Pinned on a Rock questions - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-26-2005   #1
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The Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 04
Join Date: May 2005
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Pinned on a Rock questions

Okay - I'm still a new paddler. My combat roll is strong on one side, untested on the other (but my flatwater there is consistent).

I've been running Parkdale on the Arkansas a lot lately.
Last time, an eddy flipped me (grr!) and I knew I had some rocks to go over, so I had the presence of mind to wait it out a little. Then I got pinned on a big rock. Flows were only 800, I guess.

I didn't know how long I was going to be stuck there, so I swam. I had no idea how to get myself dislodged (and as yet, not sure I had the presence of mind to keep waiting while trying to get unstuck). My friend later said that in that situation, I should try to get my paddle into the current to get that to leverage me off the pin. Does that sound accurate? Are there other methods (maybe I should have just rolled there?).

Same thing happened later, and I thought I was on a rock, but I'm told I got penned (not pinned) in by the guy in the Ducky (who was a novice, so he didn't know what to do). Swam again.

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Old 07-26-2005   #2
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 818
I've noticed that intermediate boaters often think they are pinned when they are upsidedown and feel rocks on their boat or body. You may very well have been pinned on Parkdale, but I have never seen someone get truly pinned upside down in class III-IV. Usually, if you are upside down against a rock, you will probably wash off it pretty quickly, so 90% of the time, the best strategy is to tuck, chill out and count fish for a bit, and try a roll in 5 or 10 seconds. If you are truly pinned, you can sontimes push off the rock or grab some current, but be careful about untucking because if you are pinned on a rock, the water is probably not very deep. I've only been pinned upside down twice- once I pushed off the rock, the other time I swam.

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Old 07-26-2005   #3
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 114
i think it depends. there are sometimes when swimming is the worst - or not an option. in that case, then hang on and try to get unpinned. other times you may be setting yourself up for disaster if you try to wait it out and get out. i.e you may be getting pinned worse than if he had simply had swam. probably most situations will fall in between those two. be aware of your surroundings and make the call when it arises, but i'd be reluctant to have a hard and fast rule in such a situation. that's my one cent
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Old 07-26-2005   #4
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Lakewood, Colorasta
Paddling Since: 1997
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Even though it is more likely to be pinned in class IV+ to V water the reality is that you can get pinned anywhere. Before swimming, wiggle. . . wiggle. . . wiggle. If your still stuck, swim before you run out of O2.

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Old 07-26-2005   #5
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Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
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I've found that sometimes you think you're pinned, and you are, but not really strongly. There's this pretty simple class IV rapid on the Green Narrows, Toilet Bowl, that requires a boof and then you switch edges mid-air. No big deal, but a few times I used to forget to switch edges and when I'd land I would catch the edge, uselessly high-brace and then flip. The current pushes into this one rock, so I would end up upside-down against the rock. I was always able to grab the rock and flip myself up with no trouble other than a bruised ego. But the current was not strong there, and I think you can only tell this sort of thing when you're upside down if you've already broached right-side up enough to know the feel of the water and its force against you and the boat. And that will come in time, it does for everyone.
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