Upper Animas Rafting/overnight - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-21-2007   #1
GoodTimes's Avatar
Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 795
Upper Animas Rafting/overnight

I'd like to do an over-night this coming weekend on the upper A. Can ya'll give me some beta??? I know what I know from the CRC, never been down it. I have a couple options, self-supported kayak or small rig (12' cat). My buddies would prefer that I bring the 12' rig (lil' extra gear, more beer, lighter kayaks, etc...) What's the take-out like with the train situation?? I'll have a frame to load, coolers, etc...????? Is there another option, can I run the box (not the death part, obviously)?????

Difficulty, I'd appreciate some feedback on the rapids. I know there are atleast three that'll be pretty beefy for a 12' cat. I think I have the skillz, I've been rowing for 16+ yrs, guided commercially on the Poudre and Ark. for 5.

Any info is greatly appreciated. I thought I'd hit up the buzz before I called Four Corners or Canyon.

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Old 05-22-2007   #2
no tengo
mania's Avatar
Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,865
well i pm'd ya some details. the rockwood would be fairly pushy and stout at these levels but i have rowed it this high. things were fine but cant say i would recommend it since it is so committing in a raft. then there is the carry at the end.

i would also recommend at least one of your group has run it before. the scouts are super hard to describe and its not like you can just casually eddy out anywhere you want.

if you are going to run rockwood then by all means walk down from your car to the river so you know exactly where to get out.
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Old 05-22-2007   #3
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 146
3 of us did an overnight on the upper-A 2 summers ago. We did a self support kayak run and it was great. We ran into a commercial raft group that invited us for leftover dinner and extra beer it was awesome. But you can always bring extra beer in on the train, an easy option.

We ran the box at the end and it turned into a disaster. While we were scouting one of the last rapids in the box my buddy kicked a rock down a scree slope which hit his boat and sent the boat down the river into the un-runnable box. The boat was found later that summer in town - with lots of holes. He lost all his gear including a pricey sleeping bag. Just after that my other buddy was so exhausted and freaked out about the life or death take out he flipped in the take out eddy. B/c he was in the eddy for some reason he popped his skirt and some how his boat drifted out of the eddy around the corner and lost it forever, loaded with gear too. Both of these guys were solid class 5 paddlers but just made some bad choices, woops. But the trip is awesome and i would recommend it.

Just keep in mind that if you flip that raft in the box you might never get it back. Especially b/c no one is going to want to chase the boat around blind corners knowing there is a lift or death take out somewhere down stream.

Lastly - know there is a huge sign at the take out - and the take out is very very visible. some thing that would have taken the edge off our trip had we known - we were always peering around the corner looking for the take out and scaring ourselves $hitless.
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Old 05-22-2007   #4
Boof it like you stole it
G-wood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 86
upper A

Are ya'll still planning an overnighter? Got room for two on the trip? 423-400-0420
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Old 05-22-2007   #5
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11
Post here and let us know the beta if you head in there this weekend. I am planning on getting in there sometime next week for an overnight self-support kayak trip. I was told by a guy that used to push rubber there to look for around 700 cfs in Silverton. Anything higher might be a little much for a first time with no guide. I've never been, so let us know how it goes.
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Old 05-24-2007   #6
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1
Hey, the upper A rocks. I safety kayak up there and the trip is definitely worth it. With the recent snows and cold temps, the river is down in Durango. I bet the upper would be perfect for a first time trip down. Just make sure you bring PLENTY of warm weather clothes. No matter what, it's cold up there. There are really only 4 rapids or so to worry about and you can get out on the train side up stream of each one to scout. Just make sure that you leave yourself some room. Eddies are small and few. If you take the cat, break it down and haul it out. The trail up from rockwood is obvious and mellow. Sure it's a hike out but it's so, so nice and a great way to end the trip. Good luck.
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Old 05-24-2007   #7
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 517
Sorry for the highjack but, but Canada Dave are you Curly Hair Canadian Dave of Tully fame?
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