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Old 04-29-2009   #51
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700

My point was one of style, not substance. I respect you as a boater. Your volitile know it all style can be funny on political threads, but this one is substantive. We have been banned from an important river, and may never be able to legally go through one beautiful place. Getting pissed at CE Martin, or even me is not going to get us access again. Working with the park rangers and making them comfortable that we can provide them the tools to prevent this cluster from happening again is the only solution. You seem to delight in the fight more than the solution.

You deserve props for your boating, but consider the persona you portray here and whether it helps or hurts you?

CE deserves some credit for explaining what happened. We haven't heard a peep from the other parties and it appears they hade some difficulties as well.

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Old 04-29-2009   #52
GWS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 486
This is great stuff that people couldn't make up.

CEMartian, a guide book is just that... a guide book. It does not relieve you of the obligation to make your own choices and act responsibly. You were under prepared and over your head, it happens. I imagine you learned a few things about this:
1) In an expedition setting, paddle a grade or so below your ability.
2) Expect the worst
3) Don't let the guide book be your ONLY tool for knowing a run
4) Be ready for the shit storm when you post on the BUZZ.

It's a shame you left this thread because your posts were just getting better and better. The "F*&^ You" really brought your credibility back.

Good luck

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Old 04-29-2009   #53
chrisjaquet's Avatar
Telluride, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 26
Almost there

My group launched last Friday, 4.24.08 at 8:30 AM.

We had one boat that had a crack in it just after starting and by the end of the day (8pm at Sinawava) there were two cracked boats, one person who had swam multiple times and some tired rescuers.

I think our group did pretty well but we still could have done better

- Early start is key
- Dont paddle when its getting close to dark. Even if you think its ok, its just dangerous.
- Dont trust the guidebook, especially when everything you have heard so far about the run has been a contradiction to what you heard from the last person.
- Bring a boat repair kit. I always carry some marine grade Epoxy with me, yes, its not a real fix but it will likely get you out (or closer to out)

I have learned from my own experience and from your story.....
Having matches/lighter one cliff bar in pfd is a great new rule to have.

I recommend wine corks in the pfd as well for a backup drain plug plan. With those and a river knife you are good to go.

Replace that old gnarly duct tape on your paddle, you may need it someday.

Be aware of where you are, even if the book says its a class III river.

Getting to the rapids may wear you out more than doing the rapids, beware of whitewater lust....

I dont think there is much more I can say that others havent...
Whiskey is for drinking; Water is for fighting over
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Old 04-29-2009   #54
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 94
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I'd like to again point out that the Search and Rescue group showed no intention of closing the river permanently down to kayaking. They just wanted to put a hold on things so they could figure out what the problem was. They've done it before with canyoning routes. You should all get a chance to do this next spring, and if you don't mind the hike/scrape in, I definitely recommend it. Despite a slightly chilly night and some serious concern for others safety, I had an awesome trip through it.

Also, I posted some more information on the run under safety/river access if anyone is interested. It should be more useful than comments from people who have not done the run saying "Oh, some class II boaters got it handed to them on an easy class III run." There's a lot more to it than that, and saying that kind of thing could get more people into trouble. I didn't think the run was hard, and being a clas IV boater I was confident on the whole thing, but the run does deserve a little more credit than that.

Also, we did not get to deep creek at twilight. That is just wrong.
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Old 04-29-2009   #55
Force's Avatar
Bham, Washington
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 463
I hate you all. I don't even live in the state for Christ's sake.

Lotsa - I miss you to, buddy. We're going to run waterfalls and gnar gnar this weekend in severely gorged out canyons in the middle of forested wilderness on an island. I may bail though, fly back home to Fort Fun to show people the lines in the gnarrows at 100cfs. Should be sic! I'm not sure how well I'll paddle though as Mrs. Robe has been at +5 feet for around a month and I'm getting a little worn out from to much paddling. Whats the beach scene like these days? Getting a good tan?

Doublet - Pretty well spot on. Made me luagh at least.

Casper - I recomend speaking softly and carring a big boof.

Cemartin - Not sure what to even say. You're way off base. It ain't disneyland out there.

The rest of you blokes - Suck it.
The high side of good - Daniel D
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Old 04-29-2009   #56
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1901
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 110
Hey cemartin:

You don’t make any sense:

Quote: I have been boating the Virgin for 30 years, wrote an online guide to the Virgin, and deliberately left the Narrows run out because of the difficulties involved, and to keep it our little local secret. I will have to include something now that the "secret" is out. We consider 200 low flow, 400 medium flow

So you’re saying you’ve been running this river for 30 years, but now that a new guidebook comes out, you have forgotten everything you knew about said river from your own experience, and rely entirely on a book written by people you have never met? Bravo! Or by “we” do you mean to say that you have never personally run this section before, but regularly drive shuttle for people with the skill and judgment to do so, and consider their word gospel? If so, where were your bro’s during your epic? Right, they would never consider actually paddling with a douche like yourself. Enjoy the rest of your career as shuttle-bitch.

Quote: We first became interested in running the Zion Narrows section after reading “Whitewater of the Southern Rockies”. In fact, I’ve been watching the gages for this run for some time now. It finally started running last week.

Wait, wait, wait….you have been running this river for 30 years, but were uninterested in doing the best section until recently when someone “revealed the secret” and then decided that you had to get on it? Or did you not know that it even existed until someone revealed this gem in your back yard you have managed to overlook for 30 years? Either way…lame dick!

Quote: I consider myself to be a class IV boater. Here are a few examples of rivers and creeks that I have successfully run throughout my kayaking life: Gore Canyon (without Tunnel Falls and Gore Rapid), Animas (without the Rockwood Box), Piedra, Bailey, Grand Canyon, Royal Gorge, Numbers, South Fork Payette, Lochsa, Selway, Middle Fork Salmon, North Fork Clearwater, Clark Fork, Beartrap Canyon of the Madison, Gallatin, Westwater Canyon, Cataract Canyon, Rio Maichin and Rio Trancura Alto in Chile, and Rio Reventazon and Pacuare bajo in Costa Rica. I attend pool sessions regularly to maintain my skills.

I suggest attending more pool sessions. Rivers can be dangerous. Stay in the pool and you should be fine. Make sure there is a lifeguard with a turkey leg on duty at all times.

Quote: I had trouble on this run which according to “Whitewater of the Southern Rockies” is a class III at river levels we observed at approximately 450 cfs for the time in question. I completely disagree with this rating!! I would argue that a class III boater could easily be killed in this “class III section”.

See above – pools are warm, clean, and rarely rated above a Class II+. You should be fine.

Quote: I remembered one day a long time ago placing a small cigarette lighter in my PFD, so I thought maybe with any luck it would be there. It was there!!!

Bet you wish you had remembered that before shivering all night. For paddling for 30 years, you sure do prepare well for the wilderness. Did you bring a lighter on the Grand Canyon or Middle Salmon? No, your well-paid guides started all your fires and cooked all your meals on those rivers. I bet they were real pros!

Quote: For those of you involved who see any inaccuracies, please let me know so that I can make any necessary corrections. I take responsibility for my actions, but I definitely don’t want to see my mistakes repeated.

Inaccuracies pointed out. As for “taking responsibility” for your actions, this is not it….

Quote: Look at the pictures and ponder the ideas in “Whitewater of the Southern Rockies”, but find your river beta from a less arrogant-sand bagging source if possible. Unfortunately he has the only river beta out thus far. Let’s change that by providing credible and reliable information since the secret is already out!

You, sir, are a douche. Maybe if you had consulted your own on-line guide, or listened to your posse with the “secret” beta on the run, you would have been better off. Nah, better to just read one entry in a guidebook, forget all common sense, experience and forethought, and go at it. Have fun sucking at life!
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Old 04-29-2009   #57
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 364
There was a comment earlier in the thread about limiting access to hardboats. This seems like a typical attitude, that anyone paddling a duckie is a novice waiting to become a statistic. The Southwest happens to have one of the largest communities of very skilled expedition boaters whose boat of choice happens to be an inflatable kayak.

I don't really think most Buzz posters are so dismissive of boaters based simply on their boat, but I did want to respond. For a trip like this, there are a lot of advantages to an IK. They are much easier to repair, more tolerant of rock bashing abuse, and much easier to get out of in the event of an emergency portage. They also can accommodate a boatless swimmer better than a hardshell, which may allow a boater to be reunited with a wayward kayak.

Any suggestion that only boaters in hardshells are the only people qualified to run the Virgin Narrows is not only ignorant, but also ignores the majority of boating history on the run.
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Old 04-29-2009   #58
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 25
You can carry an inflatable to deep creek and be paddling by noon

Slickhorn makes great points- Inflatables are lighter and easier to repair and way easier to carry. I paddled the Narrows my first time in a hardshell and doubt I'll do it again. It sounds like a lot of the hassle last weekend was from trying to boat down to deep creek, hiking cuts off lots of the oxbows and is much faster to the waterfall.
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Old 04-29-2009   #59
tj@cu's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 983
I think anyone who could run it in a hardshell boat can run it in a inflatable, and think that keeping this run to only hardshell boaters is stupid.

THis is off topic but how is an inflatable easier to repair than a hardshell boat. If you get an inch hole in an inflatable the tube deflates if you get an inch hole in a hardshell you can still paddle. And to fix a hardshell all you have to do is dry it off heat some bitchuthene up and slap it on there and your good to go. Doesn't take a lot longer to patch an IK?
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Old 04-29-2009   #60
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 364
Repair depends on the type of inflatable boat material, and the material you are carrying. Colorado boaters seem to be a lot more capable at hardshell repair than the kayakers out here -- all the runs I've been on where a kayak was cracked required multi hour repairs, and that was only for the small percentage of times the kayaker had repair material/technique. Most of the time, it means a duct tape fix, or constantly draining a leaking boat, or hiking out.

Repairing an IK should not take more than half an hour. If you're in an AIRE boat, it should take 10 minutes. Basically, you just glue a piece of material on the hole. The glue should set in less than half an hour. In most cases, you can inflate to moderate pressure within the hour. Some adhesives require longer cure times, but I'd argue those aren't for field repairs.

I put a 24" tear in the tube of my IK on day 3 of a multiday run. Had 100 lbs of self support gear in the boat, and was 10 miles of continuous technical wood choked III-IV from the takeout. I didn't have any material big enough to close that tear, so I did as best I could and basically paddled a one tube boat out successfully, due to the floor providing floatation and the gear holding the boat together.

Talking to some of the hard boat creekers out here, it seems like 100 - 150 days of creeking is about the life expectancy for a creekboat. My oldest and most used creeking ik is 9 years old and has averaged 50+ days of boating a year, with several years of 100+ days of creeking, and it's still going strong. Boat cost the same as a kayak. I think that's pretty impressive longevity and durability.

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