I'm looking for a good first time creeking run. I'm a proficient river runner but I'm searching for something steep and small volume that's not going to kill me in the northern Colorado area. Any suggestions?
Bailey Canyon is a Colorado classic and is a decent intro to creeking. Have a 100% roll (preferably on both sides) and feel comfortable on class IV and you should be ok. The season is long and people run it close to every day when it's on. It should be easy to find guides for the first time, too. You can walk the 3 class Vs easily and also run them piecemeal if you want. Lots of folks do this at Supermax and only run the bottom.
It's important that you really feel comfortable doing read and run class IV, though. The Steeps are not that hard, just IV-IV+, but most parties don't scout them, so you'll probably want to be ready for that or let the group know before you put in. If you need to scout the Steeps, that doesn't mean that you don't belong on Bailey, but if you're walking them, you're probably on the wrong river.
If you're interested in going Fri/Sun see my post on that. We never mind taking new folks down.
Is that really rated class V? I always portage the first falls because it dosen't look all that worth it. Super Max I run if I feel like it and have good safety, but Deer Creek Rapid? That is good to go. Class IV+ until high water I guess...never seen it huge.
OK, I'm sick of hearing how manky and low volume the Source is. For all you source of boulder creek haters out there, those of us who run it frequently have come to the conclusion that CRCII is WAY off the mark on runnable flows for the Source. Basically the book sez the minimum is 100 and that at 300 it is V+, that is completey wrong. 300cfs is actually a good minimum, and we're not sure when or if it ever is a V+ run. The highest I ran it at was 400cfs and that was definately not V+, all the lines were the same, the rocks were well padded, and even the holes weren't that bad. Last year the source spent a good chunk of time above 500cfs and I thought it was too high and didn't bother going up there to check it out, I won't make that mistake again! If someone has run it that high let me know what it was like!
Let's not lose sight of the topic here- there are pin spots, micro-eddies, and some wood in this drainage, not to mention cold water that can rise relatively quickly. The creek is, for all practical purposes, 1 boat wide & consistent in gradient so running against the back of one of your team is likely if they get pinned. Not a easy place to evac an injured person either. Go with a guide after you feel very comfortable on other small-volume streams - Bear Creek might be a good test. Important to note 400 cfs may be the gauge reading, but the flow at the takeout would be significantly lower.....
It may not be "manky" as compared to some other runs around the state but it ain't that clean, either.
Yeah, it was krankin' for sure. You've got to be talking about Hinds, I ran it with thim once on it's way up and saw he and Eric come down from the Upper when it was pretty high - Nick's first time down I think he said. They were lovin' it.
Chorter - You've run some of the creeks north of here, got any beta?
The best creek of the bunch is Soda Creek, it's fish creek on crack. We chainsawed all the log jams out except for two monster jams about four years ago. Who knows what It'd look like now but It would definitly be worth having a look. Mad Creek has two high quality drops when it's going good and is well worth the hike. The upper little snake is also a good wilderness run but when we did it it had wood in some nasty spots.
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