Browns at 2500??? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-19-2009   #1
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 229
Browns at 2500???

I was wondering what to expect from Browns at 2500? The highest I did it was a couple weeks ago at 1050. I stayed flat plastic side down for all of it from the 2nd campground to Stone bridge except for the first rapid after Hecla (I thought I was having a good enough day to take the hole straight, I wasn't). Does everything just get bigger, or does some stuff get nasty? Thanks for any info.

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Old 05-19-2009   #2
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 34
I ran Browns last year at 2400 and 3400. As expected the currents are more powerful and pushier, but I found that the level of difficulty didn't increase radically. It does become very continuous, so if you swim it could take a long while to get a boat out.

Toilet Bowl is washed out and Zoom is somewaht washed out (just avoid pyramid rock, which is now a pourover). The Stair Steps start to merge and there is not a pool between every step. The waves in the Steps are big and fun. Raft Ripper (which is nothing at low water ) builds in difficulty. There are a couple holes that really dhould be avoided in Widow Make and Raft Ripper.

If you felt confident and collected at 1050, I think you would be o.k. at 2500. Consider running down to Stone Bridge since the run goes that much quicker at high water. Just be sure and scout Seidles Suckhole (which can be portaged). Scout and Portage on river right.
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Old 05-19-2009   #3
rg5hole's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 06
Join Date: May 2007
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obviously not a solo mission for you right?
I've never boated before, but I have posted a lot on Mountain Buzz!
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Old 05-19-2009   #4
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Erie, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
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I was just on Brown's a couple days ago near 2000 and did it near peak last year about 3500ish. Also done it at a about 1000 couple years ago. There is not much difference in difficulty between any of the flows. The water just moves fast so you need to be quicker with your moves.

You can probably even go over the rock at the bottom of zoom now and be golden. Seidels has a sneak down the far left side.

The Steps are great hit them all head on big waves with no holes to keep you that you don't see on the other side.

Have Fun!
-Chadwick Shoults
Twitter: CUBuffskier
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Old 05-19-2009   #5
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
Just ran Brown's to Hecla on Sunday at 2036cfs.

Big Drop hole is a rubber stopper for can sneak it river right but the left line is more fun...just square up to with some momentum it and call it good!

Pinball is pretty washed out and not as technical as it is at 1000.

Lots of the sleeper rocks at the 1000 level are covered making the run much less techincal technically speaking.

Stair Stepper waves as Kentm mentioned are bigger and more fun...just square up to 'em and your good.

Raft Ripper is a munchy hole worth avoiding by sneaking left.

Scout Seidel's for sure...

Have fun!

See ya on the watah!
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Old 05-19-2009   #6
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 72
Browns loses a lot of its technical nature at higher water. Most of the sleepers and guardian rocks disappear and there are less moves to make. The water becomes noticeably pushier.

Don't hit the pour over in Zoom that was crusher or pyramid rock a week ago. I've seen many rafts flipped by that. You can run right over the rock at Toilet Bowl and avoid that S turn move. Definitely float it to stone bridge to get a look at Siedel's and Twin Falls. Siedelís is always a good scout. If you swim there itís just a big eddy at the bottom. It's a quick trip when the water is kickiní like that. Maybe we'll see you down there this weekend!

Make good decisions and be safe. There was a fatality on the Colorado in Cataract Canyon yesterday. High water is fun, but also dangerous for sure. Condolences to his friends and family. He was from Colorado
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Old 05-19-2009   #7
pnw, Colorado
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Swims will be longer
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 06-26-2009   #8
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Beware - Seidels Suckhole

For any of you considering a rafting trip, you'd better be experienced and a strong swimmer if your guide plans to take you over Seidel's Suckhole on the Arkansas River, in Brown's Canyon. My wife and I took this yesterday with Blazing Adventures out of Aspen. It was just my wife and myself and the guide. This rapid was the last one at the end of the day, and as we began to approach it, the guide began talking about how it spills everyone over. We had a bad feeling about it, but she tried to tackle it anyway. The rapid ate us up, the raft went airborne and flipped over, and we were all thrown into the river. My wife and the guide found a calmer spot to get to the bank, but I was carried downriver for over a mile, they tell me, through the next set of rapids. I nearly drowned, and my tailbone and shin took quite a few hits from underwater rocks. So - if you're a wild mountain type and you're a strong swimmer, go for it. If you're a tourist out for some scenery and some fun, avoid any trip that includes Seidel's Suckhole. There have been several fatalities here and I was nearly another. The rafting company didn't warn us, at all, that this is a class IV rapid, nor that we would probably spill over, until we approached it, and by then it was too late to decide not to do it.
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Old 06-26-2009   #9
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Erie, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 237
Sorry for your misfortune - it my experience a lot of commercial groups stop at the scout at least they did last year at 3-4,000 when I ran it last in a kayak.

The advantage to kayakers at these flows is a nice line on the river left side that only has 1 moderate lateral to punch and you can avoid the hole.
-Chadwick Shoults
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Old 06-26-2009   #10
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
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We ran Browns Sunday the 21st, flow was listed as 2480, we R4'ed our 14'er and had no close calls - no crappy lines even.

This was our first paddle trip down Browns, granted we had capable paddlers (one who had only done commercial rafting previously) but we cleaned it.

We didn't even realize we ran toilet bowl, widowmaker etc. until we were at Hecla wondering how we got out of the canyon so quick.

We too ran Seidels, started river left and paddled hard to ferry right, I sat on the front left and remember a huge white wall hitting me and ducking into the boat. We came out blue side up and all grinning. We did not scout and only 2 of our paddlers had seen the rapid at about 1000cfs - it was easily viewed from the raft above the rapid.

We ran twin falls backwards on purpose, man those waves are huge when you can't see where you're going.
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