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Discussion Starter #1
Ran this last July and have been looking forward to getting in again. Flows are creeping up, could be 'in' in as little as a week.

Anyone have beta on the snowpack on the west side of Kebler? Normally I'd know better than to even ask this question, because it'd be many weeks 'til the road was opened. But this hasn't been a normal winter.

Any beta appreciated.
 

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Hey Mike, went up to Erikson Springs campground last sunday for some wood scouting on lower Anthracite, and definitely some wood issues this year. But more depressing is the very low snowpack with no snow below 9000 at all, and very little up higher. Definitely need to get on it early. I'm going up next week sometime with my handsaw for some flossing down below Erikson, would consider doing Dark Canyon with you if you think it is no harder than the Upper Taylor. I really have no desire for more complicated shit than Upper Taylor and not sure I want to hike 50 lbs. of gear in. I just turned 56 last fall and just am not in great physical shape. Contact 970-497-6512.
 

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Hey Mike, went up to Erikson Springs campground last sunday for some wood scouting on lower Anthracite, and definitely some wood issues this year. But more depressing is the very low snowpack with no snow below 9000 at all, and very little up higher. Definitely need to get on it early. I'm going up next week sometime with my handsaw for some flossing down below Erikson, would consider doing Dark Canyon with you if you think it is no harder than the Upper Taylor. I really have no desire for more complicated shit than Upper Taylor and not sure I want to hike 50 lbs. of gear in. I just turned 56 last fall and just am not in great physical shape. Contact 970-497-6512.
Hey Gunther-

"Harder" is subjective, and is largely dependent on flows. How high have you run the Taylor? And, I assume you're referring to the section from roughly Tod's Slot down to North Bank as the Upper Taylor? Not to be confused with the Taylor Park run.
 

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Not much

Not scientific but I flew from Denver to Montrose yesterday and for some reason instead of coming over the Black Canyon as normally done, we came in over between Mable and Crested Butte to Paonia then south.
Just visually there is very little to basically no snow except in the highest areas, was depressing. Had some fun runs on the North Fork last year but seriously doubt it will run enough this year. San Juan's look good from Olathe.
 

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Not scientific but I flew from Denver to Montrose yesterday and for some reason instead of coming over the Black Canyon as normally done, we came in over between Mable and Crested Butte to Paonia then south.
Just visually there is very little to basically no snow except in the highest areas, was depressing. Had some fun runs on the North Fork last year but seriously doubt it will run enough this year. San Juan's look good from Olathe.
We ran the Gunny Gorge from the Warner Route put in, out to Pleasure Park yesterday. Seeing how little snow was left in the West Elks was alarming, and what caused me to go check the gauge this AM.

I think Anthracite will run, but just barely, and not for long. Maybe a week at 700 or 800, I hope.

Just need to know about the road in before committing to the drive.
 

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My preferred flow is 400 below resevoir and about 600-700 at Almont. Have run the upper-upper at that flow including Lotis, Check-damn hell, and Tod's Slot where I did not fare so well, swimming Lotis and Tod's Slot; but that was 4 years ago and only 3 years into my paddling career. Would definitely try theTaylor Park run though. All my favorite western slope runs will have very short windows this year. San Miquel, Crystal (class III section), and lower Anthracite Creek will be low flow runs this year. Taylor will be fun just less water.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My preferred flow is 400 below resevoir and about 600-700 at Almont. Have run the upper-upper at that flow including Lotis, Check-damn hell, and Tod's Slot where I did not fare so well, swimming Lotis and Tod's Slot; but that was 4 years ago and only 3 years into my paddling career. Would definitely try theTaylor Park run though. All my favorite western slope runs will have very short windows this year. San Miquel, Crystal (class III section), and lower Anthracite Creek will be low flow runs this year. Taylor will be fun just less water.
Taylor at 400 is a decent flow.

By comparison, Dark Canyon at 600 or so (the only level I've run it at, and what I'll shoot for again this year) feels narrower, more continuous, with fewer eddies. Still 'enough' eddies to boat scout most, and to get out and shore scout the blind ones.

I ran Upper Taylor once at ~800 and it felt very similar to Dark Canyon at 600, in that it was moving fast and you had to be heads up the whole time.

We're not adrenaline junkie kids. We just like getting into wild places, and off the beaten path, whenever we can. And this one qualifies.
 

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Hey Mike, thinking seriously about running the Gunny Gorge this weekend. How is the whitewater at this low of flow? Still relatively clean? How about the road in? Condition? Thanks for any beta.
 

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Hey Mike, thinking seriously about running the Gunny Gorge this weekend. How is the whitewater at this low of flow? Still relatively clean? How about the road in? Condition? Thanks for any beta.
I like it best below 400. More technical. Not at all pushy though. More about the scenery, quiet, and great camping. We were on the river Monday PM to Tuesday PM, didn't see another boat, didn't see another soul until the last ~2 miles when hike-in fishermen started to appear.

There are 2 or 3 places where you'll scrape and have to carry some mo' to slide through, but well worth the effort IMO.

We went in up high, through the Black Canyon entrance and down Warner Route, so I can't speak to the Chukar road condition. But it was good when I used it back in Feb, so I can't imagine it's anything other than 'normal' rough right now.
 

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Thanks for sharing again, Mike. Looks fantastic.

What would you say the overall class rating would be for this run? Would it be pretty easy for a nimble ducky with lots of experience of small, technical streams?
 

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Thanks for sharing again, Mike. Looks fantastic.

What would you say the overall class rating would be for this run? Would it be pretty easy for a nimble ducky with lots of experience of small, technical streams?
I don't have a lot of experience with rating runs.

Nor do I have much experience with duckying.

Going from memory, everything down to the confluence was pretty straightforward, not very complex. My gut says IV-. It wasn't all read and run for us--maybe 80%. But with a quick shore scout at a few of the blind corners we'd be back in our boats and eddy hopping our way down. Typically one of us would stand up and take a peek and then give verbal beta or hand signals to the other. It moved along pretty well.

From the confluence down I remember being closer to III, maybe III+ in one spot.
 

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Yes!!! Snowing big wet flakes here in Delta. Hoping it dumps all over Colorado and especially in the Gunnison basin for selfish reasons.
Here is a pic from my back yard. Going to make a fire and start on "From Powell to Power".
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So Kebler is now open, and Anthracite Creek has ~750cfs in it.

The only thing lacking now is a paddling partner or 2, or 3, to go run this with. All my 'usual suspects' are committed to other plans, and this run won't last long enough this year to wait.

Anyone interested in this coming Friday, 5/29?
 

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i could be in this week. have run from the ruby fork down years ago, and remember the bottom being enjoyable. hike in from erickson ?
 

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sure. i just thought erickson was the spot. i'm up for whatever.
Gotcha. I like the idea of hiking up and floating back down.

On this particular run, I think you get more bang for your buck by hiking down from the top. Only 'catch' is the need to shuttle from Erickson back to the top, but that seems a small price to pay.
 

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Gotcha. I like the idea of hiking up and floating back down.

On this particular run, I think you get more bang for your buck by hiking down from the top. Only 'catch' is the need to shuttle from Erickson back to the top, but that seems a small price to pay.
Anyone that wants in on this Friday, please email me directly:

mike.curiak at gmail dot com

Would love to get a plan solidified tonight or Thursday AM.

Thanks.
 
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