SW Paddling? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-08-2006   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
SW Paddling?

I was looking for some information on paddling the Gila in NM. The lack of info I was able to find prompted me to start looking for more river-running beta in the general area of New Mexico and Arizona. Are there any good guides out there for these areas? Thanks.

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Old 12-09-2006   #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Colorado Rivers & Creeks, by Banks & Eckardt.. For class 4-5 try Atom Crawford's video guide, "Funnel", (link to on mt. buzz.com). Regarding the Gila I finally did the wilderness section for the first time last August during our rainy summer. It is mostly class 2 with a couple of class 3s. Mostly drops where the river drops off the side of huge gravel bars and hits the canyon wall and turns 90 degrees. Portaged 4 river wide log strainers, so keep your eyes out.
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Old 12-09-2006   #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Yeah, I've got the CRC but I've only read it 40 or 50 times . It doesn't extend to runs in far south NM and AZ, though. Thanks for reminding me I need to order a copy of Funnel. Any recommended access points for the Gila? What was it running when you did it? Thanks.

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Old 12-09-2006   #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Also, anyone have any opinions on the guide Western Whitewater? Does this cover much in these areas? Is it really worth the $65 it's going for on Amazon right now?

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Old 12-09-2006   #5
 
Westminster, Colorado
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The Southwest Border section of Western Whitewater includes the Lower Rio Grande, Gila, San Francisco, Salt & Verde.
It breaks the Gila down into five runs: Grapevine CG to Mogollon Creek (III, 41m.), USFS Rd. 809 to Redrock (III, 18m.), Redrock to New Mexico 92 bridge (I+, 20m.), Old Safford-Clifton Road to Bonita Creek (II, 19m.), and the Lower Gila below Coolidge Dam. There's a total of 6 pages of info on the Gila followed by 2 pages of essay.

We use the book more as a day-dream initiator than a source of really good river beta. It does, however, list guidebooks and maps for each river. It also shows an average annual hydrograph. For most sections there's a couple to several page general description followed by a mileage guide that points out the biggest rapids. It's enough to get your logistics figured out, if you're doing a section that's covered in the book.
I think the biggest limitation is that it basically covers the classics, so is more help for rafting than kayaking.
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Old 12-11-2006   #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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access/flow

We accessed the river from the road from Silver City to the Mogollon cliff dwellings where it crosses the river. I believe it is the only access until the takeout, other than a multi-mile hike in. The flow was between 450 and 700 cfs at the takeout. It would have been great to have 1000 cfs or more, however my boating partner on that trip got caught on it once when it flashed up to about 10,000 cfs and he layed over a couple of days until it subsided due to large trees floating downstream with them! FYI: I hear that the day run downstream from the takeout has better whitewater than the wilderness trip.
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Old 12-11-2006   #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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WESTERN WHITEWATER

Regarding Western Whitewater, it has some truly erroneous info in it. My wife and another friend went up to do the Upper Rio Grande near Creede with another friend many years ago when they were releasing about 2000 cfs from the dam. Based on CRC the run was a class 3. Before putting on, we checked Western Whitewater's entry which said it could be class 5 at high water. I ended up soloing that first run as I had confidence in CRC, but was very cautious at every little horizon line. It is in fact a class 3 run!
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