Yampa with kids high water - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-11-2019   #1
 
Loveland, Colorado
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Yampa with kids high water

I've never rowed the Yampa.
Curious about what CFS levels at Deer Lodge you'd consider too high to launch with kids 11 & 14. Kids wont be SUPing, duckying ....just staying in 16' boat... likely walking around warm springs.

kids have been on Moab daily at 23k, Upper C at 5k. Wife is hesitant if "high water" with this great snowpack we've had this year.
I'd call upper limit of 10-13k, depending upon expected weather and increased runoff potential...thoughts?

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Old 03-11-2019   #2
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
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This question comes up all the time.

My answer is this is a decision only parents can make, even tho advice might help.

Swims in the teens cfs on Yampa or Split Mountain normally are epic. In the teens self and boat rescue depend on a lot of factors too many to list here.

I have been in rescues or personally experienced considerable incidents myself on Yampa and Green River in Dino Park. It is my personal experiences and for sure my age as a grandfater - I would wait for low water cfs with less chance of a swim to introduce my kiddos to the Dino runs.
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Old 03-11-2019   #3
 
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Salt Lake City, Utah
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I have no opinion on kids specifically, but I do think that walking them around Warm Springs could be worse than just riding through it with them. Especially older kids. Stopping on the other side can be tough. Maybe better at certain water levels though.
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Old 03-11-2019   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcpnick View Post
I have no opinion on kids specifically, but I do think that walking them around Warm Springs could be worse than just riding through it with them. Especially older kids. Stopping on the other side can be tough. Maybe better at certain water levels though.

I think it really depends on water level. Once you get around 10K or above Warm Springs becomes a different beast. If I had older kids I would send them down to set safety for me and would certainly walk little kids with an adult to wait at the beach and have a throw rope ready if needed to assist in landing a boat. If it were me I would have hesitations above probably 6K with kids, but depends on age. Warm springs you can walk around. But you can't really walk around Teepee, Little Joe or Big Joe and there is some risk in those rapids and would certainly involve a long swim if there was an incident, as would moonshine rapid down in Split mtn.
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Old 03-11-2019   #5
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Wack, Here is my post from 2015 where we ran Yampa with kids over 14,000 cfs:
We ran the Yampa last year launching on May 31st and are from Golden as well. It was peak flow as we started at 14,000cfs and finished over 17,000cfs. It was big water but no rocks, debris, etc. Just big wave trains. We had 24 people and 7 kids from age 7 - 12 and my own 9-year old son. We have run many rivers privately like Westwater, Rio Grande, Upper C, Dolores, San Juan, Ark, Eagle, Main and Middle Fork Salmon and even Cross Mountain Gorge so fairly comfortable in heavy whitewater. We did have a 14' raft flip at Little Joe Rapid cresting off a 10 foot curler with headwind and had a 9-year old swim with mom approx 1/8 mile until we pulled them out unharmed. We then scouted Warm Springs and all kids and some adults walked. Overall a great trip and kids had a blast. Of course it's all about comfort level, skill level, water level, boat size, etc. We would have thought twice (and did) about young kids if it was really technical rapids but not so much with Yampa at that time. I see the dilemma with recent accidents and just discussed that this morning weighing probability, risk, reward and understandable fear. Before replying, I just now asked my wife and the mom who swam about your conditions and their response was "perfectly fine" and would definitely do again with kids at that level.
Hope that helps...



https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/...tml#post402713
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Old 03-11-2019   #6
 
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I've done the Yampa so I wouldn't have a problem taking that age group.
My problem is walking the rapids. If a person has to walk the rapids they have no business being on that river, be it the Grand or Yampa. I've seen more shit shows of people trying to walk around and getting hurt to boats not being able to land to pick them up. Warmsprings at high water is one of these rapids. You really have to screw the pooch to flip a boat but it doesn't take much to blow the landing at the bottom. Then you add a flipped boat into the mix, do you land to get your kids or go after the flipped boat and hope the next guy can make the landing and get them?
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Old 03-11-2019   #7
 
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Craig, Colorado
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I have boated with my kids on multiple rivers (ages now 10, 15, 16, 19 & 21). I have faced and made the decision about bringing the kids frequently. I believe this choice is best made when considering these factors... 1. An honest assessment of your own skills. 2. An honest assessment of your child's ability to swim and self rescue, stay cool when the shit hits the fan, and listen and follow directions. 3. An honest assessment of the crew you boat with (from are they good influence on my children - to their awareness and skills to assist in a rescue - to their tolerance and patience with children).



I would take my 10 year old. I have been down the Yampa at 13k. I know he is a strong swimmer and through experience know he is better than most adults at reacting appropriately when things go haywire. When he was 8, he was the only one high siding with me and stayed in the boat when his mother and older brother went for a swim... In fact, he was on his whistle and unsnapping a throw bag before I was able to regrip my oars...



Even at high water the Yampa is still pool drop. I would rather swim on the Yampa at high water than swim in Hell's Half Mile or Triplet at any level on Lodore. Swims shouldn't be that long if your boats are spaced appropriately and you are watching out for each other. With that said, the possibility of a swim should be taken seriously. Having a solid crew and safety kayakers on an early June Middle Fork last year was a deciding factor on bringing my 14 year old last year.



Regardless of whether you bring the kids, pay attention at both of the Joes and Teepee (not hard to read and run, but could end up with a swim or flip if you end up in the wrong spot). Run Warm Springs on the right. At 13K, the lateral on the right will be pushing hard toward Maytag, but virtually every boat (including a pair that messed up their spacing and wound up floating through side by side without the use of one oar) ended up skirting the edge of Maytag.



Do not walk around. I agree with Sledhooligan on that - leave them home if walking around is insisted.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
 
Loveland, Colorado
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I wanted to update that the 3 kids went on the trip. I hit Warm Springs at 9.5-10k and they walked and it wasn't hard to pick them up at the camp beach below. For sure a class 4 scout though, and the kids only walked that rapid.
Ages 11, 13 & 14 had a blast as did adults. I almost got maytagged, but managed to save it and surf off the right side.
https://youtu.be/QnAwA812y58
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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You were not able to save your Baby that went over board though! Good try.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
 
Loveland, Colorado
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I did get saved, just not by me.... with 40mph microbursts happening I didn't want to blow past the landing and miss the family pick up, so my cousin waded out and saved it for me.
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