A question (or 10) for all you West gurus - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-10-2007   #1
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
A question (or 10) for all you West gurus

I will be coming (along with a bunch of friends) to Buena Vista to fire up some of your local water in late June (June 23-July4th). I have NO idea how to dress for the Arkansas etc. (water wear) nor do I have any idea what tent/bag/coats/shorts/boots/flip-flops etc. I should pack. Because we are doing this ah-la-back in the good ole college days kinda way (piling as many people as we can stand into our cars) I can't bring everything I'd like to. Any insight would be very helpful and greatly appreciated.


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Old 06-10-2007   #2
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Thought-criminal, Colorado
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Old 06-10-2007   #3
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
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The weather in the Ark Valley in June can vary from beautiful sunshine and 90 degrees to 55 degrees and rainy. I suggest you bring warm weather clothes with some fleece as a backup. At night the temp will drop down to the 50s or 40s which is perfect for sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows. You'll want a tent in case its rainy, a 3-season bag, and a good sleeping pad. The water will be chilly and clear at that time of year, I'll let a kayaker fill you in on what to wear on the river.

Have fun!

-Andy H.
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 06-11-2007   #4
San Diego and Frisco, CO
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 107
Bring your mittens!

OK, I am a candy-ass from Cali (San Diego) and I can't get ENUF warm gear for the Ark. (Am here now, loving it.) We've got our own snow -melt river (Upper Kern), but Lordy, Colorado has colder snow or something. Actually, warm sunny days are fine, but you will probably encounter a few cloudy/stormy afternoons and you might do what I did yesterday: Walk into CKS and plunk down another $125 for more gear. Just bought a neoprene head cover (where have you been all my life?) and a heavy under layer (like 2mm neoprene). I wear wet suit shorts (wish I had knicker length ones), one or two light neoprene/"hydroskin-ish" under layers and my semi-dry top from Kokotat. My thin, kinda leaky dry top is not helping me any, most locals wear real dry tops. BUT hey, no pogies! Got some, just have not busted them out yet.
Enjoy your trip.
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Old 06-12-2007   #5
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C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Cloudless skys in the morning with clouds starting to build around 10:00am. It usually rains somewhere in the afternoon, but not always on the Ark unless you are North of Buena Vista. The clouds and wind usually leave around 5:00pm for another beautiful starry night. How did I do???

I end up layering up and unlayering all day long. How cold at night it is depends a lot on where you camp. Valleys are much warmer than hill tops. The lower in elevation you camp, the warmer you will be. Good luck and welcome to Colorado.
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Old 06-12-2007   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Flip-flops for sure, and a warm winter hat. Gotta love Colorado weather! And make sure you have good sunscreen and moisturizer. The sun and cold water in the Ark will dry out your skin in an instant! Mine is still recovering from last week's trip up there...
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Old 06-12-2007   #7
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
Gettin' some good input!


I am afraid I'll get cold at night so I might pack for super cold on the sleeping end. A few pairs of shorts, a pair of pants, and underlayers with fleece sound in order for land wear.

I am guessing I should pack my drysuit (which I am not convinced is DRY) AND my layers and drytop. I was hoping you folks would tell me that neo-lined IR shorts and a few IR fleece tops and my drytop would be the best gear to boat in, but alas, it seems it might be a bit colder out?

Can't wait to hit the road. Anyone need anything from the South East?

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Old 06-12-2007   #8
San Diego and Frisco, CO
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 107
probably won't ever jump into your dry suit, and you're probably OK most times with shorts...especially if your dry top is ummmm, really dry. But I do use more than one IR under layer. Of course, you might have a week of sunny, warm weather. (Is usually just the afts that cloud up and rain a bit.)
here is a link that shows current salida weather
HUmmm, slalom gates are up for practice for race this weekend.

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Old 06-13-2007   #9
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 27
If you have a solid roll,and don't plan on swimming, you won't need a drysuit for the Arkansas. I run the numbers all the time in a drytop, 1 IR thickskin, hydrokin or thick skin pant, and shorts. The water is cold, but if the sun is shining you will be warm. Even when it is raining, its still not that cold. Nights are definitely chilly, but it warms up right when the sun comes up.
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Old 06-14-2007   #10
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 46
Hey Katie,
I was just wondering. . .from where in the southeast are you coming? I have been looking online at some boats for sale out there. Anyway, I would also agree that a drytop and a couple of fleece layers should be good for you on the river. I might suggest a skull cap for your head and something for your hands especially if it's not sunny. Have fun!
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