Golden Playpark? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-30-2014   #1
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 145
Golden Playpark?

How's the Golden Playpark at this level (1440 cfs and climbing)?

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Old 05-30-2014   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 566
Fast and powerful, & ready to punish the unprepared. That said, the character of the PP is more like a swift moving river than a man made play park, and the result is a lot of natural waves and holes that usually aren't there. Where they've recently built small walls on the north bank by the library parking has accelerated the water through there and brought some of those rocks that you'd usually eddy out behind or boof over into play.
The usual suspects are not really going to give out much play, with perhaps #4 / rodeo hole & the library wave (at this level) the exception, but the ampetheatre drop across from the Hotel Golden will be interesting to keep an eye on as levels continue to rise. Normally a chute on river right, the water has fully covered the concrete structure river left to the 2nd bench, and with more water on the way I have hopes to finally see what might be.
The realigned Bingo hole (aka Washington street wave) has turned into a nice little surf wave best suited for SUP. It reminds me a lot of the most downstream feature in Salida, with the noticeable absence of the user friendly eddy that exists on the Ark. Be forewarned though, the a graceful exit off this feature on a SUP is not likely, and the reactionary hole just downstream is pretty solid (and fun). There's actually a 3rd wave/hole just behind that as well, with no let up in between, so plan on a good flushing and swimming hard for the left bank. With its proximity to the Coors diversion dam, and the chunderville beyond, at these flows I would strongly advise a tag team approach to SUP there (with 1pp on shore) until you've successfully made the swim a few times. It's only taking about 15-20 seconds for floating debris to make it from bingo to ford street...

For anyone thinking about adding lower CC into your paddling day, it's full on right now and not to be taken lightly, but damn it's nice to see these flows in the backyard ditch again...and it's only going to get bigger. Enjoy the unique opportunity to see these flows, be safe, and game on.
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Old 05-31-2014   #3
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 145
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