Dolores at high water - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-12-2008   #1
Paonia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5
Dolores at high water

Anyone know what the Dolores is like at 3000 + cfs???? The Bradford to Slickrock run with Snaggletooth and the run through Slickrock canyon.

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Old 04-12-2008   #2
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,853
its fun. snag class IV with big waves. did I mention its fun. 3000 isn't really high water as your question suggests - just starting to get good.
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Old 04-12-2008   #3
Colorado Springs Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 254
I did it at 5000+ in 1984 right before they finished the dam. It was a hoot and not hard except for Snaggletooth. At least the day that we were there, most appeared to be walking Snag. It certainly wasn't what I would call Class 5 but maybe 4+ with a very big hole/curling wave at the bottom that was hard to avoid. You could still wrap on the Snag rock below if unlucky. We were a party of three newbies, two in kayaks and one rowing a 13' raft. The raft and other kayak made it through with some excitement but upright. I got turned around backwards and was eaten by the hole and then beaten pretty good in the runout. Lost my paddle but eventually got my kayak back miles later.

If it ever gets that high again watch the undercut wall about a mile below Snag. You can sneak it on the left at that flow but lots of rafts were being pulled into the undercut up to their thole pins/oar locks. Not fun for anyone up front.

Also Slickrock canyon below had a couple of nice rapids on that trip. I'd love to see 5000 again but I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 04-13-2008   #4
D'ango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 75
The Wall

Yep, Snag is just a big 'ol wave w/ a bigger hole @ that level, DO watch for the wall, @ high water you won't be able to see it, but it's undercut about 4 feet back. W/ that level, you can begin ferrying off of it way before you make the turn.
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