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Old 05-14-2008   #11
kclowe's Avatar
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
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Matt, you are such a permit ho!

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Old 05-14-2008   #12
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The Road, Colorado
Paddling Since: '07
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Originally Posted by kclowe View Post
Matt, you are such a permit ho!
IF that where the case I would have a permit pimp...

Life: Live it!
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Old 05-14-2008   #13
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 33
Snowpack is still at 144% of average in the Upper Colorado River Basin. There was an article in the Aspen Daily today on the "state of the river" and a water resource specialist with the Colorado River District stated that Westwater could reach peak flows of 44K to 48K. Your June 9th date will probably be real close to peak. It's at 19K right now.
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Old 05-14-2008   #14
mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: '92
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flushed out

At 23,000 it was mellow. Yes...huge eddy lines, but most everything was flushed out. Bow into the waves, push, and no problems.
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Old 05-15-2008   #15
Colorado Springs Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2006
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I had a friend who rowed it twice at 30K in 1984. She was strong, a competent commercial guide, and had years of international competitive swimming experience. She was very comfortable in big water. Each time she flipped in Skull and swam all the way through to the flatwater at the end. She made it but each time she had lot's of doubt that she was going to. Watch yer ass in there.
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Old 05-15-2008   #16
Parker, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
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flushed out

I agree. I ran it at 26K in a Kayak a few years ago and it was a easy float that went way to fast. The biggest issue for us was not the rapids but the shifting eddy lines and keeping a safe distance from the rafts in our group. We wanted to be close enough to the rafts to help rescue swimmers. It was hard to do keep all the boats from bunching up with the current and unpredictable eddie lines. We had no swimmers or raft flips and I do not recall Oarsman complaining about the level of difficulty.

My favorite level for Westwater is around 3500 cfs. The play is much better and it is easy to eddie hop and take your time getting through the canyon. At high water levels it seems like it takes only a few minutes to get through the rapids. When you get through last chance rapid everyone in the group looks around with a "is that it???" kind of look on their face.
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Old 05-15-2008   #17
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
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That was a cool site posted above for colorado river peak flow forecasting. The one that caught my eye was roaring fork near aspen. Peak last year 390, median guess on peak this year 1500! Yeeeeeehaaaaaaaw!
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Old 05-15-2008   #18
telluride, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1

In 1983 we launched off the interstate in Grand Junction that was closed at the bridge hear colona, the normal P>I> was underwater-flow around 50,000. It was a very fast trip to the black rock area and there was our only trouble of the whole run. a river wide reversal that we had all four rafts surfing in at the same time-no flips, the wave-big reversal was angled downstream to river left-thus just kept the boat straight and worked left. At the rnager station we floated up to the front door of the trailer and checked in with John Thomas. He was surrounded by water. app 3 feet deep and all the fields where underwater also. We camped at the miners cabin river left and our boats where 2 feet away from the front door of the cabin. from there on the problem was staying out of eddys and off the walls where the swirls where bad and big enough to flip boats. all the rapids where washed out and at skull we just rowed hard left and went over the scout area probably covered by 20 feet or more of water. Reached the TO way to fast. What a ride.

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Old 05-15-2008   #19
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Salida, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 516
Spanked like a naughty little boy

in a paddle boat in the teens. Watched a friend get flapjacked in an oarframe by a lateral after had cleared the hole in skull and looked home free. Got him in my boat before Sock...just barely
No amount of money is worth your free time!
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Old 05-15-2008   #20
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I had a friend swim out of his kayak at about 19K above Big Hummer. Since he didn't have a solid roll, I told him to stay near the raft; which he did - but they just sat there and watched him float downstream as I screamed at them to throw him a rope. I ended up chasing him almost the whole way through the canyon, with him grabbing the stern of my boat (a Pyranha Storm, which was a pretty small boat). I couldn't get him into an eddy because of the huge eddy lines, and we kept getting pulled into the next rapid and I'd get flipped trying to pull him to the sides, and he'd have to let go. I finally got him to shore in the scout eddy at Skull - a mile or so downstream - and he was too exhausted to pull himself onto the rock. I was fully exausted too and we both just clung to the side until another paddler caught up with us.

Moral of the story: Westwater is no joke at higher flows. That was close as I've ever seen to a flush drowning- if I hadn't gotten him into that eddy, I think I wouldn't have had the energy to get him until after Last Chance, and that would have been too late. As a rafter, I'd be very hesitant to take anyone on my raft that hadn't swam Class IV, and they'd need a hi-float PFD and a good wetsuit or a drysuit. Think about trying to catch a swimmer once your boat got hooked by one of those massive eddy fences...

So please be careful.

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