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V for Victory
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Discussion Starter #1
What are experienced boaters doing taking people who don't even have 5 days on Pinecreek and Numbers?

Inexperienced kayakers haven't learned to fear the river. They haven't had bad swims. They haven't been maytagged. They haven't clocked themselves while upside down. They haven't gotten offline and worked over. Inexperienced kayakers haven't learned that the river is no place for cockiness. They are supposed to get experienced in III so that they survive to respect the river properly when they develop the skills and experience to run burlier stuff. Until then, it all just looks fun.

I was super gung ho and relatively fearless until my first painful swim. My mentor made sure that this happened in water I could deal with.

Experienced boaters should know that a throwbag and a newb's fancy creekboat and luck are no replacement for skill, experience, and a solid roll. If they instead throw newbs in class V right away, they'll quickly scare the newb out of the river at best. At worst they'll get people injured or killed.
 

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Generally, I agree. However, people progress at different rates and what is more dangerous for some is less for others. In the end it all comes down to personal decisions. When you float off the shore your are really on your own. By the way dont you think you are overrating pinecreek and the numbers? Class 5??
 

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V for Victory
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Discussion Starter #3
Generally, I agree... By the way dont you think you are overrating pinecreek and the numbers? Class 5??
Numbers is a IV if that's what u mean
Arguing about whether Pinecreek is V- is rather beside the point.
There's already enough bodies in the Ark.
 

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If someone had a good roll and is on line on other runs why not let them progress? You could innertube the numbers and be fine that run is 3-4, pine creek is one rapid, scout and let the person make their own decision, you shouldn't be telling people what they can and can't run. I understand wanting to let people progress slowly but some get bored easily and progress fast, I would rather someone find their limit than quite kayaking because their "mentor" wont let them get beatdown a little bit.
-Tom
 

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There's validity to both sides here;
I guess maybe I can live with taking some aggressive, physically talented boater on a low-water Pine Creek run on his/her fifth river day, IF - you tell them that swimming out of that rapid is very dangerous, that foot entrapments are common there, and that even though the rapid may not be super tough or the hole super bad at this flow, it's a dangerous place for a F-up.
Somebody with 4-5 days' river experience doesn't know what the hell he's looking at when he scouts Pine Creek, so the mere fact that he says "Sure, looks fun!" does NOT mean he's good to go.
Mentor better educate/better make sure the newb understands what he's getting into.
IMHO...
 

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what ever, my friends have been dragging me around for years on shit I was only marginally ready for and I turned out fine..... if you don't like who you are following down the river find someone else... enough said. Its not up to the "mentor", its more about making your own decisions on the river.
 

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I ran stuff comparable to the numbers at low water (ocoee) my 4th day in a kayak. I loved it and I was hooked. My mentor was a top notch east coast boater with loads of experience. It just depends on the boaters. Just because its not cool for some like the original poster, doesn't mean it can't be good for others.
 

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I'd say it does depend on the newb's character and how much they have experienced in those previous 5 days. Are they tough, strong, rugged, outdoor experienced types? Or are they fragile, weak, and naive to survival types? Did they experience some battering swims through rapids in the prior 5 days that they may have gained respect and understanding from? And did they receive critique and teaching from their mentors about how to have done anything differently? Etc.

I agree that jumping into Pine and #s with only 5 days experience may be rushed for most people. There are some places in each that, especially at low water, it would not be a kind experience to be upside down in or out of your boat. Much of the time, though, it might not be too bad of experiences. Again, that being for the mentally tough type of individual. However, the mentors better know that they may suddenly be dealing with a threatening and scary ordeal for the newb and themselves. So, know your crew. Do you want to go there? Are the mentors being thoughtful and respecting of the newb's potential for survival and continued interst for the sport? Mentors should contemplate and be considerate of this. If you've never experienced a catastrophe, it is no fun and can be tragic. Be respectful and careful.

Kayaking is a fun sport and, even though it is filled with varying levels of scary experiences, most of the time it is a safe sport. Most of the time.

Personally, I have done several decades of very difficult dirt biking in the mountains and of kayaking. I've learned that you are much more likely to have excruciating injuries dirt biking (a sport where you can breath air and basically control the throttle, i.e. - action), but more likely to die kayaking (rare, but probably more likely than serious injuries).

Knowledge is power. Be respectful and considerate. That said, we should experience YHWH's creation and rejoice. We get to enjoy it ... to the fullest if we choose. Kayaking has been one of the greatest influences on my own life, and I owe it to my mentors that taught me well and encouraged me.

Cheers!
Ken
 

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Rivers are much more forgiving than you’d expect, but there’s a lot of power in flowing water that can make a mistake into a tragedy very quickly.

A river’s usually benign character makes judging risks difficult. There’s a strong tendency to ignore dangers with experience.
 

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Rivers are much more forgiving than you’d expect, but there’s a lot of power in flowing water that can make a mistake into a tragedy very quickly.

A river’s usually benign character makes judging risks difficult. There’s a strong tendency to ignore dangers with experience.
Well put, Cadster. I would add the potential to naively ignore with lack of experience.

It amazes me how many people just don't understand the power of water. There does seem to be a lot of naivity out there, and more and more people are pursuing the river sports. Statistics suggest that most of the deaths are not the experienced boaters.
 

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V for Victory
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Discussion Starter #13
I was told I was vague and should clarify that this was said newbs THIRD day in a boat.

But if 5th day is OK, why not 3rd? Why not put people in Pinecreek on their first day?

All I know is that high consequence runs can eat experienced people, but all the bodies I've pulled out have been inexperienced people either unprepared or pushing the limits.
 

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There have been a lot of posts somewhat like this coming up on the board.

1. I hope you stepped into the situation and told the "newb" that pine creek is no place to mess around, and tried your best to explain the dangerous cave, sieves, and retentive holes to him.

2. The river takes care of itself, if he/she shouldn't be there it won't take long before he/she knows that and has to deal with the consequences.
 

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Solid, ... good input. I doubt we need to limit the number of posts to educate the masses coming into river sports. Unfortunately, most will not see such posts on their own. So, it should be up to others to mentor the inexperienced.

SummitAP, ... kudos to you for highlighting the issue. You're judgement is appropriate. Frankly, I have never known a good mentor that can be blamed for having limited anyone's ultimate progression. Delayed it perhaps, ... and probably rightfully so. People need to remember that the river will still be there another day for when they are ready. And, that life is precious.

A good mentor should be a respectful influence to a newb's pace of progression. It should be obvious to both parties that an advancement is acceptable and incorporate a sharing of knowledge about the run, what to expect, and what needs to happen if mishaps occur. A good discussion and awareness of plan A, B, and C should be shared and confidently appreciated.

I hope everyone will be good mentors and stewards of the sport. Perhaps we can all be still enjoying the sport when we're 80.

Cheers!
Ken
 

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I'm not even sure what you are talking about. Did this really happen or is it hypothetical? Was it in your group? Was this you? Are you a river ranger? A police officer? Do you think posting it on this site was going to touch a lot of beginners or were you just figuring that the whitewater enthusiasts that visit this site were going to give you pat on the back and elect you the Grand PoohBah of the Water Buffalo Lodge? How do you feel about beginners on Gore? How about the Zambezi? What is your feeling on commercial boaters taking customers down these stretches? Do you understand that this sport is dangerous? Do you understand that most drownings happen in class III water?
 

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V for Victory
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Discussion Starter #17
I'm not even sure what you are talking about. I'm not even sure what I'm talking about. BUT I'm ANGRY!!!
Sorry, I'll be sure to ask your permission next time I want to post. Why so upset? Were you involved?

Do you think posting it on this site was going to touch a lot of beginners
I figured that it would spark a debate amongst the skilled boaters who help shape river culture and who are frequently the mentors.

How do you feel about beginners on Gore? Do you understand that this sport is dangerous?
What was I thinking? Clearly beginners should do Gore on day 2! Afterall, kayaking is dangerous. You could die on Upper C, so why not hit Yule on day 4? There's no difference! Brilliant logic! :)

Do you understand that most drownings happen in class III water?
So clearly III is more dangerous than V+ right? Logic and stats are clearly not your strong suit...
 

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What's wrong with an elegant progression? What's wrong with styling everything you paddle? Why not respect the rio? No 5 time paddler is gonna be ready for Pine Creek/Numbers. Even if they get down it in their boat, what are they learning? Good judgment is an integral part of boating. Walking is an integral part of boating. Choosing your runs and your partners wisely is a big part of boating.

I mentored a world class paddler from when he was 12. He swam once out of a pourover in his first year. He's never swum since. I've never seen him have a bad line. He paddles 5+ stuff. That's not just cuz he's a great boater, he learned good judgment by scouting and being willing to walk early on and by us paying strict attention to his progression.

Learn to paddle within yourself, your skillset. Take pride in clean lines, not just how fast you get on stuff. Respect the rio or it will teach you respect and it may not be on terms that you like.

Rant over...

Phil
 

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What is PSA?

I think there is a tendency for experienced boaters to take inexperienced boaters out on things over their head and oftentimes inexperienced boaters don't know better or are overly anxious to step it up. For most people aggressive lines on class III is better starting out than paddling up a class, but there are certainly exceptions. Take a run like Wateron. Even though there is only a mile or less of class III, it would take most paddlers a couple seasons to link together lots of difficult eddy hopping and ferry moves that you can create on there.

Low water numbers doesn't strike me as particularly outrageous for an aggressive beginner. I consider it mostly class 3, swims tend to be short and the riverbed isn't too bad in terms of hazards and beatdowns compared to most. I personally started out very slowly because of very timid partners. On one hand, I did almost no swimming as a beginner and had none of the bad experiences that often cause high attrition in the sport. On the other hand, I could have progressed much faster with an experienced mentor and a few more swims. I would have rather had the latter.
 
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