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Old 06-12-2005   #1
matty1971's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 58
When should you step up to a new level?

I realize that this is a highly subjective question but when should a boater step up from class III to IV or any level that is? Is it a cerain amount of years experience and/or a flawless run down a step below the desired class of run? My particular situation is I have been boating for almost two years and have a very solid roll which I use a lot playboating and river running. I have little apprehension running Brown's but I ran the Numbers and was quite scared the whole time. Granted the water levels were much higher than they are now--2000 cfs for the numbers-- and I was paddling a G Force 6.1 which I understand now was a poor choice. I was with some excellent paddlers one with over 10 years experience who are adept at chasing boaters stuff and the actual boater. I flipped each number but rolled up and then swam 5 while tagging a few rocks and being submerged for a good portion of the remainder of 5. I respect this sport tremendously now more than ever and was wandering when do you step up? Do you just know or what?

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Old 06-12-2005   #2
Charc in = charc out
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Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 475
Sounds to me like you already "stepped up".

If you are still game, go back to the num's with a creek boat & see how you do with a little more stability ... or ...

go bak to the num's at lower water in your playboat & see how that treats you ... or ...

stick it out on Browns & have someone show you different, more technical lines. (for what it's worth, that's how i got into creeking .. by running the technical creek lines on play runs like the new & gauley. the only difference between tech moves on a creek & on a play run is the gradient. the skills are the same.)

I would probably recommend a mix of those three ... AND ...

testing yourself on *unfamiliar* class III & III+ ... that will give you a true sense of what "level" you are paddling at, since you'll have to rely on the additional fundamental river skills of reading water & picking lines & throwing out prior knowledge.

(Disclaimer: I'm an idiot, don't trust anything I said.)

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Old 06-12-2005   #3
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 21
Perhaps when you can boat new rivers, and feel totally comfortable at doing so, at that grade (class 2,3,4,5), and play in all the features, then maybe, you can consider stepping up. Ain't no harm in playing it conservativly; you might live longer doing so.
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Old 06-12-2005   #4
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 14
In my book, the numbers at 2000 is a huge step-up from running brown's. The numbers is much easier at lower flows. If you go back at these levels you'll be amazed at the difference.
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Old 06-12-2005   #5
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 58
I'm confused. I thought Browns was easier than the Numbers. I've run Browns and had a blast, it was around 1500 or so. Is the numbers at 1200 easier/same/harder? I know its subjective. Thats what these forums are all about so fire away
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Old 06-13-2005   #6
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 7:37 pm Post subject:


I'm confused. I thought Browns was easier than the Numbers. I've run Browns and had a blast, it was around 1500 or so. Is the numbers at 1200 easier/same/harder? I know its subjective. Thats what these forums are all about so fire away

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