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Discussion Starter #1
In doing a bit of research about the gorge I get a mixed sense for the difficulty. Some sources state that it is all class III and at high flows IV-. Other sources state that there are class V rapids in there and that it is quite hardcore.

How would you really rate it? How do you think it compares to Frog Rock or the Narrows and Brown's including sidels?
 

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i personally think the gorge has more of a big water feel to it than anything else. i would say class -IV most of the time and after about 2400 i remembered it started to get juicy. awsome wave trains that feel like they last forever.
 

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Pretty much III+/IV- even at these flows. A step up from browns/frog rock for sure. It's just moving quite a bit faster in places, longer rapids, bigger waves and holes. Right now (at 3200) sunshine and sledgehammer are just tons of fun. The Narrows section below the bridge turns into a 1/2 mile wavetrain followed by Wallslammer. NOT a good place to take a swim by ANY means.
 

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I did it at 4200, so I can only speak to that level. I would call it class IV with IV+ consequences in places (protracted swims if out of boat). No way would I call it class V. I did it with people who do not boat class V and everyone did fine and I'm sure would be eager to do it again. There aren't many holes, but the ones there are quite large, however they are fairly easy to miss. There were many large turbulent waves that make getting flipped quite possible and funny eddylines and swirlies abound.

By comparison, I have run Browns at around 2300 or 2400. I would call Brown's III+ with a couple IV- spots at that level. I ran the Fractions/frog rock sections at around 2500-2600 and I would call that a little easier than Browns (I don't remember anything very significant in there) - probably just straight class III.
 

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i think the numbers at 3000 and the gorge at 4000 are be pretty similar in difficulty. both IV+ over all due to the continuous-ness. the gorge has bigger holes and more dynamic eddy lines while the numbers is more continuous. neither are class V-.

dan
 

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Raft companies like to call it as a V so they have more Varity. In reality at normal flows it’s a III+ with a little bit of IV action thrown in. By no means a hard run, there are a couple of fairly critical moves in places like Sunshine, the other big ones are pretty easy to get through as long as you are in the right place at the top to avoid the holes.
 

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Just did the gorge and it was way fun at this level. I would say a bombproof roll is required cause a swim in the narrows would not be fun. Other than that it's not really difficult. I'd call it Class IV- bigwater. You have to make moves in pushy water but the moves are not hard.
 

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anyone else do Brown's this year around 3500? thinking about giving the Royal Gorge a go this weekend now down to 1500? Will these be somewhat comparable? Felt good on brown's at 3500 so thinking gorge might be pretty ok too now that it dropped. My roll is bomber (for the most part).
 

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Yeah, you'll be fine. Might want to scout Sunshine.
 

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Brown's on acid

Did Brown's this year at 3500, in a tandem ducky with my girlfriend, each of us on 3 drops of acid. Think the dose was the true reason neither of us swam, as it was her first time in a ducky and in Brown's. What a fun day!!

:shock:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the input here. Very good info shared and much appreciated.

It is pretty interesting to look at the differences in perspectives though and the impact flow has on one's view of certain runs. In my experience the Narrows or Frog has been harder than Brown's and Eddyflower lists it as being a III+ vs. Browns as a III minus Siedel's.
 

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I can for sure vouch for the fact that the start of fractions at high water is MORE difficult than any part of brown's down to stone bridge. I've never done fractions at low or normal flow so I can't compare then.
 

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In RG, it is harder to rescue gear and swimmers than in Browns or Narrows/Frog Rock. Narrows/Frog Rock is about as continuous as RG, but RG has bigger hits; you are more likely to flip in RG. I'd say that a bomber roll is a prerequisite for RG. On a fun scale, RG is much more fun than Narrows/Frog Rock. Regarding Sunshine Scout: Watch for rattlers!
 

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The thing that should up the class level of Royal Gorge is that swims will be long and access is poor in case of a problem. If you loose a boat or a paddle, or if you have an injury, you have a serious problem. If you swim and get to shore, but your buddies get your boat only in 1/4 mile, you may have to swim that 1/4 mile to your boat. Your boating buddies have to be able to work as a team where 2 stay with you while 2 go with the gear. You may be able to walk on the train tracks if you know where the train stops. I wouldn't want to be caught in a tunnel or the hanging bridge with a train coming.

Class III+ in a totally inaccesible canyon becomes class IV- in my book. You can't screw up.

But yea, it's not that hard. Easier than Numbers. A gorgeous run.

Funny how the rafting companies like to call it class V. The first company that called it class V probably made an extra $50,000 from the extra customers.
 

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yeah i've always wondered why rafting company's really up the real ratings. been down some runs that are secluded like westwater so i'm stoked to get away from the roads
 

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The deal with the Gorge is that it is a flush, has lots of debris on the sides, and can have some horrendous holes at some levels. Don't forget that many have drowned there. Usually at least one a year. Call them out of shape, ill health, or what ever. Bottom line is that the Gorge gets big and fast. Browns and Fractions, also having character, are generally not as fast or as big. Gorge waves can easily reach the 8' mark and be filled with wicked folds, seams, boils, and breakers that will wallup the unready. Always great fun as long as no one is swimming. Possibly a dark abyss for the ill fated. Still, the Gorge is a beautiful and easily accesible gash in the earth that is best experienced from the river as opposed to the rim. Additonally, it's hot! So are the chicks at the takeout sometimes. :eek:) Cheers!
 

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the gorge is not any hard than brown's but there is rebar and old railroad tracks so if u swim it could turn ugly fast and it was harder but then the airforce changed sunshine which sucks
 

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the gorge is not any hard than brown's but there is rebar and old railroad tracks so if u swim it could turn ugly fast and it was harder but then the airforce changed sunshine which sucks
Where did you come up with that?

The rock in Sunshine that had the suck hole in it, got scoured out downstream from the force of the water and fell into the hole in the riverbottom, thus changing it from a killer to an easier rapid. It used to be if you were in your boat, you wanted to bounce off the pillow on the rock, but if you were swimming, you wanted to be far away from it. No airforce involved.
 
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