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Old 03-29-2004   #1
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Smelter sucks !!!!

What happened ? It was pretty good, then something changed. Can it be fixed now, while the season is just begining ? I know Salida had to do some changes at higher water before the rodeo last year. Can a trac hoe still get down to Smelter to do anything ? Is it worth it to do anything ? We need a reliable hole in town. Is there a fund for this / Should we start one ? It was so good. What do all you players think?
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Old 03-29-2004   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 120
It's seriously depressing what happened to smelter. Last year it kicked much arse at this level too. I guess it's a good lesson in leaving well enough alone. Unless some drastic measures are taken the playboating is gonna suck this year. Durango boaters are gonna have to drive down to Farminton, how pathetic.

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Old 03-29-2004   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 34
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Bummer Dude.

That breaks my heart to hear that Smelter went down the crapper. Last year it was the bomb. Why did they change it this year? Was it because it washed up on the rocks just behind the hole? Did they change corner pocket? Hopefully there will be an act of god to build a sicker hole when the water gets high.
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Old 03-29-2004   #4
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Forget Farmington, we should try to change it again if possible. We have a window at lower water right now. This should be a priority. I know we still have Corner pocket but we still need Smelter THIS year. That would suck worse if we have to wait till winter to fix it. What do ya' think?
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Old 03-29-2004   #5
cosurfgod's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 384
How much does the project of fixing the hole right now cost? If we did start a fund how much would we need? Who did the original work? It might be free if they want to finish the job they started. Is the work not garenteed with satisfaction from the paddleing community? Shagg do you know the answer to any of these questions, I don't.
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Old 03-29-2004   #6
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 580
I am relatively new to the area and not a high skilled player, but I am also disappoined in Smelter. I had done much of my playing in the Clear Creek Whitewater Park and some in Salida. I enjoy smooth predictable waves with a nice pile. I find it difficult to be in total control of my boat and set up for any move (a little on the trashy side). I am for modification if that is what the majority wishes. It might be too late to get a track hoe in there at these flows. 1000 cfs has a lot of power, even for a track hoe. Might have to wait until after the peak.
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Old 03-29-2004   #7
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 120
No chance of any improvements. I talked to the guy in charge of hole modifications last night and he said there's not a chance that anything could be done, the paperwork and permiting process to do anything on the animas are miles thick (unless your the federal government and want to blast through the mountain to take out water no one needs). If your a playboater from out of town, there is pretty much no reason to come to Durango anymore. If there was a good feature it might be possible to overlook the septic sludge coming in on one side of the run and radio active mine tailings blowing in from A.L.P. on the other. However with no good features the only reason to come to playboating in Durango are to get seriously depressed or do some quality monkeywrenching.
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Old 03-29-2004   #8
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 316
Just a thought.... and it may be worthless. Last year in Golden it seemed as if everything was just going to be average. But then one of the local boaters started piling rocks up below the bridge and they made the bingo hole. Several times when I showed up I would look for more rocks to add to the pile. We got lucky and a fella with a back hoe dumped some more rocks on the river right side. THe left side however remained something that we all continued to maintain. The bingo hole became one of the coolest holes in the whole park. I dont remember how many CFS the pile of rocks withstood... maybe 2000? I guess you guys get a lot more water than that though? also the riverbed here is pretty narrow so it is a bit easier to manipulate the current. Just thoughts... maybe worth a penny.
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Old 03-30-2004   #9
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 373
Wayne Chorter is right. I went to a meeting about "fixing" Smelter, there are a lot more interests involved in entering the river to make changes than just boaters.
The permit to make changes to the Park was revoked for a long time. After a lot of time on the phone by some locals it got opened up to fix the right bank hazard. Which I think was needed. At about 1000 or so, I saw a couple newbies wash into the right wall, then into a pin on a flake rock just downstream.
The excavation at low water looked sweet. It looked like a 3' flat pourover, destined to be big and munchy. It is currently very disappointing, but on its way up to 1000 it was OK.
Who knows what it will be like with 1500 to 5000 in it. It is too early to make changes even if we could.

I think the big picture is: hopefully it doesn't effect the dynamics of Corner pocket.

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Old 03-30-2004   #10
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 120
It's collapsed already which is why it's bad, now it's totally different at 900 cfs then it was at 900 cfs a week ago. My hunch is it's gonna be a big unsurfable v wave from here on up. I think it's a slalom boater conspearacy, those guys like big v waves and no playboaters in the way.

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