Monthly Archives: May 2009

Kayak log: Cache la Poudre 2009-05-24

Posted by Andy on May 25, 2009
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Date:  2009-05-24 10:00am

Run:  Cache la Poudre River (Upper Mish (Tunnel Rapid) to Bridges Take Out)

Flow:  1600 cfs (4′ on the Pineview Gauge)

Class:  IV/III

Temperature:  60 cloudy

Buddies:  Chadwick Shoults, Fino

Description:  A good run down the Poudre at a pretty good flow.  The water was a 4′ on the Pineview rock gauge.  Fino and I started just above the tunnel rapid in upper Mishawaka.  The tunnel rapid was pretty continuous, but no real problems.  Mishawaka falls were challenging, but not as continuous, so there was plenty of time to pick a line.  Running through the rest of upper mish, lower mish, and poudre park was pretty straight-forward.  There is one large hole to avoid at the end of lower mish or poudre park, but there is a channel on the left that would take you right around it.  Cardiac corner was no problem at all.  Pineview falls was probably the most fun rapid on the run.  Fino and I scouted the rapid.  At the top, there is a large rock sticking up that divides the run into two choices.  There appeared to be two good lines right at the top:  the left side would require a move right to avoid a hole/pour-over, then a move back left to avoid a large hole on the right.  The right line seemed easier, basically, drop in, then start paddling left to avoid the hole.  After the large hole, there was another large hole in the center which could be easily avoided on the right or left.  After that, there is the “Disneyland Rock,” which was no problem.  Finally there is on smallish drop at the end.  Fino and I both took the right line at the top.  I was clean through the drop-in and the large hole.  After the hole, I worked my way right around the second hole, then aimed straight for the slide down Disneyland Rock.  I sort of got in position for the slide, but not quite.  I ended up riding the pillow of water down to the bottom, where I had to roll.  The rest of the run (Bridges) was fun.  Good wave trains, but nothing too difficult.

Carnage:  A couple rolls here and there, no swims

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Kayak log: Clear Creek 2009-05-22

Posted by Andy on May 22, 2009
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Date:  2009-05-22 6:00pm

Run:  Clear Creek (Lower to Playpark)

Flow:  600 cfs

Class:  IV/III

Temperature:  60 with scattered rain

Buddies:  Chadwick Shoults, Fino, Fello

Description:  After work run down Lower Clear Creek.  I think 600 is a great level for Lower CC.  Most of the rocks are covered, so you don’t have to work as hard to avoid them than at 300 cfs.  The water flows fast through the lower section, it seems like it cuts the run time in half compared to lower flows.  Elbow Falls was good, at this flow, it sort of breaks into two distinct drops, both of which are not bad.  There’s a nice eddy on the left before you get into the main part of the falls.  For the first drop, start on the left, and paddle hard to the right to avoid the first big pour-over.  In this particular run, I ended up sitting in another eddy near the wall on the right side.  The second drop is more of a hole, but it starts to get washed-out at this flow, so it’s no big deal.  Screamin’ 1/4 mile was good too, most of the rocks were covered, so it was just a continuous run of waves and holes.  I made it through clean, except for one somewhat ugly hand brace off a rock.  For today’s run, I used my brand new IR drytop, and it was nice.  I stayed much drier and warmer.

Chadwick filmed a few sections, I’ll link to the video when he puts it up.

Carnage:  None

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Kayak log: Boulder Creek 2009-05-19

Posted by Andy on May 20, 2009
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Date:  2009-05-19 6:15pm

Run:  Boulder Creek (Elephant Buttress to Scott Carpenter Park)

Flow:  ~250 cfs

Class:  IV/III

Temperature:  60 or 70 ?

Buddies:  Chadwick Shoults, Nick Lamb, Fello

Description:  After work run down Boulder Creek.  Nick and Chadwick started at the top of the park, and Fello and I ran down from Elephant Buttress.  The section below Elephant Buttress was challenging, but there were no real holes to avoid or anything serious to worry about.  The park was fun, but the holes were all steep and sticky.  The rest of the run was pretty standard, but still fun.

Carnage:  Chadwick had a little swim at the “Widowmaker” hole by the rope swing.  Nothing serious, it seems like he just forgot how to roll for a split second.

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Kayak log: The Numbers 2009-05-16

Posted by Andy on May 16, 2009
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Date:  2009-05-16 5:00pm

Run:  Arkansas River – The Numbers (Scott’s Bridge to Railroad Bridge)

Flow:  ~1820 cfs

Class:  IV (#5 felt like IV+… or maybe it’s just me)

Temperature:  65 deg (partly cloudy)

Buddies:  Fino

Description:  Chadwick, Ashley, and Braxton headed home after Brown’s Canyon (and K’s Dairy Delight…), but Fino and I decided to run the Numbers.  This was my second time down the numbers.  Last year, I did it at the very end of the season at about 600 cfs, so it was a much different experience this time.  The water was bigger and faster, and the holes were a lot bigger and harder to avoid.  #1 and #5 were probably the hardest.

Note to self:

#1 – Comes up pretty quick, the river bends to the right, and there are rock formations on both sides.  I started right of center, and tried to make a hard move to the left right away, but didn’t quite make it.  I got flipped going through the first big hole and almost made it out, but got pulled back in.  I tried to surf out of it, but didn’t have quite enough energy, so I ended up rolling again.  I made it through the rest okay.  Not sure where the best line is.

#2 – Comes up shortly after #1.  The river bends to the left, and there is a long cascading set of waves and holes.  Not too bad, but required some maneuvering to avoid holes.

#3 – Don’t really remember what this one was like…  maybe next time.

#3.5 or #4? – I can’t remember which one is #4.  There is kind of a cascading section right after #3.  This one has an easy line right of center.  There are two big holes to avoid in the center, but they are easy to get around.  Probably could have gone down the left side too.

#3.5 or #4?  The one after #3.5 has the irrigation ditch (?) that goes off on river right.  Last year, I remember doing a little slide down the right side, but I couldn’t see the slide at this flow.  I think we started on the right side, and worked our way to the left.  Some rocks and holes to avoid, but nothing too bad.

#5 – Definitely the hardest rapid.  #5 comes up near the bridge that crosses over the river at the CR 371 exit.  The drop in is pretty steep, and there’s a rock right in the middle that you have to avoid.  I don’t think I picked a very good line, I ended up going down the initial drop at a bad angle and tried to get into the eddy at the right side below the drop, but didn’t make it.  I ended up flipping, and sort of did the rest of the rapid upside down, with a few feeble roll attempts.  There’s a big pour-over below the initial drop, which I think I did upside down on the far right.  Luckily I made it through and rolled up to get through the rest of it.  I think I might have had 3 or 4 semi-successful (or unsuccessful) roll attempts…  definitely not a clean run.  Pretty much a reality check for class IV.  I think the best line would be to go right at the initial drop, then work left right away, then back right after the pour over.

#6, #7, etc. – Not sure which one was #6 or #7, but there were a few significant cascading drops after #5.  I was pretty spent after #5, so I did my best to avoid most of the holes, and find the easy lines.  Nothing too serious after #5, but my boat was filling up with water, so I had to stop to empty it out.

Carnage:  Pretty ugly line through #1, and ran #5 pretty much upside down.  Might be best to wait for the flows to go down a little, or practice some more class IV before running #5 at this flow again 🙂  No swims though!

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Kayak log: Brown’s Canyon 2009-05-16

Posted by Andy on May 16, 2009
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Date:  2009-05-16 11:00am

Run:  Arkansas River – Brown’s Canyon (Ruby Mountain to Hecla Junction)

Flow:  ~1800 cfs

Class:  III

Temperature:  50-60 deg (partly cloudy)

Buddies:  Chadwick Shoults, Fino

Description:  When we got up, it was about 40deg and cloudy, so we decided to go into town to eat and see if it would warm up.  We ate at Evergreen Cafe, which was pretty good.  Chadwick and Ashley brought 8 month old Braxton along, which was pretty cool.  He did pretty well the whole time, but I think he got a little worked up during the night when it was windy and kind of cold, but that’s pretty reasonable.  I don’t think Ashley got a whole lot of sleep, but besides that, it was a decent first camping trip for Braxton.  We finally got in the river at around 11:00 right by our campsite (#15) at Ruby Mountain…  how convenient.  The water was cold, but the air temp wasn’t too bad.  The run was good overall.  The wave at canyon doors was decent, but hard to get into.  Zoom Flume was the best rapid as usual.  There was kind of a bouncy line to the right, and a slack-water line to the left, but also a large hole on the left at the bottom.  I think we all took the right line through the waves and made it through clean.  The rest of the run was good – boily eddy lines all over, and some fun drops and wave trains.

Carnage:  Fino had a wardrobe malfunction (skirt blowout) and ended up having to swim out of his bow-stalled boat, but that doesn’t really count as a swim.  No other carnage.

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