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Old 07-05-2006   #1
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 51
speaking of ratings, how about comparisons

The recent Bailey discussion and talk about ratings brings up a different point for me - comparison. Three runs have come up in that thread; Bailey, Numbers and Gore. I've run some but not all and I'm interested in how they compare and why.

So, how do Bailey, Gore, Numbers, Slaughter House and Encampment compare? What's the nature of the difficulty in each; technical must make or get pinned moves, big gnarly holes, long continuous tough stuff, all that ...

Or how about a rapid by rapid comparison? I got in touch with a boater in Honduras a while back and his comment about his backyard was "it's a lot like Applesauce on Gore except a little easier". Are there good comparisons between any of the rapids on any of the above runs? Or between the hardest rapids?

I admit it takes some of the adventure and joy of exploration out of it but I am curious.

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Old 07-05-2006   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 405
Encampment - no clue since I've never run it.

The numbers is the easiest, especially at lower flow. More read and run with straighforward lines (if you know the run well), and pretty minor consequences (in my humble opinion). Definately playboat material at all levels.

Slaughterhouse has a similar feel, but I think it is a small step up in difficulty. I've only run it in a playboat.

Bailey is the "numbers on adrelaline. " Tighter lines, more serious consequences, more action, and a little more creeky feel. Definately a step up! I only take my creek boat here.

Gore is very different. More pool drop, but the drops are bigger than all of the above. It has a big water, pushy feel, even at lower water levels. The portages are harder, but not as necessary (ie. I've never portaged anything on Gore, but always portage 1st falls and supermax on Bailey). I like a creeker because I'm a wus, but many take their playboats. I think this is the hardest run of the group, but Bailey is a close 2nd.


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Old 07-05-2006   #3
I kayak DH.
Waterwindpowderrock's Avatar
Greater tri cities metro area, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 794
my opinion is that gore is easier than bailey, I run both in a playboat & don't walk anything I run sneak or prof. at gore rapid though (because I'M A WUSS!).

Bailey has way more must make moves than gore and I think higher consequences, Haven't run encampment or slaughterhouse, but numbers (class III) doesn't even belong in this conversation!

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Old 07-05-2006   #4
oh yeah
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 535
i couldn't say that gore is harder than bailey. they're the same in difficulty but bailey's creek style while gore's big water. running the main line in gore is equilivent to all of suermax. you could say the difference between gore and bailey is similar to the difference between foxton and shoshone: creek vs big water. the numbers at 1500 is one class easier than gore and similar in style; big water. numbers is mostly class III with a class IV or two (#4 and #5). gore's mostly class IV with an esay class V (5.0 if you sneak gore or 5.1 if you don't). tunnel's a class III+ move with class V consequences (you're likely to swim if you miss the one move) making it a IV+ish. kirschbaum's a IV+. applesauce's a IV.
on bailey first falls is a class III+ move (you have to boof) with class V/V+ consequences making it class IV+/-V. the next three drops of four falls are class IV+, it has multiple moves. the boogie water in between four falls and supermax is up to class IV as is the section between supermax and deer creek. supermax can be divided in half. if you run it all it's 5.1 if you just run the second half it's IV+. and lastly, deer creek is IV+; multipe moves and the longest rapid. some III/III+ below deercreek. i'm comparing bailey at 300ish and gore at 1000ish.
the encampment lies between gore and bailey; big water creek if that makes sense. big drop there's a 5.0 with multipe class IV's both before and after damnation alley.
haven't run slaughterhouse.
i'm going to lead a cwwa cruise on either bailey or gore on the 6th and 13th of august. let me know if you want to meet up.
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Old 07-05-2006   #5
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,302
The levels on all of these runs make a huge difference in the difficulty of the run. Bailey below 300 is much easier than it is at say, above 700. Gore below 900 is pretty mellow, but things get really juicy above 1500. And when it pushes 3000 you are on an entirely different river.

Only point is that the comparrison only works if you know what level you are comparing.

That being said, the info already stated is pretty accurate assuming a medium-low level on all runs.

I think that Gore is the toughest. But I could see the argument either way. Gore gets playboated much more, but I feel thats because Bailey has very poor play. Gore at least has some mediocre play.
Kyle McCutchen
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Old 07-06-2006   #6
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 169
open the flood gates of subjectivity!

maybe all this bs flowing will raise the creeks back up. things are as hard as they are. ratings aren't total bullshit, but pretty close. from the previous ratings thread "it's all class III if you make the move, right?"
if i'd known it was gonna be that kinda party...
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Old 07-06-2006   #7
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 67
ratings and comparisons

ratings are definitely not total bs, although we joke about a friend who rates things like "somewhere between a III+ and a IV-". The original post about comparisons is a bona fide question- everyone has a different opinion about difficulty. We all want to step it up, but make sure we have the skills to handle what were getting into (I hope). I'm told Gore and Bailey are similar difficulty wise, but I'll do Gore before Bailey cause I prefer river-style over creek. And i won't run gore til, as stated above, i'm confidently catching eddies in number 4 at 2000 cfs.
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Old 07-06-2006   #8
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Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1992
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Posts: 488
I think the Encampment is Gore-Lite. Similar gradient and volume, easier lines. The crux rapid Damnation Alley is about as steep and munchy as Gore Rapid, but without any technical moves. It's just a straight line down the gut.

Since the difference in ratings between regions started this, I was wondering if anyone could compare the Watauga and Bailey? They are both rated IV/V, and have similar volume and gradient. But I've been told (by a western paddler who moved out east) that the Watauga is significantly easier than Bailey. Any first hand accounts?


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Old 07-06-2006   #9
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dropzone, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 845
I would say that generally, the Watauga is easier than Bailey. I have only run the Watuaga once, and Bailey many times. A lot of people that run the Watuaga run everything, including Hydro and State Line Falls, but not that many people that run Bailey run everything in there. Supermax is much more difficult than anything on the Watuaga at normal flows. However, I would say that Bailey is much more continuous than the Watuaga once you are in the main part of the canyon, and that alone would make it more difficult for most.
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Old 07-06-2006   #10
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 38
I learned to creek on baily(about 20 some times) and now live about 45 min away from the watagua and paddled a decent amount in Co as well so heres my take. East vs west is pretty much equivilant. East coast is more tight and technical. Colorado your moving more continuously with sharper rocks. Encampment is gorelite pretty much equal. With baily your comparing how hard a creek run is to big water so it is kinda harder to compare. For baily vs watagua: I'd say bailey is slightly harder than watagua just b/c it more continuous with sharper rock. Supermax is harder than anything on watagua but not necessarily more dangerous. It also gets walked alot more than anything on the watagua. The bottom half of supermax is on par with hydro but hydro is about twice as long. Stateline the other "big one "on the watagua is easy but gets a cl V at any water level due to your dropping 15 ft and landing just next to a large boulder; just dont screw up. 1st drop of supermax gets walked alot but has a large screwup factor just like the linville line( brace into curler coming off boulder going just past a large sieve) that has the easiest ten footer ever on the other side. For water levels they are pretty much the same. 180 -350 pretty mellow. 350 -600 getting pushy. >600 you see less people on both as both are class V but watagua has less people heading up there b/c there are just less people around than near denver. Russell

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