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Old 08-30-2009   #1
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
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Lost rope in Gore - sorry

Hey kids -

A rope was lost and cut in Gore between Ginger and Scissors -- Part of the rope got out of the water and part appears lost.
We looked for it but couldn't find it. Snap decisions were made as shit was hittin the fan; some were good and some weren't.
Sorry bout the rope, and glad everybody came out okay.
1,460 - that shiat is BURLY.

Be safe and have fun.
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Old 08-31-2009   #2
 
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Can we bring this back to the point of just letting everyone know about a new hazard in a run that most of us on here will be hitting through the late summer/fall since it's one of the only things going?

Springs crew - that's great - in theory - you guys tried to help. I was paddling in a large crew that was an offshoot of the NW crew you guys threw a rope at and tried to help. It sounded like a hectic situation which escalated with rope entaglements that others could learn valuable lessons from. SO, share the story from your point of view IF YOU WANT so that we can learn from this. Or don't, whatever.

Just to confirm - the rope is not visible anywhere?
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Old 08-31-2009   #3
 
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
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I saw no visible rope and I was one of the first guys to pass after the whole situation happened.. if anybody does tho please report it..
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Old 08-31-2009   #4
 
Denver, Colorado
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Yeah Meng -
As far as I know, the rope is not visible at all -- the rope was cut during an entanglement, part of it got hucked somewhere up over a boulder on shore or something; no longer an issue I think, but the other part -- I have no idea where it is; still in the water unfortunately, unclear how long, certainly uncoiled ...
It ain't good. Everybody knows it sucks having ropes lost in the water.
Recounting the whole story ... Honestly, there are too many D-bags loose on this forum to want to have a discussion; they too often turn into flame wars and I don't have the time.
The lessons learned are more like reminders; nothing new.

First, MAKE SURE you're well anchored before you cut loose with a rope throw. We all know this, obviously.
Sometimes when crews collide and safety happens to be needed unexpectedly and it's not where you thought it was gonna go down ... the making sure you're anchored part isn't as easy as you think it would be.
But I guess my lesson is, no matter what's going down, just don't make the throw until you're absolutely sure you're anchored. Don't throw it. Period.
I tried to save a stranger from swimming out the bottom of Gore and through Scissors .... but my good intentions went wrong because I wasn't anchored. I had a hard time driving home, thinking about that.

Second, CARRY a KNIFE, and make sure you can access it INSTANTLY, with one hand. Not everybody knows this, apparently, but they should. Yesterday's situation ... it's good thing somebody in a boat produced a knife quickly ... but EVERYBODY should have one on them, because if you're the one who doesn't have one and help doesn't come ...

So yeah - Nothing really new to be learned here; I just wanted to post a warning that a rope was lost (and an apology therefore) ... but I'm not interested in discussing the fineries of SWR with CasperMethBaby or any other trolls or flame artists.

It looks like everybody came out okay, and I'll be back on Gore several times in the next month or so and will look for the rope diligently, and as the water drops, maybe we'll find it.
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Old 08-31-2009   #5
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Boulder, Colorado
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AAAH! Flashbacks of junior high school! Make it stop!

This rope thing in the water does suck though. Any idea which side of the river it's on? Perhaps we can use this as an excuse to run an easier line?
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Old 08-31-2009   #6
 
Denver, Colorado
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I'd say there's a chance the rope is snagged in the rock pile near the bottom-left of Scissors -- I'm pretty sure that's where the initial entanglement happened, though I was on shore way upstream on river right well above scissors. I think there were just three in the crew that had the swimmer and then had to deal with the entanglement ... and my crew and I were never near the entanglement and didn't pass the other crew until the lip of Pyrite --- we exchanged a quick "You guys okay? Yeah. Sorry about the rope misfire. No problem; thanks for trying." kind of thing ... but didn't really get a chance to talk.
They might have more details or ideas about where the rope is, etc... but I have no idea who they are.
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Old 08-31-2009   #7
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pnw, Washington
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To everyone of you and especially CM. This part of our forum is used for information and alerts. Keep it that way or you will be serving a posting vacation. And yes I am from the springs, make that part of your next post if you want but make that post in the Eddy and not here.
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Old 08-31-2009   #8
 
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Bozeman, Montana
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as a guess plus 20 feet plus 30 feet of rope in the river? justa guess.
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Old 08-31-2009   #9
 
Denver, Colorado
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Here is an account from one of the boaters on the water during the incident.

"One of our crew hit his head in Gore and ended up swimming. I peeled out and was about 10 ft behind went the rope came in from river right. Great throw and our boy got a hold of it. He started swinging to the bank and then the rope went slack. He got onto the back of my boat through scissors. As I was paddling, the rope wrapped around my paddle and neck. The swimmer had rope wrapped around arm and leg. I lost him off the back in Scissors and then managed to untangle myself. The rope then snagged (I assume the bag end caught on something) and somehow swimmer had a full on knot around his arm which cinched down. He had lost his knife this season but had not replaced it. The next 20 seconds were very bad. He was caught in the backwash of a hole and began plaining under. We could not tell he was still snagged in the rope until he began to plain under. Just as I was about to leap out of the boat and run upstream to try and cut the rope, he came loose. Got him on the back of the boat again while our other kayaker got knife out to cut rope which was again tangled around me and the swimmer with knot on his arm still. The cut section went off into pyrite so it should not be anywhere in Gore rapid.

It was a rather incredible experience. Iíve never seen a rope get that entangled. The lessons that I took from it are all straight forward, but not always clear when stuff is hitting the fan: 1) always replace your knife immediately. We all see a lot of empty sheaths out there. Someone needs to design something that stays on the vest after a waterfall. 2) Donít throw a rope into the rapid unless you can hold onto it. A kayaker paddling through a floating rope will get entangled. I got entangled in it twice within 100 yards of river. The paddle goes under the rope and then wraps around it as you take strokes 4) As a swimmer, never wrap up in the rope and if you feel it go slack then get rid of it immediately 4) I probably should have hit the bank running upstream earlier. If that rope had not come free, those 5-10 seconds could have made the difference."

My two cents... The guy is lucky the rope came free from the snag, as it was still snagged on his arm. I saw red marks on his arm where the rope was wrapped at the takeout. It could have ended really badly if it even lasted for just another minute or so. Scary.

Another thought is that proper anchoring is something that takes some practice and thought, and its easy to lose track of when you are in the thick of it. The guy who couldn't hold on to the rope isn't the first guy to throw a rope at gore and not be able to hold on. One good anchoring technique is to throw the rope, and before the force comes, sit down on your ass with your feet in front of you in the direction of pull, with your feet bracing on rocks in front of you. If its a straight pendulum, I'll put the rope around my back so body friction holds it instead of hands. You can stand a lot of force this way. Of course you need to plan your throw spot with this in mind. In anything with fast water its very hard to hold on to the rope with your hands.

Glad everything turned out ok.
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Old 08-31-2009   #10
 
Cisco, Utah
Paddling Since: Dawn
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DeepSouth, Thanks for the story.. Touches on a lot of things that have been in threads here lately. Glad everyone is alright. This kind of thing is really good to talk about and learn from. Those are some heinous scenarios in your story. They illustrate some cold realities of the river, particularly of a run like Gore, but things that can and do happen anywhere. Appreciate "the lessons you learned". There are certainly a lot of lessons in this scenario. Cheers
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