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Old 06-03-2015   #1
colorado springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 20
upper c question

so I have some family coming into town next week we had been planning an upper c trip but have been watching the flows and it looks to be around 5000. first question: the highest I have ever floated it was at 2000 ive got a couple inexperienced boaters with me that were gonna row my spare boat is that totally insane to consider? secondly is the hot spring underwater at that flow? how do the rapids change at high flows does needle eye get much tougher? how about yarmony? thanks for your input

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Old 06-03-2015   #2
Supply Chain Management
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 18
Hot springs are gone at like 3,500 or so at the most. So that will be out. Needles eye actually gets a little easier as you don't have to thread the needle since the middle boulder is under water. Yarmony becomes a raft flipper somewhere around there if you hit it head on. If I recall correctly the line is left of Yarmony itself & then fade center, but someone else here should confirm, as I don't recall for certain. I don't think that the stretch of water is undoable at those levels for a new boater, but I also don't think I would risk it. The water is fast & cold & the waves are big, so consequences could be severe.

Supposedly if the water goes up to like 8k, it all gets washed out & becomes a pretty easy ride. But I don't know that from experience, just what I've been told. I've never run it over 5kish myself.

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Old 06-03-2015   #3
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,911
So this kind of thing comes up every year when there's high water: "Will my buddy that's a newbie be OK on the Upper C at high water?" Everyone that's an experienced rafter or kayaker says, "yeah, no problem, it's just the Upper C." To which I say, yeah, it's just the Upper C, but it's at high water. Here's an anaology: Imagine your novice buddy is a 15-yr old kid with a learner's permit who's halfway through driver's ed and has been out on the local streets and taken mom to the grocery store. Would you want to put him in heavy 75 mph freeway traffic? Maybe throw in some motorcycles buzzing past between the lanes like in CA and some really aggressive drivers changing lanes all around him for good measure.

And Yarmony turns into a boat eating hole at high water.

It's gonna be fast, powerful, and a cold, demanding swim if your buddy doesn't make the move right.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 06-03-2015   #4
Pinecliffe, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 447
I think the spring goes under at about 2k maybe a bit lower.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. KARL MARX
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Old 06-03-2015   #5
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 65
Every year about this time boats are lost and people even die. Don't be that person.

On another note a good friend of mine and experienced boater rafted it a few years ago at 9k+ flows. He said it was terrifying in his oar rig.
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Old 06-03-2015   #6
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 70
I'll start by saying I would not let an inexperienced oarsman row my rig or my friends and family through needles or yarmony right now. Currently its at 5900 cfs and I don't see it dropping this weekend but could go up. If it does, needles becomes a lateral hole that flips boats left over right. Even if it stays the same, Little Gore Canyon (that Needles Eye Rapid is in) still poses several hazards and flips and pins are possible. No place for inexperience. Yarmony Rapid is a Boat Flipper! It can be run safely by sticking tight to the left side at the top and then moving back to the right to miss the chunder at the bottom. The bottom chunder can flip you too! Especially if the flows increase. I do not recommend sending your novice rower through the rapid. I feel like every year when the CFS gets above 4500, 4 to 6 rafts flip each weekend in Yarmony. Most are ill prepared. Don't be one of those rafts! Also, the hot springs are done until the flows get down somewhere under 2000 cfs. Be safe out there this weekend!
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Old 06-03-2015   #7
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 40
Agreed on the last post. Don't become a statistic or let your buddies either. Needle never gets washed out even at 9k, it becomes a gigantic hole the will suck you down and keep you there. The left line on yarmony get tougher to hit as the water rises and takes some serious rowing power to stay out of the hole. Not trying to scare anyone off but it's not for the inexperienced.
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Old 06-03-2015   #8
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 65
Upper c at 2k= 30 beers and row it backwards for fun

Upper c at 7k= 30 mg adderall and an extra 5k worth of safety and survival gear

I thought about it more, previous posters are right. This is a stupid idea.
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Old 06-04-2015   #9
colorado springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 20
I totally agree with you guys was just looking for some input so that I can make a mental image of the situation up there. we are going to hit the rio grande just below the box and float to embudo. thanks guys

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