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Old 07-05-2011   #1
Basalt, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 57

Running WW for the first time on 7/11..
Have run Class IV, mostly III's. From friends, videos, forums, posts, etc, almost feel like i've run it in my sleep...
What the hell do I expect at 28K?
Oh.., I'm in a 13'9 Hyside, oar frame, some Dale's and a not so sure fiance!! (Also a couple of guys that can paddle out front if needed)
All advice welcome...

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Old 07-05-2011   #2
gjbugtosser's Avatar
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 11
By "..a couple of guys that can paddle out front if needed", I assume you mean kayakers? If so, YES, bring them! The biggest I've run WW is at 24k. For the most part, the usual big rapids will be washed out, but thats a lot of water in a narrow canyon (understatement of the day : ) ). I would have at least 1 other raft and a few kayakers. Last year I flipped on funnel falls at 13k in a 16' self-bailer. It really humbled me, and I was especially grateful for the other 2 rafts and 3 kayaks in our group that got all 5 of us scooped up before skull. From what I heard from a reliable source (that knows people that were in the group), the WW fatality last week was from 2 rafts getting jammed up at skull and couldn't maneuver through the laterals, and got flipped. They were experienced rafters. Very tragic and sad. Not trying to freak you out, just be prepared, and don't go in with the attitude that you can run it in your sleep.

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Old 07-06-2011   #3
Basalt, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 57

Bad choice of wording "run it in my sleep" just have heard everything from "piece of cake" to "sell your permit!"..
Just looking for a well rounded answer.
Appreciate the advice.
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Old 07-06-2011   #4
gjbugtosser's Avatar
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 11
I hear you. In general, "the terrible teens", when flows are between 12k to 19k or so, is when the rapids are the biggest. At this level, I've been told there are laterals coming from the left as you are approaching skull, so obviously turn into them. When I ran it 2 years ago at 24k, I got spun right before skull because I wasn't prepared for them, but the wave train shot me off to the left, so I didn't get pushed into the wall. Be on river-left approaching skull. I've only run WW twice, so these 2 replies are the extent of my WW experience. I'm sure some others will chime in before you go. Have fun.
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Old 07-06-2011   #5
Crested Butte, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 298
Running it at that level isn''t that hard but having safety, back-up, clean-up for flips or swimmers is hard but essential. A nervous passenger would be a dangerous swimmer and multiple boats would increase your chances for quick rescues. If you are asking this question you may not be ready.
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Old 07-06-2011   #6
yesimapirate's Avatar
Denver-ish, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 739
We're running it this Sat. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 07-06-2011   #7
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by yesimapirate View Post
We're running it this Sat. I'll let you know how it goes.
Very interested in your trip report. I have permit for 7/16 and we are still debating if we will be running it.
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Old 07-06-2011   #8
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 11
At 28000 the left lateral in Skull and the Rock of Shock are your biggest issues. There is a long straightaway above Skull and you know you're approaching when a wall appears downstream where the river should be, because the river is going left at the Rock of Shock. The conventional run is not to start river left, but instead, come down the straight away with your nose to the right wall, or as close as you can get with the eddy lines boiling, As you approach the lip, you turn to a 45 degree downstream ferry angle and motor/aim for the soft spot in the left lateral. At 28 K, the soft spot is just left of the apex of the V.

If you get in a hurry and hit the wrong spot in the lateral, the lateral will stop you or flip you, or you will lose momentum and not be able to get out of the wave train. The wave train plows into the Rock of Shock, which is a flipping spot. If you break through the lateral upright, you continue pulling left and pivoting until you are pointing downstream. There is an eddy on the left where you can watch the rest of your group's run. Boats that flip will be motoring downstream, so be prepared to chase.

The biggest sources of problems are people not being able to hold their spacing in the straight away above Skull. If you clusterbunch in there you won't have room to set up for your momentum move left. You don't want to be so far apart you can't help each other, or so close together that you don't leave each other room.
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Old 07-06-2011   #9
Basalt, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 57
Found this, probably very similar to what it's runnung now, is almost a perfect visual of what cataraftbetty is saying

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Old 07-06-2011   #10
Fruita, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7
We ran it a few days ago (sunday) and it was a blast. I have never rowed it at that level and it was a bit different for sure. Skull is your biggest concern. We usually hug the wall river right and then pull left as you enter the upper tongue to punch the left lateral and avoid the hole. It was VERY hard to even get close to the wall at this flow. I wasn't as close as I wanted to be but was still able to pull left and avoid the hole.
You do not want to run the Skull river right, it will not end well.

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