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Old 07-02-2015   #31
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,373
During the pro tour and team trials this past month, a lot of pros traveled out of their way to go play on the "best feature in the state". Too bad about this lousy, uninformed coverage.

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Old 07-02-2015   #32
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 35
Durango Herald Article

What Mr Black has done is create "fear" throughout the entire river running and Government agencies throughout the US. His practice of using I am a "guide" to establish himself as a "person of knowledge" is perhaps a disgrace to our community.

The fact is, everyone already knew that some "tweaks" needed to be made this next fall. Nothing new here, other than what he did was open the discussions to the world. When you do that, you get idiots to speak out who have no general knowledge of the facts.

You - the river community need to speak up!. The true pro's of river running to this article.

Thanks to Alex, commercial outfitter, who stated that even in high water years, they still ran customers below Smelter before the modifications.

The Animas is cold, cold, cold river. Even at high flows, boats flipped, people fell out. Now, yes, its harder and boats do flip more, kiss the bank on the left, all the way, you will make it. Go out in the middle or to the right, you will be upside down.

If you want to get into legal: When the river goes high again, and I run my Dory down thru town and crash into a "MAN MADE BRIDGE THAT SITS TO LOW TO THE WATER" I will have my lawyers contact the responsible ones for a man made dangerous oversight.

Now lets start a thread and national movement on that: Bridges that make rivers unrunnable at high flows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 07-02-2015   #33
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 176
Originally Posted by FastFXR View Post
As far as I'm concerned, he has a point. Colorado creates these "whitewater parks" which are really just play features intended SOLELY for playboating. I would think a true "whitewater park" should have obstacles, multiple routes, and require some skill in paddling to get through.
It's pretty sad that Colorado--known for its whitewater--can't build a park worth a have to go east to find one of those.
Interesting. Can you point me toward an example of a playpark that does this? I'd like to check one out. I can't really picture it. If a place has enough gradient to have naturally occurring whitewater, I can't imagine any whitewater park comparing to the rapids that are already available. If there isn't enough gradient, then I'm not sure how you would build a whitewater park with decent rapids, other than creating an entirely artificial river channel like the USNWC in Charlotte.
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Old 07-03-2015   #34
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 35

Originally Posted by mountainjah View Post
Herald selling papers....Thanks everyone for their thoughts in this thread- The Durango Herald 07/01/2015 | How dangerous is the Whitewater Park?
READ and WEEP, this guy calls himself a guide and one of us, Mr Black is like a log stuck in eddy, keeps swirling and swirling and swirling.

Read the comment sections of articles.
off the charts.......
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Old 07-04-2015   #35
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 35
Letter to Editor/Durango Herald

Originally Posted by dbendell View Post
READ and WEEP, this guy calls himself a guide and one of us, Mr Black is like a log stuck in eddy, keeps swirling and swirling and swirling.

Read the comment sections of articles.
off the charts.......
Investment in Smelter Rapid is valuable and merited

The recent story in the Herald on 7/1/15 “How Dangerous is the Whitewater Park?”, has developed a hefty collection of comments. It seems to be Mr. Black against the rest of the world in the comments. Some of Durango’s best and foremost river runners had things to say about the article and the comments. Mr. Black has used unfounded words like “weirs”, ‘dams”, “keeper holes”, “hazards”, and even stooped to the lowest “death”. The bottom line appears that Mr. Black has a problem with tax dollars going to natural, outdoors projects. Smelter Rapid was and still is a man-made rapid. From the early days Durango was settled, residents have modified the river’s course thru town. I have grown up with this river since the 80’s.

As it was restated in the comments, the rapid in the early days was filled with many hazards, including old cars, jagged rocks, rebar/concrete—all “man-made.” Smelter was regarded as a “hazard” within the river community. A swim down this section might get you killed, but more than likely you would get a few stitches or some nice bruises. Throughout the years, the city has put money into re-arranging rocks here and there and removing debris, making it a safer place and extending the river running season.

The river community in Durango may be one of the largest per capita in the US. There is a lot of experience in this town, from world class athletes to long time guides to river runners with 30-40+ years running rivers. There are also a ton of recreational river runners, evidenced by how large and fun the Animas River Days boat parade has become. The river that runs thru our town is an asset which a large number of our citizens and visitors enjoy. Our river brings tax revenue to the city and its local business establishments. The modification to this rapid has extended the season far beyond the old days.

The New Smelter Rapid is very large in comparison to the Old Smelter Rapid. In the old days, I felt that it was a haphazard flow of current around a bend with a ton of misplaced rocks and pourovers. Now, it’s a rapid. It’s a place at higher flows that one needs to pay attention as to how to run it. It’s big, fun and has a lot of features that include large standing waves and holes. Yes, at high flows the odds of flipping are much higher. Yes, the boatman must know his/her line to properly navigate this rapid. Yes, a swimmer here is highly likely. Yes, Mr. Black, this rapid is now truly a rapid of greatness and full of big crashing water. And what’s more, it has been acknowledged that it is a work in progress. I, for one, feel the investment in this rapid is valuable and merited. I also support any future allocations of money towards river improvements.

I would much rather swim the New Smelter Rapid than a lot of other rapids I have encountered in my days. This rapid can kill you if the right variables exist, but what rapid doesn’t have these variables in some shape or manner? The Whitewater Park is a huge improvement to our community. Thank you, City of Durango. Thank you to the many that help push this thru and make it an asset to our community.

Don Bendell, Jr
PS. Please use a life jacket at all times.
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Old 07-04-2015   #36
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,497
Watched the red boat surf vid again. At one point the boat was dancing to the music.

And I just realized the proximity of this to town.
Damn I would love to those features right in town. Are you kidding me?? In town. Yes this looks a little beefy at 7K but you can see definite soft spots in the hole(s). Kind of looks like you can go as big as you want or push left on both. Obviously there may be more to it than I can in those vides. That bridge piling sucks.

Hope the naysayers fade away. This looks awesome.
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Old 07-13-2015   #37
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Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 538
I want to go to Durango now! Killer looking town run, and high water may be more pushy but it usually washes out most rapids and creates sneaks on river left/right. I much rather do the Yampa through town at 2500+ then at 600 when its boney and littered with tubers.

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