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Old 07-17-2006   #1
milo's Avatar
crested butte, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2004
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.........good fun, stressful moments and suffering.......great water level, pushy but cleaner....great camping.......great company.....the rains last week caused considerable damage to side gulleys, some down right catastrophic....we floated "willy nilly"around a blind curve(normally a class3+) to find a NEW SUBSTANTIAL RAPID......a side gulley had ripped out huge......this SUPRISE RAPID may be unrunnable at lower comes at you just past the NARROWS PINCH PORTAGE......i was leading, started center and worked right to avoid a 8-10 fan-boof-pillow mess(with bad rocks on the other side) and ended up riding high on the giant fan-pillow...rode it to the right and found some big holes on the otherside......."we" ended up with one black swollen eye, one hit to the shoulder, lots of upsidedown boaters,and lots of fuck off, that wasn't no class 3 milo -short moment of chaos(rangers were present for the rapids first descent and took pictures, will track them down and will get my smart friends to post some of them).......i missed a class1++ ferry and got stuffed into a little manky messpot and was pinned tip-tail, upside down, pressed on the bottom.....neck bent beyond chance to roll as my paddle was jammed up......i started thinking about our earlier epic when a man got sucked into a sieve(more on that topic later) and figured i had a "safe" swim ahead ...... safe but desparate trying to get out before i flushed into this fun class 4.....wrestled myself and my boat onto some slimmy polished boulders -mid AT vanished soon after i let go of it, never to be seen again.....LARSEN came to my rescue......i monkey'd my way thru foot entrapment city to an eddy where i could grab his bow loop and the breakdown.....he said he didn't like it there so off he went..... i put back on and ran the fun little drop.....i said sorry to all and off we went......we did have a man sieve out- upstream......the sieve(s) are located 10 feet left of the black dagger rock in the entrance to THE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE....his paddle, booties and some toe nails are still in there....his boat was recovered from the "office"- another sieve system with wood!!! all i will say is this was a solid boater that got pushed 2-3 feet offline-and plummeted.....he's tough and demonstrated this to us by duct-taping flip-flops to his bloody feet and forging on---wierd look in his eyes but a big smile on his face........i'll let him explain if he wants to.....BEWARE........directly below the 18'er an undercut rock-sieve system exits....please dont lollygag after you run this falls.....a black canyon veteran-LARSEN- had a really hot moment there on our trip....he held on to a gymnastic type "iron cross" for30-40 seconds before he charged out of this situation on his own.....grotesque!!!! will always get on this rock with a rope now.....other HOT moments include finding that the SOB gully had blown its load!!!!!!the second ferry is a true hairy ferry now......the large inviting eddy is now sitting under house size rocks.....and eddies, there are 3 small eddies directly above NEW GENERATION FALLS(doomy, unrunnable).....everybody did the seal lauch except myself..... i went for the ferry, extremely concerned because the water now halls ass thru there.......dont blow this move...the new eddies are one boat- bleeding-eddies....on the brink so to speak....i foresee problems here in the future, esp at higher water flows......lots of fun this trip, despite all the suprises and carnage......ON A GOOD NOTE: conhair finney, a solid young gun fired up the big three DAY WRECKER5+, TRIPLE DROP6- and BALL CRUSHER5? never seen TRIPLE DROP run before......sick and tough little monkey....the liquor cabinet was taken out by a gully wash but was restocked and relocated on this trip...... do to our impeccable timing we were able to enjoy 100+ degree on our nature walk up CHUKAR TRAIL......looking to do a one day push next weekend to scout the new drop, collect photos from the rangers, look for paddles, have more fun, sketch out and get wet........?would like company at this level........JUNIOR kayaking is dumb

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Old 07-17-2006   #2
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 156
wow sounds a bit on the epic side I might say there MILO.
class 1+++ indeed.
Is the cave camp still there if the liquor cabinet is gone?
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Old 07-17-2006   #3
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Old 07-17-2006   #4
Join Date: Nov 2003
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So there I was. . .

I came around the corner of another class 3++ (the ++ rating is because if you are off your line 2 feet you will go into a sive or undercut) Anyway I came around the corner on a left to right move and got caught in a little swirly, that was spinning me around up stream of an undercut sive, that didn't look that serious from shore, or even at the time. I caught a weird serge when I was reaching for the good water and the swrily hick-uped me upside down and towards the sieve. I tried to roll and hit the rock. My paddle was ripped out of my one hand and I was getting hammered against the rock with some very strong current. I thought if I pulled I might be able to get around the corner of the rock. . .Nope. I was sucked imediatly into the first "level" of the sieve. I had a foot hold and was reaching to go back the way I came in to get some air. . . unsuccessfull, just when I realized I had to go deeper, my paddle came through and took my legs out and now I was flushing deeper into the cave. When I finally stopped the room was completely dark, and the current was pinning me sideways in the darkest part of the sieve. Just then a vivid image of my lady came to mind, I'm getting married in two weeks, and then an image of the Gunnison news paper with the headline 'KAYAKER DIES IN THE BLACK CANYON'.

By now 25 to 30 seconds have gone by. When water started creeping into my mouth, I started to make note of the stages of drowning, very calm. Just when I realized it was o.k. to die here I looked over and saw a little green light the size of a basketball, in an otherwise very dark room to my right. I lunged for the light, and I didn't fit. Fuck. . . I tried again and as I saw it I was short of reaching my fingertips to the air by about 3 inches. Water was definetly comming in my mouth and my chest was burning. I was pushing throught the hole so hard that I 'ran' my booties off against the rocks, and started ripping my toe nails off clawing my way to the good stuff, oxygen. After my 4th and final attempt my head went through the hole into the light. and I came out the back river left side of the rock, through a little tunnel just big enough for my chunky ass. The whole ordeal as far as the group could tell was probably 45 seconds to a minute.

Why am I sharing this. . .

I want people to realize that there is always a chance, and there could be a little green light at the end of the tunnel. NEVER GIVE UP! Even when things look close to being over, keep looking and keep trying and you might come out o.k. I can think of two different moments when I thought I was stuck, and like clockwork something changed and I was able to keep moving.

Thanks to the crew and to the River Gods for getting me through that day. What a magical place down in the guts of the earth.

The sun shines on even a dog's ass some days!

p.s. if it weren't for this little mishap I would have been enjoying some very good ice cream. I hope you choke Fred and Leif.

Have a great day and be safe out there!

Signing off,

The Ice Cream Man
hey diddle diddle...
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Old 07-17-2006   #5
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Teacher, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 323
Damit man, dont scare me like that!
Thank you for not dieing, I would have really missed you..
I think we should both take up golf, yoga, or professional hot dog eating..
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Old 07-17-2006   #6
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Dude, Lotsa., great story. I'm glad it had a happy ending. Way to man-up and fight........................
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Old 07-17-2006   #7
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Fort Collins/GWS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 208
fkn a

lotsa, damn nigga, thanks for fighting it out and good words on not giving up.

Milo, super entertaining post with huge downplay factor on the 1++++.
Leif, get any footy? Or, should I ask if I still have a camera? fuck.
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Old 07-17-2006   #8
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Asheville, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 98
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 211
Captain...Nice trip report, and I'm glad the boys are OK. I can't wait to see the new rapid down there. The Salida connection is talking about a trip sometime next week if you wanna sketch out again. Lotsa, thanks for the report and way to hang in there...thanks for the inspirational words. Lets stay safe in the black.......!
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Old 07-17-2006   #9
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 186
Jeezus, Pete. I have tears in my eyes reading this. I'm so glad you found the light and I'm SO glad to be seeing you at your wedding soon. Incredible. What kind of ice cream do you like, anyway? I'll get you whatever you want...and maybe some Lee Press-on Nails so you can do a little toe patch-up before the wedding.

Big hugs,
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Old 07-17-2006   #10
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
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black canyon, carnage

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