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Discussion Starter #1
I'm curious what is below the Clear Creek WhiteWater park? What happens if you go swimming and either you or your gear go below the last town take out?

I see the huge Coors brewery and I think a dam. Is there anything dangerous down there?

How dangerous is the dam at 1000 cfs?

Here's the satelite image: golden, co - Google Maps Vanover Park is the last town take out.
 

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Basil,

I don't know exactly what is on Coors property .I think there are some dams and a drop or two. Apparently,Coors has not been too cooperative in helping boaters recover lost gear [ look at the lost and found threads from last julyish ]. Right below Coors ,about 1/2 mile west of Youngfield there is a bad low head dam followed shortly thereafter by a drop that ranges from manky 4- to pushing class 5 with overhanging branches, a sticky looking ledge hole [high] ,and some ugly rebar. It is difficult to scout at high flows due to trees/islands and fast water .I don't know if anyone has ever run it [ you have to carry up from Youngfield to get at it.] I want to but it was always too high ,too low,or I was too lazy. 600 is what i'm thinkin' better boaters would want more.

There are quite a few [20 ?] widely spaced drops ,a couple qualify as rapids, between there and the Platte. The drops are separated mostly by fast flat and some II wave trains. There are portages of low bridges , dam type structures,ugly junk concrete at Tennyson , and maybe some big holes at highest flows. There are a couple big dog play spots Bucking Bronco / El Bronco [ around Pecos] and the first hole of Wadsworth rapid [ described as survival surfing by one boater on this forum]. The last five drops above the Platte [ from about Washington down] look potentially good high. Wadsworth is about 3+ w/worse consequences at 9oo,the highest I've run it.I'd give it a 4+/ 5- at 1400. Most of the other drops are 2-3 ,one might be 4-.

I have a bunch of pictures from high water last year i'd like to post ,if i can ever get them off my friends camera :(
 

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Basil,

I don't know exactly what is on Coors property .I think there are some dams and a drop or two. Apparently,Coors has not been too cooperative in helping boaters recover lost gear [ look at the lost and found threads from last julyish ]. Right below Coors ,about 1/2 mile west of Youngfield there is a bad low head dam followed shortly thereafter by a drop that ranges from manky 4- to pushing class 5 with overhanging branches, a sticky looking ledge hole [high] ,and some ugly rebar. It is difficult to scout at high flows due to trees/islands and fast water .I don't know if anyone has ever run it [ you have to carry up from Youngfield to get at it.] I want to but it was always too high ,too low,or I was too lazy. 600 is what i'm thinkin' better boaters would want more.

There are quite a few [20 ?] widely spaced drops ,a couple qualify as rapids, between there and the Platte. The drops are separated mostly by fast flat and some II wave trains. There are portages of low bridges , dam type structures,ugly junk concrete at Tennyson , and maybe some big holes at highest flows. There are a couple big dog play spots Bucking Bronco / El Bronco [ around Pecos] and the first hole of Wadsworth rapid [ described as survival surfing by one boater on this forum]. The last five drops above the Platte [ from about Washington down] look potentially good high. Wadsworth is about 3+ w/worse consequences at 9oo,the highest I've run it.I'd give it a 4+/ 5- at 1400. Most drops are 2-3.

I have a bunch of pictures from high water last year i'd like to post ,if i can ever get them off my friends camera :(
 

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I wish all google earth had that good of resolution! You could see everything i was talking about , er sort of ... The drop above Youngfield is in the grove of trees right below where the bike path crosses over you can see the boulders/concrete blocks in the runnout and you can see the lowhead right above.

You can see the lead in and runnout of Wadsworth but the big holes/waves are under the bridge. Bucking Bronco is about 1/2 way between Federal and Pecos just looks like waves a short ways above the railroad bridge. Trust me it is a sticky nearly river wide ass kicker. The railroad bridge drop is either a sweet boof /small vertical with a lot of wood around at medium , a vicious hole with nasty wood high ,or a portage.

After Pecos is a large dam drop with manky slide full of big rooster tails that is a portage ,there might be a sneak on the right but if it had enough water the hole at the very end looks as bad as El Bronco,the middle part looks like fun mank. If the gates at the top were ever opened high enough some badass might be able to run this hair drop.


The other one that is maybe 4- is the second to the last below York. The last drop at the confluence bears some resemblance to Hollywood ,a little taller with same narrow tall pile on the first wave/hole backed up by tall tail waves and a squirrely eddyline.
 

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Coors allowed our group to retrieve a boat from one of several death trap dam/diversion schemes they have on their property. We were there at 1000cfs and even if the hydraulics were manageable (they weren't) the river is covered with walking bridges the diversion structures are liable to eat you and there wasn't a single worthwhile piece of whitewater. They have completely rebuilt the river bed and it resembles more of a sewage processing plant than a river.

We were allowed on the property after Golden SAR was repeatedly called about a "boat with an unconscious person" floating through the play park and into the plant. Very early on we assured SAR it was just a swimmer and the boat was empty. I think they may have talked with Coors before we got there and asked to retrieve the boat. A security guard knew exactly which dam it was stuck in and took us there where we retrieved a broken boat. If you loose something it may be worthwhile to put in a bogus call to SAR and have a chat with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So, swimming into Coors on Clear Creek at high water is dangerous?

Don't stay with your boat going into Coors?
 

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GoBro
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Well our incident happened in the canyon but the boat flushed all the way. I always figured to pond at the bottom would be enough room to swim a boat to shore but I never looked during high water. I would be swimming for my life to stay out of Coors if it came to it.
 

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Here's more info on the stretch below Golden, along with a writeup I did on my backyard run, the "Wheat Ridge Daily" from the park immediately below Youngfield all the way to Tennyson. With the Arvada WWTP outfall and resulting foul stench, between Sheridan and Tennyson, I recommend you to take out no lower than Sheridan. For your first time you'll want to scout the low bridge at Kipling, the drop right below 44th and the drop just above Wadsworth. If there's enough water to cover the rocks in the aereation structure at Wadsworth, the hole's really sticky

The concrete mank at Tennyson looks unrunnable to me. From what I remember the drop structures between there and the Platte were jagged rocks embedded in concrete - more for aereation of the water than anything else.

Its not the greatest water but it's easy to get to and right there. Easy shuttle.

Have fun!

-AH
 

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The water quality definitely deteriorates as you go down stream but I don't think it is ever as bad as the So. Platte below Union. Your gear doesn't smell as funky.

That Wadsworth rapid is not that bad. The first hole is sticky but not a keeper. I t would suck to be upside down in a kayak below say 500,or to swim it low. If it is too low and you pick an unclean line you might not have enough momentum to punch the hole . Pick a good line and paddle hard. Surfing it is ballsy,aside from being ugly underwater low [ not really any worse than most manky creeks], it is backed by a diagonal wave /lateral that will typewriter you into a wall at high flows . Running it say 600-900 is relatively straight forward just punch the right corner of the hole and cut back to the middle for the lateral and last unscoutable wave /hole and be heads up for junk like shopping carts. At high flows the corner punch is gone you have to at least partially gut it,that 1st wave could definitely stuff a kayak or flip a raft. It is the one place you might swim a ways.

Yeah Tennyson is really ugly. I finally saw it low = junk city. At upwards of 900 there was a fairly obvious III - III +
line left center ,but it threaded between junk concrete, wood ,and sweepers overhanging the creek. You could probably do it but any mistake could be deadly and there are plenty of FU concrete blocks lurking beneath the surface to trip you up ,just not worth it.

Of the drops past Washington only that 4- ish 2nd to last one is unclean. It is a rocky really low angle slide off about a 4 foot ledge. Not much of a hole due to aeration,not really anything to pin on, it could be boat abusive.
 

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Just a heads up.

Last years high water caused more than one HUGE tree to fall across the creek down low. I ride my bike on the path there alot and those trees are a serious hazard. I can think of at least 2 that are half in/ half out of the water and span the entire creek.

Be careful!

josh
 
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