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Old 10-31-2006   #31
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
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Cecil: The class V rapids on Bailey can each be easily portaged. However, do not take the rapids in between lightly. Though they are considered class IV, you should not feel that being upside down in any of them is safe. The rocks are sharp and very sievy in places. I think most people have no idea of the dangers that lie in Steep I, Steep II, Vector and the bottom half of Deer Creek rapids. If upside down in them you will mostly likely be bloody. I recommend that you also get substantial class V experience on the Ark before pursuing Bailey. The key to my point of view on this thread is that I feel a boater is okay being upside down on the Ark. Whereas, on most of the other runs mentioned you can generally not afford to be upside down at all. Amazingly, a quick roll on any of the others may avoid injury, but if you're slow then you can quickly get swept into a beat down that might even knock you unconscious. Certainly bloody knuckles at the least. When you're skills are ready, though, you're going to love the many beautiful places that class V runs take you. Cheers!

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Old 10-31-2006   #32
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 808

Sounds to me like you are ready to step up to Class IV, not Class V. Check out Middle Narrows, Boulder Creek above town, and the Class IV sections of Clear Creek. Whatever you boat, concentrate picking an interesting line and hitting it perfectly. You can really get alot better this way even if you are only paddling Class III.


Bailey sounds like the next step for you. Its a pretty managable step up from the Clear Creek IVs and Buttresses. Any flow under 400 would be okay. Make sure your first time is with someone who knows it and gives good directions. Gore at regular flows or Middle Narrows at high flows are other options for a step up. Those are higher volume runs though so they will seem pushy even though they are not really harder. Bear Creek (if it runs) is a good introduction to manky boating. I think its a bit harder than Bailey at low flows.


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Old 10-31-2006   #33
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
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Posts: 475
Slicing and dicing

By slicing and dicing I mean slalom type moves through a rapid so as to pick it apart into managable chunks. Eddy hopping in other words. Slowing it down and looking for the next eddy to gain so that you can eddy scout what is next. The gradient, hydraulics, and boulders of class V often make it difficult to see what is coming or know where you are at. A strong class V boater is precise and authoritative in controlling, yet working with the current, rocks, seams, folds, and eddies through a long rapid. You should watch someone like Scott Shipley slice and dice any class VI rapid. It is important to be able to catch the micro and demanding of eddies in the middle of a hairy rapid.
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Old 10-31-2006   #34
Arkansas during the off-season Nomadic during the summers! :), Arkansas & Colorado
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Posts: 945
Thanks again for the info...I see alot of good advice. But I didn't feel it necessary to include everything I've done on the Poudre but yes. I've ran nearly everything backwards, boofed every rock in sight, taken every line I could think of, made all the moves I could think of etc. Reading the river at class IV is a must for people and I've gotten good at it...Remember I did say I teach fluid mechanics...The transition from trying to apply everything you teach to practical use was fun...lots of over analyzing and probably not enough of just gettin in it at first. The only other MAIN thing was I did buy the pyrana 420 for playing...My first boat was the pyrana s8. I have both boats and I know the pyrana s8 is not a creekin boat but its what I will use for first time runs.....Therefore, the next question is how decent of a boat is the S8 for harder rivers? I know I'll have to buy a creeker soon and I didn't plan on my first V till the end of next summer (because I don't believe in moving up too quickly although its relative to the individual). So pyrana S8? Buy the creeker or stick with it another year?
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Old 10-31-2006   #35
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Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Buy a creek boat and get into it as soon as you can. Playboating is for people who like lines and complaining about rafters.
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Old 10-31-2006   #36
salida, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
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great stuff.
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Old 10-31-2006   #37
Bozeman, MT
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Don't run your first class V in a playboat! Creekboating is a whole different world. Once you've beaten a run to death in your creeker, a playboat is an easy way to spice it up, not the other way around. The S8 has speed for a playboat, which will be good for pushing the IV's. Find a run that progresses with flows, ideally IV@ low water, IV+@ medium, and V@ high. Get comfortable with the run, and try and hit it on the way up. Find a crew around the sound level, with the same intents, and learn as a group, it's way more fun that way.
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Old 10-31-2006   #38
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No personal offense ment gannon, but I'm gonna have to agree with Josh. I can't possibly imagine that you've run everything backwards, boofed every rock and taken every possible line through every rapid on the poudre in your first year. Certainly that didn't happen following rafts. Have you punched the meat of pineview, charged left up onto the slide and melted for 10 seconds at the bottom on the eddy line in a play boat at 4 ft? I've run gore canyon 40+ times and I still run new lines that other boaters show me. I'm not trying to start a pissing contest, but paddling with people much more experienced than myself teaches me new things every time I go out on any river. As for teaching an academic class on fluid dynamics - certainly you don't expect that it counts for river experience? Again, back to the being a paddler versus being a boater. I would recommend that you claim to have run most of the class iv test pieces before giving it to class V-. Numbers at 2000, Clear creek sections at 600, all of the lower poudre at 4ft, cross mountain at 2500, Royal Gorge at 2500, dowd chute at 2000, slaughter house at 1600, piedra at 1500, waterton at 1000. Realize that the upper mish (hardest section you've claimed to run) is only IV at 4 ft (high water). You still haven't run anything that is IV+ (an entire grade above IV). If you really need that step up, get a creek boat and fire up four mile down on boulder creek at 500. Realize that this too is only IV+. If you're planning on going to class V, get a creek boat. There is no doubt in my mind that class V is where it's at. The remoteness, comradery, mental/physical challenge and adrenaline rush are unparalleled in my experience. Keep paddling and chargin hard - you'll get there. Just remember that every day you go out, someone may not come back. It's not a story unless you're there to tell it. Gimme a call - I'll paddle with you anytime. We run westwater all winter to keep the skills somewhat sharp and hit the pool also.
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Old 11-01-2006   #39
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Jackson, Wyoming
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Get a creek boat, run some things you know and get a feel for the boat then decide what kind of class 5 you want to run. I think my fist class 5 was in the black rock section of clear creek. Clear creek and gore seem similar to me and bailey is more technical and tight with a constant gradient and push. Depending on water levels I think bailey is the harder of the three. Take gore at 1200, black rock at 400 and bailey at 350ish and I think gore and black rock are good starters for you. I think you will be fine in any of those three though. You sound confident and ready to get in and test yourself, so get a creek boat and a good group to go with and get after it. As for milking runs over and over, not my thing I like to get out and see places. So like I said, if you feel ready then go check it out.

Also you have to remember there are 2 class 5 rapids on gore at 1200 easily walked. 2/3 on Bailey depending on who you talk to and 2/3 on clear creek at levels mentioned above all with exception of the narrows on CC are very easy to walk. If you solid catching eddies in class 4 you will be fine to make your decisions at the rapids yourself.

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Old 11-04-2006   #40
Focus on your own damn family, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
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Posts: 241
Fellow Boaters,
I'm writing an article for the Pikes Peak Whitewater
Club Newsletter. I'd like to put in comments from
this thread into the article ( with attribution). If
you don't want to be mentioned please post it here
or PM me.

Our club has a number of strong paddlers. We had a
group of 20 run the #s at 1800 cfs with no swims. We
also had about 10 run Pine creek this year. We only
have about 100 members. Where to go from there is an
important issue for us.

Chris Brobin
Newsletter Editor PPWC

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