View Poll Results: Darwin Vs. Education: To help and educate or let nature take its course
Educated and leave: Tell them they are an idiot, keep going 14 28.57%
Educate and help: Tell them they are an idiot, give them help getting down 22 44.90%
Let nature take its course: Smile, wave, and keep paddling 13 26.53%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-09-2005   #31
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
The biggest problem with the cop scenario at least as related in the post you guys are talking about, is that the cop doesn't understand rivers and whitewater nor the restrictions in place. I think that could rub anyone the wrong way.

By the way, don't worry about "hijacking" the thread, I think it has become an overall discussion of what people find appropriate concerning safety on the river. I think it's pretty interesting to see what other people think and why/how they justify certain things.

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Old 08-09-2005   #32
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,910
Solo Boating

Regarding the solo boating, I think that going solo on whitewater is something that you have to use judgement with. I'll run solo on a river that's a class or two below my max. skill level, if I know the river well, & if I know that there are enough folks around that I can wait for another group to run difficult rapids with.

There's a big difference between running Grizzley Creek or Brown's solo and running a wilderness Class IV river solo.


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 08-10-2005   #33
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
imho, the thread asks if you should educate or not. Solo boating is not about education if you know the risks. Its a personal choice.
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Old 08-10-2005   #34
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Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 882
Originally Posted by WhiteLightning
Carnage photos appeal to kids and might make boneheads take seriously....
I think this is a great idea. Back east at Great Falls, the NPS has a photo on the info board of a chopper pulling a body from the Little Falls Dam. The photo has been there over 20 years and morons still die every year but at least you warned them very clearly.
Join up, suckas.

"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid."
- Soren Kierkegaard
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Old 08-10-2005   #35
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
I realize that would work for a dangerous waterfall but I am not sure thats the message for the ww park.
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Old 08-10-2005   #36
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3
Solo wilderness boating

See, now this is EXACTLY what I'm trying to say. I'm not from CO and haven't done a whole lot of boating out there but here's my take, w/ a little more detail:

I am a strong class IV+ paddler who has done plenty of class V, though I wouldn't call myself a "class V boater". I don't really consider running the local roadside class III stretch solo boating, especially if it's at a time when you are sure to run into other groups. Example, Main Payette in the evenings after work or on a weekend during the summer. I have done plenty of "off-peak" paddles down the class IV runs in my area, both roadside and not (Lower SF Payette and Canyon on SFP) and this also reveals a significant distinction. Both of these runs have their own unique challenges but running the SF Canyon solo is quite a bit more rewarding but, in my mind, no more risky. I tend to look at situations on the water in short little time capsules. If you screw up in a rapid, get stuck in a hole, end up swimming, etc. the major types of injuries or problems will yield the same result no matter what. The most critical decisions are made prior to getting into your boat and/or prior to running a particular rapid. If I decide to run the Canyon solo and discover that I am having a bad day I can still hike out. Yeah it's a hell of a lot tougher than scrambling up some rocks on the Staircase run and getting right to the road but I can still do it. It's all about when you make your decisions and how prepared you are. Here's an example of how being properly prepared can make a difference: I have also ran the Deadwood (24 mile class IV-V wilderness run) solo. Now, in order to be prepared for bad shit on that you need to have enough gear to comfortably bivuoac. If so, the wilderness factor has been mitigated.

About the reward. To me, the rewards are amplified 10-fold if it's a wilderness run and then again even more the closer it is to the top of my skill level. This all means that I have to be mentally strong, well prepared, clear headed and realistic about my decision making etc etc. To me, this is what boating and outdoor activities are ALL ABOUT. Hope that clarified my position a little better.
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Old 08-14-2005   #37
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 21

I was raised a boy scout. From an early age we were taught the buddy system. It’s just safer when you have someone watching out for you. To argue otherwise is illogical. Take backcountry hiking for instance. Let’s say you go for a nice 20 miler on your favorite route. What happens if you head off the trail to piss, slip on a loose rock and fall? You could be 10 feet from the busiest trail in the state but if you're knocked out bleeding from your head there’s no way anyone can know you're there.

Take the park ranger who recently passed away. I'm sure everyone would agree he was an expert in his own backyard. Freak accidents can happen to ANYONE. A good friend of mine just died longboarding on a golf cart path because he hit some gravel and was not wearing a helmet. He wasn't cruising Vail Pass or Estes, he was just unlucky enough to wreck 100 yards from his house while boarding alone. It is your choice to run anything solo, I just hope that everyone realizes the importance of at minimum leaving a detailed itinerary with a friend or local park ranger. Its 20 minutes that could save your life.

As for the a tuber I catch more crap than the average river go'er. I'm ok with that. I enjoy it when a boater takes the time to warn me about the dangers ahead. I respect their opinion of me and am thankful when they give me tips on how to run the upcoming rapid. Boaters with 5, 10, 15 years on the rivers sometimes forget that they were newbie’s once. Ya that’s right, you were all the "stupid idiots" at some point. The only way people can improve is to practice. I would just encourage the boating community to be patient with newer river rats and encourage them with constructive criticism
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Old 08-14-2005   #38
Wydaho, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 118
Last year I was surfing at King's Wave on the Snake. A guy came through with a recreational kayak, dog, and no spray skirt. After a brief surf on King's Wave, the boat filled with water (no float bags) and the guy & dog bailed. I started paddling after the dog (he didn't have a choice) and when I got close enough to the dog, reconsidered after seeing the dog was doing fine and the guy was screaming for help. After I hauled his Wrangler-wearing (no offense to anyone except him) ass out of the water he didn't even have the courtesy to say thanks. Nor did he say thank you to the other paddler that got his boat to shore. He received a curt educational speach from both of us. As much as I believe in natural selection, I do feel some obligation to educate unknowing whitewater participants. Some people don't view water as having a hazard--not really sure why.

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Old 08-14-2005   #39
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Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
I saw 6 or 7 boners pulling into Shoshone take out with no PFD's cheering and drinking, (presumably because they haven't drowned yet). I did not approach and educate, it seems like there are a lot of these people out there.
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Old 08-15-2005   #40
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 17
Keep in mind people, this is America. There is no law that says anyone using the river must use a life jacket.

Newbie, You sure are an expert on everything for being a newbie. Just because you newbies are scared of class I and II doesn't mean everyone else is. Some people will run rivers all their life without a life jacket and be fine. On the other side of the conversation, sometimes life jackets can get you in trouble on the river. Just some food for thought since all you people posting on this topic are such experts.

White Lightining, Sounds like you pay more attention to other people than yourself.

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