Friday, July 15, 2005

Cross Creek....aka Choss Creek

Cross Creek is located near Vail, Co in the Eagle Drainage. It seems to be the new "Hot Thing" in Colorado, and so it sounded like fun. Also, there were some great looking pics on the Buzz. Apparantly there "The Standard Section" begins about .75 miles up from the trailhead. This is a 1/2 mile section full of slides and a waterfall. From here you either walk up (steeply) to the trail and hike a .25 mile back to the car, or continue downstream dealing with many log portages and slightly runnalbe drops. There is also a couple drops above the standard section. We set out and hiked to the first drop in the standard section. Wanting a warm-up for that one, we hiked another mile up, and put in. I guess we didn't go far enough because we only found one runnable drop....a notchy flume.

Nate Mack

photo by TG

From here is was some bump and grind down to the first drop of the Standard Section--an Island Drop that only one of us liked. At this point we realized that we had lost water since we hiked up and were all wishing we had more water.

Oliver grinding his way to a smooth line

photo by TG

A short distance below this drop was "The Electric Slide." This was when we knew the water was low. This slide pinches down to a boat's width and most of the river piles into a boulder on the right. Luckily the boulder is overhanging and has enough of a pillow to slide through, and down the remainder of the slide. It's fairly continous with a log to duck and a few ledges before the corner waterfall, which drops you into a small gorge with a few more drops before the take-out.

Oliver not phased by the low water

portrait by TG

Oliver probing the Electric Slide

photo by TG

I don't know if it was the low water, the fact that every drop had an unappealing feature, or just that I am getting old, but the creek definately left me wondering why I was carrying my boat around the hot, dry Rocky Mountains rather than back home in the lush and soft NW rivers, where you slide on water, not rock. Anyways, go check it out sans boat first, and if you want to run it, catch it in the AM.

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