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Old 09-10-2009   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Tunnel: Boater vs. Rock?

I've often wondered what kind of bad things would happen running Tunnel on Gore too far left and getting too close to the big rock at the base of the drop.

Saw a couple of boaters go pretty far left and seemingly go straight for the rock, disappear completely, and pop out. One mentioned a moderate piton, but seemed no worse for the wear except for the swim after getting stuck in the hole.

Has anyone ever hit their torso or head on the rock running too far left? Can you pin on that rock, or just piton? It seems like you could face plant on the rock, but I haven't seen it happen.

I've never looked closely at it at low water and its hard to tell where the rock ends or what it looks like underwater with all the water jetting over it from the far left.

Just wondering what folks have seen or experienced when things go wrong and you get too far left.

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Old 09-10-2009   #2
tj@cu's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 983
If you get way left there is a rock over there. As last weekend proved running over there results in more swims then the right down the middle line. Plus the middle line is a sick boof (or you can get a sick side boof, right Ian). I think to many people don't realize how hard the water is moving from right to left at the lip and that you really have to charge out into the middle to avoid the rock.
O yeah and the meat of toilet bowl is fun also, right Kevin (congrats on getting to drink out of the most coveted spot on the doll, and of course on getting hitched)

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Old 09-10-2009   #3
JDHOG72's Avatar
Wolcott, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 432
In my limited experience the left side will knock you over an push you deep. I haven't heard to many kayakers actually hitting the rock with much more then their boats. I did see a rafter yesterday get ejected and he said he hit his head on the rock. Like Tom said my best lines have been right down the middle but it definately tries to push you left.
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Old 09-10-2009   #4
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 807
One of the guys who tagged the rock last weekend did break the outfitting in his boat (we repaired it with beer cans, hose clamps, and duct tape). I have also seen a couple bows cratered in. On both occasions, the offending boater appeared to go under the rock. Based on the boat damage and my observations of the drop at lower water, I do not think there is actually that much space under the rock. I think the boat pitons underneath the big rock before the boater gets decapitated, and then the current just takes them deep.

As Tom said, charging a bit right with a big boof is the ticket. I'll stick to that line and let others probe the rock.

PS- if you guys thought Saturday was a carnage fest, you should have been there Monday...
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Old 09-10-2009   #5
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Yes, after detailed scientific investigation, I have concluded that going off tunnel sideways in the middle of the drop is not the best line. Its probably only slightly better than going off upside down or out of the boat completely.

I am vaguely aware of the correct line... I've hit it once or twice!

Still wondering if people have had any worse experiences with the rock other than a piton.
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Old 09-10-2009   #6
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 71
I do recall a day on Gore where Max aka "Chunderboy" went too far left and broke his nose on Tunnel.

I personally have gone deep at like a thousand and experienced a brief pin, then was released and rolled up fine.

Many seem to piton and roll right into the maw.

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Old 09-10-2009   #7
Roy's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 682
Originally Posted by jmack View Post
PS- if you guys thought Saturday was a carnage fest, you should have been there Monday...
Did Team Utah step up for the smackdown on Monday?
I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied...learn to swim!
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Old 09-10-2009   #8
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
Brent partially folded a boat getting stuck in a kind-of-flat-kind-of-vertical-pin-like situation from going too far left on Tunnel. He said it felt very serious at the moment but he popped loose. It's probably one of those drops that goes almost all of the time, even with a bad line, but will eventually kill someone with a bad line combined with bad luck.
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Old 09-10-2009   #9
dork, confusion
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 204
heard of a poor boater who received 15 stitches in her face from said rock! careful.
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Old 09-10-2009   #10
Fuzzy's Avatar
Knife Fork of the Spoon Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 365
The good ol days the line was left and on the rock till it shifted down a bit. was a pretty fun move

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