Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wicked Wed. 3 Removing Wood From Crystal Gorge

We had no idea today was going to be so long. Sometimes you gotta put some work in before you can run the shit. Today was one of those days. We hiked up to the bottom of the upper gorge just above zute chute. There was a huge log blocking the entrance to the inner gorge. It looked something like this.
Jake paddled to the far left of the log, climbed onto it and i pulled his boat back on a throwrope.
He then attached webbing to the log, walked back across the log, and I roped him back up the eddy.

We first tried to pull the upstream side towards us using come-alongs.

Jake in a bit of a sketchy spot just above Zute.

We couldnt get enough pull on the log to make it move like that. So Jake went back to the log, and re-attached the webbing to the other end. And got the adrenaline of swimming above a log jam with a body-recirculating hole below it, above a 40 footer and the gnarliest gorge in colorado.

We finally moved the log a bit, but it was still blocking the entrance. Fred went in baited swimmer style with a chainsaw and had the pleasure of sitting in a tiny cave chainsawing a partially submerged log for 45 mins.

Once the log finally was cut through, it dropped several inches in the water, and was almost runnable. After we released tension from the come-alongs, the log dropped into a runnable position that looks like this.

It was an epic day, took about 8 hours in total, and we were glad no one got swept into the gorge w/out a kayak. The gates to the Inner are open, Happy stout runnings.

Jake in the cool old mining tunnel.
The lip of Zute Chute.
Millers falls...Jake thinks it might go....
I kind of think so too.
The last rapid of the inner, a very nice hole at this flow.
Looking up the gorge from the takeout eddy.

1 comment:

RiotAJ said...

Wow fellas. 8 hours to get some wood out is some dedication. Nice work!

Fred, you heading back to Chile this winter? I am wondering what people are doing. Let me know . Peace

-Adam Johnson