Crystal: wood hazard, lost paddle and found kingpin - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-30-2005   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 28
Crystal: wood hazard, lost paddle and found kingpin

May 30th

There is a log 2/3 of the way across the Crystal, about 1 mile below
Marble. It spans from the left shore to an obvious root ball about
1/3 from the right shore. At today's water level (1500 cfs) YOU CANNOT
SEE IT until you're right on top of it. It kind of hides between the waves,
right below the surface. The good news is it will not kill you, because it
is clear underneath and you will flush out. I could not see if the channel to the right of the root ball is runnable, and there are few eddies to stop in once you see it.

Be careful.

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Old 05-30-2005   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 28
We put in today at 11 AM from Marble. The level was not too high, and all three in the party had run Bogan flats before. We were playing follow the leader about one mile below the put-in, in 3ish boogie water when I noticed an obvious, large root ball about 1/3 of the way from the right shore. It looked ugly, but the rapid was easy if a bit continuous.

I was second in line, a little too close to the probe, so I yelled at him to speed up. As I was busy backpaddling to give him some room I tried to see which side of the root ball I would rather run. Bryan, the leader, went for the apparently wide open left channel, and I followed. When I was about 20 feet from the root ball I saw a log, pinned horizontally from the left shore to the root ball.

I was too close to eddy out, too fast too think and too close to Bryan to change course. I saw him get stuffed under the log, hitting it with his ribs. I decided to boof the log, which is invisible under the surface when the water surges, then will come out a foot or so when the waves drop. I paddled as hard as I could, heaved my boat on top of the log just as the water dropped... If I had been smarter, or had had more time to think, I could have hooked my paddle onto the log and pulled myself over, but instead I teetered on top, slipped back and got stern squirted upside down under the log.

Great, so now we have two boaters stuffed under the log, and the sweep is barreling upon us. I didn't see him, but he actually boofed on top of our kayaks, past the log. I tucked and came out the other side, but my helmet buckle ripped open and my paddle was ripped out of my left hand.

Luckily the helmet stayed on and I grabbed the paddle and rolled. Bryan was not so lucky: when he hit the log with his ribs he let go of the paddle and had to swim.
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Old 05-30-2005   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 28
Jerry, the sweep, pulled Bryan out of the water, and he signalled he was OK. I put my helmet back on, and off we go chasing the boat. At first it got stuck in a recirculating eddy, but by the time we got out of the boats below it and climbed up the shore it flushed.

So I got back into the boat, and around the next corner I see a red boat tip sticking out from under a logjamb. I eddied out after the boat, climbed on top of the logs and pulled out.... a DIFFERENT kayak! So if you lost a Kingpin in the Crystal, it is sitting on top of a logjamb, on an island about 1 1/2 miles below Marble.

Sorry, I was in a hurry to retrieve my buddies boat, so I did not see a name or number. The boat is out of the water, and very obvious at the leading edge of a gravelly island.

Finally, after chasing the right boat for another 1/2 mile, I jumped into the water and dragged it ashore, managing not to lose my kayak in the process. We had a break-down paddle so we finished our run under the rain and wind.

In conclusion, be careful when running Bogan Flats, I am not sure how you can safely avoid the log, and it is hard to see it until the last moment!

At the put in Bryan said that if we swam our boats would end up in meatgrinder, instead we caught it after only 1 1/2 miles! The only loss was a 12 year old paddle which should have been retired a long time ago.
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Old 06-04-2005   #4
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1
Wood hazard and found kingpin on the Crystal

I would like to say thank you, kudos, and loads of good karma to you. I appreciate your effort to haul my boat out of the water and onto the island, so I could find it.

My friend Dave and I set out on Bogan Flats early Sunday morning (5/30/05). Upon reaching the deadfall, Dave made the chute to the right. I did not see the log until it was too late to avoid. I attempted to role under the log, unfourtunately it was too shallow and I flushed out with a dislocated shoulder. Dave retrieved my paddle but the boat (the red kingpin) was lost. After unsuccessfully attempting to reset my shoulder, Dave stashed his boat and gear and we began to hike out of Marble canyon. Unfourtunately when I single armed swam to shore I was on the wrong side of the river to easily hike out of the canyon. There was no way I could swim to the other side of the river, so I had a 3 hour hike back to the truck at the put in, before Dave drove me to Glenwood Springs to have my shoulder reset.

The next day, we hiked in to retrieve Dave's boat and gear and hopefully find my boat broached on a rock or log jam. While hiking down river we were surprised to see the boat sitting on an island waiting for us!

We attempted to remove the log, and were able to lift it high enough for someone to successfuly boat underneath it. The right channel had been closed off by another log and was unrunnable.

Thanks again for rescuing the boat.

Dominic Manguso
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Old 06-05-2005   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 28
Re: Wood hazard and found kingpin on the Crystal

Originally Posted by nicomanguso

Thanks again for rescuing the boat.

Dominic Manguso
No problem. Sorry about your shoulder: sounds like we were luckier than you in our log encounter!
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