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Old 06-05-2013   #21
Durango, CO
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 211
Man, there's alot of perspective packed into 5:52 of video. That's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of kayaking right there all in one video. What you should do, what you shouldn't do, how fun this sport and how serious all at the same time. No criticism here. A lot of things going on. Boaters should watch this several times just to grasp the nuances and intangibles of what mistakes and mere seconds on Class IV and V can mean. Definitely props to the partner boater!!!! He hung it out there. That's a Gold Star moment.

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Old 06-05-2013   #22
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
Originally Posted by MikeThulin1972 View Post
You guys are brutal ... We have all swimmed and made mistakes while boating..
But I know this guy was back in his boat a couple days later trying to learn from mistakes..
Give the guy a FN break ....
Mostly constructive criticism here. If your buddy is back in his boat he is either tough enough to hear what needs to be said or too stupid to figure this stuff out on his own anyways. Much better to hurt feelings and teach than read about an easily avoidable accident or death.

The sunshine walked beside her
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Old 06-05-2013   #23
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Ouch. 3 minute beatdown / swim. Brutal!

I've swam out of Mr. Bill at 750. I had heard horror stories of paddlers swimming the entire runout of the narrows, so I was in full red alert mode. I floated on my back in passive swim position until I went over the next ledge (the Hand), as you have very little chance of getting out between Mr. Bill and the Hand. I was also able to catch my breath and conserve energy to bust a move to swim to shore. As soon as I surfaced after the Hand, I turned on my chest, pointed straight at the right bank, and swam for my life as powerfully as I could. I got to the right bank pretty quickly after an aggressive self rescue, and it ended up being a pretty mellow swim, or as mellow as swimming out of Mr. Bill can be.

Not beating the swimmer up, but as a learning tool...
1) Don't try to get out against the current in an eddy. Doesn't work. The only way out there is to go back into the hole and flush.
2) Aggressively self rescue by swimming with full arm and leg strokes on your chest ASAP. Don't wait for a boat to grab, he can't pull you to shore as fast as you can swim to shore.
3) Know which bank to swim to, where the hazards are when swimming etc. Know when to float and conserve energy, and know when to bust a move to get out.
4) Active and aggressive coaching by other paddlers in the group yelling at the swimmer to swim for shore helps. Sometimes swimmers get gripped and freeze up. Yelling as loud as you can something like... SWIM! SWIM! GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE RIVER NOW!!!! SWIM SWIM!
5) Never point your nose left going over Mr. Bill. Right angle with a right stroke.
6) Its been a long time since I set safety at Mr. Bill but when I first started running blackrock, we did several times. A person with a rope below the Hand could have nailed the swimmer and gotten him out. Safety is a pain in the ass to set there, but it might be worth it for newbies.

And... nice work Steve getting him a grab loop to hold on to and staying with him though the whole rapid!
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Old 06-05-2013   #24
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700

That had me gripping. Go Pro is the best invention ever, and also one of the worste.

He was tenative into every hole. That first one below the bridge took me out once. It has one level where it is really retentive!

Thanks for putting that up. Glad he is alright.
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Old 06-05-2013   #25
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
#5 - you mean a left stroke, right?

Don't think most posts are personal attacks. Evaluating what went wrong is useful to everybody. From what I heard part of the problem with the guy not swimming is he was pretty exhausted when he flushed from Mr. Bill. Probably swimming directly into the hole would have shortened the beatdown, but I've seen people take some good downtime there no matter what.

I've noticed lots of carnage and swims in the narrows recently. It's a bad place to swim, and those levels were even pretty moderate in there. I think a lot of the carnage can be averted with a little extra planning. Check that entrance hole and find the sweet spot for the level. At most lower flows hitting it with a right boof stroke and a good bit of left angle will avoid getting slammed back into the right mank. At higher flows there's usually a wave you can ride through it. Mr. Bill at most reasonable flows has some nice flakes that will autoboof you over the hole as long as you line them up correctly. Know when to boof The Hand (hole below Mr. Bill) and when to sneak around it. Below that, stay off the left cliff wall where there's a hole feeding into a nasty undercut.
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Old 06-05-2013   #26
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 200
That made my butt cheeks clench up. Not sure if it's harmful or productive watching something like that, but clear creek is definitely a place to stay in your boat.
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Old 06-05-2013   #27
hojo's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,234
Tractor Beam.
On the river, I can abandon who I am and what I've done. However brief it lasts, while on the river I am nothing important and everything insignificant. I am flotsam, and happy to be so.
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Old 06-05-2013   #28
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Oops brain fart... #5 right angle left stroke. Hopefully I can remember that tonight.
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Old 06-05-2013   #29
GAtoCSU's Avatar
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 696
He looks uncomfortable form the start. Glad he survived that. Perhaps next time he will stay away from that type/difficulty of water, prepare better with a drysuit, and swim like he's getting chased and his only exit is the shore.

He could benefit from some creekboating classes!
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Old 06-05-2013   #30
SYOTR, Tennessee
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 79

At least he didn't scream too much...

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