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Old 05-18-2011   #11
pbowman's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 245
we put in at the USFS office, not an official ramp but a nice little bank to the river and less than 50' carry from the adjacent parking lot to the river. i was in a 12' raft with fishing frame, and had no problems with bridges below that point. a couple of braids in the river were moving fast and pushing against the brush/trees on the bank, so we just got out and walked the raft thru some of those spots. water was moving fast and the fishing sucked, and that was at 585 before the recent bump to 750.

we actually took out just above BRCG at the fishing access/eddy (the "normal" bridge referenced by salto) that is the common put in for the white water run. BRCG was not open on sunday, but it is reported on 9news that it will be open by memorial day (Tree planters take on the Mountain Pine Beetle |

the stretch between town and the fishing access was nice enough but is better suited for fishing, no white water. i have run the white water section down to the columbine landing about a dozen times in the last few years, and it is a blast. a 16' bucket might be a little tight at current flows IMO, but the water will be higher soon and you should have no problem then. there are some decent wave trains that will put water into your bucket boat, and the action is fast and fairly constant which may be a problem if you need to bail in the rapids. i saw some guys lapping it in bigger cats last year around 1200 and they did fine, and saw some folks with what appeared to be a 14' SB going on sunday at 585. don't take the 16' on the fishing stretch i described above, it will snag up for sure in some of the braids.

CL III+ is a fair rating in my opinion up to and above 1000, and i think IV- is fair above 1500 or so. it is over quick, last year we did 3 laps in about 4 hours after lunch one sunday. i am planning to be there this saturday or sunday, i am trying to choose the warmest day to drive up from denver. later.

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Old 05-23-2011   #12
pbowman's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 245
TR from 5/22 - tree update

did 3 laps on sunday afternoon. flow of 1100 cfs, very cold water. two runs in a culebra R2, one run in a 12' raft R4. lots of people around to help run shuttle, good scene at the take out. i think everyone was happy to be on the water with a somewhat warm day.

the tree referenced in this post that was in the vicinity of pipeline is now gone. saw a couple trees downstream of pipeline that were off to the side out of the main flow and provided no problems for route selection.

there is a tree across the left 2/3 of the river at the last diversion structure head gate near the columbine landing area. the tree is located in some boogey water near the private residence on river right, just upstream of where the river takes a hard left bend adjacent to the columbine landing access area. a clean route exists on the river right side, and you can see the tree from far above as you approach. other than that, no trees were observed to be problematic on sunday afternoon. have fun.

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Old 05-24-2011   #13
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 12
Wood In Upper Blue

There is a near river wide log jammed in the small dam just above the "1/4 Mile to Take Out Sign" on the upper blue. It can be missed by running it river right. Rafts and Kayaks O.K. Just be heads up as it could be dangerous.
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Old 05-24-2011   #14
Idaho Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 103
There is a tree in the second diversion dam on the lower blue. Its in the middle and you can see branches from it sticking up. You can easily go to the right of it. This was as of yesterday Mon May 23rd. May be gone today though with the increase in water they are putting through.
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Old 05-24-2011   #15
Cphilli's Avatar
Copper Mountain, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 288
Yeah it can be seen well ahead of time, with plenty of room to pass on the right. Should be interesting to see where that ends up when the water come up a few hundo though.
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Old 06-10-2011   #16
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 10
Any new beta on this? Looking to run it tomorrow.
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Old 07-01-2011   #17
pbowman's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 245
Upper Blue at 1300+

probably doing laps this saturday, R4 in 12' SB raft and maybe R6 in a 15' SB if some more people join in. anyone have beta on what flow the pipe comes into play at, and needs to be ducked under? we ran it 2-3 weeks ago at 1100, and it was not an issue at all then. just wondering what flow it starts to become an issue.

also, any ideas about how much flow the tribs below the dam are adding? i am guessing that it could be 200-400 more at BRCG and Columbine given the tribs are probably flowing strong. thanks in advance.
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Old 07-01-2011   #18
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,721
We're thinking about running this Sat or Sun. The run sounds short. CAn you float lower?

(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 07-01-2011   #19
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,891
Don't bother floating past Columbine

Originally Posted by Dave Frank View Post
We're thinking about running this Sat or Sun. The run sounds short. CAn you float lower?

The float past the regular take out is busy and technical Class I littered with sleepers all the way to the takeout just above Green Mt. Res. I've run it before many years ago and remember that right after the Hwy 9 bridge further downstream from columbine there's a nasty spike sticking up on the right, I think. Boulder Creek Rapid is a fun rapid at this flow, and a long, cold chundering swim if you fall out early.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 07-01-2011   #20
pbowman's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 245
Silverthorne to GM Rez

a couple weeks ago i saw a two cats putting in at the USFS office in town, and then saw them floating below the US 9 bridge into the rez a few hours later when we drove down to check the level of GM after doing laps between BRCG and columbine. the full stretch must be runnable, but i have never been below columbine. google earth seems to show a couple diversion dams, but can't tell if they are boat friendly. i also see a few small bridges downstream of columbine that could pose clearance issues at the current higher flow. anyone know the guys who floated it with the cats recently?

i plan to be at columbine doing laps with a paddle crew on saturday. later.

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