BETA on fraser canyon and byers canyon?? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-17-2006   #1
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 123
BETA on fraser canyon and byers canyon??

Hey all,
I am a class 3/3+ish boater and I wanted to get some beta on Fraser and Byers canyons. I have a decent roll though I may be rusty since i haven't practiced since last season

The flow on fraser canyon is 350cfs right now and on byers it's 500cfs.

What are the minimum flows for these sections? I'm looking for fairly mellow runs especially since it's early in the season. At current flows are these sections class 3? If so, at what level would you consider these class 3+ or class 4? I am confident on class 3, kinda shaky but ok on class 3+, don't want to do anything harder than that.

Any beta or details on these sections of the colorado and fraser rivers would be much appreciated. Thanks!!


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Old 04-17-2006   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 418
I'd stick to the Fraser, and if you are very comfortable running the hardest rapids in the Fraser, then go for Byers. The Fraser is also a longer run, which would make your drive more worth it.

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Old 04-17-2006   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 480
Lauren, if you are looking for "fairly mellow runs", stay out of Byers Canyon. Fraser Canyon is no cake walk but is easier than Byers. The water in Fraser is going to be damn cold and you may still find ice up there. You might want to wait a bit for flows up around 700 or so. The last part of Fraser is pretty much all whitewater so you may want to practice your roll in some easier rapids.
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Old 04-17-2006   #4
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,107
I ran Byers this weekend. It was pretty low, around 500 something CFS. CRCII calls it a IV- up to 1000 cfs. At 500 it felt like a handful of straightforward class III, several bouncy III+ rapids with lots of barely covered rocks (swim would suck here) that required some maneuvering to stay off of the rocks. It also had one rapid that was in the IVish range I guess. I think it is the ledge rapid described in CRCII, not sure if it has a name. It has a clean line, but it is a tight line out of an eddy in the middle of a class III lead in to thread between a pourover sort of thing and a curler. There are lots of rocks in the runout. A flip would suck as would a swim. At current flows the rapids have some power and there are some boily eddy lines. More water would get really beefy here it seems. The run is entirely roadside, but climbing the steep rocky slope up to the road would royally suck. Train tracks are on the other side and you could walk out there, but that would suck too as there are lots of trains. The banks are all large blast rock. Cool run, but not receesarily a mellow season starter. At current flows I would say III+ / IV-.
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Old 04-17-2006   #5
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 123
Thanks all, based on your advice I think that byers canyon might still be too much for me. maybe next season!

Any more details on the fraser?

Just for comparison, I love foxton (all sections of it- run at levels anything from 230-500cfs) and I like waterton (run once at 500cfs) though i'm intimidated by some of the harder rapids at the end of the run. How does the fraser compare to these sections of the south platte?

Is the fraser canyon really shady? There is almost no ice left in the town of fraser and the river up there is running freely with no ice. I plan to go do this river at the end of april, as long as there is not much ice.

Thank you guys for such a quick response!

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Old 04-17-2006   #6
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 418
The Fraser is easier than Waterton. I even think the Fraser is easier than Foxton. I live in Fraser, but haven't run it this year yet. I'm betting no ice at all, but to cold to want to play or practice rolls! I'm up for running it this week if it comes up after the cold snap. PM me.

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Old 04-18-2006   #7
bum, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 72
fraser valley boater?

Jennifer, you live in wp.

not many chic boaters in the valley, I live in fraser and boat quite a bit, just wondering if I met you.

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