After a hole year of WCKA and not getting to boat back where I learned to take my first strokes, it’s a amazing feeling to come back full circle. Once I got back I called up Fred Norquist and we fired of some good Roaring Fork classics, the Narrows on the Crystal River, and Slaughter House on the Rio Grand. Both are simple class IV runs but must do’s with the right flows if your ever over here!
Mount Sopris in the Roaring Fork Valley
The Narrows….or Gnarrows, is about a mile stretch of river up the Crystal River near Red Stone. About twenty feet wide and a steep gradient makes this section a rollercoaster winding down the road side the whole way. Big lateral waves stacked right on top of each other leading right by munchy holes makes this section around a mile of nonstop whitewater. There is nothing really technical about this run. The line is stay center most of the time, and dodge obvious holes that randomly pop up. At lower flows there is a hot spring by the put in which is great to check out. When we ran it we hiked it once to get twice the fun in, but if you just keep going down river you will start on a section of river called Avalanche. It’s a good class II
I cruise run about 7 miles long and has a fun dam you can boof over (it’s a little shallow so get a good boof, or if you do a good freewheel you wont feel a thing!). Unfortunatley we didn't take pictures because its so continuous.
Me on Slaughter House
Slaughter House is by far my favorite kayaking run to do in the Roaring Fork Valley, and not only cause I live close enough to walk to the put in. It’s one of the few runs in Colorado that is made up of nice smooth boulders and has endless possibilities for fun and challenging boulder garden lines. I’m not sure how long of a run it is, but it takes about a hour to get down it. The rapids are classic boulder garden style, allowing you to weave in and out of boulders. You can still paddle more straight forward lines though if you want, similar to what the rafts take. This run is great because by line choice you can make it a easy class III+ and have a relaxed day or paddle hard and choose technical lines and turn it into a class V-. I took my Jefe Grande down it and have play boated it a couple times, either one makes it a good time, but I deffinatley think the creekboat is way more fun cause you can take way more fun and challenging lines. The only rapid that stands out as not a boulder garden is Slaughter House falls, intimidating name, but not as much in person! It’s a 4 foot boof ledge that at all flows you can boof on the left, but at higher flows you have the option to run super close to the right wall and hit a nice boof flake. Get up here while the flows are good!
Fred Boofing over Slaughter House Falls