The Chutes section south Platte is closed to all
The Chutes section of the south fork of the south Platte is closed to all. I am referring to a 1/3 of a mile of river where the actual chutes are. I have been teaching people to kayak through this section for years and have never been told to portage. I have spoken to rangers and police before and at that time I was told the signs were to keep kids from cliff jumping. Well all that changed yesterday when a Jefferson County Sheriff signaled that I should get out of my boat and come to the road. I was teaching a class of four and had them wait in the eddy at the halfway point through the chutes. The sheriff informed me that he could fine each of us $750 for paddling this section. After speaking to him for quite a while he let me take my group down the chute, but informed me if he sees me again he will fine me. He informed me that the chutes can be deadly at higher flows and that because it is dam controlled the level could change without a moments notice. I know there are a few sieves in the entry (always a good teaching tool) and a cave on the right that I have heard of people going through. All rivers have potential deadly sections. A lake for that matter can be deadly. I dont know what to think, this is a great section of water for teaching and I would hate to lose it, but I do not need to go to jail because some officer tries to give me a ticket and I tell him my position. I am curious if anybody else has been fined or warned to stay off of this section.
A side note Dave the landowner, just up stream of the confluence, moved a little while back and died shortly after. Can some one say KARMA?
Reflecting on our adventures allows us to keep the spirit of joy, happiness, hardships, honesty and gratitude alive.