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Im a IV-, IV boater, and the only creeking ive done was this year on Escalante creek at medium-low flows a couple times. i have a creek boat and im in estes park for the summer. What would be good runs to get better at creeking on? NSV, SBC, Baily, CC. can anyone help, or be interested in joining me?

josh
 

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NSV - pretty stout, from what I hear - I'd hold off on that.

CC - I presume you mean Black Rock - not really a creek, but a run to be taken seriously. Good to check out.

SBC - I ran it once and I utterly hate this river. I think it's an ultra-low quality run through a beautiful area. It only has a few rapids of note other than the scary ones that we all walked at low water. The section through Eldo is althogether NOT an intro-to-creeking run.

Bailey - the best run around - wilderness, easy access, some great drops, and water all summer, baby! Everyone seems to agree that Bailey is a great way to get into creeking. You can scout and walk everything easily. When you're ready to, you can run the big three drops and take your game up a notch. Till then, there's a lot to be learned about creeking on this river. People run Bailey almost daily, but all the time on the weekends, for sure. Drop me your number and I'll call you when I go.

If you've done Escalante clean you ought to be ready for a lot of runs in this state, from what I know of that run. Bailey, Black Rock and SBC will be no problem, I'd say.

As you get into creeking, learn from the folks you boat with, and learn to pick good partners - they might save your life someday. I hardly know anyone who hasn't been pulled out of a pin or broach by someone else. I also know more than one or two who are probably alive only because of those friends. Learn good safety and carry good rescue gear. Always carry a rope when you scout a drop. And finally, roll on both sides - I've seen guys who can stomp class V+ and then swim on an easier run because they don't have a good offisde roll.

FWIW,
steve
 

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I would say that Bailey would be your best bet for a great run to learn the ways of creeking. If someone wants to test their feet in class V, I either say go check out Bailey or Gore. They are fairly comparable in difficulty but have distinctly different styles. Gore is more big water and Bailey is more technical. So if you want a creeky feeling then Bailey is an awesome start. Its big and technical enough to give you the feel but friendly enough where the consequences aren't real bad (still don't wanna swim and are gonna wanna be upright as much as possible). Also, its very easy to walk the big rapids there if you don't feel up to it. Bailey has now become my skill building run where I can try things that I might not want to try for the first time on a bigger harder run. SO yeah.........try that one. Also try Lower South Boulder creek (the section between Gross Resevoir and Eldo Canyon). Its not as classic as Bailey, and the big rapids are less runnable then Bailey, but it has some awesome class 4 boogie water. Might also try the middle and lower sections of Clear Creek (start with lower to get the feel and then go have a look at the middle part ie. Rigor, the Narrows and Black Rock). All of these runs are very popular, so it shouldn't be hard to find someone to take you down and show you the ropes. I might be up for a run down Bailey next week if I get some time off, so feel free to give me a call or e-mail. 303-263-3111 or [email protected]. Also, get yourself a creek boat and get to know it on something you are comfy with first. Creek boats are way way different to paddle. They aren't any harder (easier for the most part) but they paddle quite differently then playboats. The most notable thing you will notice is that it turns way differently because you can't slice your stern like you can in playboats. They also will track differently and feel more cumbersome at times, but thats just cause you aren't used to it. So get some time in something you are comfortable running with your creeker (even a playpark, its kinda fun to go and shred in a creeker and make all the playboaters jealous). Ok, enough advice, get out and get on the river.

Josh
 

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NSV, SBC, Baily, CC. can anyone help, or be interested in joining me?
"Middle NSV" is a short run that is good for someone creeking for the first time. It's very short, 2 miles or so, you put in at the UNSV takeout and takeout where CR80 meets the river. It has 2 V- drops right of the bat and then slowly mellows out to II/III by the takeout.

I agree with Caspian, Lower SBC sucks! I used to think it was great, but that was before walker ranch rapid changed and before I paddled Bailey. I always compare it to Bailey because they have similar volume and character. They are both semi-creeky low volume wilderness class IV runs, but the Class IV's on bailey are longer and better. The Class V's on Bailey are beautiful and fun, the Class V's on Lower SBC are ugly and dangerous.

Clear Creek, Black Rock, is more of a river run that a creek. But if you've paddled Escalante you should be fine on black rock at low water... :D
 
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