High Water = Drownings ???
I haven't read about this many drownings and deaths on the western rivers in quite some time! My first year playing on the rivers of CO was in 95, and if I remember correctly, that year saw some of the highest water levels in decades! I can also remember 97 being high water, although not quite high as 95. But 97 had several kayak fatalities. At the time, I believe there were more that year, than any previous year.
I'm now living and paddling back east, so beside twisting my brain to remember how to read the levels for the runs I know, I am wondering how high everything really is out there?
Do you think the majority of this accidents are due to water levels, or the increase of participants? The evolution of gear? The exposure of what's possible in a kayak?
In 95, one of the best kayakers, at the time, I have ever known decided to hang up his paddle after being pinned to the bottomof the river on Dragon's Tail on Lime Creek. The creek was so swollen that adrenaline was a straight shot, NO slot! He and others that year pioneered many, many runs, creeks and levels that are simply considered "standards" by todays kayakers. Throughout all of these times, I don't recall any fatalities.
**As always, please keep it safe on the water![/b]