i think gore after being comfy on numbers at solid water levels is a reasonable step up. Bailey compares in difficulty, too, but has a very different flavor from Gore. If you style Bailey you should be good to go on Gore. Many of the drops in gore have more vertical to them than Numbers (not huge, though, like 5-10'ish) but comparable especially if you skip the big 3 rapids (Gore, Tunnel and Kirschbaum -all portagable). I'd suggest trying to hit Gore around 900-1100ish your first time, ideally. It gets quite pushy above 1200 or 1300 and bony below 800, imo. My first run on Gore was race day a few years ago, that's perfect - cuz you get to watch 10, 20, 30 people do the drops all different ways and see plenty of consequences of screwing up. Also there's lots of safety around that day. It's a quality run.
Run Granite through Pine Creek, then try Black Rocks and the Narrows through Rigor on the Clear Creek below 800, then you will have a taste for what Gore is like. The swims on Clear Creek may be more serious than Gore, because Gore has some flat water and the rocks are a bit less razor-like, but the falls in Gore are certainly more powerful than anything you will encounter on that stretch of Clear. This is the method we employed, and I think we were not only prepared for Gore, but are now excited and addicted to it. Next time we will definitely not chicken out through Tunnel. We did a ghost run through there and the boat came through unscathed, so Tunnels falls here we come. The nice thing about Gore is that you can (and should) scout everything that looks significant, because it is. Much of the class IV "boogie water" goes unrated and unnamed because of the truly significant drops therein. Nearly all but Toilet Bowl can be scouted and portaged with relative ease along the railroad tracks, although that's not technically legal. Portage Tunnel on the left bank. Good luck and be safe; it's an awesome run! Also, swims in Gore, with the exception of a swim in Gore Rapid and Kirschbaum, do not compare to the danger of Clear.
I ran gore for the first time this summer at the race. I had done numbers before and felt very comfortable. Gore was a whole different story. I portaged gore and tunnel rapids. Everything else was completely a clean run until kirshbaum. It destroyed my one month old boat (anyone who saw it or pics, it was a blue booster completely destroyed) and almost killed me. I was with experienced paddlers (one AMP guy) and people who knew the run. I would suggest doing the same. Many people came out of the canyon hurt that day (luckily not me). So, my suggestions are: creek boat for your first time down, go with people who have safety well in mind and know the run, race day would be a good start, and scout/portage at every horizon line. I hope this doesn't sound like a lecture but just my two cents.
I feel that the Numbers is significantly easier than Gore. Pine Creek rapid (above the Numbers), Bailey, and Black Rock are better compairisons of difficulty. However these are more "creeky" and Gore is more "pushy."
Perhaps if you are comfortable in the Numbers in a play boat at 3,000 cfs, then you could try a creek boat down Gore.
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