Gunnison Gorge at 560 CFS? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-23-2012   #1
colorado, Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 84
Gunnison Gorge at 560 CFS?

Anyone out there been down the Gunny Gorge at 500 to 600CFS? Its running and has been for 5 days at 560cfs.

Me and a buddy are wanting to go somewhat lightweight in a 14 foot raft and are trying to get some real boaters feed back on how skinny that kinda flow is gonna be. Most books I can get my hands say run it above 700 CFS, but is saying it is runnable down to 500cfs.

appreicate any feedback. thanks

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Old 08-23-2012   #2
Delta, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: May 2009
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I can help you out

My wife and I raft the gorge about 30 times a year. In the last three years we have run it 122 times. We have run it at least once a month for the last 29 months. Email me at pigs underscore swim at hotmail dot com . I might be able to answer some of your questions.
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Old 08-23-2012   #3
colorado, Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 84
Cool Brother, mind if I could give you a call sometime soon to pick your brain on the trip? ??? I am somewhat new to paddling a oar raft (30 days so far this year) and I was a little apprehensive after reading the beta from the books and the BLM sites on the "skinny" state of it after it drops past 600- 700 cfs. thanks man for the help
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Old 08-24-2012   #4
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Cody, Wyoming
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 249
the BLM website for the gorge gives recommended flow for raft sizes. BLM recommends a 12' raft or smaller for flows in the 300-600 range: BLM Boating Gunnison Gorge
based on my past runs, i think it would be tight and technical in quite a few spots at the current flow and there may even be a few walk and drag spots below the gorge before getting to leroy's.

we R2'd the gorge in our culebra in 2009 at a flow of 1100 +/-, and there were a lot of fishing rafts there that weekend. i think that flow would be pretty close to ideal for fishing. based on that run and some past kayak runs at lower flows, i had decided that 800 was my personal low limit to take my 12' NRS raft/frame down. my 2c based on my past experience, but it sounds like tutu has a lot more runs than me.
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Old 08-24-2012   #5
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
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600+ is best....but you can get down it at significantly lower flows without major problems. Heck, commercials are still running Brown's Canyon of the Ark at less than 300!
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Old 08-25-2012   #6
Stiff N' Wett's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
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we were down last week in a mini max which was perfect. Its extremely technical but you could fit a 14' down there
Pool and a pond... Pond be good for you.
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Old 08-25-2012   #7
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Salida, Colorado
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You can do it.

I've done it several times under 500 cfs and was glad I took a boat under 13'.

The 14'er will be very tight espesially Cable rapid. Start right, and as soon as you can go left, go left hard and be ready to slam the wall on the left. make sure your spar oar is on the right or you won't like this much. Any time it's above 600 cfs you can wiggle down the right side.

We did this run during the Salmon Fly hatch in June and it was running 385cfs. I took a 10.5 foot raft and it was the perfect size. My buddies took a 13' cataraft and were stuck several times. Really stuck/pinned on the left side of Cable. At 385 you could catch a small eddy on the right above the rapid and scout it. That's where we were to unpin the 13' cat. At 560 that eddy probably isn't there so you won't be able to scout it.
The left run at Boulder Garden was easy. Best to scout it.

Most of the really tight spots were towards the end in the lower gorge.

I think the perfect boat for this run is a 10.5' to 12'. It is that tight.

You can make it in a 14'er but you'll want to take your "A" game and still you'll wish you had a 12'. It is that tight.

Have fun, and catch lots of fish.
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