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Old 06-28-2009   #1
lindazco's Avatar
Idledale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 29
Rafting the Eagle or Pumphouse at current flows?

I haven't been on the Upper C, the Blue, or the Eagle (Edwards and down) at current flows. What is it like to raft Pumphouse at >5000 cfs? Was thinking of taking a trip and bringing older kids (young teenagers), but after seeing Shoshone at almost 10,000 and deciding not to run, have been a little concerned about taking the family out. Ideas for a decent family raft fun run at high flows, or should I just wait for levels to drop a bit? Any beta on the Upper C or Eagle at high flows particularly would be appreciated, want to go on Sunday.

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Old 06-28-2009   #2
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
I can't speak for the others, but pumphouse should be fine, as long as you can miss the hole in yarmony.


(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 06-28-2009   #3
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 520
The Upper C has great family runs. Yarmony and Eye of the Needle in the Pumphouse to Rancho run have taken lives lately but the folks weren't wearing life jackets. They can also flip a boat, we saw several last weekend (4000). We took our 6 y.o. and the dogs, our run went great. But several folks who weren't paying attention, or were inexperienced, and hit stuff sideways ended up taking a good, cold swim. If you are worried about it, have them dress for a swim. I think teenager would be bored on the runs below Rancho. We also had an overly curious bear at Island camp, hopefully good river ethics can keep him\her from becoming a nuisance.
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Old 06-28-2009   #4
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 52
Lower Eagle

I'm not sure where you are at with boating, but class three skills should get you through the Lower Eagle at these levels. The Upper Eagle--Eagle Vail to Edwards Water treatment plant might be a diferent story as it is quite busy and is definately a step up.

The put in at the treatment plant for the Lower Eagle is nice and the water below consists of mostly wave trains with a few smaller holes on the sides. Just hey-diddle-diddle right down the middle and avoid the smaller holes and you will be fine. However, Trestle Rapid is quite a different story. In fact, at these levels getting under the railroad bridge is a little tuff. If you want to give it a whirl, I wold scout it first. It's hard to miss. Just get off at the Wollcot exit and head West looking for the railroad trestle. Park in the small parking lot on the right and follow the path to the trestle to scout.

From what you say, I would start off with the run from Wolcot to Eagle. The ability to back off danger or drive through choppy water shoud get you around any potential hazard and you can scout everything of consequence on the way up-river.
Interstate is the first rapid and has a beefy wave train river left with a steep trough/hole. Simply avoid by backing off the left hand bank (scout is from a large pull-off on Hwy 6 right below where I-70 crosses above). Dead Cow is the second rapid of note and has a pretty good size hole in the center as you exit the rapid. The horizon line will tell you it's coming. Again this can be avoided by driving right as soon as you enter the rapid. (Hwy 6 scout on a right hand pull-out coming from eagle-about half way from Eagle to Wolcot. There is a sign that talks about Fishing access or something and it is a pretty good size pull-out. You'll have to walk across a diversion damn to get a good look at the water, but its no big deal). There is a slightly tricky Left hand turn a little ways after Dead Cow, but you can just back off the right hand bank.
Rodeo is the last rapid of note and you do not even have to run it if you take out at the eagle visitors center. It's an easy scout from the Farigrounds/Truck parking lot with the recycling bins. People have there preference on this one but most agree not to go far left (large hole) or right (a smaller hole). Left of center will avoid the meat but it puts you closer to the hole on the left. Center hits the meat and can be a bit punchy but most make it through.

Have fun and be safe.
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Old 06-29-2009   #5
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
I did the Eagle from Avon to Eagle yesterday, my second run in the new boat. Edwards Mile was the only thing of consequence in the stretch from Avon to the Water Treatment Plant, and I had little trouble there. I did get spun around at the very end and ran the last 100 yards backwards (un-intentionally, I assure you!). LOL I mention it, because I would have bet money we'd be swimming with a mistake like that, but came out dry. *** whew *** It's a little more technical than the lower part of the Eagle that follows just because there seems to be more rocks to try to avoid. In fact, I also caught an oar to the temple from a rock, and it almost knocked me out.

I agree with Argo on the rest of the run from there to Eagle. Trestle wasn't too bad, given that another boat pulled out right in front of me and we went into it together. I couldn't even use the left oar. The hole is on the left side, so if you just hit the middle of the river going undet the bridge, you'll have no problems. We did have to duck a bit, but I'm tall sitting on a flip-seat.

Interstate and Dead Cow were fun, but relatively harmless. I hit the hole river left last weekend on Interstate (again, un-intentionally), and as long as you hit it square, it's not too bad. Like Argo said, pretty much everything is best run right down the middle.

Don't let Rodeo scare you if you've got any experience at all. It's not hard to set up for the middle and stay there (something that I sometimes have trouble with), and if you do, you'll really enjoy it. Just don't let up when you clear it, because there's Shit Pipe that follows (low haning pipe across the river with a boat wrapping support in the middle) and the take out can be easilly missed (there's a second one down river just a couple hundred yards. The last wo weeks, I've come out of Rodeo and just started heading river right and hugging that side to the take out.

I'll be up there again this Sunday more than likely, before the river gets too low! It's a lot of fun for beginners and families!
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Old 06-30-2009   #6
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 471
Eagle- Flows are coming down fast. If you have Class III skills then Avon to Edwards (sewage) is a hoot at this level. There is nothing in there that is gonna flip a 14' (one or 2 holes maybe) at this level. Lots of moving left and right due to all the corners and some rocks.

1500 cfs is a great level for this section.

Once the river gets above 2000 cfs, Edwards Mile (behind riverwalk complex) gets fast with many holes (nothing huge)....and the rapid 1/4 mile below that is the crux (at the Eaton Property and the new open space park)....this rapid is very busy above 2000, adn fairly long.

Everything is pretty much center for this stretch. Much friendlier level from 1000 - 1800 cfs.
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Old 06-30-2009   #7
lindazco's Avatar
Idledale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 29
Thanks all!
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Old 06-30-2009   #8
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
Uh,can i come?

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Old 06-30-2009   #9
Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 7
UC and fun

If you are still looking at this thread...well, the UC is really high right now, and the water is (as of Sun) quite pushy. They are releasing water and you may not get to see the UC running this high for a long time.

If you are interested in a class in rafting, that is what I was doing. Contact is johnmbowen@yahoo.com

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Old 06-30-2009   #10
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
Originally Posted by BarryDingle View Post
Uh,can i come?


It takes a big man to cry...It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man.

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