Beta on West Fork of Clear Creek - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-30-2005   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3
Beta on West Fork of Clear Creek

I was just curious about what it was all about. It seems fun, I've run Bear creek at 125, 170 and 200 CfS fine, but got my ass kicked on Blackrock at 800 all in my EZG. Will this be over my head.

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Old 06-30-2005   #2
oh yeah
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 539
i didn't think bear creek was class five until ~250 cfs. the west fork felt like class five at 150cfs. come look at it and decide for yourself.

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Old 06-30-2005   #3
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Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 499
You could probably run Coors falls and see how that goes....? At least it's roadside if it proves to be too much....!
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Old 06-30-2005   #4
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 17
West Fork Beta

I would consider West Fork a substantial step up from Bear Creak and more continuous and technical than Black Rock. I think of it as a half step up from SSV because it is enclosed, removed from the road, and more continuous. If you run it clean, the run is a blast. If you screw up, you can have a pretty bad day. I really enjoy the run but always take it seriously (i.e. class V).

The entry falls are the easiest part of the run and a lot of fun. 1st Z Gorge is challenging but pretty straigh forward. The 2nd Z Gorge is more challenging and the consequences step up. If you choose to do the 1st Gorge you have one small river right eddy if you want to avoid doing the 2nd Gorge.

The class v "boogie" water below the Gorges can be technical, continuous and moves come up quickly. I've seen many boaters get pinned up in the rocks here. Most of this is not reasonably scoutable. Heads up for the las major rapid.

The hardest rapid on the run is Gun Shot. This can be scouted from your vehicle by hiking down from where the power lines cross the road. It is not currently runnable and has not been runnable the past 2 years because of serious wood in the entry. You can put in river left just below the wood and run the rest of the rapid. Warning: this rapid comes up crazy fast and eddies are few. Plan your eddy, know your eddy, make your eddy or....

Final recommendation: Scout all the drops prior to running the creek (even if others in your party have run it before). You will be happy later. And, unless you are a strong class V boater, I would probably not do my first run at 250 cfs (below 200 and down to 150 is a good first time level). If you like that, add water
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Old 06-30-2005   #5
Charc in = charc out
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Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 475
the following comment probably won't make me any friends, but who cares ...

WFCC is a piece of shit. the first rapid is the only thing worth doing & the rest of the run is very low quality. if you enjoy sharp manky rock, lots of hip shots, wood, pinning, boat & paddle abuse, landing on sharp manky rocks, pitoning, & sharp manky rocks, this run is right up your alley. there's really nothing high quality about it, it's just something kinda steep to break your boat on.

my advice would be to go to crested butte & spend 3 days giggling down clean slides.
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