Swim practice for rookies and recreation. - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-25-2016   #1
 
Eagle river drainage, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 5
Swim practice for rookies and recreation.

So I took a friend (first timer) down the Upper C in IKs a few weeks ago around 4000 cfs. We put in at Radium cause the holes and railroad debris in needle scare me more than starting left and blowing it in yarmony. I've done just that and after god's own swiffer brushed me off the boat it was a pleasant swim to island. Still, it's a hell of a first rapid and even though my compatriot is much fitter than I, and we were both well dressed, nothing can prepare you for baptism and I probably sounded a little paranoid with the safety talk and practice at the ramp.
Anyways, my question. What's a good rapid to practice swimming in the eagle/colorado river area? There are some good spots on the upper c, but you still have to run yarmony first. Back east on the Pemi we had a park and play/swim with some fantastic down time and and a nice eddy underneath. Most spots you can walk up to out here either seem shallow, or would turn into a "real" swim quickly, especially for a beginner.
So...thoughts on swim practice spots? I guess I'd feel better introducing people to what CAN happen first, then having an amazing run without incident.

Blah, blah, blah,
Jon

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Old 06-26-2016   #2
 
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 66
The last rapid on Shoshone (ManEater). Iy is easily accessible from the bike path and is mellow after the rapid. Park either at Grizzly Creek and walk/bike up or park at Shoshone Power Plant and walk/bike down.

It is worth talking about Laryngospasms which is the reaction of the body to water entering the vocal folds. If this happens, it feels like you are drowning. The best way to combat laryngospasms is to recognize what is happening and relax. The best way to avoid laryngospasms entirely is to "breath angry" through clenched teeth.
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Old 06-28-2016   #3
 
Eagle river drainage, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 5
I hadn't thought of that.

Thanks! I've run through there plenty but forgot about the bike path. Nice'n deep most times. And an adventure in it's own. I think it would make a pretty sweet day.

I've looked at the bottom of the edwards mile while fishing earlier in the winter and while there aren't a lot of "hazards", there are quite a few rocks and trout to avoid.

I did remember cold shock during the safety meeting, mostly about being ready for it and "shut your mouth!", but I will have to try angry breathing next swim, or probably tomorrow at work. Thanks again.

Actually speaking of breathing. Something simple I've learned is called 478. 4 second inhale, 7 sec. hold, 8 sec. exhale. You have to actually count slow and do it, but a great warm up when facing some class V douchebaggery.


Man...I don't know,
Jon
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Old 06-29-2016   #4
 
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Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wetchew View Post
Thanks! I've run through there plenty but forgot about the bike path. Nice'n deep most times. And an adventure in it's own. I think it would make a pretty sweet day.

Personally I have seen a few injuries in ManEater and have floated by a couple rafting accidents as well. I would not intentionally swim that rapid, it is all blast rock (like that whole section and barrel). Keep the feet up if you do, I think there are better sections on the Ark and Eagle for practice.
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Old 06-29-2016   #5
 
Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 160
South Canyon rapid is a good one to swim if you have some in a craft eddied out below the bridge.
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Old 07-07-2016   #6
 
Eagle river drainage, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2012
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Originally Posted by kayakfreakus View Post
Personally I have seen a few injuries in ManEater and have floated by a couple rafting accidents as well. I would not intentionally swim that rapid, it is all blast rock (like that whole section and barrel). Keep the feet up if you do, I think there are better sections on the Ark and Eagle for practice.
Thanks for bringing that up. It's been a while since I've ran Shoshone, but was mostly focused on midstream. Makes sense with I70 there, but hadn't really noticed. Not a fan of blast rock, it's all I see coming out of needle. I'll take a look (this weekend hopefully

Where on the eagle? I've looked at spots while fishing (spring lows) and the bottom of edwards looks best to me but still not ideal. Upstream, too much down there with very few chances to get out. Don't get me wrong, I rock an IK and will swim whatever I paddle. But jumping in (and telling a rookie to) is whole nother ball of wax.

Guess I just answered my own question. Any recommendations on a swift water rescue course?

Wow, this shit is serious,
Jon
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Old 07-08-2016   #7
 
vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2008
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On the Colorado river between Rancho and State Bridge is a great place to practice swim. i would choose the Do it Again rapid/eddy. It is a great spot to get used to being in the water.
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Old 07-09-2016   #8
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 06
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Originally Posted by gwheyduke View Post
South Canyon rapid is a good one to swim if you have some in a craft eddied out below the bridge.
I wouldn't personally choose a rapid with pylons in it for practice swimming. There are a couple nicely channelized spots on the Roaring Fork that have class 2+ wave trains that would make a pretty safe swim practice, especially at higher flows where you are above the riverbed.
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