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Discussion Starter #1
I just finished reading about Lucero's 118fter and started to realize that there aren't really any huge (runnable) drops in colorado. There's stupid falls on the east (60ft?) and Zoot Shoot (40?). What else is big? Anyone know of the level to run Stupid? I'm not that stupid, but it's fun to talk about before the season.
 

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We took a look at a couple of 50+ footers this last season. One was in the middle of a couple of treacherous (multiple move) 30'ers in the gorge below the CRC write up of South Mineral Creek. I guess it has been run.

Also we did a 1st decent of Falls Creek (drainage into Vallecito on hike). There was at least a 50'er in there. We didn't run it. It was tough to tell how deep the landing was. I'vd been off Zute and this looked a lot bigger. Might be 60'. That Wayne Chorter guy has some pics of it on his web site. not sure the link.

Steve.
 

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big drops

sward said:
We took a look at a couple of 50+ footers this last season. One was in the middle of a couple of treacherous (multiple move) 30'ers in the gorge below the CRC write up of South Mineral Creek. I guess it has been run.
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Yup, my friend Josh ran that last 30'er on South Mineral last summer (i'd guess this was not the first time it's been dropped). This is the one last bug drop above the campground I think. We ran most of the sketchy little drops leading up to it, through the meadow, as well. Got some decent pics too. So beautiful back in there. There are several nice, runnable biguns near Pagosa Spgs too, that someone has cleaned out but we didn't jump on those.

Gordon
 

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Yule. Unlike most of the big CO drops the main (bottom 4) drops are surprisingly easy to run. You just line up and go, a lot like the obj stuff. Consequences are big though, but it is a quality run that I am surprised isn't run more often.

Upper Yule also has a huge drop that I have looked at from the road. Access looks sketch, and I heard that some guys looked at it and there was a log in the landing.

Brent Toepper ran the big one on upper south fork crystal. I remember the video from a few years back.

There is a massive vert on the south side of the pass from Copper mtn to Leadville. I don't think the landing would be good to go unless it was at full on flood though. Even then it might not be possible.

Colorado's rock just isn't made for big drops. I can count numerous 10 footers in CO that are harder than most 50's that I have seen else where. The mank in this state makes for some very skilled creek boaters, whereas the skill needed to run big drops in other states is much less. Personally, I feel that it is usually easier to run a straight 50 footer than it is to run a quadrouple step 30 footer. If you want to run big drops then learn the skills here in CO, and then travel out of state to run the big verts. Just pack your balls in your gear bag.
 

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kyle --

"easy to run" is relative terms. maybe "easy" once you get over the feeling of having lower intestine tangled up with your adam's apple when you actually have your first (or tenth) visual on the bottom four. plus number 3 is more "pray, line up, and pray as you go" than "line up and go".

my guess is that the bottom 4 is the biggest totally clean section of water in colorado ... but that's just my guess, and is only considering what's currently being run .... and the reason that it's not run more often has everything to do with commiting to the bottom 4 & the sketchy private land access issues -- you know, attack dogs, shotguns and whatnot ...
that said, i'm looking forward to this year's runs on yule.

here's a cool quote from jeff galbraith that has nothing to do with this topic: "baseball is the new punk sport for kids who don't care what their jock skateboarder friends say"

bye,
tg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
how big are these drops on Yule? Doesn't quite sound like my cup of tea, but it'd be fun to watch. Any place I could find more beta - access and such.
 

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TG, I agree. I was thinking that someone would respond to this after I posted. Like you said though,

my guess is that the bottom 4 is the biggest totally clean section of water in colorado ... but that's just my guess, and is only considering what's currently being run .... and the reason that it's not run more often has everything to do with commiting to the bottom 4
Granted there are only a select few boaters in CO that have the skill (no room for error), are willing, or want to run those bottom drops. The drops are very very scary, and the consequences can be huge and are real because of the lack of control at the speed you drop. Still, for those that are very solid class V or V+ boaters and are willing to take the risk of running those big of drops the bottom 4 of Yule are the best of the big that CO has to offer... in my opinion.

I want to go back in there with you TG. That day may have been the highlight of last season. That place was amazing, and I was stoked to be with the crew that we had in there. Talk to you soon...
 

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JC,

The bottom 4 drop are actually more like three drops. The first one is about a 30 foot vert into a small pool, then immediately into a 40-50 foot (vert drop) slide that leads you into a cliff wall. You have to turn side ways and bank off the cliff wall with the bottom of your boat. You cannot stop in the middle of the two drops. If you screw up the first one, you have to self recover before the slide. It is impossible to set safety so the first person that goes has to clean the drop. There is a huge pool at the end of the slide after the wall check.

The third drop is a big almost two tiered slide. It drops about 80 feet total. Most of us actually bounced off a rock in the center. I hit the bottom pool with so much speed that it tore my foam helmit liner. I had to undo my chin strap in the bottom pool because it was choking me. Again, first person has zero safety at the bottom.

The last drop is a wierd 20 footer. Good to go, kind of the celebration icing on the cake.

There are numerous good drops up stream, but access in and out is difficult due to landowners.

back to class
 

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Kyle
Isn't there video of you guys running Yule last summer? And if I'm correct isn't ithis footage coming out in the new LVM? I saw the preview this winter in Salida. It was awesome footage. Can't wait to see it again if its coming out in the upcoming LVM...its about to hit a kayak store near you. Good to see some CO boaters representin'
 

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Mark, your right. The winter LVM (#11 I think, about to come out) has a section on a few of us in the Crystal river valley. It has North Fork Crystal, one shot of South Fork Crystal, upper Yule (hike too, mini creeking), and main Yule (the highlight). Huge thanks to Brook Aitken for helping up with the editing and for letting us use his equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As a related point, I'm just interested to know how CO got rated the sickest whitewater state in Kayak magazine. I just got back from WA and they have some absolutely awesome stuff. We only spent three days paddling, but managed to find bigwater class V and easier class V creeks. One point to mention is that they don't have very many class IV runs. It seems to be a few easier Vs, tons of full on V and class III- stuff. Their season is year round, unlike our three+ month season. I'm no expert and I haven't really boated in many states, but I was really suprised that CO is the sickest whitewater state.
 

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That is weird, judging from what I've seen California would most likely be considered the sickest whitewater state, Colorado would probably round out the top five. Is Kayak magazine online, I would like to read what their justification is, mankiest strainer infested whitewater?

As far as the biggest drops in Colorado, Miller's falls at the end of Crystal Gorge is sure fun to look at. As far as I know no-one has ever run it, but it does kinda look marginally runnable considering the incredibly sick shit you see being run by the pro's.
 

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there is a section of gore creek coming into vail that has three large waterfalls. you can check them out from a bridge on I-70. it looks like a 20 footer, 30 footer, and a forty footer with no eddies inbetween. pretty narrow gorge too. they have been run several times.

nick
 

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I thought I remembered reading that West Virginia got the sickest whitewater state. I think you might have read that wrong. Colorado, California, and Idaho were next but not in that order.
 

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West Virginia won the online poll for Kayak Mag!
This was not an "out of thin air proclamation" but rather a poll that was taken online by our visitors and readers. The results were as follows.
26% voted West Virginia
22% voted California
20% for Colorado
16% for Idaho
14% North Carolina

My personal opinion is that is right on the money! Never really boated in Cali but I think people got the right idea overall, maybe Cali should be #1. It all has to do with boating style and the type of runs you want to do and enjoy most. Colorado might not have a long season but if you boated every damn day of it, you still could not even come close to hitting all of the class V in the state! That is why it ranks, but I am as pissed off as the next jonesn' boater about the short season.
Nick Hinds
 

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there is a section of gore creek coming into vail that has three large waterfalls.
Nick,
I've checked this section out and it was definitley at a HIGH flow when I scoped it (last summer, the weekend when the flooding Eagle created a fat sink hole in I-70)...but it looked challenging to say the least. Do know who has run this section? The stretch from the 30 to the 40 footer looks to me to be the gnarliest. If it goes, i'd be interested in taking a second look...maybe at a lower flow.
Evan
 

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Are you guys talking about the drops under the I-70 east bound lanes? Those are only two 20 footers and a 4 footer inbetween, at least the ones I scouted at river level. The first you drive hard left, the second is a small sticky hole in a boat width slot. The third is a straight forward ledge drop with a narrow landing. Hobie ran the bottom two. Or are you talking about something else?
 

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Alberta Falls in RMNP...

There is a line on Alberta Falls in RMNP - a very fine line, though, and a fast slide above it that has the potential to skip you out so far you would land on shore. But there is a narrow pool and I know a schoolteacher from Boulder who accidentally swam this falls at peak runnoff and was more or less fine afterwards. This doesn't mean it's safely droppable but suggests a boater could paddle away from it without bodily damage if he or she were to treat it like any other sketchy drop.

The hardest part would be controlling your speed from above and airing out the bottom drop of 25-feet and taking something of a calculated hit, though if you were totally flat and the water was up it could even be fluffy. 25-feet doesn't sound like much but there is 50-feet (aprox) of slick-rock granite slide above this that is, IMO, part of the same falls as it's fast all the way to the lip. So that makes it a pretty big drop and a crown jewel descent of micro creek boating IMO. The other CO. boaters who scouted this with me were not as enthusiastic about its runnability as I was but it was low then. Do a google search and you will find numerous pictures of this drop at all water levels. There is also Ribbon Falls in the park which is a 150-foot, 20 degree slide that is worth hiking up to with a boogie board.
 

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hartje ... we hiked to ribbon & above hoping that something on that creek would materialize and make it worth all the effort ... to no avail. ribbon falls isn't so rad (hence your boogie board comment!). there's one drop above it coming outta the lake that could be fun, but there's nothing worth being in your boat for in the mile of water between the two drops ... and the hike was pretty rediculous. you guys already did the worthy stuff on glacier downstream, but from what i recall, the only waterfall on that landed on rubble (?) .... anyway, where you are now is heaven on earth compared to colorado for big clean drops .... you should link up with joey mosquera to hit bridge creek -- he said its running now. you'd like that one ... hope you're doing well!!!

tg
 
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