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That guy is pretty stupid. Without the man-made "hazard" I'm pretty sure it wouldn't qualify as a whitewater park...
 

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Don't really know what he means...we've been running it in boats all year. Had our share of flips and follies, but it's been a blast.
 

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As far as I'm concerned, he has a point. Colorado creates these "whitewater parks" which are really just play features intended SOLELY for playboating. I would think a true "whitewater park" should have obstacles, multiple routes, and require some skill in paddling to get through.
It's pretty sad that Colorado--known for its whitewater--can't build a park worth a shiat...you have to go east to find one of those.
 

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Jared
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I wonder how they Boise park with the adjustable wave is working out? I know they have high water chutes and can adjust the center feature. Out in Oregon these are still a pretty new idea, I think the Deschutes in Bend just got one, but I haven't seen it yet.
 

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So the Boise wave rocks. There are actually two chutes with adjusters that act like airplane wing flaps. The waves can be adjusted to a variety of shapes. Additionally there is a large peoperty next to it that is right now under construction as a complete whitewater park training center. Its about 15 acres or so.

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Oh, the current Boise Wave is so popular that it has to be scheduled as kayaks every other day then surfing every other day.

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Something folks need to remember is that designing features for turbulent flow is a science that's still in the developmental stages. They've only been able to do computer simulations of turbulent flow, vortices, eddies, etc. for about a decade, and I'd expect it's pretty expensive to develop a computer model of a whitewater park so they can simulate features at all flows. It's a lot easier to say, after the fact, that someone did a crappy job because the feature didn't perform well during certain flow conditions, than it is to design a feature that'll work well in all flow conditions.

Does the feature work as needed 95% of the time?

-AH
 

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It's a matter of opinion if the feature "works" or not. Some people actually prefer powerful, fun features on their runs, and yes often features have to be dynamic to be an effective freestyle spot.
 

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Kinda ironic to be even building a whitewater park given all the whitewater opportunities from class 1 thru 6 that we have around Boise.

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As far as I'm concerned, he has a point. Colorado creates these "whitewater parks" which are really just play features intended SOLELY for playboating. I would think a true "whitewater park" should have obstacles, multiple routes, and require some skill in paddling to get through.
It's pretty sad that Colorado--known for its whitewater--can't build a park worth a shiat...you have to go east to find one of those.
The vast majority of boaters I know would disagree with you.
 

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I wanted to let people know that the rapid in Durango is totally navigable. I was play-paddling for 3-4 hours on Father's day at Smelter. I was surprised as it was 4500 cfs and 90 deg. on a Sunday and I was alone most of that time. Nobody came through for more than an hour at 1:30 in the afternoon. But apparently most folks don't want that much excitement. However contrary to Mr. Black's opinion letter to the Herald, there are no "keeper" holes on the lower Animas. To see a true keeper you need to go to the Rockwood section on the upper Animas -there is a pourover hole up there near the end of the run, that we all know about that is truly a back-sucking nightmare. All the features at Durango's whitewater park have green water flowing through them. I have been surfing nearly every day this spring and haven't seen a single person recirculated in any of the features. Yes, the features are big when the water is up and have been exceptionally high for a long period this spring and people that fall out go deep. Really deep. The letter states this is the first commercial death on the lower ever. I agree that I don't recall anyone getting killed until this year and it is sad, but let's take a reminder of just how many people have been sent down this river over the years. 35-50 thousand people per year going on 20 years. That's a lot of peeps without a serious incident. Attrition rates finally caught up with the numbers here and it's been a pretty unlucky year in Colorado overall with 9 river-related deaths already from my count. Lets also recall how many people die on the Arkansas each year and the related numbers. The guy died of a heart attack; not a drowning. This is true on the Ark as well. most people get killed rafting from a heart attack.
As far as the rapid goes, if you know what you're doing there are multiple routes. Fact is most people of the general public and even some of the commercial raft guides have pretty low skill levels and are skirting the entire rapid to the left. There is a sneak on the upper left of the main channel at high water. You still need to be able to direct your craft though the easier lines to the left or right. IMO if you keep it straight and line up the boat to the waves you can run this rapid down the middle and avoid the huge hole at Ponderosa by going far right, but hey, I only have 25 years experience running this thing so what do I know. Also "BlackMike" has been against any kind of change on this section since the inception of our whitewater park back in the early 90s.
 

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While I completely disagree with Mike's comments, it does kinda suck that we spent so much money on a park that is arguably worse that the one that it replaced. Yes, Smelter is better and Clocktower was great until it blew out with the high water, but Corner Pocket is truly F'd and Clocktower is nowhere near as good as it used to be below 3000cfs.

Rumor on the street is that they're going to fix it again this winter, but I'm not holding my breath that Corner Pocket is ever going to be as good as it used to be.
 

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Did I catch this right in the video that these guys dumptrucked and got all three back in the boat in a very short distance only to flip? How awesome.
Also I think the guy did a great job on rigging his boat. Looked tight as heel bouncing around in there.
 

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Apparently this guy wasn't there last year or this year when there have been hundreds of people on the shore cheering for boats as they go through.

We've rowed every couple days since April. Longest high water season we've seen in a long time. Corner Pocket is nasty this year as they slowed it down and now Ponderosa is pretty awesome. I was a paddler in the red boat, lost all three oars on that run. We cleaned it through the center 2 days later. Keeper hole my ass.
 

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Apparently this guy wasn't there last year or this year when there have been hundreds of people on the shore cheering for boats as they go through.

We've rowed every couple days since April. Longest high water season we've seen in a long time. Corner Pocket is nasty this year as they slowed it down and now Ponderosa is pretty awesome. I was a paddler in the red boat, lost all three oars on that run. We cleaned it through the center 2 days later. Keeper hole my ass.
You guys are a absolute shit show. It's no big deal, just lost all my oars and bob had his raft surfed for a hr. Have fun with that man made weir.
 

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The park is a big hole in-deed at 6000cfs, was it a flipper? yep. Could you sneek it? yep, barely.
Couple of points to Mike Blacks article,

I have been playboating this river since 1986. I have seen every change, and modification to this rapid. Problem is, you now have to put both oars in the water and make use of some strokes. Thats quite new for this rapid.

As far as no boaters: I have wondered year in and year out since 1986 as why I also have not seen many boaters out at high water. Basically, unless you are upto the challenge most stay at home till it drops. It was no different this year, than it was in the high water years since '86. Some of my best play boating was sitting at Santa Rita by myself for hours at high flows, or the Sawmill waves back then. No boats, but a few...

People love high water, few venture out in it.

Sure the rapid could use a tweak or two, they will do it, but to stand on your almighty's and claim it was all for nothing? Your an oar out of the water!
That park has caused the season to be extended way beyond the norm... Its also taught some to learn how to actually row or perfect their rapid skills one dam week out of the year..... or every 5 years....

If you don't know how to row, and miss the big stuff, well??????

Last Mr Black, to use a death, as a ploy, well, just pathetic.
Do you know how many tubers were pulled from the river last year at low low water, and some were near death? More than rafters/kayakers, so does that relate to your comments of your article?

Do you know the cause of death? Was it drowning, medical condition, heart attack, other? Most of these deaths are caused by cold water shock to the heart. Sure a flip puts you into the water, or simply falling out of the boat.

That is the risk we take when we submit ourselves to the elements. Same goes for skiing, biking, driving a car, etc. Its unfortunate to all, but its the risk we except when venture out into this world and leave the couch.

Don't worry Mr Black, I get puckered everytime I run smelter, whether it was yesterday or 29 years ago and everything in between.

Its a rapid, yep a dam one good too
 
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