Upper East? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-30-2008   #1
Ricky NM's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 04
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Upper East?

Hey, my buddies and I are solid III+ to IV- paddlers and we're looking to step it up a little bit. Would we be in over our heads running the Upper East to above stupid falls? It looks good from the pics, but I don't want to drive up there to find that its actually bigger than we want.

any beta? advice? thanks!


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Old 06-30-2008   #2
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Thought-criminal, Colorado
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I was there yesterday and it was big. I've actually paddled it before but it is crankin and looks intimidating, to be sure. If you characterize yourself as 3+/4- paddlers I might wait until the level drops a bit.

After that happens, it's a fun run that you could handle for sure.

Actually, right now it boats easy and you could do it. There's not necessarily any moved, you just shoot for right down the middle. It's just a matter of grabbing your sack and going over the drops. The big one (second one) in particular looks pretty daunting with all the flow.
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Old 06-30-2008   #3
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Denver, Colorado
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It depends on flows, but if they're med-high, I wouldn't suggest it unless you're solid in the IV range. The East doesn't allow for much of a breather in between rapids, eddys are small, and everything moves in a hurry. We had a group of 3 IV-V boaters on it last weekend and were able to read-and-run the whole thing in 15 minutes or so, maybe a little less. There be big holes.

If you're looking to step up into IVs, I'd suggest something that has IVs with some recovery room below in order to pick up the pieces, if need-be. On the East, you probably won't recover a boat until after Stupid. It's also not terribly easy to scout any of it. That, combined with the fact that the CB area doesn't hold much else of interest to you, and I'd suggest trying something else.
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Old 06-30-2008   #4
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Boulder, Colorado
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I don't know if it's worth the drive given the length of the run. It's less than a mile and over before you can blink. That said it's a lot of fun while it lasts. Given your description, you'd probably be fine but hard to say - kind of borderline. If you said "I'm a solid class IV paddler", I'd say thumbs up. It will probably look big to you, but it does boat easier than it looks.

As an amendment, I didn't realize that it's running high right now. I've only seen it at medium flows.
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Old 06-30-2008   #5
Crested Butte, Colorado
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a little big

I ran it last night and it was fast with big holes/laterals and more in the IV+ range. There aren't a lot of eddies and there's some wood. A swim could mean loss of boat (already happened once this year) since the 60 footer is just downstream. Morning could have lower flows since the level rises as the day progresses. If you come over and run the Taylor you could look at the East but it might be too big and you should have creek boats. Taylor is still holding some high flows and is great III-IV- paddling.
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Old 06-30-2008   #6
Ricky NM's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
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Thanks for the quick replies! And thanks for the advice!

I guess we may still go check it out, we've all been in big water just not regularly...


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