity, what are you planning on studying and where else are you considering?
"A witty saying proves nothing."
- Voltaire (1694-1778)
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Old 04-24-2010   #6
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 451

I grew up in Southern Appalachia But have been living in Boulder the last 20 years. If you have the means to go to CU and you like to triple B (Board,Bike,Boat) do not pass this up. The Boulder Creek run is not that great but it runs right through town and on the edge of campus, It's great for a quick hit when you have little time and there is a bar at one of the take outs. There is other other stuff all within minutes of Boulder. I just walked in from watching a guy run Eldo Canyon class V+ and it's literally 5 minutes from campus The mountain biking is getting better all the time with new trails opening around the edge of town and up in Nederland and with the dry weather you can bike front range virtually all year sans the bad weather. Eldora Ski resort is 35 minutes from campus and Loveland 1:45 if you leave early. Boulder is a vibrant town and has a justified wrap for being pretentious with allot of people with too much money but it is easy to ignore (as I do) and have yourself a kick ass time while you go to college.

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Old 04-24-2010   #7
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Golden, CO
Paddling Since: 1856
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 339
Basically you will be taking 8 month off from boating every year. Rain never seriously raises up the creeks and there are no scheduled dam releases. Colorado get about 1/4 the amount of rain as where your from and every drop is owned by somebody. On the positive side you get about 300 days of sunshine and the skiing is great. You can't really beat Boulder CO for a place to go to school.
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Old 04-26-2010   #8
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19
Well, I think I've got the picture now. I've been boating since age 11 and even though I still absolutely love it, I must admit it's not the all consuming addiction it was for the first five years or so. Actually mountain biking is probably the thing that I'm most addicted to at the moment. The 3 B's sound pretty darn good! I mean, it is important to maintain a balance in ones life, isn't it?
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Old 04-26-2010   #9
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
Young man I'm glad to see you're choosing a school for the right reasons!
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Old 04-26-2010   #10
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 138
lived in asheville and worked on the chattooga for 2 year then moved here and graduated from cu in 03 and love to kayak! lots of mank around here but there are many options as well. if you like creek boating this is a great place to be for spring and early summer. there are at least 10 different class v runs within 45min. plenty of III and IV options as well. the play boating options are not as good but thats ok because play boating is pretty much gay. you have to drive for big water or play boating. a few different low water parks around can keep you in your boat from about now until aug. after that, the driving begins, 3 hours to gore is a good option in the late summer / early fall.

many students go home for the summer.... if that is your plan, you will miss most of the boating in colorado. it always seems that the good boating picks up as soon as the students leave. i quickly learned that the summers in colorado are the best and you are not missing anything back east by staying out here. you will totally screw yourself out of all good kayaking if you go back east for the summer.

as opposed to doing rain dances back east, you live and die by the snow here. good snow in the winter means great skiing and even better kayaking in the summer. the long winter stretches without kayaking can be brutal. as a student you always have the option of getting back east or out to cali / pacific nw for fall, winter, and springs breaks to get your fix. when the melt comes i'm usually more than ready to get some but it makes the season that much better.

cu is a great school, the women are unreal, good sports, cool town, and you may just happen to get an education while your here. come be a buff!

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