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Old 08-06-2007   #1
Gary E's Avatar
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Your 5 Favorite rapids and why

1- NF of the slate- It's a paddlers drop. Not a one stroke move. You need 7 precise strokes, solid in the head to make it. Each move has something to wreck you.

2-Jacobs Ladder through taffy- It's fast and warm. Demanding moves with big rewards. Got the pencil sharpner in it and is insane to look into as you pass it. Great move at rock drop and a great boof at taffy, all with a price of admission.

3-Spirit Falls-Biggest 33ftr ever. Beautiful place and unreal aqua blue water. Big air!

4-Harmon Falls-Awesome entrance move with huge boof potential. The left move on d2 and it's on. Fast and cold, great drop.
4a-Best boof in the east-Ramsey Cascade run-you paddle down this 10ft slide hauling ass. It then takes you back up this smooth rock 15ft and launches you 10ft out 15ft high. Awesome feeling hitting that right.

5-Cherry Bomb-Big and fast in an amazing gorge. Auto boof at 20 mph into a one stroke nasty hole. 800ft deep and reminds you how small you really are.
5a-Gorilla- as my boy chris said-"you can spank it low or high. The only difference is at one level it's a mad chimpanse(sp) and at the other level it's an angry silver back gorilla"

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Old 08-06-2007   #2
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 808
My front range heavy, mere mortals list:

1) Slideways- it has a clean 8 foot boof, a fast chute into a big hole, and even the lead in and run-out are fun.

2) Tunnel- because its pretty hard to hit a clean boof down the center but so fun when you get it. And because of the butterflies in the stomach in the eddy above it- all the more reason to just go.

3) No Fun Falls- fast lead in, holes, more holes, and then waterfall.

4) Clear Creek Narrows- its long, has a bunch of fun moves, and hauls ass at high water.

5) Barrel Springs- because we almost never get to paddle big water around here.

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Old 08-06-2007   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 95
1-Unnamed big drop Dead River, MI-20' stairstep drop into a small pool perched above a 20' freefall. Perfect drop, hole on the lead in, boat falls behind the curtain head outside of it.

2-Drop below one above-must hit 7 foot boof angling sideways into a pool, then trip down the 30 yard class V rumble into a swirpool above a sieve. Must make eddy.

3-Big Smoky Falls, Wolf River, WI-awesome class III lead in to 7 foot falls...big curtain and big fun in big water!

4-Carp River Canyon-whole thing is one continuous rapid. Start with class III lead in waves and out to 5' auto-boof ledge land in pool above 15' falls with a flake mid level to in current and trip down class III eddyless water to 20 foot falls, must boof right side (lands on flat rock) land in tiny pool above staircase drop->10 footer onto 7 foot ledge o' foam and flat rock, current rips you straight off another 8 footer into meaty hole...then you're done! Nonstop action, #4 on the list because it's scary as shit.

5-Park and Huck, Dead River, Marquette, MI-one waterfall, flatwater above, class II-III below. Park, hike and huck your meat anywhere off of it, be it the 60foot slide into the meaty hole/whirlpool or take the creekier lines through the stairsteps of the mid line into the crevice and off the autoboof.

Michigan whitewater is the bestest.
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Old 08-06-2007   #4
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1
Rogue River

Blossom Bar and Picket Fence on the rogue river run. There's lots of rock dodging and big waves.
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Old 08-06-2007   #5
HuckinAZ's Avatar
Phoenix, Arizona
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 65
1) Number 5 - SW Mystery Stash: Sweet lead in with a gnarly hero route in the middle above the falls which has a nasty terminal hole.
1a - Number 1 because it trumps anything i've ever whitnessed when it's at 1600cfs and above ( i ran it at 350cfs scared $#!7less to give you an idea ) the waterfall turns into a massive waterslide sized tongue that slams into the walls creating a huge seam flowing through a narrow passage next to an undercut, etc, etc, etc... INCREDIBLE

2) Devil's slides - NF Willow Creek: This isn't one rapid so much as a series of MASSIVE slides and falls in california with some clean sections and some super gnar power tech lines.

3) 4:20 gorge - MF Kaweah: actually everything on the MF Kaweah, but the 4:20 gorge at low water has a few drops in it that are made from huge boulders leaning against each other that create super fun barely scoutable angle boofs.

4) Big Lebowski - Christopher Creek: Huge, Scary, Beautiful, Unique, GRANITE!

5) Huckin Huge Falls - on blank creek (hh stories): This really should be my number 1 but since it's illegal i made it number 5. at 52' it's my first big fall, i didn't swim, but it wasn't pretty
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Old 08-06-2007   #6
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Lyons, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
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My favorites are based on the BOOF factor
Heart Attack..... easy huge Boof
Slideways....Technical with nice boofs into nice eddies
Sock'em Dawg......looks easy to hit it but takes percision to BOOF
Can't remember the names of the rapids but Dinky Creek is a boof fest!!

Go Dawgs!!!
Happiness is a way of travel not a destination
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Old 08-06-2007   #7
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Technology Partner, Littleton, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Two responses...


1. Cottonwood Rapid, Arkansas River, CO - It's just so damn much fun, plus you can get out and do it again.

2. Powerline Rapid, Rio Grande River (LTB) NM - That wicked tongue wave below the big boulder slightly right of center. Terrible teens flow makes it a good place for a watch-this airborne show.

3. The Esses, Cossatot River, AR - Short, sweet, definitely keeps you honest with it's tight eddies (and damn small ones at that).

4. Entrance falls, Vallecito, CO - ouch, ouch, ouch, my shoulder still hurts.

5. Tombstone Rapid, Colorado River, Glenwood Canyon - Just about as pure fun as you could ask for, and so close to the highway.


1. Smelter, he had 2 clean runs on it, 4 swims on it. He held onto his paddle one time.

2. Swimming Hole drop, Lyons, CO - It had a perfect rooster tail for him to slide down on.

3. Zuni Street Dam, South Platte River, Denver, CO - Best boof-stroke spot for him, he cleans it like he owns it.

4. C-470 & Santa Fe drop structure, South Platte River, Littleton, CO - First place he learned to surf well on.

5. The Chutes, South Platte River, Deckers, CO - The big water slide at 450 cfs.
And the Lord said, let there be whitewater. So on Friday, the 13th day of the month....
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Old 08-06-2007   #8
ActionJackson's Avatar
Edge o' the Dust Bowl, Oklahoma
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 195
Golly, reading some of this gets my heart rate up. Who's got pix?
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Old 08-06-2007   #9
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 283
Only 5????? Crap, that's a tight list......

1) Jake's through the Golf Course on the N.F. Payette: Big commitment, high visibility factor in case you f*&% it up, and waaaaayyy too much fun when it all goes right. Very long and demanding.

2) Balls to the Wall, Clark's Fork Yellowstone Box. Steep, fast, long. High penalty points for messing up the entry, and most people are running it with overnight gear, which adds to the difficulty and satisfaction factors. The name says it all, if you've got 'em you can run it right.

3) Curtain Falls, Bald Rock Canyon. No, it ain't very hard in and of itself, but it takes a lot of skill to get to it and to finish the run below it, and there's simply no more photogenic pure waterfall to be found.

4) Superslide, South Fork Merced. A lot like Curtain, in that it's what it takes to get you to it and away from it that makes it the signature drop of this amazing run. Stellar photos here, too, with that giant hole at the bottom that looks like no one is coming out of.

5a) Nightmare, Grand Canyon of the Elwha (WA), a new favorite for a lot of reasons: unscoutable (from less than 100yds above it), unportageable, must-run drop in a long walled-in dark gorge that delivers death on the right but goes like your favorite lover on the left, paddled with a boat full of self-support gear. One of the wildest mind f*&%s I've ever had paddling.

5b) Helicopter, Devil's Canyon on the Middle Feather. A long-time favorite for some of the same reasons as Nightmare above: pretty much only scoutable from above on left, unportageable unless you want to make your party wait an hour while you do a climb that's worse than swimming the drop, and a line that looks a lot sicker than it turns out to be with very few real consequences. One of my earliest mind f*&$s on another classic self-support trip. For me, it always adds to the spice when the car isn't a mere ten minute walk away.
So many rivers, so little time..........
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Old 08-06-2007   #10
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 732
-#3 of the bottom 4 on yule. hi-speed love.
-pine creek continuous big fun, w/ moderate pucker factor
-juicer and crunch at 5k+ relatively safe hugeness
-terminator [futa] even the sneak is nerve-wracking
-south mineral 20'er. gorgeous surroundings, clean and safe drop

honorable mentions:
barrell springs
fuzzy bunny

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