Ruby Horsethief @ 20,000+ - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-24-2015   #1
lookout mnt., Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Ruby Horsethief @ 20,000+

Doing a Ruby Horsethief trip next week(6/3). Thinking it will be in the 20,000 range by then. We will have kids 3 to 7 years old on the trip. Everyone rowing are 20+ year commercial guides. Anything we need to watch out for?

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Old 05-24-2015   #2
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C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Some of the camps at Blackrock can be hard to eddie out at during high water. Best to stop at the top of Blackrocks and scout out your camp and landing spot.
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Old 05-24-2015   #3
Salida, Colorado
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The put in beach will be small, if it is a busy day be prepared to rig up top and drive down to drop your boats.

As I am sure you know keep an eye on the kids when they are near the river it will be cranking by.

Like Dan said some of the camp eddies get small, other than that it is just flat water moving along quickly.

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Old 05-24-2015   #4
Salida, Colorado
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Yes, the number one thing is watch the kids, perhaps set ground rules that keep them away from the banks.
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Old 05-24-2015   #5
Pinecliffe, Colorado
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I don't think you'll see 20K +, maybe 15k, 13900 according to the forecast center.
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Old 05-25-2015   #6
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Boulder, Colorado
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There are some fun cliff jumping spots at Black Rock - at high flows people can go for unintentionally long swims and have to fight hard to make it back to shore. A couple years ago at 20K I helped rescue several people.

Otherwise it is just fast moving flat water with some class II at black rocks.
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Old 05-25-2015   #7
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Summit County, Colorado
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I don't know how much it will help your little ones, but my 8 year old has a whistle on her vest for those "just in case" moments. If she finds herself in the river and floating away she knows she can blow the whistle and get our attention. Now before I get flamed....we watch her like a hawk when we are on the river, but it gives us a little peace of mind knowing she has a way to get peoples attention if in need.

My 8 year old and I have been doing high flow "Daddy-Daughter" trips for 5 years on Ruby and were actually interviewed by the Grand Junction News once at the boat ramp for launching at 49k (super high water). We have always had a great time even with the flooded out camp sites. Like many have said before me, unless you have a really good eddy, swimming or being near the water should always have a adult with PFD nearby.

Bring some other games to play as swim time for the kiddos will be limited. Horseshoes, Uno, Nerf ball, beach games and hikes have always allowed us to have a great time.

Many of the channels are open at high flow, so with a little caution...the channels can be great time to adventure on the float down. Left of Dog Island is about the only one we have not been able to get down without getting out and dragging a little.

Other than still a great time with the kids. Just use a little more caution as the water is moving faster. AND as another person posted on here...if your staying at Black Rocks pull over early and go scout your landing for your site. We stayed at Black Rock 9 once when it was flowing 30k + and had lots of up river guest that missed their site. If you do miss your site there are some less desirable "oops we passed it" camping further down river.

Have fun and remember its not about the destination so much as it is about the journey with the kids.
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Old 05-25-2015   #8
madrid, Idaho
Join Date: May 2015
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nice information
thanks all
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Old 06-01-2015   #9
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 10
We're doing this float on the 8th. Any idea on how long in hours from the rim rock shuttle put in to black rocks at current flows (~15k)?
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Old 06-02-2015   #10
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Summit County, Colorado
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At normal flow, Rim Rock launch adds hour. From Loma launch to Black rock at normal flows is about 4-6 hrs. At high flow, I've made that trip in 3 hours. Normal flow expect 3-5 miles an hour, at 30k or higher the gps showed us clipping along at 7-8 mph in the main flow. Stay out the eddy sand you should Cruz this time of year. Once when it was just my 3 year old and I doing annual Daddy-Daughter float at 30k + we hit a storm with 40 mph head winds, we launched from Loma at noon and got to Black Rock at 1:30 am. The next day, I saw my ranger buddy and told him of our mis-adventure and he said next time pull over were ever you can and camp.....that they would understand. But we do about 3 week long trips on Ruby a year for the past 8 years and I've only experienced bad storms twice. Don't let them ruin your time if you do catch one, just roll with it and impervise. The rangers are great guys, if you really try to follow the rules but weather won't cooperate they will understand. Of course if you have camp coffe on....that helps too. It's great out there...have a blast!
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