Kayaking

Kayak log: The Numbers 2009-07-25

Posted by Andy on July 29, 2009
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Date: 2009-07-25 10am

Run: The Numbers to Buena Vista Park (Arkansas River)

Flow: ~600cfs

Class: IV-

Temperature: Warm at first, then rainy

Buddies: Fino, Chadwick Shoults

Description:  A fun run down from Numbers to Buena Vista.  This was Chadwick’s first time down The Numbers, and he did really well.  At this flow, The Numbers becomes much more “creeky” than at the previous flow of 1800 or 2000.  I thought #1, #5, and #6 were the best rapids.  #1 was way less pushy than at higher flows, but there were a lot more rocks and boily eddies to maneuver around.  #2 was fun and not too bad.  #3 and the supposed #3.5 were still a bit of a mystery as to which was which.  After #2 there is a decent-sized drop, which we thought might be #3, followed by a longer, wavy drop which we thought might be #3.5.  I don’t really know if there is a #3.5, maybe the longer one was actually just #3.  I guess I’ll have to go with a guide sometime and figure that out.  #4 was good, I went down the chute on the right side, just to the left of where the irrigation channel starts on river-right.  Fino and Chadwick went down the left side, which was a bit bumpier, but didn’t look too bad.  #5 was good, it’s much easier at this flow.  After the initial drop-in, you just have to make you way around a few rocks and small holes and it’s over.  #6 was a surprise, I had forgotten about this one – it might have actually been the best rapid of the day.  This is where the “photogs” hang out for the commercial trips.  The lead in is a little tricky with some holes and rocks, and then there’s a sizable hole near the bottom.  Cheez had a little trouble in the hole area, but made it out fine.  The rest of the run was fun.  After the railroad bridge, I guess we went through #7, but I’m not sure which one it was.  The rest of Fractions was fun, but then the river kind of died.  Frog Rock seemed much different at this flow.  You can clearly see the nasty pin spot on the right, but the left side was cake.  House Rock was the last rapid of the day.  I went down the left side and slipped between two pointy rocks.  Fino and Cheez went down the right.  Chadwick kind of slammed into the wall and had to roll.  He then proceeded to give the finger to House Rock, his life-long nemesis.  The rest of the run got a bit painful, a lot of flat water and those annoying waves that splash you just enough to be annoying.

Overall, it was a great run, but I think at this flow, it’s best to just get out at Railroad Bridge and skip Fractions/Frog Rock.  The river really peters out, and it becomes a bit too long for one sitting.  However, low flow is a great time to take a first-timer down the numbers, so they can get a good feel for what it might look like when the flows come up.

Carnage:  I made it completely clean, which was nice.  Chadwick had a few rolls, but not bad at all for a first time!

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Kayak log: Upper Clear Creek 2009-07-07

Posted by Andy on July 08, 2009
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Date: 2009-07-07 6:30pm

Run: Upper Clear Creek (Kermitt’s to mile marker 260.6)

Flow: 550cfs

Class: IV

Temperature: Warm

Buddies: Fino

Description: This was my first run down Upper Clear Creek.  The first two drops (beaver 1 and 2) were fun and not too difficult.  The first one was more straight-forward.  We scouted this one before running – left of center, there is a pillow of water that builds up.  A good line is to basically try to get on top of the pillow and ride it all the way down, and miss the hole at the bottom.  We didn’t scout beaver 2, so we just made a best-guess line.  I went over a small drop on the left, and rode the tongue down to the bottom.  At the bottom there is a wall-like pillow of water on the left, which unexpectedly flipped both Fino and I.  Next time, I’ll be ready.  After that, there was some bony boogie water, leading up to the biggest rapid on the run.  Fino and I thought that this large drop was called “Cabbage Shredder,” but after looking at CRC and WWSR tonight, I think it actually was “Double Knife.”  We were thinking Double Knife was the last big rapid on the run, but I think that’s actually called “Terminator.”  Anyway, the first major rapid was definitely the hardest.  There is a nasty shelf pour-over at the top on the right.  We both took the left line at the top and worked to the center and right near the bottom, avoiding some nasty, sharp rocks and holes.  After that, there was some more boogie water, finally leading up to what I guess is Terminator.  This rapid has a large boulder on the right at the top, and another large boulder at the bottom on the left.  A large hole develops at the bottom left, but can be easily avoided (this must be the terminator hole.)  The rest of the run is easy class III-.  The takeout is a large asphalt pullout at mile market 260.6, but it seems like you can go quite a bit further before Blackrock starts.

Overall, it was a fun run.  I’d say it’s a little more white-knuckle than Lower CC, due to the nasty rocks, and larger drops, but less continuous class IV compared to LCC.

Carnage:  Rolled at beaver 2 (pillow wall got me), but cleaned the rest.

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Kayak log: Upper Rustic 2009-06-27

Posted by Andy on June 28, 2009
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Date: 2009-06-27 12:00pm

Run: Cache la Poudre – Upper Rustic

Flow: 4′ on Pineview gauge

Class: III (IV-)

Temperature: Warm

Buddies: Fino, Nick Lamb, Chadwick Shoults, Big Ken from CK, and Lou from CK

Description: Our first trip back to Upper Rustic after “the incident” a few years ago. The flows were good (4′ on Pineview), and the run was even better than I remembered. We started at the same place as last time, about a 1/2 mile up from the “Miracle Mile” (actually the Miracle 1/4 Mile). The upper part was really good at this flow, big waves and holes, and some good boof opportunities. The Miracle Mile was the highlight of the run – a long continuous section, similar to Screamin’ 1/4 Mile on Lower CC, with bigger waves and holes, but less technical. Lou decided to run the miracle mile with Fino and I, and the other guys started just below it. Lou ended up going for a dip near the end of the section. He was able to get out pretty quickly, but it took about a mile to get his boat and paddle to the side. He was okay. The rest of the run was good sections of class III waves and holes. Definitely a good run, and worth making the extra drive.

Carnage: Lou took a little swim in “Miracle Mile”

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Kayak log: Golden 2009-06-23

Posted by Andy on June 23, 2009
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Date:  2009-06-23 6:00pm

Run:  Clear Creek – Golden Play Park

Flow:  ~780 cfs

Class:  III

Temperature:  A little cloudy and rainy, but not too cold

Buddies:  Nick Lamb

Description:  Another after-work run at Golden.  The “James Wave” is good at this flow, it gets less steep and more front-surfable.

Carnage:  None

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Kayak log: Dumont to Kermitt’s 2009-06-20

Posted by Andy on June 23, 2009
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Date:  2009-06-20 10:30am

Run:  Dumont (6-pipes bridge) to Kermitt’s

Flow:  ~700 cfs

Class:  IV/III

Temperature:  cloudy and cold (water temp was cold!)

Buddies:  Chadwick, Fino

Description:  Fino and I ran the Dumont section and met up with Chadwick at Chicago Creek for the Idaho Springs town run.  Dumont is awesome at this flow.  The upper section of Dumont is somewhat continuous class III with a few larger (but short) drops.  The middle section consists of fish-ladder type drops, with fairly easy read-and-run decisions.  The lower section contains some more continuous, narrow sections surrounded by road-blast rocks.  Near the bottom there are some pretty significant, longer sections of rapids.  Right before Outer Limits rapid, there is a long pushy rapid that was awesome at this flow.  Outer Limits was fun, and not too difficult.

Carnage:  I took a pretty silly swim after getting stuck in what should have been a nothing pour-over.  I wen’t over the pour-over hoping to get some boof practice, but ended up getting stuck in a pretty steep hole at the bottom.  I sat in it for a second bracing, but it was a bit too steep to really get in position to surf out, so I gave up a little too early and ended up swimming.  I think I could have gotten out if I tried a little harder, not sure what happened there…  Oh well, I guess you’re always between swims.  Fino managed to broach my boat on a rock a little ways down, and I held onto my paddle, so it ended up being a pretty minor swim, aside from a few bumps and bruises.

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