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Old 01-29-2004   #21
Join Date: Oct 2003
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The Upper East was my first so called "true Creek". It is fun, straight forward, and not too difficult. Just make sure to catche the eddy above Stupid falls!

Ben Guska

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Old 01-29-2004   #22
ski/kayak bum
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 460
So then the question begs itself, when do you know that you are ready for "creeking" vs. river running.
or even more specific to me, what would be my next step in the process? I've done: Numbers, Gore (everything but gore rapid and tunnel), shosho, westwater, taylor. and i'm doing my aca and swiftwater this spring.
any thoughts?


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Old 01-29-2004   #23
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GO to crested butte,plan the upper east..........Look at daisy. A littleharder, but you can walk big wood. However the boof is almost easier this year because the dam that makes the pool blew out, so you can take either side boof strokes..........I prefer right, which used to not be the case for Big Wood
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Old 01-29-2004   #24
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You'll know you're ready for creeking when you look at the river and don't freak out because you absolutely know you can pull off the moves. Since you've run Gore Canyon, you should be comfortable on Bailey and South Boulder creeks (easy to walk the big ones on both) at moderate flows. If you like that stuff start stepping up to stuff like the East, which really is easy except for the last one--kind of a doozy--don't miss the take out. Willow and Fish are okay, but can get out of control pretty quickly for lack of eddies. Don't necessarily count on someone else to lead you there, if they eddy out and you're on your own, it can be tough for help to catch up to you. You can scout Middle Fish from the weir to the bridges pretty easily, and if it looks good to you, what's below is more of the same. What's above is harder. For reference, Willow is a good notch below what you'll see on middle Fish. Watch out for logs on Willow, though. You can always stop in to Paddler mag on Oak St. and see if any of us are heading up to Fish. We go nearly every day. WspSteamboater, look us up come spring or at the next fundraiser for the playholes.

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Old 01-29-2004   #25
Join Date: Oct 2003
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General question... How do you answer these questions from someone who you've never paddled with? It's great to suggest a series of rivers to build up your skills, but saying "yes you're ready" to someone online seems risky. Just because they have paddled a certain run doesn't necessarily indicate a skill level or the general experience that comes with time on the water. They may have paddled the run once, with trouble, but saying "I've paddled Bailey or Gore" doesn't indicate that.

I think the best idea is to ask your close paddling buddies, those who are better paddlers than you, and NOT those whose standard answer is "you'll be fine" or "you've got balls don't you". The thing with creeking, is that the sh*t hits the fan fast, everything is sped up. It's an entirely different style of boating.

And even if you are totally prepared for a run, consequences can be bad for a small mistake. I broke my back on OBJ last year and I know of several other paddlers, FAR better paddlers than myself, who have done the same. Beforehand, everyone I talked to thought I'd clean that run, until they were dragging my sorry but out of the canyon. I think it's really a personal thing, and the suggestions to work up slowly, doing IV moves on III rapids, etc., is really the way to go. And keep in mind that as the class goes up so do the consequences.

Also, it's a huge difference if you cannot portage major drops - that's my deciding factor, after 8 years of boating I still won't run solid V unless I always have the option to portage.
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Old 01-29-2004   #26
ski/kayak bum
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Thanks for the words of advice. Are you the same claire who was at Gore fest this year? I think that I met you. I was hanging with Mark Cohen. He told me your story about OBJ. After hearing that, it was great to see you doing gore so quickly. I came on here looking for ideas. I take them at face value along with opinions of people I respect, such as Mark. Just as in skiing, my instincts seem to be pretty right on about rivers and my capabilities. I thought that maybe there was a natural progression of rivers and that if there was I might have a little insight. I wasn't looking for an assessment of what I could or couldn't do. Sorry about the confusion. (In review, my last post probably does sound a little like I'm finding out what I could attempt, but that wasn't my intention)

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