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Old 09-13-2011   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,096
Comic Gore Commercial Rafting

Paddled gore last friday. Huge commercial raft floatilla put on before us. We ran gore while the commercial rafts lined the boats around the crux of gore.

Our crew of 7 (kayaks) was eddied out below scissors waiting for one more kayak when a raft comes barreling down, obviously out of control and off line, must have missed an eddy above. The raft took a big chunk of the main hole in scissors, I thought they would flip, but miraculously all stayed in the boat upright. The raft then floats sideways into some rocks on river right just below where we were eddied out.

I look back and see the raft hung up on the rocks sideways and the raft guide is screaming at the passengers while hitting the front right passenger in the back of the PFD with his paddle screaming something to the tune of "listen to me". Imagine using a paddle like a baseball bat and you get the picture.

I've never seen a guide pound a passenger with the paddle, but it was comic to us, and we had some good laughs over takeout beers.

I wonder if "When I hit you upside the head with my paddle it means listen to me" is part of the safety speech?

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Old 09-13-2011   #2
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leif's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 481
This is why I keep telling people:

Rafting is dangerous!

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Old 09-13-2011   #3
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
I swear I've wanted to do that exact same thing to a couple of custies on more than one occasion- but never have. Glad to know I'm not the only one!
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Old 09-13-2011   #4
Idaho Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 189
Hahaha!! that's good stuff! I've lost my temper with a crew and given them the "if you don't f**in listen to me, we aren't going to make it" speech but I've always restrained from striking a custy...even though I really wanted to! But, if I were guiding Gore, I wouldn't feel bad at all for giving a friendly pat on the back with my paddle to get there attention.
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Old 09-13-2011   #5
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 597
That's funny; it would have been quite a sight to see. You'll be laughing about that for a long time.

Years ago I don't know how I kept myself from strangling some of the passengers in my boat for doing nothing during the approaches to some rapids. Ah well, that will happen all the time. It's part of the guiding game.

Every time we make it through Gore, relatively unscathed, I thank all the lucky stars in the night sky, and the paddling chief.

It's at 1230 now! That's our target flow!!! Hope it's still there next weekend.
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Old 09-13-2011   #6
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 350
But rafting is just a really expensive roller-coaster ride. Doing anything other than sitting there is optional. The paddle you're holding is akin to railing and shouldn't be used unless you're trying to show off; it's really just there so you can parry and riposte attacks from other paddle-wielders, including the guide.
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Old 09-13-2011   #7
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Oregon City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 457
Obviously the guide was having trouble getting his turons to do what he wanted them to do. Usually, when that happens it is because the guide isn't doing his job very well. And smacking the turon with a paddle isn't going to help. There really are only five possible reasons for the trouble:

(1) The turons were all totally inept, and were unable to follow the guide's instructions. It would be an extremely rare event for an entire group to be totally inept. The guide, after giving proper instructions on what he expects, should do some dry-run practice in calm water immediately after launch. Within two minutes, the guide should be able to identify who can and who can't help him control the boat.

If there truly is nobody there to help, then he should abort the trip. That never once happened to me or to any of the guides who worked for me. We could alway find at least a couple of paddlers who could be put in the front of the boat, and then the rest would be told to do what the guy in front is doing. Not ideal, but it works.

(2) The guide failed to properly instruct the turons at the outset, so they didn't know what he wanted them to do. This person should immediately become a former guide.

(3) The turons were impaird by alcohol. Any guide who would allow drunk turons to get into the raft should be collecting unemployment, along with the booking agent who failed to make the turons understand that they had to be sober to make the trip.

(4) Some people don't follow instructions simply because they don't understand them. I've seen many intelligent, physically capable people who had difficulty with "left" and "right." They had to stop and think, "Okay, left is where my watch is. I'm on the other side, so I must be right. The guide said, 'Left side forward, right side back,' so that means I'm supposed to back paddle." Of course, by the time he has gone through that mental process, it's too late, and another command has been given, hopefully not "High side!" These people can react much better to visual commands--like watching the person directly in front. Just about anyone can do that.

(5) The guide is giving improper or unclear commands. Turons can't do what they're told unless they can hear the commands, and the commands are consistent and quick. If the guide keeps changing the way he tells the turons to make a left turn, he can't expect consistent results. If the guide can't do that, he should look for work at McDonalds.
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Old 09-13-2011   #8
Miller Time's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 288
And the winner of a lengthy explanation to nothing more than a funny story goes to....Mogur

Not everything needs a biopsy (or autopsy for that matter)
History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.
-Winston Churchill-
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Old 09-13-2011   #9
catboatkeith's Avatar
Hoback Nation, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 141
Everything Mogur said is true, and maybe the aforementioned guide may read this thread and learn something. But I'm sure it was effin funny to watch!! Glad they all survived.
"Each mile on a river will take you further from home than a hundred miles on a road"
Bob Marshall
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Old 09-13-2011   #10
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 748
if hes guiding gore commercially I don't think he's gonna learn a ton about guiding from a mountainbuzz post.

Every guide I have ever seen or met that guides gore is better/more experienced than 99% of raft guides anywhere.

There aren't many tougher commercially rafted sections in the US. Cherry Creek comes to mind, but beyond that I can't really think of any.

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