In reference to Barrel Springs vs. Gore Canyon...
I think Barrel Springs at 2000 cfs was the longest, toughest "big water" rapid I have ever run in Colorado. In my little boat, it felt like I was in a major storm in an ocean, with very diminished control over what happened.
But what is interesting is that my friend in his big creek boat said he felt the same way. I ran Barrel Springs 4 times that season, with it getting a little lower each time, but it always felt serious and never got "easy."
I will no longer drive to Glenwood from Summit just for Shoshone, but Barrel makes it a memorable and exciting trip.
I still haven't run the meat in my small boat at Gore Rapid, but in general I would say Barrel Springs is significantly tougher to me than anything in Gore.
I ended up running Barrel before Gore, and it probably was a good confidence builder for Gore, but ideally I think Barrel is best as a progression after Gore.
With good guidance and the right lines, and after already having gone into Gore as you stated you had, personally I would be inclined to stay with Gore Canyon a while and build on what you are doing there.
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