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Old 06-13-2011   #11
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 89
It was a blast with tons of big water, going to do it again soon!

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Old 06-15-2011   #12
Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3
I called Timberline a couple days ago to book a trip for some friends and they said they've been rafting Gore Creek commercially for 21 years?!?!?! I've NEVER seen ANYONE but Sage out there besides private boaters. I'm with CHOP217 on this one! Sage is my choice now to take friends down ANY stretch of river because they're honest about what they do.

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Old 06-16-2011   #13
Tim Kennedy
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Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 107
Commercial Rafting on Gore Creek (long)

First, as a disclaimer, I have been in the employ of Timberline Tours for summer rafting seasons since 1994. I worked full time as a raft guide, safety kayaker, guide trainer, trip leader and operations manager until 2007. I am now a part time raft guide and safety kayaker for Timberline Tours on an on-call basis.

To my knowledge, Timberline started running commercial rafting trips on Gore Creek in 1991 or so. I understand that these trips were pioneered by the senior staff and owners of Timberline Tours/Eagle River Whitewater; Billy Mattison, Craig Poff, Dan Burks, Chris Reeder, Darryl Bangert (many years prior to his involvement with Sage Outdoor Adventures) and many others. I personally guided and safety kayaked over two dozen trips in each the 1994 and 1995 seasons, and several dozen more since then.

In regards to wtrgrl and chop217's statements about not seeing Timberline trips on Gore Creek, it has always been common practice at Timberline and most rafting outfitters to offer the "best" option to the rafting guest in regards to river and or section of river to be run on any given day. There are several factors that go into determining "best". A few of these factors are: difficulty and quality of rapids, length of trip, access at put in and take out, water levels, manmade and natural hazards. Most of these factors are not constant. Water levels change, affecting the quality and difficulty of rapids. Hazards such as low bridges, pipes, game fences and trees/strainers in the river may be there one season and gone or different the next season. Private/public property issues and construction projects can have an impact on access at put ins and takeouts. Most importantly, all of these factors must meet the expectations and be within the ability of the rafting guests, in order to run as fun and safe of a trip as possible. (Of course, when dealing with natural environments, no one can eliminate 100% of the hazards. There is always a certain level of risk involved in all river trips).

Timberline has offered trips on the lower section of Gore Creek as a class IV/"advanced" whitewater rafting trip. Traditionally, the trips put in at Ford Park. In the nineties, the most often used takeout was below River Run on the Eagle. Therefore, the trip included Dowd Chute rapid on the Eagle. At the appropriate water levels, this section offers the most excitement for someone looking for a class IV trip. However, this section involves negotiating several manmade hazards. Portaging the pipes and navigating the game fence at the west end of Intermountain, has been challenging at times since the construction of the recreation path. Also, until last season, there was a large tree on the upstream right side of the railroad trestle at the confluence of Gore Creek and the Eagle, making passage in a raft nearly impossible. To end the trip at Steven's Park at the east end of Intermountain shortens the overall trip. Putting in at the East Vail exit below Pitkin Creek adds a few miles of mostly class II+ water. Historically, the window of optimum water levels for both the lower Gore Creek section and Dowd Chute on the Eagle to be run in the same trip has been very short, averaging 2 weeks during an average runoff. In 2002, Gore Creek did not have enough water for raft trips at all.

Timberline Tours currently offers (and has offered for over 20 years) 1/2 day class IV rafting trips on local sections of rivers. Depending on some or all of the factors listed above, that trip may be run on Gore Creek (possibly combined with Dowd Chute), the Eagle River from Minturn to Avon (through Dowd Chute), or the Eagle River from below Dowd Chute to Edwards (including the Edwards mile). Timberline does not offer class II - III trips on Gore Creek as a standard option. However, I am fairly certain that a custom/private trip on the class II - III sections can be arranged.

Feel free to go to Vail River Rafting and Jeep Tours | Timberline Tours or call 1-800-831-1414 to find out more about trips on "ANY" other "sections of river" offered.

And feel free to compare your options and generate your own impressions by contacting any of Vail area rafting companies:

Lakota Guides: Home | Lakota Guides, Whitewater River Rafting near Vail and Aspen Colorado
Nova Guides: Rafting | White Water Rafters | Colorado Activities | Nova Guides Near Vail
Sage Outdoor Adventures: Sage Home


Tim Kennedy

Now the admins will probably have to move this to the Commercial Posts forum.
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Old 06-17-2011   #14
Calhan, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 32
to impugn the honesty and forthright nature of the management at Timberline Tours displays an ignorance beyond description Sincerely, Bob Roos
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Old 06-17-2011   #15
Vail, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 15
@ Bob Roos......... as I stated in a previous post, i live and work in vail. I see that you do not, therefore you have no idea as to what goes on with the cutthroat marketing schemes that occur not only in the rafting world in this town, but with any tourism industry. In my position, I hear every company's maketing ploy, and i see the follow through of their product, whether it be good or bad. I will venture to say that your ingnorace is beyond description.
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Old 06-17-2011   #16
Up High, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 31

I lived in Vail longer than Sage has been in business and have seen both on Gore Creek several times.
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Old 06-17-2011   #17
West Copper, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 38
years ago TV 8 used to run a video of a Timberline trip on Gore Creek, complete with rafts being slid off the Ford Park parking lot and guides ducking pipes in intermountain. good stuff
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Old 06-17-2011   #18
Calhan, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 32
just a quick reply, lived in Minturn, Red Cliff and Leadville for 25 years, guided commercially on the Eagle, Colorado and Ark for 9 seasons and know the owners of both companies and admire them all.
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Old 06-18-2011   #19
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 5
chop 217

You are a fucking idiot. At no point did timberline spout any marketing bs. Apparently you are a piece of shit concierge that makes money off of promoting certain individuals businesses. Why don't you quit being a pussy and call Billy and Mongo out. I'm sure they can take any and all of your thoughtful insight into the Vail valley rafting business since you seem to know so much more about their business then they do.
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Old 06-18-2011   #20
Calhan, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 32
I seem to have inspired a lot more fire than light on this subject, and for that, I apologize

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