Be Smart. Be Prepared. Be Safe. - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-14-2019   #1
Ever_Cat's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 115
Be Smart. Be Prepared. Be Safe.

I know this should go without saying, but... With Colorado runoff slow in coming, folks have been anxious to get on the water. Runoff is now in full swing and rivers are flowing big, fast and pushy and the water is cold.

I have been out rafting on the Eagle and Arkansas the past few weeks and my friends and I have been wearing dry suits, helmets and of course good-fitting PFDs and have been glad for it. We have stopped to check on shivering swimmers after a flip, including kids in shorts without helmets. Bad idea. Lots of shivering people at Hecla.

Lots of people posting "should I or shouldn't I" questions here right now, and ultimately that is a decision that is up to you. Especially with kids in the mix. If you are asking on the internet, you probably already know the answer. If in doubt, consider stepping it down a notch or two or give it a couple of weeks until flows ease up. Self-rescue is the name of the game right now and a swim could be long and fierce, especially for youngsters.

If you are appropriately experienced, prepared and with a competent crew, then go get some. It is BIG fun.

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Old 06-16-2019   #2
Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 601
I don't know a lot about which rivers need permits and which don't because I'm in Canada. But I wonder if some of the people asking if they should push it is because they have a hard won permit that's hard to get and don't want to "throw that away".

There are similar discussions in the backcountry skiing community... About whether to try to make a summit, or ski a consequential line, etc.

It's not uncommon to make a risky decision, particularly for the weekend warrior skier who has a goal and this one day to try it and the skies are blue.

There is never any shame in turning around because conditions aren't safe. Safety decisions should be made, as much as possible, with the goal part of the equation removed.

You only have one life.
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