Cheeseman Canyon Beta - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-02-2005   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5
Cheeseman Canyon Beta

Anyone have any info one when Cheeseman will start running? I could be wrong, but it seems to me like it didn't run last year because Elevenmile was very low. Any info would help!


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Old 06-02-2005   #2
Ski Patrol
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 139
I think that I saw a article saying that elevenmile rez was at 101%full. That does not say they will be releasing water. I hiked down into the first section of gnar a month ago. Looks scary at low water (sieve fest). One piece of wood in there at the entrance to one of those rapids other than that it looked clean of wood. If it does release I would be into getting on it with a solid crew. One of my buddies made friends with a couple that ownes land on the sportsmans paradise so if we are with him we may be able to put on without confrontation. That is about all I know for now.
Keep your eyes on the gage from time to time and we might be able to get in there.

Happy Creeking
Mike Hagadorn
A wise man once said "You Play You Pay"
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Old 06-02-2005   #3
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Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Oct 2003
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The put in Time for cheeseman is 9am to 11 am sat and sundays,DO NOT SCREW THIS UP PEOPLE...Those are the times that SP has agreed to and float by with nothing but respect and silence moving downstream as quickly as possible..It will take one asshole to bring back the hostile feelings for both parties...

As for the run,it usaully goes in mid june...It is the most dangerous run in Colorado with big drops and bad places to be for an off line paddler...This is a full on class 5 arena,so you have to want it...Don't go in there thinking you will walk the big drops as they are all big..If this run is for you,it will be one of your favorites no doubt...Be safe and have fun
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Old 06-02-2005   #4
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 40
Gary, is there anything else that should be known by people planning on getting up there this year? Is the put in listed in the CRC the right place to not piss of SP? Hopefully all goes smooth up there this year.
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Old 06-02-2005   #5
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Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 499
Posted on by Tim Kelley, AW Board Member:

Sportsmen’s Paradise (SP) has informed American Whitewater (AW) that SP will lift the “trash rack” that created a river wide strainer. AW in response has taken the Wildcat Canyon aka “Cheesman Canyon” access out of the national spotlight and will continue to encourage paddlers to follow the guidelines listed below in connection with paddling sections of creeks and rivers that are frequently fished or that pass through private property.
Sportsmen’s Paradise still asserts that the public doesn’t have the right to “float” through private property, and that individuals that do “float” through SP are committing civil trespassing. SP prefers that boaters not paddle the section of the South Platte that passes through SP property (preferring instead that paddlers take the 2 mile portage around SP); however, they will not seek to harass or interfere with a boater’s downstream passage. SP has made clear they could pursue civil trespassing charges against a paddler or group of paddlers just like the landowner on the Lake Fork is doing. AW lawyers disagree with this opinion and assert that the public has the right to paddle through private land.

Sportsmen’s Paradise will seek prosecution of those committing criminal trespassing, “paddlers touching the riverbed or banks,” which they assert constitutes SP property. SP has marked its property line across the river with numerous “no trespassing” signs hanging from a cable. There is no doubt when you are paddling through SP, so stay in your boat. The Park CO DA has confirmed that touching the diversion dam and streambed just below the dam is not criminal trespassing. The dam is located less than 100 yards below the “no trespassing” signs and just upstream of the bridge from which the trash rack hangs. A fence across the downstream property line marks the end of SP land and is about a mile above the first rapid “Club Dues.” (You can paddle under the fence safely on river left.) The section of river that runs through SP is approximately two miles.

Tim Kelley
AW Board Member and Safety Chairman

This is a quote from a year or two ago, not sure if SP is gonna honor their promise or if there will be more issues.

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Old 06-02-2005   #6
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 10
SP stated in Spg '02 that they would lift the trash racks and not stop paddlers that were not touching the bed or the banks. The Hayman fire closure and drought have effectively kept paddlers out so this good faith agreement has never been actually tested...They did ask that paddlers try to limit their "footprint" and come through all at once as much as possible between 9-11am. This agreement is based on good will. Please go out of your way to help maintain this. The two-mile portage sucks! So make sure your buddy does his part too.

I walked in and scouted all the way to Punji Stick summer of '03. The fire didn't touch along the river to there and I saw no "new" wood. I would be very cautious though, and it would be worth scouting at low flows to see if any wood is hiding. Seeing the affects of the fire and just the beauty of Wildcat Canyon are worth the day.

Not sure if the take out road (4x4 trail to river) is open or passable. It was closed in '03. District USFS office in Pueblo may know. Its a bitch walking your boat up that road.

As for the river, I've paddled it as low as 180 and would do that anytime though "Let's make a deal" is really marginal at that level. Water does channel nicely through SP at 180 so you can float it. Around 300 is a great level. It gets pushy above that.

As Gary said, this is a serious run. The CL II-III section between Punji stick and Underpriviledged has channels that sieve out and if you enter the wrong one the only way out is through a sieve.

CRC has great beta for this run, but the channels are complex and rapids like Underpriviledge and Dos Chaos come up real qiuck. This is definitely a run that you don't paddle around blind corners or over horizon lines without scouting. The spiders on this run are real.

As for are talking about Denver and Aurora water needs DW controls Three resevoirs Antero, 11-mile and Cheesman. Aurora controls Spinney.

Antero is only 15% full and storing everything.
Spinney is over 50% and storing 30cfs of its intake
11-mile is 101% and storing 40cfs of its intake.
Cheesman is 101%

What does it all mean...there are so many variables don't even try to figure it out. I would just sign-up with e-phlows on Phateye and set the level at 180 or whatever trigger you want to alert you. (The gage reading on the AW page is for flow coming into Cheesman which adds in flow from Tarryal Creek. Need to monitor the gage called near Lake George)

Park and put-on above SP at one of the parking areas below the camp grounds. I would check to make sure the trash racks are not down prior to putting on though. If they are down, then just make the portage and send me an email [email protected].

Enjoy, and be safe
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Old 06-02-2005   #7
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 10
Best I can tell the 4x4 road down to the takeout is okay to use unless specifically posted as closed.

The road management plan date Sep '04 for the area looks like they call the 4x4 road: "548"

It is just north of Corral Creek but south of Wildcat Creek on the West side of the river.

Just need the water now
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Old 07-04-2005   #8
Denver (Philly Native), Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 146
On the topic of releases in that area....will 11 miles ever run again?

I was just down in 11 mile canyon for the weekend and it looks pretty cool. I missed it in 2002. Any way to tell if they will release enough to do a run? I think it was at 25 cfs this weekend which exposed some cool features. What's the lowest you can run it without losing alll of your plastic?
"When the going gets weird, the Weird turn pro" -HST
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