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Old 06-06-2014   #1
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
Easier/safer high water runs?

With everything cranking, I am looking to get my kid out on some stuff beyond Boulder creek. He's doing the down run in his rockstar, surfing the waves, and avoiding the holes. HE's been walking the stickier stuff in the course proper.

He ran Browns at 2 K and numbers at 1K, but definitely sneaks the bigger stuff and takes conservative lines. he has yet to take a scary swim or any real beating. A brief side surf sticky ledge got his attention pretty quickly last night.

Anyone have good suggestions for stuff that will be fun but forgiving?

Is there a stretch on the eagle that meets this description at high water? I would not take him through the edwards mile at this flows, and don't really know the rest of it too well.

Is the Breck park worth a look while it actually has water?


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Old 06-06-2014   #2
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 504
Current Waterton flows are a good intro to bigger water I think. At least there is a lake at the bottom. Foxton is also a good time right now.

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Old 06-06-2014   #3
behind your mom, Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
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Foxton above 600 was super fun. The boulder garden opens up a bit with more lines to choose, the two drops in the middle feel bigger but you can sneak both of them easily (or punch them). The flat water goes by a lot faster and the bottom becomes pretty continuous.
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Old 06-06-2014   #4
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Lower Blue is fun at high water. Milk Run and Trading Post to Texas Creek on the Ark are big class 3 wave trains at this flow. Taylor River is at a fantastic level right now with a ton of class 3. Maybe Woody Creek/Toothache on the Roaring Fork if you haven't ran it...
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Old 06-06-2014   #5
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x, x
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Try the lower North Fork of the Poudre is 9 miles with a res. paddle out, take your big boy boats, pack a lunch and run filter plant out at high water. That is a wicked sick run that will make anyone feel comfortable with a class III skill set. Scenery is class V, rapids max out at III, Jen and I are looking to run it on Saturday if you want to join us.
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Old 06-06-2014   #6
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Dave, I did browns for the first time in 5 years yesterday at just under 4k. It was a really fun time and could be good for Riley. It's swirly in a few spots but is generally pool drop enough that if he misses a roll he can hold on for 5 seconds and be in calmer water.
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Old 06-06-2014   #7
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BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
Lower blue - biggest rapid dumps into 2 dams. In the boat would be preferable. 3000 was big in canyon rapid but still CL III

Pumphouse - maybe a little boring but some low risk higher volume paddling

Shoshone??? - Might be too difficult but if you wanted to push the difficulty envelope without upping the danger drastically this might be an option. Should be an eye opener.

Deckers -> Waterton -> Foxton - 3 close runs for a decent progression day,

Tunnel 1 to playpark on clear creek - Quick and lapable. Hiking up a little to just below the dam will add some bit sized spice

Shelly's to the play park on NSV -Not sure how it changed and I know there was a low bridge to be aware of. 3 potential scouts.

Glenwood playpark - big, high volume, fun, low risk. Could tie it in with the CL II run upstream which might have some waves. I think there is an easy run on a nearby trib too.
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Old 06-06-2014   #8
Tim Kennedy
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Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 106
good beg/int runs near Vail


The section of the Eagle from Edwards (sanitation plant) to Wolcott is a good advanced beginner to intermediate run at high water. Nice wave trains and roadside. At the end of the run is Trestle Rapid it's a solid class III-IV rapid at this level. You can scout it while running shuttle and decide if you want to take out above (Hwy 131 bridge) or below it (Wolcott BLM access). It's a short run. So, if Riley is feeling good afterwards, you can do a run on the Avon to Edwards stretch afterwards. You can take out behind the Riverwalk shopping center if you don't want to run the Edwards mile. Take out after the left hand bend below the pedestrian bridge (behind Ptarmigan Sports). Upper Gore Creek is also fun right now. Mostly class II-ish, though. And a step up in technical difficulty would be to run from Minturn (park upstream of town) to Meadow Mtn (Dowd Chute put-in) on the Eagle through the "S-turns". It's also continuous class III to IV -ish, with a few pour overs lurking amongst the wave trains.
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Old 06-06-2014   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2009
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I'd scratch NSV off that list. It is a great run and even better post-flood. But there is a lot of junk in the river. Also, there is a river wide tree below the old diversion dam.
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Old 06-06-2014   #10
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West of Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
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Posts: 643
NSV Apple Valley is more fun then it used to be, especially at 400cfs. We are thinking about going up there and running Shelly's down tomorrow possibly. Scott is right about some sections have junk around and there is a tree below the old Diversion dam, but it is easy portaged on river right.

The top drops up above shelly's have gotten harder. The shelly's drop has gotten easier. There are some other class III's that have changed too.

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