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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone ... I just moved from Vermont to Fort Collins, and I'm looking to learn about the area, meet some people, and get out paddling. I paddle an OC-1 (solo open canoe ... Esquif Detonator and a Millbrook Inferno once Kaz finishes building it). I'm happy as a clam paddling class II creeky-type stuff with lots of eddy hopping and surfing, and some class III for the right river (easily scoutable, rapids not too long) and with the right company (people who know it and can give good beta). Since moving here, I've been itching to get out ... my drysuit and canoe are feeling lonely.

Does anyone have and recommendations for fun class II introductions to the area? Also, when does the class II and III stuff in the area start to open up (or come up) and get paddled?

Final question ... is whitewater canoe popular, here, or is it mostly kayaking? Any OC or C-1 paddlers out there? I enjoy paddling with all types of craft, but it would also be good to meet some open canoers who can share beta from an OC perspective.
 

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Not an open boater myself, but have a West Virginian I paddle with every once in a while. He doesn't check this forum very often so I'll say this, open boaters are like picking up an extra boater at the put in, you always feel like your gonna be chasing gear. Kidding though, he's got serious skills and makes it look easy. Usually sticks to class three though (Shoshone, Gunny Gorge) as he typically paddles a tandum that can take on alot of water.

Feel free to post if you are trying to paddle over here (west slope) and we'll try and help you out. I haven't come across two many other open boaters but would guess that the largest contingency is probably on the Ark.

Might also try and contact the person who posted this:

http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f11/open-canoe-questions-17515.html

Now I've done my good deed for the day (or as close as that gets).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks ...

Thanks for the pointers and for the contacts. I'll definitely check out the Rocky Mountain Canoe club and some of the people on the thread mentioned by -k-. When unpacking my boxes this morning, I found the last remaining piece of necessary gear - my drysuit - so I'm eager to get out and play.

Deb
 

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too much water, too little time

Welcome, etc.

Lots of great water on the Front Range & western slope, and a great many boaters.

If you've not done any desert rivers, you should try the Dolores or the Escalante River (Utah) when they run— rarely. See the 'Escalante River early or mid-May' thread on this forum for pix.)

Desolation (Utah) is a really nice 5-7 day run with II-III rapids. The San Juan (Utah) is a class II scenic jewel. Seems like open slots get posted fairly often on the Forum and the Trip Planner.

Ruby-Horsethief and the Moab Day Run on the Colorado are both viciously scenic non-permit reaches, best floated on weekdays to avoid crowds.

A group of Laramie boaters runs Northgate Canyon (II-III with long dreamy flats and a couple long rapids) on the North Platte pretty regularly during high water in May and June.

Drop a PM and I'll let you know when we're going.

Meanwhile, happy boating—
 

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Poudre

Well, for most paddlers in the Fort the Cache la Poudre is the bread and butter. The class II section is called "The Filter Plant" because the put in is just below the water treatment facility that's in a big crux on the right side of the road as you're coming up the canyon. Immediately above that section is the "Bridges" section which is class III but may provide what you're looking for especially early season and after the bulk of melt in late summer. Paddling around the Fort is quite popular and you can usually find the "usual suspects" around the put-ins and take-outs up the canyon any night of the summer. Look for melt to begin around mid-May although the hardcores will stretch that too early May with runs in the upper canyon. There are a handful of open boaters although I couldn't tell you how to find them. Probably by looking for their big whitewater fortresses on top of their rigs parked around town. Good luck and happy padding!
 

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Deb, the Poudre has quite a few regular open boaters. I don't know them, but I've seen them a lot. They seem to be a pretty chill crowd.

We might have an extra spot for a Westwater Canyon trip in Utah on the 18th and 19th if you're interested. There is one 3+/4 rapid (easy to skirt) and several other class 3's, but you'll be with some experienced rafters and kayakers to spot you. It's an overnight, with the only real rapids during a short stretch during the second day. Let me know if you're interested and I'll hold a spot for you as a little "welcome to the West" present.
 

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I paddle mostly kayak and C-1 but a friend of mine is letting me take stewardship of his Ocoee this year (The boat's too squirrly for him). Altough I'll probably always paddle decked boats on bigger stuff, I'm looking forward to spending some time in an OC1 in Class III to IV- type stuff this year. I paddle the Ark, Eagle, Blue mostly and do a couple few multi days per year.

The Rocky Mountain Canoe Club is a good place to meet folks. I don't know what, if any, age group you are looking to hang with. My experience with the canoe club is thay are mostly folks in the 40+ age range. There are some pretty good WW paddlers but a lot of what they do is flat water trips.
 

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C-1

Hi,

I C-1 a lot and have an Ocoee that needs repairs.

I live near Alamosa, but get up to the Ark often. The Royal Gorge seems the best bet for next weekend.

I am thinking of doing a two night Dolores trip the weekend after next.

Let me know if you want to paddle together, although I might be too old for you.

Bye, Bruce

I paddle mostly kayak and C-1 but a friend of mine is letting me take stewardship of his Ocoee this year (The boat's too squirrly for him). Altough I'll probably always paddle decked boats on bigger stuff, I'm looking forward to spending some time in an OC1 in Class III to IV- type stuff this year. I paddle the Ark, Eagle, Blue mostly and do a couple few multi days per year.

The Rocky Mountain Canoe Club is a good place to meet folks. I don't know what, if any, age group you are looking to hang with. My experience with the canoe club is thay are mostly folks in the 40+ age range. There are some pretty good WW paddlers but a lot of what they do is flat water trips.
 

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There are a bunch of OCer and C-1 based out of the Front Range, as well as accross the state. Hi Bruce! RMCC is a lot of canoe trippers and a few WW paddlers. Also, check out the Poudre paddlers club.

We have quite a few canoers in Boulder County. If you want to paddle III-IV send me a PM with your email and we will include you in the coordination emails as the season approaches.
 

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I'll also add in recommendations to Poudre Paddlers
(http://www.poudrepaddlers.org). There's lots of good
folks there . And if you like flat water, I'm always
looking for safety boaters for the Horsetooth 10K swim :)

Besides Filter, I'd add in Sleeping Elephant section
on the upper Poudre. It has the advantage of not being
as near the road and is more creeky feeling (to me
at least) than Filter. Slightly easier run, but colder.
Odds are you won't see any other boaters on it.

Good Luck and welcome to FC.

John
 
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