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Old 07-06-2006   #11
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,012
Originally Posted by danger
numbers is mostly class III with a class IV or two (#4 and #5).
From the AWA website:
Number 2 @ 2000 Class IV
Number 3 @ 2000 Class IV
Number 4 @ 1000 Class IV @ 2000 IV+
Number 5 @ 2000 Class IV+
Number 6 @ 2000 Class IV+

kirschbaum's a IV+.
From the AWA website:
Kirschbaum's @ 1200 Class 5.1

I think AWA's ratings are reasonable. If Browns is the quintessential Class III (AWA rates Zoom Flume a IV-) then Numbers has to be class IV. Much more manuevering and hole dodging and tougher swims. Slaughterhouse is comparable in difficulty to Numbers (but a way better run). Slaughterhouse Falls is bigger and munchier than Number 5 but Number 5 is longer and has more moves.

If Numbers is a Class IV then Bailey and Gore have to be Class V. All the rapids in Numbers and Slaughterhouse involve at most a couple of moves. Four Falls, Deer Creek, and even Steeps 1 and 2 are considerably harder than anything on the Numbers. Both Bailey and Gore hand out routine beatings to good boaters who play all the way down Numbers. I agree that Bailey and Gore are similar in difficulty but Bailey is creeky and Gore is big water. It depends on what kind of boating you're more comfortable with.

If you're rating a run based on the inbetween stuff and separating out the main rapids (i.e. Gore is class IV) then Lake Creek is Class II.

Never done Encampment.

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Old 07-06-2006   #12
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Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 882
Good to see some sense posted. The downgrading talk is nothing more than ego-padding sandbagging IMO. Ratings are useless unless they are standardized, and AW seems to have a good grasp on that. CRC2 pretty much echoes the AW ratings also.

I think Bailey is harder than Watauga if you run Supermax. If you walk Supermax, it's probably only a marginal difference in difficulty. The big difference is just style. Southeastern and Western rivers are very different in how they feel. Take a CO class V like Black Rock or Tenmile - there is virtually nothing like that in the SE. Continuous water doesn't much exist. Even the West Prong is four miles of eddy-hopping, but it's not a flush with half-existent eddies like Tenmile.

Conversely, IMO there is crap for good pool-drop rivers in Colorado. Yeah, there are a couple (Escalante, low water Big South) but in general, we paddle continuous water here, not pool-drop, and that feels very different to a boater that isn't used to it. Compare the SE and CO benchmark class IV rivers - Chattooga Sec. IV and the Numbers. Very, very different feel to these rivers. Numbers is way more continuous. A class V river in CO is a quasi-aerobic affair where you are actively paddling through the rapids. Compare that to the Green Narrows, where basically every rapid is three strokes and a boof into an eddy.

So all that said, I don't think Bailey and the Watauga are very similar in style but close enough in difficulty. But the Watauga is also WAY more fun to me. It has options for different lines in the drops, has warm water, has about 100 boofs and it has Stateline. One of my top picks for a "desert island" river for sure.

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Old 07-06-2006   #13
loveland, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 317
waz all this about?

I think you gotta factor in known beta such as familiarity of the lines. I followed Kaleb down Gore and thought it was quite reasonable(except for Gore rapid itself). In my opinion the numbers is still a FULL grade level below Clear Creek. But maybe I just get the extra "willy's" when paddling a constant, tight, artificial creek bed with rebar and car parts. Happy paddling while it last-hope to join Danger on Bailey in August.
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Old 07-06-2006   #14
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 403

Water Levels are everything when it comes to ratings. In pretty much all circumstances Class V runs get exponentially harder as flows go up. Barrel Springs at high flows is much harder than N fk Crystal or OBJ at normal flows even though they are considered hard. Both those runs get stout at high flows though. Actually slides are so 90's, fun if you're a girl. Even Gore Rapid down the gut is more powerful than anything on N fk Crystal or OBJ. Vallecito is stouter than all of 'em. The big south is better than all of 'em. If you want the best weekend a Craporadon can have, go run the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone Box next weekend.
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Old 07-06-2006   #15
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,012
Re: levels

Originally Posted by craporadon
Water Levels are everything when it comes to ratings. In pretty much all circumstances Class V runs get exponentially harder as flows go up.
That's a tough call. It probably comes down to personal preference which is what makes rating so difficult. I'm much more comfortable in big water than in tight, technical drops. So I find Class V only gets tougher at high water when the drops develop keeper holes. Alot of drops start flushing at higher water and all the f.u. rocks get buried.

I think Rigor Mortis is easier at 600 than it is at 300. Black Rock rapid gets way easier at 800 than at 400. The top drop in Narrows get easier with high water but the rest gets more difficult.

Having finally gotten on Big South with good flows, I found all the drops got easier with the exception of the big three which develop ugly holes in bad places.

Supermax only gets harder at high flows since it's all about the holes. Deer Creek and the inbetween stuff cleans up and get easier but four falls develops some mean holes.

If you want the best weekend a Craporadon can have, go run the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone Box next weekend.
I definitely got to get there.
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Old 07-07-2006   #16
I kayak DH.
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Greater tri cities metro area, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 794
I guess if numbers is the quintissential IV then lawson must be at leat a IV if not a IV+. Am I alone on that thought? That was the reason that going down there the first time & running numbers after running CC runs I expected a harder run. It was way too easy, & I thought it deserved to be called a III+. Does that mean that clear creek is under-rated, or does it only matter how hard something is in a raft?


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Old 07-07-2006   #17
Durango, CO
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 211
If you really want to know how to rate it, swim it. That'll straighten everything out in a hurry.That's speaking with a little experience.

( note:this is sarcasm. Hopefully you can find another preferable option for rating rapids.It does give you something to think about though doesn't it? ).

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