Upper Death changes - READ BEFORE PADDLING
For those that did not know, there was a HUGE rock slide this winter that closed lanes on I-70 for weeks (months?). The CDOT crews did a great job cleaning up the debris, rocks, root balls (giant ones), and such from the river. Unfortunately, there were still some changes. We scouted Upper Death a few times before there was water in it and thought we had a pretty good idea what the changes were going to be, but in all reality, we did not know what would happen with water.
THERE ARE TWO SIEVES THAT ARE NOW MAJOR FACTORS. It has always been noted that there were sieves and undercuts on the left shore of this rapid; however, the current sent everything to the right, so they weren't a factor, unless you really blew a move somewhere. Even then, the current would just "take" you to the right. Not any more. The sieve in the middle is now more apparent, with 90% of upstream current pushing right into it. There is also a NEW sieve at the bottom that is taking 50% of the current, additionally, there is a log jammed up in the pillow. The bottom sieve is new and is VERY Dangerous. This rapid is "beautifully ugly". It is still runnable, but the margin for error has dramatically narrowed. We cannot be sure that it will or will not clean up with more water, but we felt you should all know that this is not the same rapid as in past years. The line is the same, but the personality is different.
We are planning to go back this afternoon and wil try to get some pictures posted for you to see.