Does anyone know about these forgotten runs? - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 04-07-2019   #1
 
Denver, Colorado
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Does anyone know about these forgotten runs?

I noticed the Apishapa station (ark drainage) SWE was at 220% of normal and the stations on the east slope of the Sangres are pretty high.An old guidebook (Fletcher Anderson Rivers of the Southwest ??) had a write up of running the Apishapa.There is minimal info on this river,not even the usual fishing photos or YouTube stuff.
I really like the Spanish Peaks area ,a very underappreciated part of the state.It is not on kayakers radar because the flows in the rivers around there usually suck ,even though they drain a range of 13 ers,the Culebra Range (Culebra peak is 14er) and the main Sangres with several 14,000 ft.peaks.Being a map junkie and wannabee explorer,I always wondered what if?What if there were some big snow years to afford an opportunity to explore and maybe pull some wood out of creeks to make at least short sections runnable.


Anyway,anybody familiar with any of these:

Apishapa- Seems likely to be small and woody but the people who ran it did so in the days of 13 ft.boats.Logistics seem simple much of it is close to road but not all roadside,assuming you could figure out a worthy section,at least some scenic 2-3.A lot of bears around Cordoba Pass.

Purgatoire-Only account of boating is an old AW write-up from'83,over 100 miles I to V((p),kind of vague, however he does clue you into where some the interesting parts are.There seems to be quite a few access points that allow you to slice and dice it into manageable pieces.It has some surf spots,a long maze he had to portage due to blind alleys with possible wood,random class 3,a random 9' drop, small dams mostly runnable,awesome views of Sangres and Fishers and Raton Mesas,an inner red rock canyon with good camps(Lockwood),and some small ledges next to long trails of dinosaur tracks,then scenic desert plains boating to take out.Probably not great whitewater wise but an adventurous unique run that does not run often or reliably enough to overcome the logistical obstacles it poses.It has had at least one window in recent years and this year looks better.
Also curious about the river up around Stonewall


Cucharas has at least bits of whitewater but looks to have a lot of wood and private property issues.Huerfano bits?Someone has run the St.Charles at least once( and the spillway has been hucked i believe.)

To the north is Grape Creek ,run many times with mostly poor reviews from creek boaters.Further south,the Pecos should have a good season,good underboated river.The Jemez and Guadalupe are already running almost 300 if I'm not mistaken...I meant it when I said here is rafters chance to tackle the Vertical Monkey(YouTube Gilman Tunnels)

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Old 04-08-2019   #2
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Most of this stuff is a waste of your time, perhaps with the exception of a multi-day on the Purgatoire.... biggest issue there is likely to be fences and military property.

There is some potential for a class II-III overnight on Grape Creek from DeWeese to Temple Canyon.

The Canadian headwaters are over 100% of average as well, but my experience has been that it only runs from monsoon rains.

The rest of the drainages that flow from the Sangre's in Colorado are too small and wood choked, we are talking similar to and smaller than Turkey Creek in the Denver area...
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Old 04-08-2019   #3
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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I'm still kind of surprised that the China Wall Canyon on Tarryall Creek doesn't get a little more attention, but I guess this quote still applies to most of these:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary E:
"most drops on that piece of shit have been run with the exception of a few here and there. Way too many good creeks to waste your time in there."


https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/...con-41860.html
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Old 04-08-2019   #4
 
Denver, Colorado
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Yeah Logan i know what you're saying but all the rivers mentioned are bigger than Turkey Creek.The only pictures of Huerfano that looked interesting looked pretty dam small though.Most might be more along the lines of Boulder,Lefthand ,or Ten Mile sized .I am wondering if the Apishapa run is in the lower stretches.I've only seen that book twice.

Gary E was/is in another league than most boaters and looking for "the shit" to run I'm just looking for new adventures class II to IV maybe with a portage or two ,and possibly stumble unto some undiscovered "shit'.I have a fair amount of experience in class' tree'micro-creekin'.What is the China Wall section again? I remember you wrote about a scouting mission in there.I wonder why (or if )no one has hucked the Tarryall spillway falls with cool lead in minigorge.It is easily accessible,between Denver/C.Spgs.and the Ark and seems to lack any sort of enforcement against it.There is a small gorge with a couple of interesting looking drops in it a few miles downstream,but is really short and followed immediately by private property with extremely aggressive signage..I have seen the video with Gary on Carryall not much footy of it.

We have covered the Canadian and even more illusive Mora on other threads...too bad it is such a pain in the butt to run...lemme know if you ever decide to check out that upper Grape Creek run,that is the kind of thing I am talking about..might be garbage or not ,bound to be a good adventure off the beaten track.I'd sacrifice a day or two of running stuff i' ve done lots of times for a new experience.
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Old 04-08-2019   #5
 
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The fact is that the Sangre's are the driest range in the state, and as such the drainages are extremely small where they have gradient. The Apishapa, upper Purgatoire, St. Charles and Huerfano are all directly comparable to Turkey Creek in terms of the size of the channel at the elevation where enough gradient exists for sustained whitewater. I've looked at all of them except the Apishapa with my own eyes.

There is a reason why no one boats them...

The China Wall section write-up is in the link in my reply above.
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Old 04-08-2019   #6
 
Denver, Colorado
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Some other- one man's trash is another man's treasure- type runs, in the general area ,might be the Los Pinos ,Cimarron,and San Antonio,all from the old NMX book.The hair boaters who ran the Toltec Gorge mentioned something about boring class 3 at the end.Well first you have to run the Toltec at pretty low flows to not be killed and class III is going to seem like flatwater to anyone good enough to even consider running that.The bottom part might be good to a less skilled boater with more water.Likewise with the non class V parts of the Grape Crk. run,good creekers are disappointed an adventurous Joe blow might like them.
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Old 04-08-2019   #7
 
Denver, Colorado
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Not to get into a pissing match,I generally agree with what you are saying.I have seen them too,except Huerfano and Apishapa,Purg by Stonewall and parts of St C are way bigger than Turkey.Turkey is about as small as you can go.I worked around Buelah for awhile a couple years back.B ear Crk.May be a better frame of comparison,still small.
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Old 04-25-2019   #8
 
Denver, Colorado
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Well ,not only may Cucharas be runnable this year,it may be too high (at least briefly).LaVeta and Walsenburg are under flash flood watches due to a large burn scar from a major fire last year.I vaguely remember hearing of the fire.I had no idea it was the third largest in Colorado history,and left a huge area scarred and unable to absorb and moderate rain run off.This creek offered the most promise,imo,now it may crank but be full of wood and ashes.I remember running smokey smelling charcoal gray water on the So.Platte after Hayman.Hyman was the biggest forres t fire in state history.The area seems to be recovering ok/well.
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