6.15.2009

Hopped on some good rivers this weekend. On Saturday, Bridger and I headed for Aspen to run Castle Creek and the Slaughterhouse stretch of the Roaring Fork. Castle Creek was fun, though far too short. Narrow slots through big boulders was the theme of the run. We ran into wood in a couple of spots, including in the crux drop, which required us to sneak around it in a bony channel. The level was fairly low, but the rocks were smooth and so were the lines.

Slaughterhouse was a lot of fun; it reminded me quite a bit of the Upper Yough. Big boulders in a fairly wide riverbed, with a fun falls in the middle of the run. The drops were all fairly easy and straightforward, but you could slice-and-dice the rapids into some fun moves if you were looking for them. While the boys ran shuttle I tried to catch some dinner, without any luck.

We camped up near Glenwood Springs at a nice little campsite in some BLM land. We heard more coyotes than cars, and I thrashed Bridger at Scrabble. The next morning we headed toward Vail, and scouted Upper Death of Barrel Springs on the Colorado. It was probably the most intimidating rapid I've seen; 6600 cfs dropping a ton of gradient into a huge, scary hole. We passed on Upper Death, and headed to Gilman Gorge, which was running high. The lead-in was a lot more interesting than usual, and the main drops were beefy. We walked the crux of fall creek, which dropped into a very ugly looking hole. The rest of the run ran clean, though I had a few issues with Boof Rapid. We walked Slurry Pipe as well, which looked passable but with a lot of room for screw-ups. It was a good run, but we'll have to get back there again once the flows drop a little bit so we can run the rest of it.

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