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New to town, looking for info on Class III-IV boating options near Durango, for next season. Thanks!
 

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Renaissance Redneck
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Canyon's right they just crunch granola, hug trees and talk about what dicks the californicators are
 

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Well, for starters, pick up a copy of Whitewater of the Southern Rockies. It will be the best 50 dollars you ever spend.

Whitewater of The Southern Rockies guidebook

You've got the Animas:

32nd-Smelter-III-
Smelter-High Bridge-III
The Upper A-IV
There are some scenic floats ranging from II-III around the Forks of the Animas by Silverton

You've got the Dolores:
Cahone/Bradfield/Slickrock/Gateway is not too far
Stoner Stampede is a phenomenal play run when it's in

San Miguel: Ledges, etc.

That's just a start though. There's more good whitewater within 2 hours than you can imagine. Enjoy.
 

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Kjirsten
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The Upper is class V. The Piedra is pretty continuous class IV. It's between Pagosa and Bayfield. Smelter can be IV at very high water- it's rare.

There's a lot for kayakers. If you're a rafter, you can also paddle boat the Rockwood box at lower water- Class IV+.

Westwater/ Cataract are only three hours away. The Dolores is two hours away. The Lower Taos Box is three hours away, fun pool drop Class III+/IV.
 

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Takeme is lying. All i've ever done with her is drink beer. we tried to go boating once and I flipped... she stayed upright.

But seriously Kjirsten, it's getting close to time to watch the Salt for winter storm action...

Ethan
 

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Kjirsten
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How was the Grand? Looking at the Salt for President's Day weekend again. Yeehaw.

I've also been watching the town run every day- there's no water.:mad:

I have a Westy permit for next weekend- there's a spot open if you're down, Ethan. I don't mind rescuing your ass again.


Takeme is lying. All i've ever done with her is drink beer. we tried to go boating once and I flipped... she stayed upright.

But seriously Kjirsten, it's getting close to time to watch the Salt for winter storm action...

Ethan
 

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The Upper is class V. The Piedra is pretty continuous class IV. It's between Pagosa and Bayfield. Smelter can be IV at very high water- it's rare.

There's a lot for kayakers. If you're a rafter, you can also paddle boat the Rockwood box at lower water- Class IV+.

Westwater/ Cataract are only three hours away. The Dolores is two hours away. The Lower Taos Box is three hours away, fun pool drop Class III+/IV.
Maybe the Upper A is "rafter" class V but according to the New Testament, it is IV at 1000 and IV+ at 2500.

Can't believe I forgot the Piedra. Very high quality IV, especially when high.

Gotta keep you on your toes Kjirsten.
 

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Kjirsten
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OK, the Upper A is "rafter Class V." And that's from experience, not from a book, Dirk. ;)
 

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Renaissance Redneck
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I'd call the upper A a kayak V because of the length, commitment No Name and the box, unless you guys would rather ride that silly ass train out of there
 

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I was counting Rockwood as being separate from the Upper A. Length and commitment/remoteness are certainly on the V side for the run but there are plenty of IV runs out there that are still IV's despite having 1 or 2 V's or portages. I definitely thought that the run as a whole felt like a IV with a few highlights. But yeah, it's a fucking long ass day.
 

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I would also add that the Upper A's one critical feature for consideration is the water temperature. No matter how warm the air is, that water is FRIGID. Because of the isolated nature of the run, I think that ups the danger level from a IV to a IV+ at medium, II+ to IV- at low water (without the bigguns). If you have think there's any chance you would swim in a class IV, you should be wearing a drysuit up there.
 

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Kjirsten
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Oh yeah, I watched you take the hero line on Quartzite at high water. So, maybe we should call the Upper A "crazy, fearless, kayaker Class IV" just for you. Are you in for the Salt again if it goes?
I was counting Rockwood as being separate from the Upper A. Length and commitment/remoteness are certainly on the V side for the run but there are plenty of IV runs out there that are still IV's despite having 1 or 2 V's or portages. I definitely thought that the run as a whole felt like a IV with a few highlights. But yeah, it's a fucking long ass day.
 

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The Grand was awesome! Great season. I'm heading to AZ this weekend for some good ol' camping and drinking. Thanks for the invite, I would've been there in a heartbeat. Let's grab some beers soon.
 

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You're all wrong

Low water- III+ (IV, V-, IV, IV)
High Water- IV (IV+, V, V-, V-)

Anyway you pretty much have the playpark (good at high water) and then it gets remote fast. Piedra is your best bet and if that goes well, the Upper A. Post when the season starts, and we'll show you around.
 

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I would add the Mesa Canyon section of the San Juan River below Pagosa. It's III-, so not particularly challenging, but a pretty float.
 

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Thank god you all didn't have to learn to boat before there were numbers! What would you have done then? I think the upper is a 17b.5 maybe up to a 17z. Life without a guidebook...how did they ever manage? They must have had to sit around the fire and talk about water instead of numbers.
 

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Renaissance Redneck
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Thank god you all didn't have to learn to boat before there were numbers! What would you have done then?

I was boating in 92 (in Durango) almost every day. Although those days were pretty much a blur i"m reasonably sure we used numbers to describe rapids.
 
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