Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pandora's Box: THE REAL DEAL

Jake and I have been talking about this run for quite a while. It always inspires a bit of fear in me everytime I hear the name. This was nothing compared to the amount of fear I had getting in my boat at the put-in, about to drop into one of the deepest gorges and probably the gnarliest run in CO. It isn't really a recommended run unless you really know what you are getting into. You CANNOT swim. There is no getting out. This is the real deal, committing class 5. It didnt help that there are signs hiking in that say "NO Trespassing, Violators will be shot, and Survivors will be shot again". We had awesome guides, big thanks to Ben and Nate for leading us down. They were awesome. From what I hear, most people stop running the box at 600cfs. Our level was 750cfs. Quite a juicy level for our first time, and the second day in our creek boats for the season. We were scared. Luckily everything went as planned, no swims, each of us flipped once. My favorite rapid was swollen member, a slide with a huge hole/boily eddy at the bottom. If you are up to this run, do it, some of the best whitewater in CO, and the coolest gorge I have ever been in. I love this run and it was an epic day.

Looking into the gorge, holy shit.

We made it past the sketchy part of the hike past the no-bullshit property owners.
Jake looking into the ominous gorge.
Us at the put-in, a very scary moment.
The put-in rapid has only been run 3 times, very stout.
Nate chillin in the gorge.

I didnt really get many photos because you cant really get out, but not only is this the hardest and most committing run in CO, but also one of the best. It was so much fun. Some of the best whitewater in CO.

Jake very stoked to be done and alive.

That is my hardcore face. I was stoked to be at the bottom and safe.

We then went and lapped vallecito at about 300cfs. Probably one of the best days of paddling of my life. SOOO good.

My toenail fell off, too much hiking!!(after pandoras, and 2 laps of vallecito)

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