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Discussion Starter #1
A group of us ran peidra Saturday 3/29. The lower road is not open yet so we ran top to bottom...with shuttle the trip was about 12 hours from Durango...5 on the river.

There are a few things of note: There are about 5 trees across the river 2 or 3 of them require kayak portaging. All the wood is CURRENTLY in safe class II-III locations. CURRENTLY all the wood is in the upper box. As higher elevation snow melts and the river gets to epic proportions for the next 4 months most of this wood will flush from the upper box so be very weary of the boulder gardens and mudslides in the lower box.

2nd mud has changed again...a lot and that is all I will say so you can figure it out when you get there...ohh what fun it is to ride

About the bridge: Enough about the bridge!

Seriously It is a portage in class II water 1.5 miles below hot springs and signed every 1/4 mile from a mile away.

RAFTS: you will have at least 5 portages maybe as many as 7 depending on flows.

The flow when we went read 1300 plus at arbolese...there was plenty of water! Lower box was likened to 900 post peak late season flow.

One thing that was a consensus is the Piedra will run big this year!

WOOOHOOO!!!!!!!!
 

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Was it just me or is the river left side at first mudslide extremely manky now whereas it used to be wide open?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Last year there were 2 or 3 FU rocks toward the end of first mudslide...I am not sure about years proir though.

Perhaps this is why at a few 100cfs lower flows I have a much harder time in the boulder garden entrance rapids & 1st mud....those rocks are brown by the way, and surrounded by a lot of white bubbles! I have seen this phenomenon up close!
 

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rg5hole.... thanks for fishin' out my paddle below 2nd mud

Lookin' foward to the big flows on the Piedra with ya,

Hell yes
 

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here is another update. its getting nice and high, the trees have been cut and the bridge is under water (barely - I recommend still walking).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
you bet on that paddle REZ!
Anytime for the guy who picked me up from a certain death 5.10x solo no gear in wet booties climb out of the canyon!

Zion next weekend, yes ZION National Park...the narrows with some class 4 mank run out!

check my thread "zion narrows 4/26", pm me if you want to go!!!!
 

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Anymore beta on this run. I couple of us were thinking of running it this weekend. None us have ever run it before.

Are the bigger rapids easy to spot and scout?

Should we have someone that know's the run guiding us the first time down?

Whats it like at this level?

Is it a stout IV or a III that has few IV's and is remote?

Are there a fair amount of people running it on a weekend right now?

Any info is appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Planning on Running it Sunday...more on that later.

The rapids in the lower section are a stout and may even sneak up on you as they start gradually. Mid rapids sections have few eddies although most of the action is a "pool drop" style with time for recovery so long as the pobe makes it through okay. The biggest rapids are easily seen and scoutable but floating into the eye is possible for a noob and would be a bad thing. Creek boats here by the way...

If you are a class IV boater with a solid combat roll you will be okay. If not I would go with someone much better than you. I would not hold out to find someone to tag along with, rather I would already have someone ready to go with you.

I would say from experience it is a bad idea for a class 3 boater to probe the lower Piedra box. If something goes awry you will be without a boat for a few miles and depending on how early you swim it may take another intentional swim or an act of a dreadlock Jesus on a raft (or a cool guy named Jon) to get you out!
 

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Thanks for the Beta...

So creek boats are a must?

How's the shuttle situation are the necessary roads open now?

Is there a kayak shop in Pagosa?
 

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I don't think the gate's open from HWY160- call 4Corners in Durango and ask, because it should be opening any day now and they have sources that might give you a heads up. In fact, I'm guessing that that's what rg5hole might have been alluding to when he mentioned Sunday.

Given that there's very little play and its 20 miles, creekboats are highly recommended. If you've got a comfortable river runner, that'll be fine for all the rapids on this run.

Scouting the big ones will be pretty obvious, just be on the lookout for a nasty hole on the right channel below Eye of the Needle (shown below in the lower part of the frame) in Lucifer's (upper frame, the two channels and the confluence below):

If you look close you can see something white and nasty in the shadows, far right, just around the rock island- just hug the inside of that right channel and you'll miss the chomper.
 
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