for those who have been there...is the upper gauley class V? - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 09-18-2006   #1
 
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for those who have been there...is the upper gauley class V?

@ 2800-3000 cfs? made it out for a weekend and from when i was last there 2 years ago, it seemed alot less intimidating. of course it might have been closer to 4k cfs last time. having seen more 'V' runs i thought of the upper g as IV with shitty consequences.

does consequence or purely class determine difficulty?
where does V start? is lost paddle the very easiest V can be or is it just IV+?
who f'in cares? not me really, but i'm bored so respond!

gabe

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Old 09-18-2006   #2
 
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You've probably been to gore. the moves on the gauley arent gore-difficulty. its the consequences that make the difference. I know solid raft guides that agree, most of it is III-IV moves w/V consequences.
to my understanding the criteria for classifying rapids is:
1. difficuly of navagating a boat
2. difficulty or danger of a swim I.E. hittin rock, gettin worked in hydros, sieves/undercuts, etc.
3. difficulty of rescue I.E. baggin swimmers, pinned/wrapped boats, etc

word 'em up
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Old 09-18-2006   #3
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it is the consequences that make the gauley difficult. just look on boatertalk at the pictures of the guy pinned in initiation last weekend. the drop is not big or hard, but has severe consequences if you are in the wrong spot. this is a class II or III drop with class V consequences. that sums up the upper gauley. this is just one of many many spots where you don't want to be, there are probably more undercut rocks and sieves on the gauley than in all of colorado. it is kind of scary to boat the upper gauley at 300 cfs and see all of the undercuts with logs stuck under them. there are little tunnels under some of the rocks that you can float through in your boat. iron ring has a cave on the right that i have seen at super low water. lost paddle is chock full of undercuts. if you are in your boat, the moves arent that hard to make, but if you roll over in the wrong spot like second drop of lost paddle bash your head on the shallow rocks as you pass over at 20mph you could very easily end up swimming or unconscious in your boat and under a rock.
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Old 09-18-2006   #4
 
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class IV+
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Old 09-18-2006   #5
 
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......this is why i use the ++ rating system...... in the BLACK a 2++ is somethin' that could kill you or make you disappear but paddles like a class 2.....a 3++, a 4++ very much the same......personally i feel the rating should include but not be limited to the swim......class 3 is nifty but a very bad if you cant swim....so on and so on......the last 2 swims i've had were in the BLACK...... both desparate and aggressive......my fault only of course........DO GOOD, TRY HARD............jr ranger 420 trodskie cb
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Old 09-18-2006   #6
 
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......this is why i use the ++ rating system...... in the BLACK a 2++ is somethin' that could kill you or make you disappear but paddles like a class 2.....a 3++, a 4++ very much the same......personally i feel the rating should include but not be limited to the swim......class 3 is nifty but a very bad if you cant swim....so on and so on......the last 2 swims i've had were in the BLACK...... both desparate and aggressive......my fault only of course........DO GOOD, TRY HARD............jr ranger 420 trodskie cb
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Old 09-18-2006   #7
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i see what you are saying about the ++ a class 2 rapid with a deadly sieve would be a 2++ correct? i don't understand what "in the black" means unless you are talking about a deep swim or something. the ++ is kind of confusing since people already rate rapids with pluses and minuses after them. wouldn't it be better to use a different symbol a III+ rapid with a sieve could then be III+* or something like that. that is a little more obvious. the second plus sign almost looks like a typo.
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Old 09-19-2006   #8
 
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It's big-water IV and IV+ with two 5.0s according to AW. Insignificant and Lost Paddle are the 5.0s. Downgrading does no one any favors, and although I usually agree pretty strongly with the AW grades, I think Insignificant is a IV+, not a 5.0. Lost Paddle has serious consquences if you get messed up. Almost all of the rocks are undercut there. The bottom of the flume at 2nd Drop is very shallow. If you flip there you are going pretty fast, and it won't be pretty. If you get stuck in a hole above the last move in Tumblehome, you will come up in the funniest water I've ever paddled, with the current strongly pushing you toward a row of undercuts. You have to ferry hard to river left to make your line and you have to want it. Ask me how I know......because when it happened to me, I rolled up with the current pushing me towards the Mail Slot....which (oh shit) had a raft pinned across it.

If you can control your boat, brace, roll and read water on the fly, the Upper G is not really a hard river. Even if you swim, I don't think it's that bad, you just stay in the flow and don't cozy up to any undercuts. The only places I can think of where this would be dangerous are at 4th Drop in Lost Paddle (Tumblehome) and Shiprock where staying in the main flow could get you killed. Of course I haven't swam on that river, so maybe that advice is worthless.

IMO the Gauley is not that dangerous if you know your stuff and can paddle. If you don't know your stuff and start making stupid decisions, it could be quite dangerous. I've run it at 5K and I don't think it's any harder at that level, and 2nd Drop is much safer with more water.

Couldn't find the pics of the pin last weekend, but here is one from a few years ago: http://members.aol.com/hunquo/Gauley...n_Close_Up.jpg Everyone on the river should know where this rapid is and know the EASY line to avoid the death slot hidden behind the surf wave - the Park Service has even posted diagrams on it. But still, every two or three years, someone goes right into it...

And oh yeah, the scout/walk for Lost Paddle is supposed to take over an hour at least. If you crap out at Pillow, you can walk out there, or if you crap out before Lost Paddle, you can paddle back upstream to a RR beach above there and hike the old wagon trail out. Also a good spot to have your shuttle driver(s) bring you lunch.
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Old 09-19-2006   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhm
i don't understand what "in the black" means
=

in the black canyon of the gunnison, in CO
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Old 09-19-2006   #10
 
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NO

Huge flood stage flows...most likely
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