Max Flow Middle Blue (take out at GMR) - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
 
denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
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Max Flow Middle Blue (take out at GMR)

Hi all-

Anyone know what is reasonably too high to run what I call the middle Blue- from the end of the whitewater on Hwy 9 and taking out at Green Mountain Reservoir. Will be running this in a 14' raft w/ fishing frame. I have not run this section before and thus I am unaware of the low bridge situation.

Thanks,

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
 
Andy H.'s Avatar
 
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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It's been a long time but I've run it at reasonably high water (1996) and I remember it being a "highly technical Class I" because of the rock dodging. I'd expect the flow for ~7/4/19 is probably a little higher than when we ran it, but not by much. The bridges should be no problem, IIRC.

Watch for a steel fencepost on the right below the Highway 9 bridge part-way down the run.

-AH
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
 
denver, Colorado
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Thanks Andy. You (or anyone else out there) think and/or know if any private land owners have put in their own 'low' bridges over the river since then (since '96 was a long time ago).
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
 
Littlefun, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy H. View Post

Watch for a steel fencepost on the right below the Highway 9 bridge part-way down the run.

-AH
Which bridge? IIRC there are 3 bridges for hwy 9 before GMR.

It does sound like a interesting run.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
 
Loveland, Colorado
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they're going to start spilling out of Dillon, expect flow to increase significantly.
https://www.denverwater.org/your-wat...servoir-levels
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
 
Andy H.'s Avatar
 
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyOscar View Post
Which bridge? IIRC there are 3 bridges for hwy 9 before GMR.

It does sound like a interesting run.
I can't remember anything about where the raft-ripping fencepost was except it's a ways below the regular Upper Blue takeout (Columbine "landing?"), and that the highway crosses from east to west, I think. It was 23 years ago.

And as for being an "interesting run," yes, but it's interesting in the same way that driving a long and boring flat road, with randomly placed foot-deep potholes, is interesting. It'll be flushing really hard so fishermen won't really enjoy it, there are no places to land because it's mostly, if not all, private land, it's flatwater that requires constant maneuvering to avoid sleepers so it's neither whitewater nor a relaxing float. As I remember the takeout sucked as well.

These are all from my old memory and I was just learning how to guide a raft, so maybe it would be different with some skill under my belt. It was cold and we got rained on as well, so that may have clouded my impression of it. Things may have completely changed, but this is what I remember, along with the thought, "now I know what this is like and I don't need to ever go back."

Go run it and give us a more up to date report about how it is this century. I could be completely wrong, and there could be improvements to it that make it a worthwhile stretch of river.

-AH
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
 
denver, Colorado
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Andy, and any other readers, here is our trip report from today.

Andy, first off, your TR is pretty spot on. The steel post is still there, barely exposed at 1910 CFS. Personally I would describe the run as class 3 boogie water, but technical class I works too. I thought it was a good run though- scenic views of the gore range and secluded. The take out is a bit interesting- a bit under a mile of lake rowing which could be rough with wind. All bridges had plenty of clearance for our 14' raft and fishing frame.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wamsley View Post
Andy, first off, your TR is pretty spot on. The steel post is still there, barely exposed at 1910 CFS. Personally I would describe the run as class 3 boogie water, but technical class I works too.
Thanks for the TR wamsley. It's good to know I've still got some of my memory after all these years. I'm bummed to know that raft ripping fencepost is still there.

I'm not trying to get into an internet pissing match with you but even with high flows I don't see how this stretch of river could ever, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered "Class III boogie water." Mainly because of it lacks the first word in the description below: "Rapids." Did you have waves breaking over your bow? If not, then you weren't in Class III, and probably not even Class II, even with the high flows.

Here's the definition of Class III:

Quote:
Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims. Rapids that are at the lower or upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class III-” or “Class III+” respectively.
-AH
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
 
denver, Colorado
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Yes, the stretch matches the definition for class 3 whitewater. There were mandatory moves around strainers and holes (some big enough to flip our 14' raft), waves that would break over the bow, etc.

High water changes a river greatly (as we all know). At 1000 CFS I would agree with your assessment. At 1900 CFS it was definitely Class 3.

But, if you don't think this don't think this is accurate, please go do the run and post your opinion.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
 
Andy H.'s Avatar
 
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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Thanks for the info, Wamsley. I fully understand the extra action that higher flows bring. I also apologize for being so incredulous, and even snarky, but I never would've thought that stretch would get over Class II without catastrophic flows. Mainly because I don't remember any places where the channel got constricted or where there were any rapids to begin with. Just random sleepers in the wide, flat channel.

Just to be clear, you're talking about the stretch below Columbine Landing, the typical Blue takeout, where the highway goes from the west to the east side of the Blue, the river access is on River Left, and you've got to carry your raft through the woods about 100 yds to the truck, correct? The stretch above Columbine Landing is definitely Class III.

Thanks,

-AH
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