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Old 06-26-2014   #1
Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2
low(er) water Upper A?

Traveling CO for a week (6/28-7/5) and considering a low(?) water Upper A trip. I've been down it several times 2-4k cfs but never below a 2k flow.. and it's also been several years since I last paddled in the area.

I know flows can largely be a matter of personal preference, but AW and CRCII have big gap in defining "minimum" flow for beginning at Silverton and running through the Rockwood Box. CRCII appears to set the min at 1k and AW shows 300cfs. Maybe I'm not reading those correctly?? The gauge currently shows it peaking around 1k.

So, preferences aside, and with the understanding that many more rocks will be exposed, lines will be more technical, pace will be much slower... What is the minimum level for the Upper A from Silverton to the takeout below the Rockwood Box?

I've diligently searched the forum for prior posts related to this, and didn't find anything, but I won't be offended if I'm directed to other threads.

Primarily looking for info re minimum runnable level, helpful beta on necessary lines that would otherwise be non-issue at bigger flow (if any), changes to rapids in last 5 yrs due to landslides etc, and which side is best at Mandatory Thrashing at or around current flow.

Many thanks & happy boating!

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Old 06-26-2014   #2
no tengo
mania's Avatar
Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,768
using this guage you can launch at 500 no problem. I would say 350 would be my min I would want to deal with.

USGS Current Conditions for USGS 09359020 ANIMAS RIVER BELOW SILVERTON, CO

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Old 06-26-2014   #3
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
Personal choice of watercraft may influence this.

Are you kayaking or hoping to row a gear boat or small cat?

(Seven two 0) 298-2242

(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 06-27-2014   #4
Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2
@mania - Thanks for the easy answer and gauge link. That's exactly what I needed.

@Dave Frank - kayaking - hard boats loaded with minimal overnight gear. Planning layover day, hike Chicago Basin & fish. Coordinating with a train passenger and backpacker, so our boats won't be loaded with as much gear as typically needed for 2 nights.

1) What's the line at Mandatory Thrashing around 700-1k cfs? Scouted it river right from tracks in past and used the "if left looks like it will work, run left" approach. Left worked out in past, but that's been at higher flows. AW description makes me think middle might be the line this time, but I don't know if that will be visible from the river right scout from tracks.

2) Would it be accurate to describe the nature of the Rockwood Box as a read & run IV+/V- section at this level? I don't recall any opportunities to get out and scout at higher flows and it's just always gone by in such a blur with big lines at higher flows (+/- 3k cfs), or is this not a section/flow to attempt without someone who knows it leading?

3) Are there any other spots other than the usual Garfield Slide, No Name and Broken Bridge that need scouting?

4) Will camping along the trail at Needle Creek be a total circus since this is the July 4 week? Planning M-W trip. Does the Chicago Basin see a lot of traffic on weekdays?

I know that's a lot questions... Thanks in advance for help with any of them! Despite having been down the run numerous times several years ago, and done other Upper A overnighters, this is our first attempt at a trip with flow and logistics like these.

Happy boating,
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Old 06-27-2014   #5
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 286
We ran Mandatory Thrashing last year at a little over 1k. We ran a line off the rooster tail right of center that boofed you over the right side of the hole. You can see it from the scout on the tracks.
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