west mancos river 1st D? and TR (NR) - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-25-2010   #1
rg5hole's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 06
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 450
west mancos river 1st D? and TR (NR)

Rezzy and I just got pummeled by a few of the Dolores tributaries as well. 3 miles up Roaring fork and 1-2 miles up Bear (we were shut down on both due to wood). There is a good rapid of the slide variety in the last 7/8 of a mile of the Roaring Fork. It is not recommended to attempt a descent above this due to the wood and lack of quality whitewater. We put in and hiked out at 3 miles and at 2 miles and finally successfully descended at just before 1 mile.

The most promising on our list looked to be the West Mancos River above Mancos Colorado. Once again we were shut down by wood (every 100 yards there is a tree) and we finally got sick of it and took a walk down the 150-200 cfs river to see where this started dropping and it turns out it does it gradually. Seeing no rapids, lots of wood, and having been beaten into submission on the 2 500' vertical hikes with our boats the day before we started the 3rd 500' climb out. Needless to say no one need attempt that river again.

I've never boated before, but I have posted a lot on Mountain Buzz!
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Old 05-25-2010   #2
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 781
you guys hit the section above rico? it's pretty good. we've run both the roaring fork (still run the lower mile each year) and bear into the dolores years ago. woody indeed. other area options waiting to be scoped are stoner creek (drive up taylor mesa and hike in, looks woody as well) and the upper east fork dolores (hike the trailhead from lizardhead pass, haven't scoped this one yet). we also ran the bottom 4-5 miles of lost canyon creek, and it was junky class 2-3, with a little canyon action. decent 4-5 on the south fork san miguel at Ames, and keystone canyon below telluride. the real (class 5) potential is on upper bilk crk....
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Old 05-25-2010   #3
rg5hole's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 06
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 450
Yeah, that was our only saving grace (otherwise we'd have quit kayaking for good. Rico falls was what we went for originally and saw all those little creeks blasting off so...curiosity killed the cat.

Rico falls was fun, it is full on and a no rolling and a forbidden swim zone. Rez happened to catch one eddy in over a mile! lol I think the whole 2 miles took us 15 minutes, hitching back to the car took 30! aha ha ha

I would not be hiking into any runs up there with my boat. From what we saw in the La Plata/Wilson range Drainage there is a complete wood infestation problem. Creeks are narrow, low volume, without spectacular gorges or extravagant rapids. So I would definetly go on a foot scouting mission first, and close to the river cuase 300'+ above it doesn't show those camouflaged trees and sleepers.

Perhaps roadside super short upper sections (similar to South Mineral Creek) is to be had but I will leave that up to chance or some of you locals to find!

how about those desert creeks over by monicello and blanding???? Devils? And the shelf area south of Blanding??? That area if timed right could provide some spectacular sandstone ledge boof/falls. I have seen a place that would provide no less than 10 8'ers and a stacked 30, 50, and 60'er. unfortunately with no eddy service as they are natural smooth sided "diversion like" ditches. There would be no wood there either though so you may not need eddies. Do you have/know of any beta for over there???
I've never boated before, but I have posted a lot on Mountain Buzz!
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