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Discussion Starter #1
At the current level of around 200cfs which do you recommend as the better run. I'm looking to take a pretty new paddler down one of these this weekend. Looking for something II+ or III-. I'm open to other Arkansas Valley suggestions as well.

I used the search but didn't really find an answer to my question.

Thanks
 

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Abides.
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200 is almost nothing! You'll have a hard time getting down either of those. Fractions if you can get down will be super dodgy. I don't think you can get down Milk. You might be able to do Stonebridge or Big Bend down to Salida. If I'm looking at the right gauge, it looks doable.
 

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200cfs is entering ELF (Extremely Low Flow) zone...Fractions would be bump and grind with lots of smaller eddies to catch. PM "PhilU" and he can fill you in on every square inch of this river at 200cfs (mas o menos).

If you are looking for some good class III paddling at that flow, you may want to check out #4 to 7 and portage #5. There are some good read and run rapids, and some fun moves.

Also, Browns Canyon is good to go at 200. I have only SUP'd it that level, but seems like the canyon is channelized and most of the rapids are fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've done the "White Mile" section, along with the Numbers, a couple of times at around 150 cfs and liked it a lot. It may be a bit much for my partner though so I'm thinking about the stretch below that. Brown's would be more than she's ready for too I think. We probably just need to get up there and take a look. I've ruled the Milk Run out. Anyhow, thanks for the advice so far.
 

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Are you kayaking? If so Browns is an excellent stepping stone at this level. Things have slowed way down, and you can get out and scout as much as you want. The only things I would take extra time with is Widowmaker and Zoom Flume, in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are you kayaking? If so Browns is an excellent stepping stone at this level. Things have slowed way down, and you can get out and scout as much as you want. The only things I would take extra time with is Widowmaker and Zoom Flume, in my opinion.
Hey Eben,

Yep, kayaking. I think Brown's would be too much. My partner has been down State Park, County Line, and the Racecourse (once) to give you an idea of her experience. She doesn't roll.

You gonna be in BV/Salida tonight? We should hook up for a beer.

Rob
 

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GoBro
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Pilar racecourse? I thought that was comparable if not harder than browns. Low flow browns is easy although being low water it could draw some minor blood as with nearly any bone zone run. It's much more channelized (read floatable) than fractions. If you think it will be too much then you should be looking at the play parks or the upper colorado.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Racecourse seems easier to me. Maybe just because it's so familiar. I've only been down Brown's once.

If Brown's was roadside we'd be all over it. If things aren't going well I'd like an easy out. I'm a little worried about her getting freaked and losing interest in boating.
 

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You might want to look at Parkdale as an option. Ran Browns yesterday with a couple relative beginners and saw some minor bloodshed. The rafts were bad though and enough reason in and of themselves to avoid the run right now. #6 to Frog Rock is a fantastic stretch of class III right now, but might be a bit much for your friend. I would not recommend the Milk Run. Rincon below Salida would be a mellower stretch that you could float without major issue now.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just thought I'd follow up in case it's helpful for others. Water was higher than I expected (around 250). Ran Fractions to below Frog Rock. White Mile section was technical and fun for so little water. Got pretty shallow in spots below that but boatable the whole way.

If you take a beginner down this run fatigue may be the biggest issue. My partner did fine on the harder stuff at the top but by the time we got below Frog Rock she was getting worn out and the swims began. I think the combination of typical beginner over-paddling and a technical run did her in. We ended up calling it a day and hitching to town. 4th time on the river - I think she did great.

Cloudy but beautiful day and we had the run to ourselves.
 
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