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Old 05-29-2010   #1
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
Rafting Poudre Rustics with Kids?

I am looking for alternatives to the Eagle for tommorrow with kids. The Lower Eagle is at 4780 as I type, so that's a bit high for taking the kids I think (especially for Trestle). I have run it (the Lower Eagle) as high as 3,000 with the kids, but we didn't do Trestle that day.

The Poudre seems to be running pretty high too (everything is actually), but I know it tends to read a bit high because the guage is at the mouth of the river?

Anyway, any rafters out there that can give me some guidance on the Upper and Lower Rustic? I'd be in a 14' oar rig and want to take the kids. Seems like my other option would be Pumphouse with everything else being so high.

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Old 05-29-2010   #2
longmont, Colorado
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 42
I'd say your kids should be old and strong enough to self rescue for the rustic sections at current levels. I think this section is rated as class 111, but it is continuous with few eddies and cold water.

I can give you more specific information on it if you need it, I've paddle rafted, oar rafted, and kayaked those sections many times.


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Old 05-29-2010   #3
Horserump, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 458
The gauge on the rock was at 4' this morning and 3.9' this afternoon. Rustic rocks and can rock hard. The kid should be comfterable swiming in white water, have full thermal protection, excellent PFD. It maybe up tomorrow but not much in fact it may fall due to coller temps. Rustic deffinetly has class IV. Swims are long and brutal. Just my opions after boating on that section for 30+ years.
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Old 05-29-2010   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 181
I agree with yak1, and Rustic is always very cold even when you prepare for it. Poudre is pumping right now and there are some sizable holes in that section. I'd say if you do it, you may want backup paddlers in the water in case you need help because it could be a rough swim for a kiddo.

Also if it drops below 4' tomorrow, it may be a bit low for those runs.
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Old 05-30-2010   #5
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Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: '05
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 394
Myself and some raft guide trainees ran Rustic a week ago when it was around three. We had one flipped boat and one pinned on an undercut rock; both could have turned out bad. If your kids can't self rescue like a bunch of greenhorn raft guides, I wouldn't get anywhere near it. And there's a reason they call the class IV on that run Death By Dismemberment. It's a little drop, but it typewriters rafts hard left and there's a rock there that could take someones head off. Good luck man. Be safe.
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Old 05-30-2010   #6
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NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 582
Agree with Yak1. I ran it yesterday with two other experienced kayakers. The water was high, fast, and very cold. It was also tons of fun but not for the inexperienced. One person in our group took a bad line at Death by Dismemberment and got pinned against the left wall and swam. His swim was short as he stuck the eddy but it could have been a much longer swim.

Be careful out there.
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Old 06-02-2010   #7
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
We opted for Pumphouse. Thanks for all the input. We'll try this with adults only instead...
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Old 06-02-2010   #8
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
Probably was a good idea.
Two of us rowed Lower Rustic yesterday. I love that run. I'd say it was a solid III+,maybe IV-. You gotta be on your toes for a few sections.....could make for a chilly swim. D by D is a fuggin fun slide
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Old 06-02-2010   #9
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
I'd still like to do it, without kids though. Maybe this weekend if the flows are high enough. What's the upper like in an oar rig?

One thing I saw from the road last year (did some scouting from the road on a rainy day LOL) was Grandpa's Bridge. The bridge itself, not what's downstream. That seems like it could be really tricky in an oar setup, being so narrow and really needing to be way left and go left to right.

I know aboout the low bridge across the highway too. Any other abnormally difficult things to watch out for?
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Old 06-02-2010   #10
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
None of the bridges were real hazards on lower rustic,if that's what your worried about. The sharp left into gpa's gorge wasn't that big a deal either. One spot to be on your toes for is the water above 99hole(scoutable from road at mile 99). I thought that was the trickiest section,IMO. Lots of well placed big rocks that you could easily tip a boat if you hit em sideways. Hole 99 was fun....ran left-middle. Gotta be watching for rocks at all times too,tons of em,same on upper rustic. D by d is just a fun slide,have the left to right momentum and prepare to get smacked back to left bank(bridge) and pull away from it. If you have passengers in the front then have them prepared to duck....

Upper rustic is decent. Lots more houses and fucker rocks to avoid. White mile was a blast in the oar long as u don't mess up the entrance! Then just stay middle/right and down the tongue.

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