Lower Eagle Obstruction at Diamond S Bridge - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-09-2011   #1
Eagle-Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 73
Lower Eagle Obstruction at Diamond S Bridge

This morning, we discovered a downed tree blocking the left hand side of the 5th bridge (access bridge to Diamond S Ranch). This is forcing all the water to the right, making it impassable. There is not enough room under the right hand side of the bridge to clear safely.

Also, there are trees in the river directly below Rodeo Rapid (river right) and below the following wave hole (river left).

Just wanted everyone to know. Stay safe out there!!!

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Old 07-11-2011   #2
pbowman's Avatar
Cody, Wyoming
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 249
TR - Saturday 7/9 at 5000 in gypsum

we rafted from wolcott to eagle on saturday 7/9 in the afternoon. gage flow at gypsum for the time of our trip was decreasing from about 5200 at 12 noon to 4800 around 6pm. this flow is higher than what we experienced because the gage is 10+ miles downstream, but it seems a better reference than using the avon gage. our trip only took about 2 hours from 2pm to 4pm, everything was moving fast.

anyway, for our trip we were able to get under the old abandoned concrete arch bridge below interstate rapid with little issue. we had to duck down pretty low, but there was enough comfortable clearance in our 12' raft with paddle crew of R4. we took the right channel on this bridge, and the left channel was also open but the water was pushing against the bank a little and just a little more swirly on the left.

the diamond S bridge was much tighter. as you approach this bridge, it is hard to see that the left is jammed up as the water was spilling over the tree with no branches or limb build up indicating it is blocked. you can see something is not good, but hard to tell exactly what. we eddied out around 50 yards above the bridge on river right in an eddy by a big cottonwood, and could get a little bit of a look at the right channel. the bridge deck sits up relatively high giving the illusion of safe passage, but there is a pipe hung under the bridge that is of major concern. we were able to float under the pipe with our 12' raft, but everyone was basically on the floor and the ends of the raft on the rocker only had 1' or so of clearance.

i also talked with one rafter at the takeout later that day, and he reported that he got under the diamond S bridge ok. he said they scouted it very carefully, and walked down the bridge to take a very close look. he had a 13' or 14' raft with oar frame, and i was very surprised to hear he cleared it. a frame with a DRE captains chair would not have cleared the pipe under the bridge on saturday.

i also did a close scout of trestle, and the water was within 1' of the bridge on the right channel. about the same clearance on the center channel, but the water was swirling very bad there due to the rock behind the bridge. the trestle bridge is a mandatory portage for all, even kayaks, at this flow.

we took out at the eagle rest area (river right in the brush) and did not run rodeo. the run was very enjoyable, with interstate and dead cow having big waves that were fun in the little boat. there is also a lot of fun wave trains between the two, and even below dead cow before getting to eagle.

please use caution at the diamond S bridge, it was very tight on saturday 7/9.
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Old 07-11-2011   #3
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 14
the ranch managers were out there pulling the tree off last night with heavy equipment. did not stick around to see if they actually got it off, but they said they would have it out in a an hour or so. use caution until someone affirms that the tree is out!
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Old 07-11-2011   #4
Eagle-Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 73
Diamond S Ranch has had the tree pulled out of the river at the bridge!! Thank you so much from all of us; rafting community.
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Old 07-11-2011   #5
e-town, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 274
Sweet! thanks to the Diamond S for helping with that.
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