Thursday, March 27, 2008

New and Improved BV Holes Photos

The Buena Vista Whitewater Park in Colorado just received an incredible spring cleaning and tune up. Thanks to Mike Harvey of Recreation Engineering and Planning aka, the town of Buena Vista, and Chaffee County, we were able to work on all 4 in stream features last week. The result is much improved hydraulic performance for boaters, cleaner lines, and an over all safer and more fun environment for all.

The Arkansas River has been dishing out flows this week of 600-700 cfs, which is not the norm, but has make for some great play boating in the improved park. People are starting to search for their gear and hit the water for some incredibly fun, but cold, sessions.

To get the Buena Vista River Park is easy.
Come to Buena Vista from Highway 24 to the only stop light. Turn east onto E Main St and take that road till it ends at the River Park. There is great parking, changing rooms, boat ramps, trails and access all up and down the west side of the river.

Below is a short update on each of the four main features. We recommend a dry top pogies and a head heater or skull cap. With this gear, and a sunny day, you will have a blast and be well ahead of the play boating curve over your peers.

All featured photos of each of these features are from the past 2 days and show the new and improved feature at current water levels.


The Top Hole or Uptown Hole. This is the original wave/hole that was constructed in 2002. It is located just upstream of the Whipple or Midland Trail Bridge at the end of E. Main St. The boat ramp provides easy access to large eddies and is a popular rafting put in and take out. Improvements include more rock added to the river left wing to enhance the eddy on that side. Also rock material was added to decrease erosion in the center low flow areas of the feature. Result: an awesome river wide wave that is dynamic and powerful for any move you want to do.


Looking downstream from the bridge over the top hole you can just barely see the 2nd and 3rd features.


Hole # 2 or Midtown. This friendly surfer is located 1/4 mile downstream of the Uptown Hole and is accessed several ways. The best is to stay in your boat and float down some class II water to it. You can also hike down a wide trail or park you car in front on the Buena Vista Community Center and walk down the stairs to the river. It is right there. Improvements include adding rock to both wings to concentrate more water to the center. Result; deeper wave/hole, with more energy and more retentive. Still very friendly with a gigantic recovery pool. This has quickly become the crowd favorite with easy cartwheels, free wheels and low water looping potential.


Town Feature or Pocket Wave. A few hundred yards down from the Midtown feature you will notice two river wings that jet into the current from both river banks. These wings help accelerate the water to the center of the river, where a large island of rock is located creating a fun foam pile for surfing, spinning and cart wheeling. Improvements: River bed depth altered to make this pocket wave steeper at higher flows. Results: More fun at higher flows. This feature is great to build your play boating skills because it is not super easy to get onto. You have to ferry out to it and be precise with your edge control to stay on. It may be a little hard for some, but if you use it, you will become a better boater overall.


Bottom Wave or Downtown Hole. This hole is located at the South Main Town Square and is accessible by boat from the Uptown or Midtown features, by foot on the river trail, or by car if you drive into the South Main Neighborhood off of E Main St. This was the one that every paddler talked about. Fun at low levels, but hard and too retentive above 700 cfs. Improvements: lower pool height was raised and eddy service improved. Result: The feature literally went from scary to docile the day of the improvements. It is very user friendly now and soft and gentle. As of spring flows, the bottom hole has turned into the “beginner spot” for easy surfing spinning and cart wheeling. It is much deeper and has a much larger recovery zone down stream.

Come on down, we hope to see you all here in Buena Vista. The park is ready for you all to enjoy. Our trails are drying out fast, so bring your bike and or hiking shoes. Plus the hot springs and here will keep you warm after a long day of cold play boating this spring.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Way to kick the winter blues

It was a Thursday night and I was packing my car with my kayak and gear to make the 12 hour trip to Arizona to get some early season boating in, and a break from the cold Colorado winter. Just then the phone rang, and I found out a friend had acquired a permit for the Salt River Wilderness trip the following weekend. Not wanting to miss out on any boating, I worked it out where I could make the drive 2 weekends in a row. Now all I had to do was get 4 papers done before spring break......So, after a couple of all-nighters of homework, I was on my way to AZ.

The first weekend I got to do a little bit of boating like this fun drop:

However, my weekend of boating got cut short when this came up (click here), and most of the boaters I know in AZ went there. I decided I wasn't quite ready for this to be my first run of the season, and went hiking in the blooming desert with my sister instead.

The highlight of my 2 weekends in Arizona would end up being my return to the Salt River; the very place where I fell in love with whitewater. The Salt River is a magical place for me filled with good memories, good friends, first swims, and lots of laughter. Having lived most of my life in the deserts of Arizona, it is always a pleasure to visit home, especially if I have my boat!

The 12 of us met on Friday morning in Globe, AZ- the closest town to the put-in. After loading up with enough ice, beer and Red Bull for 3 days, we were on our way.

From left: CKS Squad Member Cody, Ron, Ryan, Andy, Dave, Paul, Jim, and Mark.
In Front: Aaron, CKS Staff Member Aubrie (myself!), Sky, and Jim.

The first day on the Salt River consists of bouncy wave trains, short class III rapids, and numerous small but quality play waves, such as The Hoodoo Wave:

Cody Howard on the Hoodoo Wave, see more of him at

Dave happily hauling our gear while Sky surfs in the Super Star.

The reward after paddling the first day is the Ledges, a series of nice waves that you can catch one after the other, with an easy hike back up to the top.

Sky surfing the ledges.

Jim and Paul oar the raft under the Salt Banks.

Stopping for lunch on Day 1.

The second day of the Wilderness trip consists of short pool-drop rapids, squirrelly water, and gorgeous scenery.

Ryan on Blackrock Rapid.

Aubrie running Quartzite Falls in her Ammo.

Mark running Quartzite while Aubrie watches in the eddy in case he swims :)

Aaron running the left line of Quartzite.

Corkscrew Rapid- a raft's view.

By far one of the most enjoyable parts of the Salt River Thru trip is warming up by the campfire after a long day of paddling. Well maybe one thing beats that, homemade chicken burritos and chili on a sandy beach. Thanks Paul and Ryan!!

Ron, Aubrie, Ryan, and Sky.

The third day on the river contained classic Sonoran desert scenery and 20 miles of flatwater. The kayakers floated most of the way, knowing we didn't even have to paddle to stay ahead of this raft :)

The Booze Cruise.

Red Bull or beer in hand, we reached the takeout on Sunday afternoon.

The Salt River Wilderness run is a classic desert overnight trip which can take 3-6 days to complete. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has never done it. You might even get lucky enough to see a coatamundi or javelina!

The Crew 52 miles, 1100 vertical feet, and 2 days later.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

CKS Web Marketing and Web Development Internship

CKS Web Marketing and Web Development Internship-
This paid internship is a great opportunity for spring or summer 2008!

For full details follow this link-->