Can't make it tomorrow, but if you wouldn't mind posting a quick TR/summary after your trip that would be awesome, since there aren't a lot of TR's out there on this one given that it runs so seldomly.
Oh sorry kratriverrat I actually ended up going on Saturday. Maybe you were the other group of cars we saw that day?
Trip Report 6/14/14 260 CFS
Woke up early expecting to do a dawn patrol run down Clear Creek but the high Friday temps had brought that up to 1490cfs so at 6am I was looking for other options. Having never run this before, we decided to take a full day and make it happen. Our group of 2 loaded up and got to the canyon mouth at 10:30am. We were kinda surprised by a pay station where we had to pay $6 to enter the canyon (pretty sure it was cash only). Just past the pay station, we saw the Class V at the end of the run from the road. We got out to scout and at this level it looked runnable but definitely a Class 5.2/6 at this water level (260 cfs). We kept driving up and found the canyon packed with campers and fishermen (and fisherwomen and fisherkids).
The new testament describes this run as III (V-, IV, V). The one at the takeout was a V+++ (we skipped it), the one upstream of the putin was a very long V-, really class IV+ moves but stacked non-stop for 1/4 mile (we skipped it as we weren't looking for that much excitement without a warmup).
We put-in at a pull out a couple hundred yards after 2 tunnels. (there are 3 tunnels total, one about half way and 2 back to back at the top). For the takeout, when driving up, the road made a big turn to the left and into the canyon about a 1/4 mile upstream of the V+++ at the end. There is a big pullout on the river side. I hitched a ride with a really nice family from Pueblo after dropping the car at the takeout. Hitching was REALLY easy as the park was swarming with fishermen. Four cars had gone by between the time it took me to put river shoes on and hide my keys.
Most of the run is scoutable from the road on the way up. We didn't see the IV from the road so we were kinda surprised about 2/3rds to 3/4ers of the way down when we stumbled into a drop that looked about as hard as all the rest up to that point but ended up being longer than the rest with no eddies to get out and look at it once you are in it. And there is a branch sticking up out of the meat of it (intimidating not because it is in the way, but because you don't know whats under there). Running that rapid blind as probe made it feel like a IV but it probably wasn't really that hard. And there is a pretty nice pool at the end for you to swim to safety in (your boat might keep going one drop or so but you shouldn't have too much trouble)
The whole rest of the river felt Class III pool drop. A couple really interesting rapids. Good boat scouting skills would be very beneficial as there are a couple times where you get to a drop and have to get pretty close to the lip before you can tell which channel to take or what a drop looks like (there are too many to remember them all from your road scout). Also the river is the warmest river in Colorado. Water must have been close to 60 degrees.
Wood: There were a bunch of logs about but only 2 really bothered us. Both were visible from the road. When coming down the river, the first would be difficult to see from river level. Its a log stuck right in the middle of a 2 tiered drop about a mile into the run. There is a HUGE completely flat pool above the drop and the pool kinda turns to the right. There is a rock outcropping on river left and a narrow horizon line. The hike around on river left is much easier. Looked like you could probably make it over the log with another 30 CFS or so but we didn't want to chance it as rope support access is difficult and the log is mid rapid.
Second log was about 1/4 mile past the first. Very visible from both the road and the river. huge tree with large gnarled branches. From the road we thought we'd have to portage it but at river level there was a spot where lots of people had obviously been gorilla arming over it which worked out great. There isn't very much current there so just get some speed and hit the low spot. I wouldn't want to try going over it with much less water though. 250cfs would probably be about the minimum for that.
Overall a great day and a great run that I wish ran more often. Get it while you can, its still running!
Nice write up pilom, thanks for doing that. I have ran parts of Elevemile from 150? cfs to almost 500. The height and difficulty of many of the drops change at different flows, but its certainly a great run. IMO one of the top class 3 runs in the entire region....
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