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Old 06-06-2007   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Vertical Challenge Update: Clear Creek Rally

The vertical challenge hasn't been a hot of a topic on the buzz, but teams have been roving the state paddling hard, running laps, and getting the most vertical feet that they can from May 15 - June 15.

This weekend was a clear creek of the arkansas vertical challenge rally. Two teams showed up to try to get the max of 5 laps allowed to pump up the points for the teams. At 585ft of drop for in about 3 miles, and easily lappable, clear creek of the ark is a prime candidate for the quest for vert and fun.

We put on at noon on saturday to about 200cfs. We ended up doing 3 laps on sat, had a pin, a swim, good runs through the first two gorges, and rock bashing, pin inducing scrapes through the 3rd gorge to get through the whole run. All in all a great day in a beautiful valley.

The other team up there did 3 laps also, somehow missing us all day on the river.

That evening the two teams and several other boaters congregated at a nice camp mid run and had a great saturday night boater party. Beer flowed, tales of carnage and beat up gear were shared and 15-20 folks gathered around the campfire late into the night.

Its was awesome fun to drive down the the ark, rally all day, and party that night. Great fun seeing all the boaters out there, and great fun having the group campsite.

The next morning came early and we hit another clear creek lap, had a nasty pin, and called it quits and hit went to run bailey. The other crew blasted a couple laps on clear creek and then ran numbers 3 times.

Driving home sunday night we were completely worn down and sleep was the only thing on my mind, but damn we had fun.

Check out the standings and look through the amount of boating some of these crews have been doing. People are kicking ass and paddling their asses off.

Kayaking Information

Keep and eye out for a post contest party coming soon too.

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Old 06-06-2007   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 143
just a questions don't take it the wrong way. But do you think racing the river trying to get laps in a short period of time contributed to the pins?

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Old 06-06-2007   #3
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
No, first run of the day, paddled it at a normal pace.

Originally Posted by pcrawford View Post
just a questions don't take it the wrong way. But do you think racing the river trying to get laps in a short period of time contributed to the pins?
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Old 06-06-2007   #4
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Valid question P. I don't think that the # of runs contributed to the pins, and we weren't really racing down, moving at a regular pace and eddying out here and there.

Its pretty common to lap something that short and we figured we could get several.

I pinned on the second run in the third gorge, but I was still feeling strong at that point. It was a super rocky rapid that took a left turn on the lead in and came back hard right. It was so bony, I hit an FU rock, got sideways and pinned on the next one. Loads of pin rocks in that one. I think the other group noted that several of the boaters in their group pinned in that rapid the first run down. Low water and lots o' rocks in crappy places.

After the 3rd run we could have done a 4th, but opted not too as people were getting tired and we didn't want to start getting too sloppy and make mistakes that would be punishing. We realized that we didn't want to push our limits of exhaution on a run like that.

The other pin was on the first run of the next day. Boater missed a move to the slot he was aiming for and pinned on a rock mid channel.
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Old 06-06-2007   #5
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 173
Que Pasa Patrick!

Congrats on the new raft. You'll know what pinning and flipping is like soon enough Count me in for the next westwater trip...any plans for running that rubber beast down black rock...i'll paddle right behind in my nomad

We had a blast on Clear Creek of the Ark...good times!
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Old 06-06-2007   #6
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 17
Two Fleece Mike

I would agree that we tried to do as much as possible without rushing/racing or putting on something while running low on fuel.

After "negotiations" at the take out of the second run, two boaters opted for the Numbers, while four of us went for the third lap on Clear Creek of the Ark. The two boaters that opted for the Numbers had seen enough of the rock bashing in the third gorge for one day. One of them forgot his dry top, but in the spirit of the competition the boater on the Vertical Challenge team gave him his dry top and did a late day "cold" Numbers run in a double layer of fleeece. Now that was commitment!
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Old 06-06-2007   #7
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
Doesn't suprise me that the 3rd gorge was like that. I like to take out after the 2nd gorge at that little campsite on river left. Maybe with lots of water the 3rd gorge would be more fun? I wouldn't know, the only time I ran CC of the Ark with plenty of water my boat got knocked into the water by a falling rock at the bottom of the first gorge when I was helping someone. My boat did the rest of the run by itself.
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Old 06-06-2007   #8
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Yeah, the third gorge was super bony, but the official eddyflower put in and take out list the 3rd gorge as the takeout. Gotta run the whole run to get the vertical, even if it means bashing some rocks.

If we weren't doing the vertical challenge we would deinitely take out after the second gorge.
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Old 06-06-2007   #9
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 113

The VC has been pretty sweet this spring. I was on lower CC earlier this week and a couple guys from the CU Death team had run Lawson to Golden and were jumping back in for a lap on Black Rock. That's about 28 miles and around the same vert as running the Upper A in a day. Props.

The VC has made for a fun kick-off to the season. It's not often that you'll try to get 3 laps of Bailey in a day. Most of the time your content to get it once and then hit the BBQ and beer. You and your crew definitely push eachother, and it's different from the stepping up to a rapid kind of stuff. Your timing a run and trying to squeeze one more in before it's pitch black (always a run we know well). I've seen that a few guys ran Alto 5 times in a day. Some guys are doing dawn patrols before work. I think it definitely adds more strength and endurance to your boating.

Also, The fundraiser aspect really helps sell the GF/wife on why your boating your ass off and not paying any attention to her.
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Old 06-06-2007   #10
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 56
Gain more vert this Saturday in the Clear Creek downriver race...Lawson to Kermitts-600 vert.

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