Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What class is the Royal Gorge at this water level (950 cfs)? There seems to be some discrepency between the commercial trips who rate it at a IV-V and guide books which rate it at a III+-IV.

I have guided (raft) Browns numerous times and am looking for something a little more challenging, but I will be taking a few novices down the river and am concerned about geting in over my head. I have only seen the Gorge once as a paddler about 6 years ago.

Also is there a guide book with a good description of each rapid in the Gorge or is my only option to scout Sunshine, Sledgehammer etc?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
Ah, yes, you notice that the commerical outfitters like to exaggerate the difficulties. Trust the guide books.

The gorge rapids are heavily flow dependent. I don't think the guide books can tell you how to run the rapids since they change so much with the flow. I think Sledgehammer is difficult to scout--no good pull out and it's hard to spot.

At 900, it shouldn't be that difficult.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
685 Posts
I have open canoed it twice, once last year at 1000cfs and this year around 750cfs. The first time we ran it it was a muddy mess and made it challenging to see rocks.

I think III+/IV would be the correct rating at 950cfs. Three rapids of note in order: Sunshine Falls, Sledgehammer, Wallslammer. Scout Sunshine on River right, right after little white shack on right. Sledghammer scout left from railroad tracks about a 1/8 to 1/4 mile down from Sunshine. We also scouted wallslammer on left at the touron center, right after the narrows at the bottem of the gorge. There are also many other read & run III rapids throughout the run.

I would also be careful about swimmers in RG, as I have heard there is a lot of junk in the river such as: rebar, railroad rails and ties. As you go down the river, you will see all of manmade stuff above the river that could have fallen down into the river over the years.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,408 Posts
In my RG swims I have never hit anything but rocks and the wall in wallslammer. No debris yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Royal Gorge Photos and More

One of my more extensive photo/video journal entries is about the day I paddled the Royal Gorge for the first time last summer.
The flow was about 1000 cfs that day.
We scouted Sunshine, Sledgehammer, & Wall Slammer.

Raft companies are notorious for exaggerating the difficulty of rapids. You can read the journal entries before the link below to get an idea about my skill level at the time I paddled the Royal Gorge. It was my first Class 4ish run, and it was a fairly stress free day for me.

There are videos of Sunshine & Sledgehammer on the site, as well as a photo of the entrance to Wall Slammer.
This link will take you directly to the Royal Gorge page.
Kayaking the Royal Gorge - My First "Epic" River Adventure
http://www.savagesnow.com/whitewater_kayaking/pdhtml_kayak_paddling/pd036_kayaking_royal_gorge.html
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,408 Posts
Savage snow, looked at your site and yes wallslammer is undercut and no its not a fun place to swim.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
gh,
Thanks for the confirmation.
I have learned it is better to be safe than sorry.
I try to stay far away from all rock walls with strong current these days.
-Dan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,408 Posts
There is a hole at the top of wallslammer that feeds you directly into the wall. So dodge the hole as well. Thats how ended up in there, not planning a return trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the advice and the links. Sounds like this weekend will be an adventure. Hopefully my guiding skills cut it. :D

-dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
dan,

in addition to the above advice i would also add:

sunshine - you can run the top drop/ledge of the rapid on the left down to about 850, lower than that you need to run the s move. scout.

narrows - metal on the left. you do need to be close to it at times but be ready to get away to avoid a puncture. same applies for the bottom of squeeze box (just upstream of the hanging bridge).

wall slammer - the hole will push you into the wall, no big deal if everyone stays in the boat, but do try to avoid the hole if you can.

canon city - about 200yards below the pink house beach, there is an intake structure on the left (with lots of metal). stay a boat width off of the left bank. just past the intake there are two rows of railroad track that stand vertically off of the bottom at river right and center. you can see some of this depending on levels but it's the ones that you see too late that can put a damper on your day.

give some thought to putting in above parkdale (spike buck works well). this will give you and your crew some time to iron out any kinks before the gorge.

if the anticipated rain on friday brings the levels back up to 1,000 or so, i may be in the area with a raft crew as well. give me a call if you want to run together.

brian
303.638.2304
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top