Colo. Spgs. flood - Mountain Buzz

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Old 09-16-2011   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Colo. Spgs. flood

So with all the rain the other day and the flood warnings being issued for the Springs,I was keeping an eye on Cherry Creek on USGS ,in case we got hammered - it got up to 600 at midnight then vanished ,bummer - anyway i noticed that Fountain Creek was over 11,000 cfs! WTH,you guys really got dumped on and it was still up for a while.I know it is low gradient and has issues with manmade junk and probably lowheads,but does anyone even get on parts of it at certain flows? Surely there must be some fun drop or play spots somewhere at higher flows.Does anybody at least goof around on some bs backyard creek?Aren't there some drops up by Manitou that have been hucked?Just curious.

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Old 09-17-2011   #2
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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I used to live there, and Fountain Creek is junk. I wouldn't mess with it, especially at flood. Not just because it's full of garbage and manmade junk, but because everytime there is a significant rain in the Springs there is sewage that gets flushed into the creek. When I lived there it seemed like every rain they issued warnings for the public to stay out of the creek because it has super high levels of E-coli and other bacteria from the sewage......less than ideal for boating.
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Old 09-17-2011   #3
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The High Ground, Colorado
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Here's a local the other day. Pretty cool I think.

"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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Old 09-17-2011   #4
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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I must say, that concrete spillway seemed pretty cool. I guess I was thinking more about Monument Creek above and below the confluence with Fountain...the video looked fun, although a tad dangerous (solo, flood stage, concrete sluice with no way out...) not to mention it looked like he took a couple pretty good shots to the head from trees (imagine if one of those trees had fallen in and blocked a culvert entrance)...however, it was fun to watch. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-17-2011   #5
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Durango, Colorado
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That is a great video! I'm guessing you were boating alone. Did you have any of it scouted or did you just drop in? Definitely looked like it would be hard to eddy or deal with a strainer. I love obscure boating! I've always wanted to boat an arroyo.
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Old 09-17-2011   #6
pnw, Colorado
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Fun to watch but no freaking way I would get in there with shopping carts, trees and all the other crap that is usually in there and of course no escape if things go bad.
"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 09-17-2011   #7
Denver, Colorado
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Well not exactly what I had in mind but glad to see someone exploring /exploiting the flows.I know a couple 'ditches' just like that in Aurora with multiple 6 ft. ledge drops and one two block long slide with decent gradient.My friend who is a IV -V boater tubed something like that in Golden said it was sweet.You would be insane not to scout something that committing and inescapable,I'm guessing he did,still moving strainers could change things in a flash.

Logan you must not be familiar with Union and Confluence people flock to e -coli -emoticons not working/smiley guy- maybe Fountain is worse.I was thinking of Monument above the Air Force Academy,Manitou,or micro creeks coming off Pikes Peak.

thanx Theo
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Old 09-17-2011   #8
Jenks, Oklahoma
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Interesting video.

Only issue I saw besides the possible infection from dirty water, was the lack of exit points.

For what ever reason looks to me that if you spotted a strainer - flipped and took a swim, difficult to impossible to get up those sloping walls. Did see a few plants that a person might could hold on to.

A fun video to watch but I would head for a more natural creek run.
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Old 09-17-2011   #9
Golden, Colorado
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Awesome Video!
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Old 09-18-2011   #10
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Several years ago (1996 or 97) when Monument Creek was at flood stage, I ran from Corporate Drive down to About Wood Steet (I forget the cross street) in my Wavesport Crossfire. It was the 2nd day of flod stage, after the water had dropped a bit. I was a 2nd year boater. I had intended to go to where Nevada crosses over, but the water had it's own idea about how I was to finish my day.

I was solo. My buddy had somewhere he had to be so he was only able to offer me a shuttle. While I was preping to put-on, a cop told he I couldn't get in the water. I asked why? She said it was too dangerous for me. I told actually, it was too dangerous for her, but I was okay. I then asked her what ordanance or law said I couldn't put on. She didn't know. Her boss shows us and they discuss it. She comes back and eventually tells me that they can't stop me from putting on, but they didn't want to be pulling my body out later. After this 15 or 20 minute delay, my brain interpreted that as "have a nice float". 30 seconds later I was snapping my skirt around the rim of my cockpit and pushing off.

The water had gouged out the bottom of the creek and there were 5-6 foot high vertical wall of dirt along both sides most of the way. Many walk bridges were blocked on one side or the other by entire trees. Most I could get past, once I had to portage because it was ALL blocked by multiple trees. All along, there are wiers. Most were broken in the middle and each side was blown down stream so the cement walls now lined both banks. The bed of the creek was as if they were never there. A few were un-broken and now served as lowhead dams. These were invisible until you were getting close and I would paddle as hard as I could, boof stroke over, and paddle like hell to get away from. Some of them were less of a drop on one side or the other. Sometimes I could pick the low side, other times I just had to go with what I was dealt. The biggest one I encountered was about a 5-6 foot drop. I was center river and the boil line was about 20 feet out from the drop. I got sucked back in and commence: window-shade.

I got my paddle into the green and held a side-surf. The moment I would pull it up to take a stroke, I would windowshade again. This repeats several times. A lot. I was getting tired and eventually gave it one more try.

While I was swimming, I was engaging in combat with milk jugs, wood debree and at least one railroad tie. At least the bottom was sandy. I would get sucked into the falls, curl up into a ball and get washed along the sandy bottom. When I popped up, I swam directly toward the river-left bank because it was a little closer; i knew trying to overpower the force of the water and swim away was futile. I would only make it four or five feet before getting sucked back into the falls. This repeats at least six or seven times until the water is about 5 feet deep. I try to stand and get pulled in again and again. I'm still doing the falls, ball, surface. swim thing. I wasn't able to stand against the back-current until it was only at the three foot deep level. I inched my way along until I finally drag my sorry ass up on the shore and just collapsed.

Some people walking their dog inform me that my boat is still out there. Sure enough, yep, there it is. I would get sucked in, pop up vertical, sometimes doing cartwheels, sometimes just window shading. I waved it off, and said something about not caring if I loose it. I was just glad to be out of the water. Some more onlookers informed my my paddle was coming over. I got up and walked out to the tree root ball that it was lodged in and took it to shore. Eventually, my un-ravelled throw-rope bag worked it's way to my side and tangled in the same root ball so I got that back too. Finally, my boat is tired of showing off for the crowd and it too worked it's way over.

I get into the water one more time to grab it, pull it to shore and flip it over to pour out the water. It is SO heavy. Even after the water is out. I flipped it back over and see that there is a LOT of sand in there as well.

I eventually walked to a neaarby house and called my bud for a ride to my car. It was a few hours later, so he thought I was done. I had to tell him that I was only about 1/2 (?) way there and needed a ride to my car.

There was a pool session later that evening, but my boat was too dirty to get in the pool. But I had a story.
"So in two seconds, away we went, a sliding down the river, and it did seem so good to be free again and all by ourselves on the big river and nobody to bother us." -Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
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