High Water

Another good high water weekend.  Saturday we caught Bear Creek at around 175 cfs.  It was my first time out there; classic Colorado micro-creek mank boating.  We lapped No Fun Falls a few times and it looked like some press got some photos, so maybe I'll have pretty photos soon. 

Sunday we got on big water Big Thompson, with 575 on the gauge, and about 800 coming through past Drake thanks to the water from the North Fork coming in.  Big water and big holes all over the place.  No carnage though, fortunately.  At these levels, it might be one of my favorite runs.  What is usually a IV+ is a solid V at those levels, and the area below the dam was clocking in at a V- or so.  Good times. 


Big Water Weekend

Record high temperatures have kicked all of the levels up. Things have been busy.

On Saturday a group of five of us, Cliff, George, Ian, Gannon, and myself ran the Big Thompson at about 800. It was big. Lots of big holes and busy water. Gannon swam in the first 2 miles or so, though the boat and swimmer recovery was remarkably quick, given the fast water. The rapid that was usually a IV+ or so was a solid V. Nobody had real clean lines; I had a small side-surfing episode in the middle of it, but it was fine. I punched one of the biggest holes I've ever gone through. And then one huge hole sent me on the biggest stern squirt I've ever had. It felt like almost all of my boat was out of the water. I thought I was going to be able to ride it out, until I only saw sky behind my bow. I went all the way over backwards, but a quick roll got me upright again.

Sunday was Black Rock at 1000. I showed a couple of MN boaters, Burgess and John, the way down. They had big eyes. Both of them walked the narrows, and we all walked rigor mortis. Everything else went pretty cleanly; all of the lines are the same, the holes and waves are just quite a bit bigger. Wavetrains on the lower were tall, and scremaing quarter mile was pretty busy. Fortunately, we didn't have any carnage.

Today, Bridger and I were back on Black Rock at 1100 or so. Wood was moving around some, but wasn't in play yet. Things were busy again, but the lines stayed the same. We both had issues in the Narrows; Bridger was flipped by the big hole after Mr. Bill; I was stern-squirted a bit and then had a pair of rolls over the top of big holes. It was nerve-wracking; a swim there would have been terrible. Screaming quarter mile was busy again, but there wasn't much that couldn't be punched or anticipated. I'd say screaming quarter mile today was on par with black rock or the narrows at 400 or 500.

Be careful out there boys and girls. There have been more posts on Mountainbuzz for lost gear and boats in the past couple of days than I've seen since I've gotten out here.