Rafting Fractions - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-08-2010   #1
 
Thronton, Colorado
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Rafting Fractions

I've never been down this stretch. From what I've read, House Rock and Frog Rock are the two things to be wary of. The Arkansas River Guide book seems to lead you to the left for both. Is it that "simple"? Stay left?

Any word on debris at House Rock at these flows? That's mentioned, and it doesn't sound like it's scoutable becuase of private land?

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Old 06-08-2010   #2
 
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Austin, Texas
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Stay left at Frog Rock. Terminal strainer on right for swimmers. Rafts tend to flip at lower levels on flat rock in center and swimmers can be swept right into never never land. So beware. At these present higher flows you should be able to run left w/no problem. However scouting is always preferable if you have any doubt!
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Old 06-08-2010   #3
 
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House rock is scoutable on the right.
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Old 06-08-2010   #4
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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The Fractions section is the more difficult stretch of Fractions/Frogrock. The Miracle mile is just that, one mile long, nonstop action. Not as big as Numbers, but easily capable of schooling the weaker paddlers or rafters.

Frogrock’s call to infamy is the sieve rock in the right channel. It is an easy rapid, which has deadly consequences for a swimmer in the right channel. I believe it has the distinction of the most fatalities on the ark. The right channel is doable, just do not swim!

House rock is not too difficult either, but it is intimidating to someone not familiar with it. The left line can be a big drop at high flows, but there is no telling what wood can be stuck in the left channel. It was clean the last two times I have run past there, but there is no guarantee that some huge strainer will not get stuck there tonight as it likes to collect wood. The right side run will most likely push you into the wall, but try to kiss the edge of the rock in the middle of the river and be carrying some forward speed and try not to get stuck in the boiling eddy sucking you back to the rock. It sounds worse then it is.

This all applies to the current high flow. At lower flows it is pretty easy water. The general notes stay the same.
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Old 06-08-2010   #5
 
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
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Luke and I put in at 5 1/2 and then met up and safety boated for a 9' R-3 crew in the Fractions the other evening. It was some good action for the little raft in their first mile. Not to difficult though and took out in the eddy immediately after Frog Rock rapid. Frog is run kinda down the center at these levels and not difficult. There is a large surge off the left rock dropping into the eddy, though.

I think House Rock is possibly best on the right. We didn't go that far, but the left is often notorious for some ugly mystery moves for kayakers. Guess you'll have to find out.

Basically, the high water makes much of the Ark easier than it is when it drops back down a little bit. The Nums at around 2500-2600 is the hardest IMO. I think the Fractions might be, too.

Cheers!
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Old 06-09-2010   #6
 
Thronton, Colorado
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Thanks everyone. Good information. I'll definitely try to scout if possible (sounds like it actually is). Is it private land or railroad land? If it's railroad land, then I assume it's like getting out at Zoom Flume - probably even a well worn path right next to a no tresspassing sign... LOL

Time wise, at these levels, any ideas from anyone on how long it would take from Railroad Bridge to Hecla, or is that insane? I am coming from Denver, so I like to maximize river time to drive time ratio. Brown's by itself is too short, running it twice wastes time shuttling, so I am looking for alternatives to lengthen my river time, and thus am considering the Fractions piece. I know I could put in at BV, but doesn't sound like there is that much between it and Fisherman's Bridge. Besides, I am also looking for something new to try. Starting at Fisherman's Bridge and going further isn't an option because of Stone Bridge. I could portage that I guess, but that's a lot of work! LOL
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Old 06-09-2010   #7
 
vail, Colorado
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5.5 to heckla should only be arround three or three and a half hours at this level add another 45 min down to stoney. go left at boat shoot in BV should be awesome called the silver bullet. green stripe launches you about 8 feet through the air. super fun! browns should be below 4000 by tomorrow, stone bridge should be ok with a heads down. otherwise its an easy portage. have fun great run
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Old 06-09-2010   #8
 
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Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
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I'd allow for 1 hour (give or take 15min) to run from Fractions put in to BV Ballpark. From there you'll have at least 2 hours with no stops, more like 2.5hrs, until Hecla. In not running all the way to Stonebridge b/c of highwater, you'll miss Siedel's and Double Drop (aka twin falls), but you'll get to run some AWESOME waves/trains from BV until you get through the "Spillway" aka "Boat Chute." At this level you're looking at some really consistant and fast FUN current with some really great hits. The Spillway is like a rollercoaster drop at this rate, with your line being left center, straight down the tongue. Don't go anywhere near right, lots of rebar and scary stuff. If stonebridge is too high to run anyway, this isn't a bad exchange. Have fun!
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Old 06-10-2010   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blade&Shaft View Post
The Spillway is like a rollercoaster drop at this rate, with your line being left center, straight down the tongue. Don't go anywhere near right, lots of rebar and scary stuff. If stonebridge is too high to run anyway, this isn't a bad exchange. Have fun!
The "spillway" as you call it is known as Silver Bullet, and I think you have the debris location backwards. I know the property owner on the river left above the drop and have examined it thouroughly at base flow. The right side boat chute is full of cobbels and has a small concrete ledge at the bottom, but has no debris in it...the left side where the old diversion dam was has many angular chunks of concrete with twisted pieces of rebar in it (not a place to swim).

So just to be clear, the right side is cleaner at Silver Bullet.
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Old 06-10-2010   #10
 
buena vista, Colorado
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river right of house rock is private land. i don't know of a strainer currently on the to the right of house rock, unless it really really recently got dere. (at pretty low flow theres one on da left..no worries now). run left at high water!
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