Crack in the rock

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Bradley

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Feb 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/3/97
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CNN just did a story about the guy who swam above crack this summer.
This would be the fellow who purposely got in the water above left
crack so he could swim over and take a look at middle crack. Anyway
the kid did not make it, he was stuffed into left crack and drowned.

Seems his parents are pushing to have the forest service take some
dynamite and "modify" left crack to make it "safe".

Just thought that the newsgroup should know.

Dale A. Brown

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Feb 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/3/97
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In article <32F608...@turner.com>, Bradley <" Brad.roberts"@turner.com>
wrote:


>CNN just did a story about the guy who swam above crack this summer.

I saw the coverage this morning as well. Really hit the mark with all of the
recent discussion concerning the "green log".

The Chatooga is listed as a wild and scenic river which protects it from any
modifications. Even by those who manage the resource.

Statistically, there have been 20 deaths on the Chatooga ( I think all sections
are included in this statistic) since 1974, and five of them ( 25% ) have been
at Crack in the Rock. The statistics do cause attention to be given to Crack in
the Rock.

The parents are saying that given the amount of commercial and private traffic
that uses the Chattooga every year, it's no longer wild and scenic. I completely
disagree with that line of logic. I don't think there are any stipulations in
the wild and scenic rivers act regarding usage. But they want the river bed
modified with explosives just the same. This is another issue, but I would
rather see the voided area under water filled with concrete as see any
explosives used. You're more likely to end up with a more dangerous situation
with sharp, jagged rocks pointing back upstream.

Considering the rbp group has gone over the ethical, moral, and philosophical
issues regarding stream modifications, it will be interesting to see what the
legal channels have to say about this issue. Currently, the governing body's
stand is that they are unauthorized, and bound by law not to make any
modifications to the river channel. The parents are pursuing a legal case. With
coverage by CNN, and perhaps other networks, the courts may have to address the
issue.

Beyond all the debate, I'm saddened by the loss of life; although fragile,
Life is such a wonderful thing. The rivers are generally very forgiving and
gentle with paddlers. We've all had our share of close calls. My heart goes out
to the family.

Dale
+++++++ http://www.inlink.com/~dailu/ ++++++

Billy Herring

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Feb 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/3/97
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Bradley <" Brad.roberts"@turner.com> writes:

>CNN just did a story about the guy who swam above crack this summer.

>Seems his parents are pushing to have the forest service take some

>dynamite and "modify" left crack to make it "safe".


It's possible that, in their grief, his parents are wanting to lash out at
something and wanting to find something to blame for their son's tragic
death. But, obviously, altering a rapid will not bring back their son.
Whether directed at a person or a rapid, revenge is not usually a good
salve for grief.

I'm feel very badly for their loss, but no one should take it out on the
rapid.

- Bill

josh tomberg

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Feb 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/3/97
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Uh-oh I feel a flood of posts coming on.....
Rivers are not amusement parks, they aren't designed for out safety.
Rivers have real risks, it's part of the fun.
IF they put dynamite in that crack and blow up part of one
of the most beautiful rivers I have ever seen, it will sicken me.
I doubt that the forest service will have the balls to modify a federally
protected river, but the very suggestion shows the lack of respect people have
for nature. Losing a child is not something to trivialize, but that kid should not have
been out there if he or his parents thought that the Chattooga river was Disneyland.
Swimming out to the middle of the river right in front of left crack was a risky and
stupid move (by most standards) and so Darwins Law caught up with him and he died.
I hope that we are all taking resposibility for our own actions when we get to the
put-in.

joshua


Bradley wrote:

>
> CNN just did a story about the guy who swam above crack this summer.

> This would be the fellow who purposely got in the water above left
> crack so he could swim over and take a look at middle crack. Anyway
> the kid did not make it, he was stuffed into left crack and drowned.
>

> Seems his parents are pushing to have the forest service take some
> dynamite and "modify" left crack to make it "safe".
>

Roger Nelson Goth

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Feb 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/3/97
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Right on man... I agree with you !

Kilgore Trout

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Feb 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/4/97
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Have no fear! The Chattooga will not be dynamited! If the forest service
even tried a stunt like that (no offense to the parents and I am very sorry
for their loss) the Blue Ridge Coalition, South Carolina Forest Watch, and
us Chattooga Locals would be raising hell. I live in Walhalla SC, 20 min.
away from Chattooga, work on it all summer, paddle all year, and every one
I know would be out there against it. There is no way the FS could pull it
off. If the guy, who was 24, was skilled enough to be in the Five Falls,
he should have known better. I am not by any means saying he deserved it,
but I am saying that it is a good message to the public...you've got to
know what you're doing to be down there. Most of the people I know will
paddle four or five years before even thinking of that run, even then they
are really picky about what water levels to go on.

Roger Nelson Goth <got...@gladstone.uoregon.edu> wrote in article
<Pine.SOL.3.91.970203...@gladstone.uoregon.edu>...

OCOEE NEW

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Feb 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/4/97
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Who really gives a damn about a line that shouldn't be run. If you have
any sense at all you'll run right crack, middle crack or just walk it. I'm
not in favor of blowing it up to make it safer, but it wouldn't hurt my
feelings if it were made safer to run either. There is no particular
"beauty" or anything else about that tiny little spot in the river. It
just kills people when they run it and that doesn't do our sport or the
Chattooga River any good either. Something should be done, even if it is
no more than signs warning people of that specific rapid at the put-ins.

Witness002

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Feb 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/4/97
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Dale A. Brown <da...@inlink.com> says:
>...Bradley <" Brad.roberts"@turner.com> wrote:

>>CNN just did a story about the guy who swam above crack this summer.
>

(snipped)
>
>Dale
For those who'd like a little more background, from American Whitewater,
Sept/Oct '96, p. 31:
"On June 13, Ken Phinney, 24, decided to paddle (Section IV of the
Chatooga, which contains many undercut rocks). An occasional raft guide,
he had been (kayaking) Class III-IV for about 6 months. A boater familiar
with Section IV agreed to take him down. Arriving at Crack in The Rock
rapid, the lead boater ran Right Crack and set up safety. Ken and his
friend, despite warnings from the lead boater, inexplicably beached their
boats and swam over to scout left and center crack. Left crack is full of
undercuts...Phinney was carried into the drop where he pinned under
several feet of water. It took rescue squads several days to pull him out,
and his body was torn apart in the process."
Clearly, this does not fall under the category of an unforseeable
accident. The rapid is a Class V on a IV-V river; the bad section is
easily avoidable by those who belong on the river. It is unfortunate that
Mr. Phinney paid for his negligence with his life, but his parents'
overreaction is unwarranted. I'm sure they must know the extent of their
son's error. It's not my place to tell others how to grieve, but they're
apparently going to hassle a lot of people; none of that will ease their
pain.

Riviera Ratt

GratefulEd

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Feb 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/4/97
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Modify the river? Come again?

Come on, guys...I know there's a hazard in Left Crack, but are we going to
dynamite Woodall's Shoals while we're at it? What about Hydroelectric
Rock?

While I appreciate the intentions of the parents of the man who was
drowned, I have to point out that the danger inherent in kayaking is the
essence of its attraction for many, and that to remove all danger would be
to remove all attraction. I am not a proponent of stupid risks, but
neither am I a proponent of cakewalks. Pushing the envelope is the name
of the game, and I do not want to run "safe rivers". I'd rather be a
"safe paddler".

This situation is analogous to the "speed limits save lives" arguments.
If 55 MPH saves X lives per year, wouldn't 35MPH save even more? Lowering
Crack from Class IV to Class III would certainly be safer for paddlers.
But hell...why stop there? Let's take it all the way down to Class I, eh?

Ed

ld

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Feb 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/4/97
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Bradley wrote:
> More on this
The story aired on Mon Feb 3. It played on CNN about four times that
day. It involves people who are relatively serious about dynamiting
a rapid on section four of the CHATTOOGA RIVER. Lets pay attention
to this.

Tom McCloud

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Feb 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/4/97
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GratefulEd wrote:
>
> Modify the river? Come again? Come on, guys...I know there's a >hazard in Left Crack, but are we going to dynamite Woodall's Shoals >while we're at it? What about Hydroelectric Rock?
>
There was a story (legend, urban folklore?) >20 years ago that
someone HAD attempted to remove the reversal from Woodall by dropping
dynamite into it, but it made the reversal worse. Anyone have factual
information on that?

Is there a difference between dynamiting Crack and Quartzite
Falls? Anybody who does it should be thrown in jail. But I'm
inclined to agree with the post from LD---"We'd better watch out for
this". Paddlers need to let it be known to the Forest Service, or
whoever is in charge, that blasting rapids is a bad idea. Let's get
this stopped before it grows its own legs. Tom McCloud

Henry Ballard

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Feb 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/4/97
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Witness002 wrote:
>
> Dale A. Brown <da...@inlink.com> says:
> >...Bradley <" Brad.roberts"@turner.com> wrote:
>
... stuff deleted...

> >The Chatooga is listed as a wild and scenic river which protects it from
> any
> >modifications. Even by those who manage the resource.
> >
...more stuff deleted...

> >The parents are saying that given the amount of commercial and private
> traffic
> >that uses the Chattooga every year, it's no longer wild and scenic. I
...even more stuff deleted...
>
> Riviera Ratt

I saw the CNN report several times yesterday, and would like to add my
$.02. I'll leave the inherent risks debate alone for now, but I would
like speak to the level of traffic on the river. As some of you may
know, the Forest Service is in the process of revising the Resource
Management Plan for the Sumter National Forest which includes the
recreational use of the Chattogga River.

In the past few months some of us private boaters have gotten together
in opposition of the current levels and proposed increases of commercial
usage of the Chattooga River. Right now we are trying to put together
a meeting of any interested private boaters and representatives of the
Forest Service so that private boaters can learn more about the
management plan, ask questions, and let the Forest Service hear our
prespectives on paddling the Chattooga River. As soon as this meeting
is scheduled I will post it hear.

The point the parents make, with the amount of traffic there is on the
river it would hard to call the river "Wild and Scenic", is readily
accepted by me. When there is 70,000 people on the river a year and
about 2/3 is commercial traffic, it could readily give the amusement
park ride impression to the public. I hope the Chattooga will never
become an amusement park ride.

Additionally, the tradegy in this particular instance was that the
private boater had stopped to scout the run in the shadow of the most
dangerous location on the river for a swimmer. To my knowledge no one
has every swam through Left Crack and lived. With all of its risks,
I have heard boaters tell newbies that "you can't get hurt running
Bull Sluice", "the Five Falls isn't that bad," and generally presenting
the "you're a wus if you don't" attitude. While there are many boaters
out there capable of running Class VI waters these days, there are
many beginners who are mislead by the apparent ease that more advanced
boaters navigate some popular rapids.

IMHO, as private boaters we need to instill in anyone we help learn
the sport that every paddler assumes all the risks associated with
particpating in the sport. Every paddler is responsible for knowing
about the particular hazards of any river they choose to paddle. Every
paddler must accept the risks that come about from the unforeseen
hazards that may exist on any river trip. Most of all let your family
and friends know that you understand and accept the risks of
particpating in this sport. If the paddling community doesn't take the
initative, the lawyers and the government will surely screw up
whitewater paddling as we know it in the USA.

If you are interested in the management revision process contact:
snail mail
USDA Forest Service
Attn: Planning Team
4931 Broad River Road
Columbia, SC 29210-4021
E-mail
plan...@scsn.net

Or
SC Forest Watch (864) 647-8804
--
Henry Ballard hba...@ces.clemson.edu
______________________________________________________________________
"We are often most in the dark when we are the most certain, and most
enlightened when we are the most confused." M. S. Peck
______________________________________________________________________

Kilgore Trout

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Feb 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/4/97
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And why not set up an amusement park ride on the Chattooga like Thunder
River at Six Flags. If Crack gets modified, where will they stop? Why not
put a fence across the river above seven foot with "No Trespassing".

GratefulEd <grate...@aol.com> wrote in article
<19970204134...@ladder01.news.aol.com>...


> Modify the river? Come again?
>
> Come on, guys...I know there's a hazard in Left Crack, but are we going
to
> dynamite Woodall's Shoals while we're at it? What about Hydroelectric
> Rock?
>

Melissa

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Feb 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/4/97
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Bill wrote....


>I'm feel very badly for their loss, but no one should take it out on the
>rapid.
>

>Why not? I think we should nuke crack in the rock, and whoever does it
gets to re-name it. This would prove to be good incentive for people to
take their anger out on inanimate objects and not other humans. Plus, we
would have brand new rapids to run with DIFFERENT hazards, then when
someoene else gets hurt or dies, we can change it again! It says right
there in the bible that we should dominate the earth, so lets do it! Take
no prisoners, kayaking is WAR with the river, if they take one of ours, we
take one of theirs! Damn you crack in the rock, this is all YOUR fault!
Oh yeah, the other alternative is to just dam up every river, turn off the
water, have a 'River Clean-up day' where we all go out and pour concrete
into all the bad spots and remove all the logs, round off the sharp rocks,
polish the rough ones, 'neutralize' the viscious hydraulics, and generally
fuck up the whole idea of being outside on a beautiful river where risks
are assumed. If you read this far, I'm sorry, I got carried away.
Jimmy


josh tomberg

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Feb 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/4/97
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Right on Jimmy! While we're blowing up one of the most beautiful rivers I've
ever seen, we should carry some guns down there and shoot all of the wildlife
we can find. Hey, sometimes those deer get rabid and will attack you. I'm
gonna get out my bazooka and polish it tonight, who's with me??

joshua

ps just in case there's a few of you who haven't picked up on it,
THIS IS A JOKE.

perri

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Feb 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/4/97
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josh tomberg wrote:

> ps just in case there's a few of you who haven't picked up on it,
> THIS IS A JOKE.

Oh comeon Josh! Ye know deep inside, you ain't no kayaker, just one of
dem undercover hunters scopin out the grub for feedin dem yungins back
at the shack. That der kayak is a dummy to make de rest of dem tink
yous a boatr. (dem sponsons gave it away)
Per
--
"The river has great wisdom and whispers

its secrets to the hearts of men"


--
"The river has great wisdom and whispers

its secrets to the hearts of men"

Scott Broam

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Feb 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/5/97
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We better modify all of the hiking trails, too - don't want any steep
or slippery spots. Better do something about all of those deep lakes
and ponds. Mountain bikes and horses present too much of a risk as
well - heck you could fall off of one sitting still in the parking
lot. Come to think of it, our kitchen floor is a bit to slippery, I
better go home and roughen it up. Yikes - I'd have to DRIVE to get
there! Life's too dangerous - where's my sponson, I want my
sponson...

Scott "scared into a state of immobility" Broam

ps - maybe a jetski with enough sponsons would be safe...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Scott Broam
e-mail:ca...@ix.netcom.com
Columbia, SC
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


jlb...@aol.com

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Feb 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/5/97
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This is a transcript of the CNN story about Left Crack. I'll stop with
this for now, lest I spontaneously start spewing profanity again ;-) JK

HEADLINE: Child's Death Leads Family to Fight for Safety on the Chattooga
River

BYLINE: Lou Waters; Bobbie Battista; Andrea Zinga

HIGHLIGHT:
Inspired by the death of their son, a family is attempting to change the
course
of the Chattooga River to make it less dangerous.

BODY:
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: If you love the outdoors, you know that being
out in
nature means being aware of possible danger.

BOBBIE BATTISTA, CNN ANCHOR: Andrea Zinga reports on one family's quest
to
change the course of a river to make it less dangerous.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREA ZINGA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's an afternoon of
thrills,
for these visitors to the Chattooga River. The Chattooga, which actually
starts
in South Carolina, became famous in the 1972 movie, "Deliverance," and in
real
life, it can be just as dangerous.

DAVID LYLE: I guess Ken realized that he couldn't swim against the
current,
and looked up at his friends, threw up his arms, and went under. And
that's the
last anyone saw of him.

ZINGA (voice-over): Dave Lyle lost his 24-year-old son to the river, in
June.

Ken Phinney and three friends, all of them experienced river guides,
were
exploring section four of the Chattooga.

ZINGA (on-camera): When he got to this spot, called "Crack in the
Rock," he
got out of his kayak to scout a place to paddle.

PAGE 3
CNN TODAY, February 3, 1997

ZINGA (voice-over): But this was no gentle waterfall. Under this
water,
there's a crack in the river bed, and that's where Ken got trapped.

JENNIE LYLE: They recovered his body in three parts. The first part
was from
his torso up.

ZINGA (voice-over): Now, Ken's family would like to see this spot on
the
river bed changed, but federal law prevents any alteration.

ELIZABETH MARZ, U.S. DISTRICT RANGER: That means that we're limited by
the
stipulations in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, itself. And that does not
allow
us to physically alter the river bed.

J. LYLE: If they would take a look at the classification of this river,
they
would see that it's no longer wild and scenic.

ZINGA (voice-over): The forest service says approximately 70,000 people
go
down the Chattooga each year. Since 1974, 20 fatalities have occurred on
the
Chattooga, five of those at "Crack in the Rock."

D. LYLE: It would not be unreasonable to blow apart certain cracks with
dynamite, that are known to be hazards that trap people.

DAVID PERRIN, CHATTOOGA RIVER GUIDE: Where would you stop? There's
places
all up and down this river that are dangerous.

ZINGA (voice-over): But Ken's family refuses to give up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My brother, he was my hero.

J. LYLE: What do you do for your children while they're alive, you do
anything. I am willing to become an attorney, if I need to become an
attorney,
and try this case myself. I'll be fighting this until I am in the grave.

ZINGA (voice-over): Andrea Zinga, CNN, reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

josh tomberg

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Feb 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/5/97
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GO ahead and put a sign on it. After you do that, go put a sign on every
undercut on the Russel Fork. Now, go put a sign on every log on the
green. Now, go put a sign on all the sieves on the Lower Meadow. I keep
saying this b/c some people still don't understand; "THe River is NOT an
Amusement PARK!" Maybe left crack isn't particularly "beautiful" to you,
but the attiude that legitimatizes blowing up a piece of nature is
repulsive and arrogant. If you don't like left crack, stay off the
river.

joshua

sorry...@aol.com

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Feb 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/5/97
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you guys are too funny.

Dale A. Brown

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Feb 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/5/97
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In article <dailu-03029...@pm01124.inlink.com>, "Dale A. Brown"
<da...@inlink.com> wrote:


>Statistically, there have been 20 deaths on the Chatooga ( I think all sections
>are included in this statistic) since 1974, and five of them ( 25% ) have been
>at Crack in the Rock. The statistics do cause attention to be given to Crack in
>the Rock.

and..........

In article <19970205041...@ladder01.news.aol.com>, jlb...@aol.com
wrote:

>The forest service says approximately 70,000 people
>go
>down the Chattooga each year. Since 1974, 20 fatalities have occurred on
>the
>Chattooga, five of those at "Crack in the Rock."

I was just thinking about the volume of river traffic here that is accident
free. There a have been 20 fatalities in 23 years. I doubt river traffic was
70,000 in 1974, so I'll skew the numbers to realize an exponential growth in
recreational usage of the Chatooga since 1974. Let's just say that 200 thousand
people have been down the Chatooga since 1974, and five of those died at Crack
in the Rock. I don't know, but I can't think of many types of recreation that
provide that level of statistical safety.

I remember hearing of a guy ( and not to trivialize the death of any human
being) who was walking down the sidewalk in New York. He tripped on the
sidewalk, fell and hit the back of his head on a fire hydrant, and later died of
some kind of hemmorage later that day in the hospital. Walking down the street,
and perhaps chewing gum at the same time, may not be all that safe after all.

And regardless of the dangers, the view at the river is much more beautiful.

I don't mean to sound flippant, but I think my views on this have really been
swayed ny the discussion here in rbp. I would be much less likely to modify a
river in any way. I can still think of times I'd cut out a complete strainer on
a tiny creek, but for the most part, I agree with simply portaging around.

Ethically, a naturalistic viewpoint of "don't touch" is very pure. Yeah, I'm
becoming a natural, ethical purist!

What are you guys doing to me?

Paul Schelp

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Feb 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/5/97
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Josh, actually the Gauley and Chattooga, among others, have sort of
become amusement parks. I agree that the principle of using warning
signs is extreme, and it would be absurd to attempt to warn folks of
all such spots. However, I must say that it borders on the negligent
not to warn people of particularly horrible places in innocent
surroundings, on heavily traveled rivers.

I'm thinking in particular of Initiation Rapid on the Gauley. I
haven't run the Chattooga in a few years, but perhaps Crack in the
Rock is also such a place. Initiation presents the absolute nightmare
scenario: an appealing surfing wave at the lip of an easy enough class
4 rapid -- but if you get blown river right off that wave there's a
decent chance you will die in a hidden crack. At least 3 kayakers
have died there, maybe more.

At last fall's Gauley fest, I watched a strong, advanced-level boater
happen into this crack, violently bounce through the death zone, and
then emerge ok, fortunately. It's funny, because he was in a group of
expert boaters with some 20 years each of kayaking experience, yet I
suppose people just assumed this guy knew about the crack. Or maybe
they thought he saw the sign at the put-in...

In any event, I think there are just some very unusual places where we
would be out of line not to do everything possible to warn people of a
hidden danger.


tgb

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Feb 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/5/97
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josh tomberg wrote:

> GO ahead and put a sign on it. After you do that, go put a sign on every
> undercut on the Russel Fork. Now, go put a sign on every log on the
> green. Now, go put a sign on all the sieves on the Lower Meadow. I keep
> saying this b/c some people still don't understand; "THe River is NOT an
> Amusement PARK!" Maybe left crack isn't particularly "beautiful" to you,
> but the attiude that legitimatizes blowing up a piece of nature is
> repulsive and arrogant. If you don't like left crack, stay off the
> river.


With all due respect to Josh I think this isn't the most persuasive line
of thinking. After all, a lot of things in nature are themselves pretty
repulsive; rats carrying typhus, mass starvation, etc. We "blow" that
up, no? Beyond that, I think you also have to deal with the fact that at
heart this is a question of scale. While we all care about not
unnecessarily or arrogantly just bulldozing nature around, the fact is
that this only matters on our tiny little scale of human existence
(which we can be called selfish for in making it our prime if not
exclusive coordinate), while on any other, such scale—such as geologic
or even long-term biologic—the river will doubtlessly eat away the
crack, change the river, eliminate it completely, etc., etc. Kinda hard
to say to folks no, keep losing your children, your husbands, your
brothers and sisters but whatever you do don't change something which,
on the larger scale, will only last an eyeblink anyway, and which is of
infinitesimal importance to the larger scale of things to boot.

Instead, it seems to me, the stronger argument is that of the slippery
slope: if you blow this up, then where do you stop? To a lesser degree
it seems to me this also applies to putting up a sign, and while I for
one would recoil at seeing some such sign when I'm up in Canada in a
remote region, I'm not all that sure that putting one up on the river in
question given its proximity to large populations is the same thing. I
suppose if pushed I'd say don't put up a sign, both from the aesthetic
as well as the slippery slope points of view, but I don't think that
everyone who argues the other way is crazy, evil, stupid, etc. Perceived
purity in logic or aesthetics may be attractive to our egos in the
self-congratulation it involves, but it's hard on others.

TB

=======================================================================
The workings of great institutions is mainly the result of a vast mass
of routine, petty malice, self-interest, carelessness, and sheer
mistake. Only a residual fraction is thought." Santayana
========

Chris Bell

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Feb 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/5/97
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In article <dailu-03029...@pm01124.inlink.com>,
"Dale A. Brown" <da...@inlink.com> wrote:
>In article <32F608...@turner.com>, Bradley <" Brad.roberts"@turner.com>

>wrote:
>
>>CNN just did a story about the guy who swam above crack this summer.
>>Seems his parents are pushing to have the forest service take some
>>dynamite and "modify" left crack to make it "safe".

>I saw the coverage this morning as well. Really hit the mark with all of the


>recent discussion concerning the "green log".

[snip]

>Considering the rbp group has gone over the ethical, moral, and philosophical
>issues regarding stream modifications, it will be interesting to see what the
>legal channels have to say about this issue. Currently, the governing body's
>stand is that they are unauthorized, and bound by law not to make any
>modifications to the river channel. The parents are pursuing a legal case.
>With coverage by CNN, and perhaps other networks, the courts may have to
>address the issue.

[snip]

I agree with all Dale had to say on this, and wish to add another thought.
Because the "green log" thread concerned the issues surrounding the removal of
river hazards by individual users, no one brought up what may be the most
compelling reason why public officials should think long and hard before
engaging in river modifications: by changing people's perceptions of the
safety of a particular stretch of water, river modifications change their
behavior while paddling and/or contemplating paddling it.

Rivers are inherently unsafe. No amount of dynamite, concrete or chainsaws
can change this. People who perceive themselves to be in a dangerous
environment act with prudence and caution; people who perceive themselves to
be in a safe environment tend to act with greater abandon. By modifying a
river to make it "safe," public authorities encourage people to take risks
they might not otherwise take. This can lead to a greater number of
accidents, not less.

This paradox is a great example of the "Law of Unintended Consequences."
Here's another. Although they greatly increase survival rates of people
involved in head-on wrecks, the introduction of automobile airbags has had
little to no effect on automobile fatality rates. Why? Because drivers in
cars equipped with airbags take greater risks than they might have taken in
the past, leading to wrecks that might not otherwise have occurred, some of
which they survive and some of which they don't.

It is for more than ethical, moral, and philosophical reasons that I remain
very conservative in my attitude towards river modifications.

-- Chris

Oci-One Kanubi

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Feb 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/5/97
to

witne...@aol.com (Witness002), aka Riviera Ratt, typed:

> Clearly [Ken Phinney's death] does not fall under


> the category of an unforseeable accident. The rapid is a

> Class V on a IV-V river; the bad section is easily avoidable


> by those who belong on the river. It is unfortunate that Mr.
> Phinney paid for his negligence with his life, but his
> parents' overreaction is unwarranted. I'm sure they must
> know the extent of their son's error. It's not my place to
> tell others how to grieve, but they're apparently going to
> hassle a lot of people; none of that will ease their pain.

Nicely put, Rattso. Rather than taking revenge upon the
river, it would be nice if the Phinney family focused their
efforts on education; Phinney was clearly too inexperienced
for this river section, and if his parents should endow a
program of river safety instruction or support a good safety-
conscious paddling school their time and effort would be much
better repaid. Just getting the show onto CNN would have been
a public service if they had interviewed sensible experienced
boaters who could put the danger in perspective and emphasize
the need to grow gradually in the sport. It would be a real
shame if their misdirected efforts turned a dangerous Class V
into a Class VI cheese-grater.

It's frightening to think of someone running Section IV who
had only six months' experience -- I would think two years of
frequent paddling in a kayak, or three in a canoe, would be
minimal. Generally, paddling clubs do a pretty good job of
informing members of the relative difficulty of different
river stretches, and bringing new boaters along gradually, but
sometimes I wonder if the paddling community is failing all
those young dudes who take a few lessons and then try to be
like the hot hairboaters (their instructors?), with no true
appreciation of the heinous dangers that can be avoided
easily, but only by the application of skill that must be
earned over time.

--
-Richard Hopley, OC-1; Rockville, Maryland

FreefallLT

unread,
Feb 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/6/97
to

Oh hell, ruin the beauty of the river. After all, people without the
common sense to recognise a rapids danger shouldn't be doing a first run
without a guide or somthing. Common, in every guide book that I have
read, there is a line or two which states the danger of Crack in the Rock.
There is a line or two about the dangers on the Gauley too.

Ammusement parks are not as bad a some people think, it is just that they
belong near major cities. If more than 70,000 people went down the
Chattooga everyday, then, maybe the Crack would have been filled in by
now. Maybe not?

Shayne

B yakn

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Feb 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/6/97
to

This is like flattening a mountain because of a climbing accident.

Who do we write to? What do we do?

Buck

Cooksre

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Feb 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/6/97
to

The problem as I see it is: if you start where do you stop? All water
offers some form of hazard. Altering rivers for safety makes no sense to
me at all. As others have said why not blast it and make it all class I.
People can sustain serious injuries or even die in the easiest of rivers.
Hell people fall asleep and drown in the bathtub. From the moment we are
born we begin to creep towards death, it is simply unavoidable. I am
willing to accept some risk in my life in order to enhance my time here.

I no longer have the time to be on rivers several days a week so I paddle
easier water now than I used to. Knowing ones abilities is the biggest
safety factor I can think of. I am now the first to shoulder my boat and
walk the chicken highway if I think it is the best route for me on a given
day, I'll even cluck and lay eggs if I don't feel up to a particular run.

I used to guide full time and was always amazed by the Disneyland
mentality some folks would display on trips. Fortunately this viewpoint
existed only in the minority of participants.

Lately I am noticing more and more "denial of risk" attitude. I find it
hard to believe that some folks refuse to accept the fact that by getting
in a boat, any boat, and getting out on the water, any water involves
risk. No one that I know of claims that paddlesports are without risk.
Where does this" but I want a gaurantee to live forever" attitude come
from?

Safety in paddlesports has come far in the last fifteen years, instruction
and equipment have both improved by large measures. I consider both
whitewater and flatwater sports to be relatively safe,but I acknowledge
the fact that by getting into my boat and going out to play I am risking
my life. Seems like a simple concept to me.

I am sorry for the parents who lost their son, I am also sorry that they
are unable to look at the bigger picture. All of my family and friends
know that if I die in my boat that I died doing what I love best. I hope
that they will find some small comfort in that.

This is just one vote for letting rivers be rivers and people be people.
When you combine the two, most will have a great time, and a few will
unfortunately be on the wrong side of the statistics.

Rob Cookson

Lori Maxfield

unread,
Feb 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/6/97
to

Cooksre wrote:
> Lately I am noticing more and more "denial of risk" attitude. I find it
> hard to believe that some folks refuse to accept the fact that by getting
> in a boat, any boat, and getting out on the water, any water involves
> risk. No one that I know of claims that paddlesports are without risk.
> Where does this" but I want a gaurantee to live forever" attitude come
> from?
>
> Safety in paddlesports has come far in the last fifteen years, instruction
> and equipment have both improved by large measures.

The "denial of risk" factor has become more prevalent in recent years
due to the fact that instruction and equipment have evolved to a point
where an athletically fit person can physically advance to difficult
water quickly. Unfortunately what makes an experienced boater
"seasoned" is the years of experiencing first hand (the hard way) what
can go wrong and what to do about it. In the olden days, most of that
"seasoning" occured on class III water, for which the consequences are
not dire- but would nevertheless serve to train a person to have a very
healthy respect for water. Nowadays it seems that too many boaters
progress to very difficult water without that healthy respect.

After reading the accounts of this particular accident, I find it
incredible that someone paddling for the first time on class V water
wouldn't respect the advice and recommendations of the trip leader
(information such as which side to scout from). An expert leading a
person down a higher class river for the first time assumes a big risk
and should be absolutely respected. In this era of heavy litagation I
see more and more experienced boaters less willing to take on the risks
of "training" other people in a casual way. I see this trend as a
shame.

In response to the previous poster that mentioned the idea of having
signs posted at specific dangerous rapid.... part of being experienced
enough to run a river as a private trip is taking reponsibility for
finding out what is there ahead of time (that should actually be part of
the process of determining whether or not you have the skill level for
this run). It's not like this was a first decent, I'm sure there are
many very detailed guidebooks out that discuss this run. I know that I
always try to read about a river before I go the first time, even if
it's class II (there might be a low head dam to look out for). As the
class of the river gets higher, it's all the more important to do your
research so you know what you're in for.

My condolences to the victim's family, but this guy made several very
poor judgement calls that were probably made partially because the he
progressed in his kayaking skills too fast to allow proper "seasoning".
It's really too bad that the family is chosing to focus it's grief in
this particular way.

Lori Maxfield
lmax...@bcmic.hmc.psu.edu

Bo Eakens

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Feb 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/6/97
to

Paul Schelp wrote:
>
>
> Josh, actually the Gauley and Chattooga, among others, have sort of
> become amusement parks. I agree that the principle of using warning
> signs is extreme, and it would be absurd to attempt to warn folks of
> all such spots. However, I must say that it borders on the negligent
> not to warn people of particularly horrible places in innocent
> surroundings, on heavily traveled rivers.

<SNIP>

I find it very interesting that someone considers the five falls area of
the Chatooga innocent surroundings, or the upper Gauley for that matter.
I have worked and played on the Chatooga river for years and, even
though I know it quite well, I am still very careful. I have seen some
good boaters make silly mistakes and end up in very bad situations. I
believe if you check out the deaths of people that have died in left
crack you would find that most were swimming and could not avoid it,
even if it had a sign hanging over it. It's not that they planned on
being there, with the exception of the last death, where the boater made
a very bad decision to check out middle crack by swimming in front of
the left crack. Left crack is very boofable in a boat, especially above
2.5', but a swimmer has very little chance, if any, of suvival.

I don't want to see signs all over a wild and scenic river, or any other
rivers for that matter, but since the Chatooga does have large signs
with maps at some of the putins a good idea might be to place warnings
on these maps about certain areas. Same thing could be done on other
rivers. I just wonder if people could/would make good use of this info
if they don't realize where they are on the river. I also believe the
outfitters should warn their customers before they get to a problem area
so the customers will have some idea of which way to swim, if it becomes
necessary, to avoid places like left crack. I don't believe this is even
being done today on the Chatooga, but could be wrong and hope I am.

Another problem I have noticed while watching commercial trips in the
five fall area is the quality of the guides, which overall has greatly
diminished over the years. I'm not tryin to insult anyone here, and I
know there are a lot of good guides I'd trust my kids with, but some of
these people get 5 or 6 trips to learn the river and then they are
responsible for 4 or 5 other peoples lives and they may not really be
prepared for the responsibility.

I also believe anyone paddling whitewater rivers should always be on
their toes and not consider any surroundings innocent, as people have
died in class II and III rapids, even flatwater. So be careful out
there.

sorry...@aol.com

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Feb 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/6/97
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you guys are too funny.

CKelly1022

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Feb 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/6/97
to

Having read the above I can't understand why anyone is surprised or
concerned. First, almost every thinking American knows by now that TV
news will and does intentionailly distort any story with the least
potential for tear jerking or sexual exploitation. People arn't stupid,
they generally know this. Second, Dave Perrin sucessfully articulated,
in very few words, the counter argument. Were a court to consider this
and call experts, who can think of anyone more "expert" on this exact
subject than Perrin.
I have another thought. Why don't people, esp newer paddlers give
more consideration to walking around? I have run Section IV three times
in an open boat. The first time I walked Soc-em- dog. The second I
walked Woodall. The third I walked Crack. I thought I could run it ok,
but it was low water, there wasn't much room around the stump and the
consequence seemed out of proportion to the fun. Are we failing to teach
or communicate properly about the advantages of walking around? I tend to
think that boaters come into and progress faster in the sport than in the
past. Consequently, people, esp young people, who have bomb proof rolls,
good form and cool new equipment, sometimes do not have equally well
developed water reading and/or river judgement skills. Naybe I'mn an old
crank, but the operable word is "old". You get that from sometimes
walking around. Chris Kelly
BTW, thanks for posting the transcript.

Judy Zachariesen

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Feb 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/6/97
to

Lori Maxfield (lmax...@bcmic.hmc.psu.edu) wrote:
:
: My condolences to the victim's family, but this guy made several very
: poor judgement calls that were probably made partially because the he
: progressed in his kayaking skills too fast to allow proper "seasoning".
: It's really too bad that the family is chosing to focus it's grief in
: this particular way.
:
: Lori Maxfield
: lmax...@bcmic.hmc.psu.edu

Yeah, really - since when is it a good idea to swim into the top of a major
rapid to scout it? That seems like a recipe for disaster from minute one.
It also seems like something an experienced person would never do.
I'm sorry for the guy too and his family but ruining things for
everyone else is not the solution. And I'm a purist - no signs, no
dynamite, no nothin'(well, maybe new logs....?). If that results in
something that's over your head, then don't run it. Actually, regarding
logs, they told me in Idaho that if a log or something blocks the channel,
it's OK to remove but only with hand tools - no power equipment allowed
to make alterations on a Wild and Scenic river. Don't know if that's
actually true or just the rumor that's so rampant we all believe it now.

Melissa

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Feb 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/6/97
to

In article <19970206182...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,
ckell...@aol.com says...

Chris, I totally agree with you. It is disturbing to think someone is out
there wasting there time trying to get a rapid altered, but I don't think
we need to worry. When the time comes, the groups down near the Chatooga
will pull through. Also, agressive young people new to the sport do tend
to push the envelope too early, but there are also paddlers who are
relatively new to the sport who DO have the skills, water reading ability,
and good judgement to run real hard stuff when its appropriate. The
important thing is, like you said, to make sure no one is afraid to WALK a
rapid when they feel they need to.
Jimmy


Michael G. Stoecker

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Feb 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/6/97
to

"Dale A. Brown" <da...@inlink.com> writes:

>Beyond all the debate, I'm saddened by the loss of life; although fragile,
>Life is such a wonderful thing. The rivers are generally very forgiving and
>gentle with paddlers. We've all had our share of close calls. My heart goes out
>to the family.

>Dale
>+++++++ http://www.inlink.com/~dailu/ ++++++

Yeah, my heart goes out to the family ... until they pull this legal
suit b.s. Of course they need to be compensated for their loss ...
What a bunch of nonsense our legal system has become.

Michael


sorry...@aol.com

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Feb 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/7/97
to

you guys are too funny.

Witness002

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Feb 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/7/97
to

ckell...@aol.com (Chris Kelly) scribbled:

<< Having read the above I can't understand why anyone is surprised or
concerned. First, almost every thinking American knows by now that TV
news will and does intentionailly distort any story with the least
potential for tear jerking or sexual exploitation. People arn't stupid,
they generally know this. Second, Dave Perrin sucessfully articulated,
in very few words, the counter argument. Were a court to consider this
and call experts, who can think of anyone more "expert" on this exact
subject than Perrin.
I have another thought. Why don't people, esp newer paddlers give

more consideration to walking around?...>

You make some good points, Chris. However, I was disturbed by one shining
omission: they never mentioned how udderly *stupid* it was to go swimming
to scout Left Crack. The tone of the transcript was, "he hit the river,
he got out to take a look, he died suddenly, he was his sister's hero."
If one person had appeared with the counter-argument, "But look: he'd
been warned away from Left Crack. I have no idea why he decided to go
swimming there. It's like playing in 70-mph rush-hour traffic," then I
wouldn't feel so outraged.
Without that essential piece of the putzle, I don't see the noose item as
balanced.

My two cents...

Rattso

sorry...@aol.com

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Feb 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/7/97
to

you guys are too funny.

Oci-One Kanubi

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Feb 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/7/97
to

Melissa wrote:

> I think we should nuke crack in the rock, and whoever
> does it gets to re-name it. This would prove to be good
> incentive for people to take their anger out on inanimate
> objects and not other humans. Plus, we would have brand
> new rapids to run with DIFFERENT hazards, then when some-
> one else gets hurt or dies, we can change it again! It
> says right there in the bible that we should dominate the
> earth, so lets do it! Take no prisoners, kayaking is WAR
> with the river, if they take one of ours, we take one of
> theirs! Damn you crack in the rock, this is all YOUR
> fault!

ROFL (up to this point, and you DID apologize for the second
half, where you went over the top, so I forgive you (^BD )

Oci-One Kanubi

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Feb 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/7/97
to

A slight change of subject... or, perhaps, justy a slightly
different point of view. There have been a lot of postings to
the effect that the danger of certain rapids adds spice to the
trip. Personally, I don't need the danger, I need the
difficulty. The challenge of pulling off a good move
satisfies me, even if it is on the safest Class III or IV in
the country. I'm not out there to risk my life, I am out
there to test (and develop) my skills. For that reason I'll
never run the top hole of Woodall again, and I'll always be *
verrrrry* careful about Crack and Hydro. I also recognize
that things can go wrong, and that even with care and good
judgment I am always at some risk on the river.

But I resent those who type things like "if you cannot stand
the risk, get off the river". I am not advocating modifying
Crack, you understand, just stating that there may be many
people like me who do not need a danger factor to enjoy a
difficult rapid, and that there are many perfectly legitimate
reasons for someone to be out on the river besides the
adrenaline rush. Those who *are* there for the adrenaline
rush have no monopoly on outdoor enjoyment. While I
personally cut wood, I would not like to see anyone blast
rock, but I have to admit that there is something to be said
for those who want to experience the outdoors in relative
safety, even though I am not one of them.

As another issue, I think that it is a national shame that so
many rafting companies downplay the danger and encourage a
party atmosphere on their trips. Sure, their customers are
there to have fun, but there are too many who do not have a
clear understanding of what they are getting into, and the
idea of modifying rivers so that these rafting companies can
continue makining money on "Disney rides" is truly disgusting.

OCOEE NEW

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Feb 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/7/97
to

>In response to the previous poster that mentioned the idea of having
>signs posted at specific dangerous rapid.... part of being experienced
>enough to run a river as a private trip is taking reponsibility for
>finding out what is there ahead of time (that should actually be part of
>the process of determining whether or not you have the skill level for
>this run).

You were doing great until you made this statement. This was spoken as an
experienced, seasoned boater. Currently there isn't any really good way of
knowing how good or bad you are at paddling that is safe for life and limb
short of getting the opinions of others who may or may not be qualified to
tell you

FreefallLT

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Feb 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/7/97
to

Here is a note that just came to my mind. More people have died on the
Ocoee River in the last 3 years than on the whole Chattooga River
combined.

Maybe this might not be fact, but I can remember 2 deaths on the Ocoee 3
years ago, one death 2 years ago, and one this last summer.

If anyone knows any different, please post it. I didn't take the time to
research it. But, it is very odd that the Ocoee has claimed more lives in
3 years than Section IV.

shayne

Judy Zachariesen

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Feb 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/7/97
to

Oci-One Kanubi (Richard....@cpmx.saic.com) wrote:
:
: As another issue, I think that it is a national shame that so
: many rafting companies downplay the danger and encourage a
: party atmosphere on their trips. Sure, their customers are
: there to have fun, but there are too many who do not have a
: clear understanding of what they are getting into, and the
: idea of modifying rivers so that these rafting companies can
: continue makining money on "Disney rides" is truly disgusting.
:
: --
: -Richard Hopley, OC-1; Rockville, Maryland

Speaking as a commercial guide I think the stereotype that commercial
companies encourage the Yahoo aspect of rafting has no basis in
fact, at least not on the Idaho, Oregon and California rivers I've
commercially guided (possible exception are some VERY FEW companies
running S.F. American). We guides spend way too much of our time trying to
squash the Disneyland attitude that too many guests bring with them -
we emphasize the inherent risks and necessary precautions that running
rivers involve and most of all the respect due the river at all times.
If guests leave with a greater understanding of the river and a greater
respect for it and the land around it, then we have done our job. I
don't know - maybe on the rivers you run the guides are irresponsible,
but not where I've worked. I might also add that there are many more
yahoo private boaters who don't understand what they are doing or getting
into and behave irresponsibly and party too hard and run drunk and
get into all kinds of trouble than there are commercials like that.
Obviously there are plenty of responsible private boaters (so don't
jump on me) - I'd say most are - but higher proportion aren't than
among commercial guides. Perhaps the situation is different in the
East - I have never boated out there. It's a problem if it is. Guides
are responsible for the life and well-being of their passengers - if
they aren't taking that seriously, they shouldn't be guides. All my
colleagues are very serious about safety.

Lori Maxfield

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Feb 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/7/97
to

Yes, in a way you are right. One can read all the guide books in the world, but until a
person actually looks at a particular rapid themselves can one actually judge how the
rapid fits in with their skill level. And yes, you're right again that ability to judge
accurately comes from experience and seasoning. I think the point I was trying to make
is that if one had only paddled class III and some IV and then read a guide book that
described a rapid as class V- I think it would be safe to say that the rapid was more
difficult than anything that person had ever run. In such a case, all information
(reading guidebooks, talking to people who had run it, listening to your trip leader, and
watching other people run it and scout it) is essential prior to the run.

I also know from experience that it is very difficult to convince someone who has never
had a problem on the river and who has a personality type that includes having no fear,
of how real the potential hazards are on even a class II river. It seems that everyone
posting on this thread is in consensus on what happened. And there also seems to be no
disagreement that lack of experience played a role in this particular situation.
Unfortuately all the river saftey education in the world isn't going to get through to
someone who doesn't think it applies to themselves. With the current "Dew It!"
mentality, especially among the young testosterone driven types (male or female), I think
unfortunately that we're in for more of these types of incidences.

Lori Maxfield
lmax...@bcmic.hmc.psu.edu

Oci-One Kanubi

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Feb 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/7/97
to

Ed, I saw that you have an article in the current AMERICAN
WHITEWATER. Congratulations on getting published. I'm
looking forward to reading it when I get home tonight.

Craig Sanders

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Feb 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/7/97
to

>You were doing great until you made this statement. This was spoken
>as an experienced, seasoned boater. Currently there isn't any really >good way of knowing how good or bad you are at paddling that is safe
>for life and limb short of getting the opinions of others who may or
>may not be qualified to tell you.

How about if you can't spit you should walk?????? If the paddler
can't honestly evaluate whether or not they can run the rapid they
shouldn't.
Actually myself and members of the club I belon to are trying to come up
with self evaluation guides for paddlers in the club. We are trying to
come up with specific moves needed on rivers we paddle to help determine
their abilities. Maybe this way can help themselves determine if they
are ready to challenge themselves on a higher grade of water.
My two cents,
Craig

David Taube

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Feb 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/8/97
to

What I find interesting is that it seems someone once told me that the
reason woodall is so bad, is that years and years ago it was a ledge
which someone came in a dynamited...the resulting symetrical bowled
out shape is what causes the killer hole today. I find it hard to
believe that the FS or the W&S river designation or common sense would
allow left crack to be altered in the same way. my2cents

David

email: dta...@mindspring.com
WWW: http://www.mindspring.com/~dtaube/dct.htm
The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst.
They carry our canoes and feed our children.

Chief Seattle


Witness002

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Feb 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/8/97
to

OcoeeNew writ:

>>In response to the previous poster that mentioned the idea of having
>>signs posted at specific dangerous rapid.... part of being experienced
>>enough to run a river as a private trip is taking reponsibility for
>>finding out what is there ahead of time (that should actually be part of

>>the process of determining whether or not you have the skill level for
>>this run).
>

>You were doing great until you made this statement. This was spoken as an
>experienced, seasoned boater. Currently there isn't any really good way
of
>knowing how good or bad you are at paddling that is safe for life and
limb
>short of getting the opinions of others who may or may not be qualified
to
>tell you

I guess OcoeeNew's saying that there's no way of judging your own skill
level independent of others' advice. Sure, to a degree, that's true. But
Lori seemed to be saying that one is responsible for finding out the
hazards before hitting the river or before committing to the rapid. Look,
I live up in Akron. I've never seen Section III or IV or II or anything.
But I've checked out a few books and talked to a few people, and I've
heard enough to respect Crack.
In the case we're talking of, Phinney had ample warning. I don't
criticize the suggestion of a few signs at put-ins, but this guy was
determined to ignore warnings. If your leader tells you to avoid the
left, and you go left, would a sign 5 miles back have convinced you? (I'm
not the first to make this point, but I guess if people didn't notice it
the first time, it bears repeating.)
With respect to self-diagnosis of skill level, you can look at the rivers
you've run, and when you're confident on IV, few if any screwups, mostly
easy, you can hit some easy V. If everyone around you on IV is surfing
better, hitting lines better, swimming less than you, that should tell you
something. It doesn't require a Ph.D. or a Ouija Board.

Riviera Ratt

sorry...@aol.com

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Feb 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/8/97
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you guys are too funny.

Kilgore Trout

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I totally agree. I work on the Chattooga, Section 3 for a commercial
outfitter, and believe me, NO ONE downplays the river's hazards around
here. Especailly the section 4 guides ( Crack is in sec. 4). I think a
lot of it depends on the company. The one I work for is privatly owned,
and a relatively small company (we run 4 rivers in the south east) that
doesn't do as much publicity and that sort of thing. We go more for giving
people a quality experience, and often we discourage people from certain
trips. I also worked in the reservations office, and I was constantly
being told to make sure the caller knew what he was getting into. Above
all, we want to enjoy the river, and we know that we have to keep our ducks
in a row and make sure nothing happens out there to take away our
enjoyment. There is nothing wrong with having fun on the water as long as
you realize that there is more to it.

Stevscarb

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Feb 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/8/97
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I seem to remember that several years back the idea for filling up Left
Crack with concrete was originated by the Forest Service and kicked around
a bit. It went away because they were more occupied with cutting down the
forests in the area. Don't assume that nothing is going to happen to the
Chattooga ( or any other river) because it is "Wild And Scenic"! Get and
stay involved.
I find the most interesting comment in the CNN report to be that since
the Chattooga has over 70,000 users a year, it is no longer Wild and
Scenic, and that this is justification for doing whatever to the river.
Lots of people have been worried that things would lead to this. Private
boaters must get in here and be active or we'll get kicked off more rivers
than just the Colorado, and the rivers we can run will look like amusement
parks.
An aside: In the time it has taken for 20 or so people to kill
themselves on the Chattooga, several times that many have lost their lives
on Lake Hartwell just a few miles away. The cry has not gone out to fill
it up or remove Hartwell Dam.
Steve Scarborough

Witness002

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Feb 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/8/97
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Chris Bell wrote:

>This paradox is a great example of the "Law of Unintended Consequences."
>Here's another. Although they greatly increase survival rates of people
>involved in head-on wrecks, the introduction of automobile airbags has
had
>little to no effect on automobile fatality rates. Why? Because drivers
in
>cars equipped with airbags take greater risks than they might have taken
in
>the past, leading to wrecks that might not otherwise have occurred, some
of
>which they survive and some of which they don't.

Are you sure about that, Chris? Where are the data? All the data I've
seen show auto fatalities dropping monotonically over the past three or
four decades. Cars have better bumpers, padded dashes, seatbelts, better
suspension (tempting us all to take curves at high speed), etc.--all these
safety features should, by your logic, have produced a country full of
people who drive like maniacs, knocking themselves and each other off in
record numbers. In fact, that only happens in Boston and LA ;-)..

Let's see your source,

Riviera Ratt

RWCreswell

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Feb 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/8/97
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Seems to me that one essential point re:"DisneyLand" has been
overlooked on this thread -- Having paddled Sec IV since 1972, I've seen a
lot of change on this river. The biggest change is the increase in
commercial river traffic ("raftoids", "tourons", aka paying customers).
What happened to the Nantahalla & Ocoee was not supposed to happen to
Chattooga because of its disignation as a "Wild & Scenic River" but it's
hard to see much difference in the way the USFS manages Chattooga and the
way Nantahalla & Ocoee are managed except for some difference in absolute
numbers. Commercial trips down any river mean that it will be regarded by
the paying customers as being as safe as "Thunder River" at Six Flags.
With the increased exposure of the public to the thrills of whitewater
come more neophite (or, at least, "unseasoned" paddlers like Phinney).
River paddling is no longer "ours." We share it with the public. We
also share the rivers (whether "protected" by federal legislation and
management or not). None of us really want intrusive fool-proofing
alterations done on the rivers -- not at Crack in the Rock, not at
Initiation, not even at Nantahala falls.
But we didn't protest in any great numbers when they put concrete in
the foot trap crack at Nantahala falls because most of us recognized that
Nantahala had become an amusement park ride, whether it should have or
not. We will soon recognize that we have also lost the Gauley, and even
Section IV. It will just take longer because of the time it will take to
get around the National Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. But it will be "gotten
around" eventually because the legislation does not prohibit commercial
outfitting (nor is it likely that any federal or state river protection
act will prohibit it). With the increased public usage comes the
inevitable (and unfortunate) movement to make the rivers safe for the
public.
The only bright spot that I see is that the river will take care of
itself. The concrete has washed out of Nantahala twice and I suspect that
attempts to make safe the right side of Initiation and the left side of
Crack will be futile. Long live the river! It will still be there when
all of us are gone.
Dick Creswell
Dick Creswell

Frank Crane

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Feb 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/8/97
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In article <01bc157d$8da7a200$80e080d0@audreyba> "Kilgore Trout" <kil...@carol.net> writes:
>From: "Kilgore Trout" <kil...@carol.net>
>Subject: Re: Crack in the rock
>Date: 8 Feb 1997 05:02:15 GMT


Haven't followed this particular branch of the 'Crack" thread, but curious as
to whether you two feel like there is a high incidence of crossover from
guests to boaters. Of the two or three raft trips I've experienced in 25
years of boating there was certainly acknowledgement of the challenge
involved and even options to walk some stuff, but nothing at all said about
how difficult the transition would be from rafting to hard boating. But
that doesn't bother me cause I figure most will never go beyond an annual
raft trip. Any statistics?

Frank Crane

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Feb 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/8/97
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In article <19970207210...@ladder01.news.aol.com> ocoe...@aol.com (OCOEE NEW) writes:
>From: ocoe...@aol.com (OCOEE NEW)

>Subject: Re: Crack in the rock
>Date: 7 Feb 1997 21:04:46 GMT

>>In response to the previous poster that mentioned the idea of having
>>signs posted at specific dangerous rapid.... part of being experienced
>>enough to run a river as a private trip is taking reponsibility for
>>finding out what is there ahead of time (that should actually be part of
>>the process of determining whether or not you have the skill level for
>>this run).

>You were doing great until you made this statement. This was spoken as an
>experienced, seasoned boater. Currently there isn't any really good way of
>knowing how good or bad you are at paddling that is safe for life and limb
>short of getting the opinions of others who may or may not be qualified to
>tell you

Am I unique? I always new how bad I was when I was bad, and I know what my
capabilities are now. And a very large part of that is SELF analysis.
Perhaps my current insight benefits from many years spent around fellow
boaters, but I think most of it comes from simply knowing how I feel in any
particular situation. And that was true when I was first starrting out. And
very seldom have I jeapordized life or limb, and in every case where I have I
can attribute it to something stupid I did.

Frank Crane

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Feb 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/8/97
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In article <32FB64...@cpmx.saic.com> Oci-One Kanubi <Richard....@cpmx.saic.com> writes:
>Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 12:21:19 -0500
>From: Oci-One Kanubi <Richard....@cpmx.saic.com>

>Subject: Re: Crack in the rock

>A slight change of subject... or, perhaps, justy a slightly

>different point of view. There have been a lot of postings to
>the effect that the danger of certain rapids adds spice to the
>trip. Personally, I don't need the danger, I need the
>difficulty. The challenge of pulling off a good move
>satisfies me, even if it is on the safest Class III or IV in
>the country. I'm not out there to risk my life, I am out
>there to test (and develop) my skills. For that reason I'll
>never run the top hole of Woodall again, and I'll always be *
>verrrrry* careful about Crack and Hydro. I also recognize
>that things can go wrong, and that even with care and good
>judgment I am always at some risk on the river.

>But I resent those who type things like "if you cannot stand
>the risk, get off the river". I am not advocating modifying
>Crack, you understand, just stating that there may be many
>people like me who do not need a danger factor to enjoy a
>difficult rapid, and that there are many perfectly legitimate
>reasons for someone to be out on the river besides the
>adrenaline rush. Those who *are* there for the adrenaline
>rush have no monopoly on outdoor enjoyment. While I
>personally cut wood, I would not like to see anyone blast
>rock, but I have to admit that there is something to be said
>for those who want to experience the outdoors in relative
>safety, even though I am not one of them.

>As another issue, I think that it is a national shame that so

>many rafting companies downplay the danger and encourage a
>party atmosphere on their trips. Sure, their customers are
>there to have fun, but there are too many who do not have a
>clear understanding of what they are getting into, and the
>idea of modifying rivers so that these rafting companies can
>continue makining money on "Disney rides" is truly disgusting.

>--

>-Richard Hopley, OC-1; Rockville, Maryland

It's semantics, Richard. Don't you see, without the "danger" you wouldn't
have the "difficulty"? Class III-IV means screwups can hurt, no matter how
"safe" you may call it, otherwise it's a II. I'm with you, I'm not
looking for danger, but I accept that it's a factor in what I am looking for.
I think that's all anyone is really saying with the "can't stand...get off"
line.

Bill Matlin

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Feb 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/8/97
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FreefallLT <freef...@aol.com> wrote in article
<19970207231...@ladder01.news.aol.com>...
Apples and Oranges.

One of the Ocoee deaths was an elderly man who died after falling out of a
raft above the staging eddy. My wife was a guide on the trip and according
to her the swim was not too severe, i.e. no recircs, etc.

Another rafting customer got tangled up in debri on the river right side of
Diamond Splitter. My wife was boating that day and got to see the whole
thing.

Another death was a customer with a history of epilepsy - I believe - that
was found dead under a raft at the takeout!

None of these were related to actual river hazards. So I would say it may
be a numbers things. A hell of a lot more people go down the Ocoee every
year than the Section IV.

What really impresses me is that people aren't being killed on the shuttle.


FreefallLT

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Feb 9, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/9/97
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I just like the idea of pushing yourself on familure water. If your
confident on the Nanny, then start playing around, find surf waves, catch
eddies in the middle of rapids. There is no better way of improving your
skills than to goof and boof, as I like to call it. Once you feel
extremely confident, then try a harder river. The fooling around on
familure water also lets you get a feel for what current does to your boat
in certain circumstances.

shayne

Tim Ingram

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Feb 9, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/9/97
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Dear folks:

The seatbelts in cars save most of the would-be fatalities, according to
The Toronto Stars' wheels section (acclaimed as top auto journalism,
internationally.) ABS brakes and air bags add only 5-10% to the
apporoximate 45% seatbelt figure. In a large population that's many
lives saved.

The downside is seatbelts are not mandatory use in some states. The air
bag is not effective without the seatbelt. The rapid inflation of a bag
has snapped the necks of several dozen children and shorter-than-average
adults involved in low speed collisions (when only a seatbelt would
suffice.) Canada is bringing in less "explosively" inflating bags for
cars here.

Seatbelt use in US is only 40%, Canada 60%, Australia, New Zealand and
Sweden much higher, according to Canada Broadcasting Corp. data.
Seatbelts will save your life if you drive enough. According to "wheels"
enough for the general public is 3 lifetimes. Of course in 1963, in the
US the Johnson administration required seatbelts for vehicles due to an
increase in US auto deaths of 10,000 from 1962. Ralph Nader, legend has
it, got involved passionately well before this, when a 7 year old girl
was decapitated by an open glove box lid in a 20 mph sudden stop.

The public needs adequate information, to make informed safety decisions
in all parts of life. This is an impossible task, so governments use
legislation to ensure a safety standard. Unnecessary death and injury
is enormously expensive for any country, not to mention bereavement.

Public libraries should have more accurate and specific figures on all
aspects of public safety, than I have from memory at this moment, with
these round figures. I hope this is useful.

Tim

Ghyslaine Rioux

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Feb 9, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/9/97
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When will americans start taking responsabilities for their actions. How
many times we hear about lawsuits because the state should have
protected them. If you take the decision to go paddling on a river, that
is not organised by anybody but friends and peers, you are responsible
for your actions. It is your responsability to read about the section of
the river, to ask people who knows about it and if you don't, there is
only you to blame. So if you make a mistake, others shouldn't have to
try to fix it or prevent it for you.

And if you're silly enough to not have the sufficient skills to be
there, and sufficient knowledge about the section, don't expect 2000
signs on our wild rivers to tell you about it. At the most, a sign at
the put-in could be there but that's it. Nobody put you in that boat and
put the paddle in your hands. So if you do go paddling, accepts what
goes with it, including the problems that could arise due to a certain
foolishness or lack of judgement.

Ghyslaine

sorry...@aol.com

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you guys are too funny.

ema...@buncombe.main.nc.us

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Feb 9, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/9/97