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Old 07-26-2009   #1
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 81
Royal Gorge Beta

Thinkn of rafting the gorge for the 1st time next weekend in my 13 foot hyside. I have 2 years of experience in my raft, and have been successful at running the upper and lower eagle at hiwater numerous times as well as browns at hiwater. Wondering how these might compare to a gorge trip, even though it is lower flows. Always stayed away from it because of the commitment of being in a deep canyon and not roadside like most other runs we have done. I would likely be w a strong paddle team so that is not an issue. My 8 years of kayaking has taught me solid river running skills. Also we would probably have another similiar raft w us. Thoughts or concerns at these flows.

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Old 07-26-2009   #2
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 144
do it

I think you'd likely be fine, but the gorge is a hearty step up from what you've mentioned and has several moves at below 500cfs that come out that can be definitely tricky. However, the run has a roadside feel due to the train tracks. It might as well be roadside. Definitely not really gorged in down there. A world class rafting run for sure. It's "trainside" and foot traffic on the tracks is common, allthough frowned upon, but okay. If you could find a someone to follow that would help a lot.

Look out for metal

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Old 07-26-2009   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 15
At these flows you would be fine. River is not that pushy. Biggest problem is that it will be a little bony. Higher flows can actually be a bit easier, particularly for a raft. Just scout Sunshine (there will be an eddy river right early on with a large water pipe above it. You will have to walk down the pipe) as this is probably the rapid of most concern for a raft. Wall slammer will be right under the bridge and has a bony entrance at these flows, but again, in a raft you should be fine as you can just bounce off the wall, something kayaks do not have the luxury of.

Other than that, have a blast. At these flows Sunshine should be the only rapid of consequence for someone with your experience.
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Old 07-26-2009   #4
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 32
Bummer, we'll be on the Salmon next weeknd, but we've been running it a couple times a week since May. In fact we're running it this afternoon. It's getting pretty low now. Agree with everyone that Sunshine will be the toughest rapid. Gets pretty technical at these levels, but not a huge consequence if you swim. Definately scout it on river right. It's the first big rapid and you'll see it above the concrete wall on river left where the photo guy sits. Otherwise, stay away from river left in the canyon where most of the metal is. There should be plenty of commercial trips to follow down. We always take out in the park in town and the float out can be long. Bring cold beers for that part! Have fun and be safe!
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Old 07-26-2009   #5
Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3
All the info they said is good. Sunshine is the first tricky one. You can still start left but it will be boney. Then cruise right and make sure you hit the bottom hole straight or you could get caught on the rocks and flip. If that happens you go right into the hemmoroid rocks which are not fun. Sledgehammer is the next big rapid after dogging rocks in the grateful dead and it has a sucky hole down on the bottom right so stay away from that. Wallslammer is tricky and if you hit the vortex wave even a little sideways you can flip into the wall and that is not fun. then finally boateater you need to be straight through the middle slot if you go that way cause either of the two rocks you go thru can give you a toss. All the rapids you can swim out of easily before the next rapid but there are still some excitment down there. Follow a commercial trip and then it is super easy. Have fun be safe
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Old 07-28-2009   #6
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 32
I agree with csisson, except I love hitting that bottom hole in Sledgehammer!! That's my favorite part of the Gorge! Especially at low water, this will be the best hit of the day. But we're all about the splash factor, so maybe you're not. It's meaty, but if you hit it straight and have a good crew (which it sounds like you have) it shouldn't be a problem. Not a bad swim either, as it calms out below. Sledgehammer is a series of three hits. If anything, avoid the top hole so you don't swim the whole series.
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Old 08-03-2009   #7
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 81
Finally got her done after 2 years of bein a chicken shit. Level was 770cfs. Ran the not so pretty left line on sunshine all the way,unintended. Sledgehammer was pretty clean, wallslammer no problem,boateater I dont think we even noticed it,(possibly just a rock at this level). Definately a step up from browns as far as being more technical. Next stop the numbers.

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