New Rock in Big Joe Rapid - Yampa River - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-15-2016   #1
6FEETandRISING's Avatar
Lardo, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 100
New Rock in Big Joe Rapid - Yampa River

Just got off the Yampa. We rode the first crest this last week. The ranger mentioned that an outfitter told him about a new rock in Big Joe rapid. We just happened to pull over at the camp and have a look at it. I can post some photos later. There is a large (30ft wide) ledge type hole that is in the middle of the river. It is very hard to see as you approach until its too late. My group scouted and ran far left entry and around a horn rock further below, then pulling right to avoid large holes and crashing waves and the bottom. You could run right as well but would have to eat a piece of a surging crashing wave that I didn't really want to test out. Flows were probably about 10,000 - 12,000 when we were there. Tepee and little Joe were huge big rapids as well but not as technical as Big Joe. Just wanted to give folks a heads up. If I would have been going off what the guide book said I may have gotten suckered into the big hole as it is very hard to tell that it's there until you are very close to it.

When you spend your life in the rain, you learn to walk between the drops.
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Old 05-15-2016   #2
Pullman, Washington
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Cheers, thanks for the info. Will be looking out for it.
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Old 05-15-2016   #3
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,261
Thanks for the heads up. We have June 12th launch and a camp at Big Joe. This will be everyone's first trip so no clue what Big Joe was like in the past. Need to order the River Maps guide

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Old 05-15-2016   #4
Pullman, Washington
Paddling Since: 92
Join Date: Jun 2013
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I have to say I have little memory of Big Joe Rapid, we always stop at the campsite for the hike up Starvation valley. I sort of remember something as we pull out. The only rapid we have ever looked at is Warm Springs though there is a good hole in Moonshine at higher flows that needs avoiding. It surfed me last year and got my attention. Although I did not know it at the time the boatman ahead had exited stage right leaving two 80 year olds in his boat to grab the oars. That said they were some very bad ass kickin' octogenarians who were not at all fazed by his sudden disappearance.

Really need to use this wet day to corral gear.........
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Old 05-20-2016   #5
Leadville, Colorado
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Old 05-20-2016   #6
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I'd like to see some pics. I'm like wshutt - I don't remember any rapids on the Yampa other than Warm Springs.
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Old 05-20-2016   #7
Cataract Oars's Avatar
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Join Date: May 2015
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There is a photo of the new version of Big Joe posted on our Facebook Timeline.
Wherever there is water - Since 1985
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Old 05-20-2016   #8
tellutwurp's Avatar
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2005
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We launched on May 12th, riding that 14.5k surge. Most of us hadn't been down the run and we just read and ran it. We took the middle right at Big Joe's, probably taking that crashing wave to the face, but everything was fine. We did think it was a bit bigger than we'd expected though.
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Old 05-20-2016   #9
Denver, Colorado
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Thanks for the info, my group puts in on Monday!
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Old 05-21-2016   #10
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Charleston, South Carolina
Paddling Since: 2016
Join Date: Apr 2016
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We ran Big Joe on the 18th and had no problems. The group wanted to scout but there was a boat in the small eddy, so we decided to read and run. Our run was enter middle/right and pull hard to the right. No big deal at the flows we were on.


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