Swimming in a Gorge - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-10-2011   #1
 
NathanH.'s Avatar
 
Bend, Oregon
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Swimming in a Gorge

When you have to exit your boat in a gorge like setting what is the general game plan? I am, for the most part, a get-the-hell-out-of-the-water kinda guy as soon as I exit my boat but don't know the right approach to swimming in a gorge. Do you swim for eddies behind rocks of simply try to avoid hazards until the gorge opens up? If you do manage to get up on a rock, how do you get to your boat which is probably downstream? The two runs from this year that made me wonder this as I passed through are the Narrows/Wall Slammer on the Gorge and Clear Creek of the Ark.

Thanks for any info,
Nathan H.

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Old 08-10-2011   #2
 
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Originally Posted by NathanH. View Post
When you have to exit your boat in a gorge like setting what is the general game plan? I am, for the most part, a get-the-hell-out-of-the-water kinda guy as soon as I exit my boat but don't know the right approach to swimming in a gorge. Do you swim for eddies behind rocks of simply try to avoid hazards until the gorge opens up? If you do manage to get up on a rock, how do you get to your boat which is probably downstream? The two runs from this year that made me wonder this as I passed through are the Narrows/Wall Slammer on the Gorge and Clear Creek of the Ark.

Thanks for any info,
Nathan H.
It's usually best to get out of the water as soon as possible. If the only way out of a situation is via the water, (rare), you can always jump back in. I've done that a few times, but getting out first allows you to look around before you commit yourself to the swim.

One time that comes to mind is when I swam out of Wallslammer my 1st year, I was floating on the right side of the river against the wall. It was low water. Instead of spending lots of energy getting me, my paddle, and boat to the left, I just enjoyed the scenery and floated along the vertical wall for a couple hundred yards to some rocks provided a great place to put myself back together. I knew the good place to crawl out was ahead, so that made it possible to just relax and go with the flow, literally.

It all depends on your comfort level really. Does the idea of getting dunked on each drop freak you out? Also, if the water is frigid, then you may not have more than a minute of energy to get back out of the water after you pass your tight spot.

If I don't know the run like the back of my hand, I'm out of the water ASAP. It's hard to get banged up on rocks, caught in a hole or drown if you are on the side of the river, or even a rock in the middle.
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