Rope in juniper canyon rapid/ yampa - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-12-2015   #1
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Rope in juniper canyon rapid/ yampa

About 30' of my throw rope is in the rock weir in juniper rapid. It is about 100' up stream of the large drop on river right, almost strait up river of the water intake.
The swimmer ended up on the rocks, and it required a rope rescue to get her off the weir( swimming to shore at that spot would have been almost impossible with the flows, with a potential very long swim). Unfortunately the rope got snagged and we could not free it.
We would not have cut it if it was not a life or death situation.
Sorry to leave rope in the river, I know people who have had fatality's because of throw bag entanglement.
Hopefully i will be able to recover it when the water drops, but for now heads up.
Rather intense situation for a while, deffinate reminder that stuff can go bad quick. She is fine except for a couple bruises, thankfully.

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Old 05-12-2015   #2
 
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Thanks! Going to try and go through there next month but I'm sure river will be down some. We will be on sup and will prob walk juniper rapid.


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Old 05-12-2015   #3
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You may be way more familiar with juniper than i am, was our first time down it, would deffinately treat this rapid with caution. We ran it at about 5500-6000 and thought it was a vary significant rapid, class 3 + with a class 4 consequence, if not a 4.
Could not eddy out at that level to portage,or scout, maybe you can eddy out above water diversion at lower flows and walk canal bank? Don't know, or if the water intake would be a hazard.
The Rapid was continuos for a very long ways at high flow.
Be safe and have a great trip! It is a beautifull little canyon.
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Old 05-13-2015   #4
 
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i honestly have no experience with Juniper, just know what people have told me. Thanks for the info, and I will def be doing it at much lower levels and I do believe walking is much easier when water comes down.

Its already down a bunch running at 3800 downstream of Craig. I bet you hit it at perfect time for all the rain/warm weather a week + ago in the upper yampa near Oak Creek.

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Old 05-13-2015   #5
 
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We ran it maybe a month ago... level was probably 1400-1500. It was slow and windy for most of the run, except for the diversion dam. You can scout on both sides of the river. Pull over early and walk up to the dam. River right looked like a pretty bony and tricky drop, it would probably be a bummer to get sucked over there... might be better in higher flows. I think you can also portage river right.
We pulled over river left and clambered down the bank, which got us a lot closer to the rapid but I'm not sure you'd be able to get there in high flows. Anyway, seemed like left of center was the best line, but at the lower flows there were some pretty nasty little holes in there. Both of us hopped on our buddy's raft.
Anyway, it was a nice float minus the wind. We saw a ton of river otters and even a bald eagle battling a hawk.

Mattman, did she swim before the dam or after? If I'm understanding your post, the rope is river right about 100' above the dam? Glad she's ok!
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Old 05-13-2015   #6
 
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Good on you for giving a heads up to people. I'm a little confused on where the rope is? By your discription its hung up on river right at the start of the rapid. Like your swimmer was already in the water before the rapid? Do you mean the flum (bridge thing that goes over the rio)?
As far as scouting goes you can always scout on river left. There is a large pinion (or cedar tree never can remember) at river level right above the rapid. You can tie off on it and walk up on the big rock. Typical run is left of center. At high water there is a good hole on far left that'll punch your fun ticket.
If you can't eddy out above this rapid you might want to rethink your whitewater skills and stick to lakes and ponds same goes for SUP and portages.
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Old 05-13-2015   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sledhooligan View Post
Good on you for giving a heads up to people. I'm a little confused on where the rope is? By your discription its hung up on river right at the start of the rapid. Like your swimmer was already in the water before the rapid? Do you mean the flum (bridge thing that goes over the rio)?
As far as scouting goes you can always scout on river left. There is a large pinion (or cedar tree never can remember) at river level right above the rapid. You can tie off on it and walk up on the big rock. Typical run is left of center. At high water there is a good hole on far left that'll punch your fun ticket.
If you can't eddy out above this rapid you might want to rethink your whitewater skills and stick to lakes and ponds same goes for SUP and portages.
Maybe I am reading your post wrong, are you saying SUP's need to stick to lakes and ponds?
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Old 05-13-2015   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soggy_tortillas View Post

Mattman, did she swim before the dam or after? If I'm understanding your post, the rope is river right about 100' above the dam? Glad she's ok!
So the rock weir that has not been blown up, in this rapid, is on river right, and parallel's the shore line. It creates a channel that forces water to the river right water intake.

The swimmer was in a ducky, and got far off line, and flipped off this rock weir diversion. She was sitting on one of the rocks, when I throw bagged her from river right, I aimed slightly up stream of her, so that if I was not spot on the bag would have a chance to drift down to her.
She was able to get the rope, but the bag got caught in the rocks 30' up stream of her.

We could not free the rope, and she was forced to cut the stuck section of the rope.

My best estimate is that the bag is (or was) caught about 100' to possibly 150' up from the diversion intake, on one of the rocks in the weir. Hopefully the picture helps.
Thanks for the additional info! I had a hard time finding ACCURATE betta for this section before our trip, if I had known what I know now, I would not have had a ducky running this section at that flow. Hind sight is 20-20.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf yampa dam.pdf (909.7 KB, 146 views)
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Old 05-13-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sledhooligan View Post
Good on you for giving a heads up to people. I'm a little confused on where the rope is? By your discription its hung up on river right at the start of the rapid. Like your swimmer was already in the water before the rapid? Do you mean the flum (bridge thing that goes over the rio)?
As far as scouting goes you can always scout on river left. There is a large pinion (or cedar tree never can remember) at river level right above the rapid. You can tie off on it and walk up on the big rock. Typical run is left of center. At high water there is a good hole on far left that'll punch your fun ticket.
If you can't eddy out above this rapid you might want to rethink your whitewater skills and stick to lakes and ponds same goes for SUP and portages.
Thank you for additional info!
Hopefully my reply to soggy tortilla's will clarify the location of rope.
It was possible to eddy out on river right, near the warning sighn, but you could see little of the run from there.

I did not think it possible at the flow to safely hike down the right bank. The big rock is a good idea, which I did not see.
It may have been possible to eddy out and scout on river left where you say.
I did not look at that bank to closely, because I was told by the craig blm office that the scout was on river right, at the mouth of the water intake. It would have been impossible to stop there safely, if at all.
I did have some concerns about the rapid, the blm told me that it would be class 3+ at that level, but the drop would be flushed out, and it would just be some 5-6 foot waves, basically no worries, just a fun rapid.

We did get as much info as we could before the trip. I ran my 11' cat center right without incident, the 16' cat did the same, the other 16' cat ran a clean line of the far right drop, which I did not feel comfortable with, especially in my new, smaller boat.

I am not sure if you are saying that i should confine my boating to lakes and ponds.If you are, I disagree. And yes I did have the ability, and did , eddy out on river right.
The ducky boater has run most of deso at 16,000 and been fine. I just feel that rapid is a bit to much for a ducky, for most people, at least at that flow.

Knowing river fatality's that friends of mine have been close to, i would not take any rapid to lightly, I do think this one is significant with potential consequences for carnage, this experience aside.

I will not blame our carnage on the blm, though I did not think there info was accurate.
I do maintain that there are 3 kinds of boaters, those that have, those that will, those that will again.
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Old 05-13-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteamboatBORN View Post
i honestly have no experience with Juniper, just know what people have told me. Thanks for the info, and I will def be doing it at much lower levels and I do believe walking is much easier when water comes down.

Its already down a bunch running at 3800 downstream of Craig. I bet you hit it at perfect time for all the rain/warm weather a week + ago in the upper yampa near Oak Creek.

Colorado River Maps - Colorado River Maps, Information and Flow Data
Heads up, portaging juniper rapid I think would be very long, and possibly dangerous, if it is possible, from what i saw monday, I don't know about stopping at top of diversion ditch at even low flows, kinda wigs me out a bit.
Left bank did not look good to me for walking.
I have never paddle boarded, but I would not personally sup that rapid, I do however know many people run stuff competently that way.
I do not think sup boaters have to stay on lakes/ponds!

Would recommend getting more info from someone more familiar with run than me.
I would not totally trust blm info in my experiences, in addition to rapid info,we planned to camp at south beach boat ramp, there info said it was ok to camp there, until we got to put in, there were sighn's that said no camping. A phone call to there office confirmed this, they did not bother to update there info, including the map they sold us 20 minutes ago.

Glad this stretch is not being over boated, but wouldn't mind seeing a bit more accurate info available on it.
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