USB - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-17-2004   #1
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 792

what is a good level for a 1st-timer on upper s. boulder? can you walk the drops or is it gorged up in places?

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Old 05-18-2004   #2
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,827
250- 350 is probably the easiest level/ below that and it gets pinney. above 4-450 get pretty pushy. It is easy to walk most things, but the "slackwater" is anything but. Most people end up running lots of stuff unscouted, that they mihgt have spent 10 minutes scouting were it elsewhere. There are 3 drops that are usually portaged now. The Gash, which is a the second major drop. The 40 footer is portaged even by Forrest, although he stares at it for a long time before throwing in the towel. The entrance to RIMBY is deceptively undercut and has been the site of many a scary story. The "heart" of RIMBY is a sweet 10+ foot boof. THe runnout tends to collect wood. The S turn and the lumberyard desevrve scouts, but are frequently read and run (pray for apprropriately placed wood).

Carnage is second nature on this run. Expect trouble and be ready to deal.

As most know, Gash was the site of Paul Zirkelbach's demise in '02. There are lots of very skilled creek boaters who have written this one off. If you ever saw it at low water, you would never run it again.

If you go, be safe, bring an experienced guide if you can. This run can be a lot of fun.
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Old 05-18-2004   #3
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,303
A guide is practically mandatory the first few times you do it. Especially at higher flows (350+).

My friend says that two things happen to people that run USB for the first time, they either walk a ton (because they scout), or they have close calls and are scared the entire run (because they just run it, or follow their guide).

I unintentionally chose the second. It becomes more fun after you've run it a few times. Awesome class 5 boaters run.
Kyle McCutchen
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Old 05-18-2004   #4
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 168
My 2-cents is that the 10-foot boof RIMBY is the only thing worthwhile in that whole canyon. The rocks are all pointed in the wrong direction and getting sucked into a dangerous rapid if very easy to do. CCR says that USB seems to attract a lot of carnage. I've learned not to ignore those comments anymore. Something bad could, and probably will, happen to at least one member of your group. Think long and hard before you put onto that thing, because the river gods are exceptionally pissed off in there.
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Old 05-18-2004   #5
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 7
USB is a great run if you are heads up and an expert boater. We have run it twice this season without incident. As of last sunday there was 2 riverwide pieces of wood above rimby. The first required a portage and the second was runnable on the far river left. Both were easy to see from above. Also there is now log sticking halfway across the river in the middle of the s turn. looked like you could run it but since there were only two of us we opted to walk. everything else was good 2 go.

Glen Egbert
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