How wide is the Chutes on the South Platte? I ran it a few years ago when I first got into kayaking and can't quite remember. I would like to take my little 11' Otter raft down that run, but don't want to get stuck!
Back in my first year of kayaking I took my old 9' 6" kayak down it and went sideways with room to spare during a low water run (don't know the level). Not sure of the exact width, but that was my experience.
There was quite a big debate on this topic here last year or the year before. Once again someone has weighed in with an IMPOSSIBLE answer. The correct answer is probably more on the range of 20'. Even if "the chute" were only 10' wide at water level (which it is not), there would still be fiberglass boats and RPM's stuck in there from the endless line of newbies who run this stretch.
I am 6' tall. Going through "the chute" with my arms extended, I would not be anywhere close to either side. Nor have I ever hit my paddle blade on either side.
Also, think about a "similar" situation in the rock garden on foxton. At the bottom of the rock garden, the only line is on the left going around a huge house rock (in mid stream) and sieve on river right. This line constricts greatly as you wrap around the rock, and has vertical banks on both sides - road on the left, house rock on the right. This constriction MUST be at least 10 to 15' wide, b/c there is absolutely no way to lodge a boat or paddle in there. This constriction is much tighter than "the chute", so the chute must be wider.
If the flow is 300+, I think you will be fine with your raft. Obviously if you have an oar rig, it is a different story. No matter what the flow, bring your fishin pole.
I have a photo in my hand. It is of my wife going through the entrance of the chutes on the S. Platte sideways in a Godzilla at a medium-high flow. She is centered in the chute and there is, at most, 2 ft. of spare room on each end. A Godzilla is 8' 11'.
The width of the top part of the chutes, which go for about 30 ft. before widening up, is pretty constant and equals the width of the entrance.
The chutes are about 13 feet wide. Here is a scale drawing of her pulling this manuever:
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