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June 29, 2006

By Clay Wright. Learn more about Clay.

The feeding frenzy in the Big South section of the Poudre in Colorado continues, and the kayakers are hungary as the mosquitos.

Each night I hope someone shows up, and each morning the kayakers have sprung up all around the campground. Had a group of 9 today – the smallest number I’ve paddled with all week.

Great day – despite one extremely split kayak (bitchathane to the rescue! He paddled every rapid on the river with a 10” crack under the seat) the group fired up everything on the river with style.
The river alternates continuous class 3+ to 4+ with tight canyons and ledges that bump it up to mid-grade 5. Fantasy Flight twists through the bedrock before a 5′ chute, Cool World bounces through boulders before a 10′ falls with an undercut wall right and a cave/eddy left. Submarine features a mid-river sieve below a double 4′ boof with piton potential. And Double Drop matches a technical 10′ fall with a powerful 15′ ramp into a hole of epic proportions. Finally, Slideways features a series of class 4 bounder moves, an 9′ boof, a breather, then a twisty ramp into a nasty little hole. About 5 boats through all the big rapids, then 4 of us continued past the ‘take out’ (after a 2 wood portage) down the bottom 4 rapids, portaged the seive left, and ran the bottom drops of it – finishing up at the campground.

After 4 days, I’ve finally run it all in one shot. So I’m giving up my nightly blood donations to the mosquitos by heading to lower ground. Dinner in Walden, heading to Kremmeling for some morning GORE. Enjoy the rain SE’erners!!