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when we came across the second abandoned boat up on the bank during our run down Fractions. It's smelling like something aint right here. We came across 2 guys in their 2nd weekend of boating and here they were running Fractions (well trying anyway). One was walking down to retreive his paddle before walking back up to boat number 2. Not a clue as to what they were in for or how to even tilt a boat whilst entering or exiting an eddy or just get down a rapid. They sure did want to do well but this really isn't the place for learning in my opinion. The 3rd boater in their party was seen walking back towards Railroad Bridge a few miles back. He was the smart one.

Anyway, when they were asked what they ran the previous weekend, they responded with "The Numbers because it sounded cool". Good for them that someone at the #s putin talked them into doing the Milk Run instead. Some folks in our group took them under their wings and made sure they got to the takeout by the highway just before the Frog Rock section. They wanted to run that too and at least had scouted Frog rapid and decided to portage that one in advance. They wanted to continue but we told them goodbye - this is over your head. It was suggested that they purchase a CRCII and read it and do a little prep work before boating something less challenging next weekend - maybe even hook up with someone for a lesson.

Being somewhat of an old timer at this sport, this just blows me away. I see more and more people getting onto tougher sections of river that they have no business being on as a beginner. Is this the new norm :shock: for new boaters or am I the clueless one? :?

Just wondering...
 

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As long as there has been boating there have been people like you spoke of. I know the best boater i ever paddled with swan 5 times on the bridges section of the pooder the first time we went out. A year later he was showing me up on the gore. To each ther own the responsibility you take on in these situations is up to you. i won't second guess either way. peace sj
 

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I see both sides of this topic and this has been debated many times before. I try to ride the fence, I inform people of the danger and let them know that they might have more fun elsewhere but if they persist, its their life.
 

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Fractions

I agree that these guys had no business running Numbers. But Fractions? Frog Rock? At 450 cfs? Those swims are learning experiences.

My first year the water was ragin' - I ran the lower blue at 1200 cfs and had no business being on the river - learned that hypothermia happens really FAST. I ran the Golden kayak park at 2000 cfs - got 2 feet into the river and swam the whole park to just above the bleacher hole - got out bleeding - and watched a pro kayaker break his helmet that day. I'm still 'yakin'. Those swims taught me a LOT. More than any lesson on the Milk Run.

I can't even image how boring the Milk Run at 450 cfs would be.

Hard to judge just how newbie these newbies were though. I spent a LOT of time in flat water learning to roll my Perception Pirouette.
 

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Went to run the San Juan years ago and there

were two young ladys sittin in the sand at the take out. No car, just bikinis, sun burned and a purse. Looked like they'd been rode hard and put away wet. We asked if they needed a ride somewhere. They said they'd like to get to their car at the put in. We asked how they got where they were and got this story. They were in college in the Tucson area and wanted to run the Colorado this weekend so they came here and put in with two arm floaties and an air mattress. (Showed them to us in their purse). The ran the whole San Juan (good thing they were so screwed up they couldn't find the Colorado.) Took 3 days. They begged food off people and looked beat to death. My buddy said, "I was really worried about being able to handle this trip, but not any more".
That was probably in the early '70s so I guess the parade of fools still continues.
 

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Went to run the San Juan years ago and there

were two young ladys sittin in the sand at the take out. No car, just bikinis, sun burned and a purse. Looked like they'd been rode hard and put away wet. We asked if they needed a ride somewhere. They said they'd like to get to their car at the put in. We asked how they got where they were and got this story. They were in college in the Tucson area and wanted to run the Colorado this weekend so they came here and put in with two arm floaties and an air mattress. (Showed them to us in their purse). The ran the whole San Juan (good thing they were so screwed up they couldn't find the Colorado.) Took 3 days. They begged food off people and looked beat to death. My buddy said, "I was really worried about being able to handle this trip, but not any more".
That was probably in the early '70s so I guess the parade of fools still continues.
 

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Great Story...

Yup, people do dumb stuff on the river, but I have to say that Fractions at 450 cfs is pretty forgiving of dumb stuff. I'm all for people being safe...heck, I'm the most grandma-like of my group of friends.

The far worse decision is to float the Royal Gorge with a raft guide when your swimming skills consist of a mediocre dogpaddle.
 

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San Juan?! Shit, I would clean it up in with an inflateable mattress and some floaties. The only thing crazy about that is they did not have any cold beer. Those hotties are heros in my book. :D
 

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Topless

Since we are in the "No shit there I was". I will tell you my "Best day ever on the North Fork of the South Platte" story. About 7 years ago a bunch of us were on a late season trip down the North Fork of the South Platte or as some people strangely call it Foxton Creek. We rounded a bend in the river to spy a dozen or so 18-20 yr old girls with their shirts off all standing around in a group. Needlessly to say we quickly eddied out to make everything was ok, which brought on full on flashing and mooning (by them, not us). In front of these sultry river vixens was some strange dude with some big curly hair and Starsky and Hutch glasses on. He was sporting a camera and looked like he just stepped out of 1970's Hollywood. After we crossed the timeline from gawking to close to perversion we headed on down the river. My buddy Johnny Ray stiil could not talk until we got to the take out and rode home with his skirt still on. That was definelty my best day ever on NFSP!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Arn... that's the best No Shit river story I have ever heard. I am going to hang out at Foxton Creek more often! :wink:
 

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I have to disagree with people discussing swimming frog rock as a "learning experience". Swimming frog rock has been multiple people's final experience and there is good reason that most raft companies now portage frog below 750 cfs. The move is easy class III with lethal consequences.
 

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Keep the "No shit stories" coming butt... I got my ass kicked on the milk run several years ago and am glad for it. Two years ago I helped the recovery of the newley weds at frog rock. And I think it was that same year that my buddy Alex and I pulled the guy out that died at numbers #5. Last year I pulled out a guy just above the new bridge at the Mt Harvard Estates(some where in the Fractions, I havent paddled fractions in 2 or 3 years) And if I remember correctly an 8 or 10 year old boy died at frog rock about 3 years ago. Then there is the number of close calls ive herd about at frog rock. A newbie must understand the gravity of the potential outcome before running anything. Everybodys learning curve is different, but dead is dead.
 

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I've done that run but I can't remember what the consequences are at frog rock, could somebody remind me where the danger is? Is there some sort of hazard in it. I do know I accidentally ran the dam on the left, that was kinda scary
 

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There is a pretty significant rock sieve on the right side of Frog Rock. This is the location of many fatalities. I heard from AHRA that there was all kinds of paddler/rafter debris in the seive when they cleaned it out at low water. Very easy move, but big consequences. I have also heard of some who have had a scary experience with the large boulder in the center. It is undercut just below the surface and some have hit it, gone under, but flush into the deep main channel on the left.

If you haven't run it before, it might pay to take a look. Easy rapid, but it never killed anyone to portage.
 

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Hey Flowtorch,

I think you're talking about the dam below the BV wave, not the Fractions section. I ran that on the left too awhile back (1000 cfs) and toom me by surprise too! I sure wasn't expecting the 6-ft drop and once committed didn't know if there's be rebar down there or what. Afterwards another rafter who lives in Salida told me the boat chute on the right is "dangerous at any level" though.

--Andy
 

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So back to the original story and newbies in over their heads...

Sometimes getting good advice, studying CRCII and scouting a run isn't enough to convince newbies of the danger, unfortunately, they have to experience it for themselves. I was introduced to paddeling by some very safe and experienced boaters and received many talks about the power of water, I read CRCI from cover to cover multiple times and had watched countless videos. I felt I knew about water. So, I decided to run Shoshone in Glenwood at 4000 cfs. My buddy, who was also on his 3rd week of boating, and I spent 2.5 hours walking up and down, scouting the run, picking our lines and even pointing out our eddies. We had the entire shosho run visualized. We got geared up, got into our boats, pushed off from the shore got rolled on the eddie line 5 feet from shore and swam a thousand yards downstream.
The point is that until somone experiences the power of water, they are incapable of appreciating it and until someone appreciates the power, they are in danger of sucumbing to it. Most make it through that first stage of putting themselves at risk.
 

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Yep, that sounds right. We just got done havin our safety talk and then...No shit, there we were. I got up to the edge of that thing, eyes got big, thought, this aint where i'm supposed to be. I took one hard stroke and made it thru upright but since I made it look so easy my partners behind thought they could do the same,pfft. :roll: I had to get out and look back around the corner to see that nasty shit, it is ugly. I remember thinkin the right side looked fun
 
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