Water temps and intermediate boaters who MIGHT swim... - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 02-21-2007   #1
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Water temps and intermediate boaters who MIGHT swim...

So I'm not expecting to swim, but you never know, right? I'm ready to start my drilling on the river, if Parkdale on the Ark is gonna run as it is. I can't find a temp reading on the water, which is important to my decision whether to start running it now.

I'm looking for advice on planning to paddle within my limits specifically with regard to water temp (and air + water temp). I'm wondering, since I don't have a dry suit, is it even advisable for me to get into the water when it's below a certain temp (whatever temp that may be).

With a good dry top and semi-dry-pants, along with hydroskin top and bottom, would I be equipped properly if something unforseen forced me to swim? I don't think I'd be swimming, but I'd have to be sure that if I did, I'd be capable of self-rescue in the water temp...

I'm looking for some guidance on making sure I don't put myself in danger. I have a lot of eddy catching to to work on, and that means a lot of rolling could be possible, and that means I might screw up bad enough to have to swim...

Plan for the worst, you know?

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Old 02-21-2007   #2
 
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I think that might be pretty good coverage. Don't forget your head. For long trips or icy water you should wear a neoprene skull cap. Ditto for your hands: pogies or gloves will keep you warmer and make you last longer. A dry suit is probably better, but realistically speaking I think you can live without one in Colorado.

It's good that you are thinking so hard about this. I think that under-dressing is the one of the most common safety violations I see on the river, especially in the summer when the air is warm. It's not too cool because if you are underdressed then you are not in a position to participate in a rescue. The other most common safety violation is not looking back frequently to check out the boat behind you.
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Old 02-21-2007   #3
 
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Rule of thumb is to always dress for the water temp and not the air temp no matter what your skill level.

A paddling partner equals a potentially faster rescue time should you swim.

Having extra layers, energy bars and a thermos of hot cocoa wouldn't hurt should you take a long swim.
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Old 02-21-2007   #4
 
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I'm not sure when you are talking about self-rescue if you are planning to go by yourself? It is certainly always good to be able to self-rescue even within a group and be properly dressed but going with a group generally improves safety. I don't want to put any words in your mouth so if that was not your intention sorry for mis-interpreting. Wish I was near the Ark right now and not SoCal. It is fun paddling at this level as a tune-up for the year. Enjoy!
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Old 02-21-2007   #5
 
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Do what you will but if being upside down is an inevitability for you there always exists the chance a rock will score a lucky shot and knock you out. If that happens and you're alone you are dead. NO chance.

If you're concerned with a swim on Parkdale it would be an excellent idea to find a boating partner if you don't have one already.

I know, pappa don't preach, but I don't want to read about you in AW accident reports. Nuthin but love, baby.
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Old 02-21-2007   #6
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For the record, I wouldn't do Parkdale alone, ever, let alone in this temp. Was talking about self rescue because that's the best rescue. And leaves me with some sense of dignity if I do swim.

Don't boat alone!
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Old 02-21-2007   #7
 
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A common rule of thumb in the business is if the air + water temp are not above 100 then you are traveling in what is called "dimished conditions", requiring extra care. Using that equation I would hardly ever get my kids out. So we say that air+water>90 with a requirement of beanies, poagies, booties, and wetsuit under everything for students who are likely to swim. They still have a great time.

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Old 02-21-2007   #8
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He is talking about self rescue since he knows that I will just watch his ass swim and spend my time chasing his gear since he has a nice new boat.
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Old 02-22-2007   #9
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Jeez, how do you find people to boat with this time of year?

Not sure about the hs pants, you might want to add dry pants to your top and see that they seal well. A long swim sloshing in your pants can cause shrinkage.

I am sure to make my first roll a good one in very cold water. Once the hair is wet (even with a beanie) the second roll lets the cold go right to the scalp...uh...brain. A wet suit hood with a beanie works better yet.

NRS mits are the bomb. A layer of neoprene between the hand and shaft decreases paddle feel less than frozen hands. Much more pleasant for boating.

My rule of thumb is ice jams less than break thruable. Although last Turkey days trip to OR has changed my perspective. I'd rather have CO sun and 30ish than 40 and driving downpours with gale force wind. For play, and a lot of rolls, I need 50 + and full sun and to paddle hard eddying and attaining and walking up to do more boofs between rolls.

Crazy? No, more sane!
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Old 02-22-2007   #10
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How do you guys squeeze a cap into your helmet? I have my helmet outfitted snug, couldnt get anything else in there.
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