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Old 01-28-2004   #11
Confluence Watersports Sales rep
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 40
Fish and Willow

My name is Joel and I'm the Wave Sport sales rep in the rockies. I've been with Wave Sport since it's inception pretty much and lived in Staemboat for 13 years. Wilow and fish were a couple of my 1st and favorites and I've run fish hundreds of times.
a few pieces of advice for either creek.
1.) Follow a reliable helmet. Find and experienced boater you trust and stay on his/her butt.
2.) Catch eddies whenver possible. They are few and far between and you need a break to get some rest. Don't leave an eddy until your are rested and psyched.
3.) # 2 is important beacsue being upside dow is difficult in these creeks. It's shallow and you will take hits. Swims are horrible. Best case scenario you will lose you boat for good if not for the day and you will get some good bruises.

Buckle up for safety!
Have fun. Hope to see you up there this spring. I love the Steamboat paddling and the paddlers!


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Old 01-28-2004   #12
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Seattle, Washington
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When does Escalante usually start running? I thought that OBJ at low water levels was a good intro to creekin. It has big drops for beginners, but at low water the eddies aren't hard and the moves aren't too hard. Clear Creek of the Ark is another good one, but it's continuous and can't be scouted very well, so you have to follow someone.

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Old 01-28-2004   #13
ski/kayak bum
Join Date: Oct 2003
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OBJ I've only looked at it but i can't imagine it as a beginning creek nor can i imagine gore (a river not a creek and I made the mistake of tackling gore as an intro) from someones earlier post
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Old 01-28-2004   #14
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Systems & Process Design, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 196
I would agree with Double-A-Ron. OBJ is not an intro/beginner creek. It has big consequences for missed moves. I know a number of people who have broken their backs on OBJ.

I would suggest Bailey as an intro creek. It is mostly class IV and all drops are scoutable/portable.

If you want to creek in CB hit the Upper East first. If you feel comfortable on it then step up to Daisy. If you like Daisy and want to step again hit OBJ.

Just my opinion.

by the way... how do I size down my avatar?
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Old 01-28-2004   #15
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
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Lose the eye picture.

Hey Alex lose the eye picture or reset the size. It's messing with my computer screen settings. Thanks.
I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 01-28-2004   #16
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I was mentioning OBJ as a beginners creek, as opposed to river, which is what Bailey and the East are. Beginning creeking is WAY different from being a true beginner, and that's why I'd call OBJ (at low water only) a beginner's creek. IMO don't start any creeking until you're comfortable in Gore/Pine Creek/Bailey.
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Old 01-29-2004   #17
Bozeman, MT
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 106
creekin in the boat

Hey, I was in the situation as you last year, started creeking, after a few years of the yampa. I started in willow. It's easy, but after the first drop you will be grinning in eddies bellow. My buddies and I read the bibble, and then all went on our first creek run. It was a riot, hop out right before the big rock, that funnels the creek, It's nothing to be conserned, but it will flip the unexpected, don't worry the pool under it provides a grouping point, you'll love the fast drop right underneith it. The first drop it fairly straight forward, no huge holes, or rocks to dodge. The creek slows down with a few rapids, but nothing you can't read and run easily. be careful, there is wood in about four differnt spots through the mellow wilderness water, but you can eddie out easily. The next rapid is woopie ridge, you'll be in the middle of it nexpectedly, it's fun, but be onyour toes, and stay up right. The log jam funnels you to the left, edding out may be diffucult, so be ready for the willow shoot, it's mysterious, but make sure someon who has run it before goes first, just go with the flow, and get ito the middle of teh shoot, the willows like to grab you. after the willow shoot your in the clear. before you know it you'll be going under the bridge into the elk. After we did willow we headed for fishcreek. I did it in my big easy, just as I did willow in. It's more of a rush in a play boat! When fish gets cranking you'll want a creek boat, holes will grab you, and you'll be in a rodeo comp before you know it. Grab a boat from pete or berry. Petes nicer, and lets you bum boats more often. I was an aca instructor for him the summer, and I bought his H3. Hopefully he gets more creek demos this year for aspirring creekers. Before you know it you'll be flying off waterfalls on obejoyful. Have fun, If you need someone to show you some creeks around steamboat, I'll be at the hole In my yellow big easy.
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Old 01-29-2004   #18
Join Date: Jan 2004
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my first post

My first time paddling was about 2 years ago...A buddy and I rented some boats and headed up to the pump house, near kremling, for the first time...We probably should have taken some lessons before our first time on that section...Needless to say that i got hooked up paddling...Bought my first bought the next season, but was cut short because of shoulder surgery...Was having a great season last year (for me) until I herniated a disc in my back...Finally had surgery last week, so I'm bed ridden for the next three weeks...Just looking forward to getting healthy enough so i can start playing in the pools soon...
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Old 01-29-2004   #19
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
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TenMile is a screamer too...

I caught Tenmile (below Copper to Officer's Gulch) at about 900 cfs last year, and that run is deceptively fast at that level. Even hiking up along the creek from the takeout, I though it looked about a IV, but it was super fast- took us less than 10 minutes to go a mile, with maybe 3 micro-eddies during the whole run. A swim would be super-traumatic- it's not only shallow & the flow at maybe 15mph, but the takeout runs out into two 4' diameter culverts. If you ran into a problem above that, it could be fatal- the takeout eddies are tiny. Lower levels would surely make the run easier but the culverts are still there. I heard the section below that into Frisco is more like IV at that level, III at lower levels- that should be a good beginner creeking run.

I agree that a guided run down Bailey below 400 is a good 1st creek- scout/ walk anything. South Boulder, Boulder Creek from the Red Lion down are even more forgiving. Upper East is good to go at low to medium flows- maybe VI-. If you feel dialed on the East, hit the Slate but skip Wicked Wanda.

I think Lime Creek isn't a particularly hard run at low levels. The drops are intimidating, but they all have pools below them. You can also exit the gorge pretty easily if the warm-up section above Adrenaline kicks your ass. This would be more of a testpiece for Steep Creeking, after you've feel comfortable on all the runs above - if you see yourself stepping up to OBJ, Vallecito, Crystal Gorge, then check Lime out. A good 1st time level would be just barely enough water to scrape down at the put-in. Again- very important to go with someone that knows the run. I agree that OBJ can boat easier than it looks, but if you screw up you could wind up hurt on the big falls. Negotiating big falls in tight creeks is a skill that some folks take for granted, especially with modern boats that practically boof themselves.

Another point I'd like to add is that steep creeking moves kayaking from an individual sport into a team sport. You may feel comfortable pushing your own limits beyond your abilities, but remember that your buddies are going to have to put themselves at risk to save your ass if you can't handle it.

Have a safe season- wear a good helmet with a facemask if you don't want to wind up and ugly as Alex.
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Old 01-29-2004   #20
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Englewood, Colorado
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Is the East really that hard? I've always heard it's easy fives.

As for the main topic, it's hard to start in Colorado, in some ways. I had the good fortune of starting to creek on class III-IV stuff in the SE. I think the best thing you can do is catch every eddy and make every move on stuff below your limit. I did Little River in the Smokies one year, the year I started boating class IV. The following summer, I did Big Creek (heavy IV), then the Nantalhala Cascades (soft V) and then the Green Narrows w/o the big 3 (V). When I got to the Green, I had really only done 2 serious creeks, but it felt easy and I was suprised. The reason was that I worked my butt off on easier rivers. I did slot moves, hairy ferries and caught difficult eddies on class III and IV play runs where the consequences were far less threatening. When I got to a place where there was a ferry above an undercut or a must-make eddy, it was much easier than I had expected.

I think if you can relax in the Numbers and pick apart rapids like #1, you're ready to start in on something like Bailey. Just be aware that (IMHO) many people start to creek too early, before they can really read water 100% and spot hazards on the fly - two skills which most people will use to prevent death or serious injury at least once a season when creeking. The other thing is to know how to be safe - and then do it. Your party is w/o a rope? Forget it. It's YOUR butt on the line. Paddle another day. Not too far back, a great boater died in South America because his buddy, an accomplished, respected and well-known boater, did not have a rope, and only for that reason. Everyone should take something from that.

Creeking really is a team sport. It's true that there are times that you are effectively on your own because no one can help you if you pin in a certain spot, but that's not the rule. When creeking, I let the team decide. If I want to run a drop, but the crew is seriously not cool with that, I'll walk (this has only happened once). When the consequences are severe enough and I really don't feel good about a certain person running a drop, I'll tell them, because if they get messed up, I'm the guy who has to do the rescue (this has happened about twice). The point is that the boater owes an obligation to the rest of the party not to accept a risk that they aren't willing to accept possibly having to deal with. It's really just like the way you would make someone walk Zoom Flume on the Ark, no matter how they protested, if they swam every drop above that. You're the one chasing the yard sale, so they need to consider you a bit. Only in creeking, the consequences can be worse than a yard sale.

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