1st rule of kayaking - broken! - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-20-2004   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 6
1st rule of kayaking - broken!

Maybe aggro sports like this one are about breaking all the rules, but here's one that I think old school and new school boaters can all agree on...

I ran Boulder Creek yesterday, like I have dozens of times, but I had a bad feeling at the put in. I kept asking myself "Should I go on this run?" and I kept feeling like I shouldn't. I could have driven my friends car down the canyon. I should have. I didn't.

The first drop that I took the wrong line on cracked the bow of my boat. I thought that was as bad as it would get. The second drop that I took, the wrong line on broke my paddle shaft as I was trying to roll up. My boat took off like a rocket and I spent the next few minutes finding good times to breathe and trying to avoid ankle entrapments.

I've never broken or lost a boat before, and I guess I should just be glad the river didn't abuse me any worse than it did. My boat is still pinned in the creek, and I still kick myself for not listening to my gut instincts. So, learn from my lesson!

The first rule of kayking: Trust your instincts.

And if anyone can help me recover my boat, I'd be very grateful.
The gear is still 'binered in place, so the throw rope won't become a hazard (I hope). The center foam column washed out of the boat, so I'm not sure what shape my bow is in. It may well be wrapped around the rock like a candy wrapper. The boat is rocking a little, so it may wash free when the water level drops. If anyone finds it, call me at (303) 885-5964.

See you on the river (in a while)

Jerry

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Old 06-20-2004   #2
 
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 121
So, this directedto all the class V boaters out there. I paddle at this level regularly. How do you differentiate (sp?) between gut instincts and being too scared to run something that you know you should run. Here's my situation... There is a drop that I have run many times...it is river wide class V hole situation...It's one of those gamble drops that will let you through four out of five times times. But that one time it gets you, you get really worked. It would be a very bad swim. I've been hammered in it two or three times. I've run it a hundred. There is a "sneak" on one side, but I never seem to grease it either. For the last week I have walked this drop. It is something I need to be running. This is easy for me to say here in the safety of my office, but when I'm there looking at it I say, "I'm not feeling it". I think I'm getting in a bad habbit of walking it. Is this a gut instinct that I should listen to, or a fear I need to overcome?
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Old 06-20-2004   #3
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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ID Surfer, that's a tough one. I wasn't the slightest bit scared. Frankly I was over-confident. ONly you can know which voice you hear, the voice of fear or another. Fear is a good warning and a good motivator. That wasn't what I heard though. We all make our own decisions, and we all live with the consequences.

And just for the record, I'm not a class V paddler, but sometimes I get worked like one.l

Good luck.
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Old 06-21-2004   #4
 
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Two questions (well.. actually one)

Did you get your boat out? and if not -- where is it pinned?

I can probably give a hand trying to retrieve it this evening if you haven't gotten it out.
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Old 06-21-2004   #5
 
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
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In my earlier years kayaking when I had more balls than brains and more luck than judgement I would have said if you've run it before then go for it again. Now, after becoming a father 4 years ago and after some self reflection on the sport of kayaking I think I have a wiser approach. Here is my approach.....for what it's worth.

Risk usually equals some type of reward. What is your reward in running the drop? Does the risk out-weigh the reward? If you are puking because you are so scared then walk, it you are thinking "I have to run this because everyone else in my party did, I don't want too but I don't want to be thought less of" then walk because the wrong thing is influencing your decision, if you don't think your skill level matches the rapids demands then walk, there is no shame in staying within your limits and REDEFINING your limits. So the answer is that you use your brain, assess your own risk levels and rewards. At the end of the day squeeze out of your drytop, load your boat, drink a beer and feel the rewards of being alive!
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Old 06-21-2004   #6
JKB
 
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BetweenSwims and Idsufer,

Tim makes a great point that young boaters my age really need to hear. Is the reward worth the consequence. Sometimes we loose sight of what this sport is really about. It's about having fun and pushing yourself to your limit. My limit sometimes is defined as making it through a drop that all most munched me and sometimes it's taking a friend out for the first time in a boat. What ever your limits are as well as you skill, it is important to remember that that drop will be there tommarrow(if boaters have it our way) and we all have more to learn to get better. Do something in your skill level, or something you feel more comfortable with and listen to that voice in your head. Because Tims right, being alive is a great rewared.

That's my two bits,

Joe
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Old 06-21-2004   #7
J
 
Denver, Colorado
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I have run Bailey several times. I always walk Supermax, and run 4 falls depending on my mood and if I'm feeling "on". I know most people will say that Deer Creek is a piece of cake, but something about that rapid has my number. I ran it clean once at really low water, but walked it every other time except.... I hooked up with some boaters I didn't know at the put in one sunday afternoon when my regular crew was off doing other stuff. They talked me into running Deer Creek when I really wasn't feeling like I had my "A" game. I ended up doing the last drop of Deer Creek upside down and cracked open my helmut as a reward. Fortunately, my helmut was the only thing that suffered any real damage. My advice is listen to yourself, and don't let others talk you into something. If you are not sure, take a walk. I've got 2 kids now so my perspective has changed. Its no longer about how big my balls are, its about having a good ole time on the river and getting home safe. If I have to walk some rapids I might have run a few years ago, big deal - they aren't going anywhere and maybe I'll run 'em next time.

There are old kayakers. There are bold kayakers. There are no old and bold kayakers. (Except for EJ)

SYOTR
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Old 06-21-2004   #8
 
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Don't forget Ed Lucero. I mean Ed isn't old but he's been around the sport a long time and is considered CRAZY by most but I think he is boating for the right reasons. It feeds his soul. But what feeds Ed's soul would probably send my soul on another journey.
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Old 06-21-2004   #9
 
Boise, Idaho
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Tim,

I have used the risk vs rewards method of determining whether or not to run. I think this is a very good way to make decisions. What I have started walking in the last few times is only the first move in a half mile of wonderful class V whitewater. The move is just a boof into an eddy to skirt around a monster of a hole. It's not too hard, but if you screw it up your done. My buddy and I have decided that the move isn't even that fun and if you get trashed you miss out on the rest of the rapid, not to mention maybe the rest of your life. So, the way I see it the reward of dealing with that drop is getting to run the rest. The way you deal with it is up the individual. Screw it, I'm walking.

Just some thoughts, thanks for your input,

Cory
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Old 06-21-2004   #10
 
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
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I've never ran all of Super Max in Bailey canyon. At medium flows(300 to 400), I know I could make the move about 9 out of 10 times but thoughts of the one manky and boney no-fun time keeps me walking around the undercut part. I put-in right below the undercut and love paddling the rest, which is the reward (for me) of the rapid. I've also paddled Bailey's at 800+ cfs in a Riot 007 and ran everydrop except for top drop of four falls and the top of super max because they just simply looked un-fun. The top of four falls was just nasty and boiling, and super max has those two gigantic holes above the undercut part, both of which could ruin my day. As for the rest of the run, it was EPIC. Just two buds running Baileys at the highest water they've ever seen it, in play boats, eating fresh raspberries and boysenberries that grow streamside (another great reason to walk first drop of four falls and supermax) and to cap it off, that was my second time down that day. Back to back Bailey's with two different friends at 800 cfs. That's why I select to run what I'm comfortable running and walk what I want to walk because at the end of the day it is a successful run no matter if you've hiked more than you've paddled. I just have to mention to J, I think Deer Creek is one of my favorite rapids but the first time I ran it, I got stuck side-surfing a hole at the very top and then the rest of it was sketchy. I was intimidated the next time because of the memory but I have greased it everytime since. I love boofing the big rock at the crux, being airborne and missing the torrent below - way cool. Ah, what I'd do to be on Bailey's right now....
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