Oh Be Joyful Creek, Colorado, US
|Usual Difficulty||V (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||400 fpm|
|Max Gradient||400 fpm|
|SLATE R AB BAXTER GL @HWY 135 NR CRESTED BUTTE, CO|
|usgs-385106106571000||500 - 1800 cfs||V||00h16m||~ 355 cfs (too low)|
The upper and lower Â½?s of the creek are very different, even though the gradient is about the same. The upper 1/2 has the big waterfalls, a 25' fall and two 18' falls. Most boaters put in below the first one, Ankle Breaker, it has rocks in the landing zone. Don't bother boofing either of the 2 big waterfalls below, a hole thrashing at the bottom is a lot less painful than a 2 story drop landed flat. This section is generally a little less frantic than the lower half, as it is much easier to eddy hop your way down. There is very little wood in the upper half, so some boaters take out just above the huge avalanche path that crosses over the creek, the start of the lower half.
The lower half is characterized by a big string of amazing long and steep slides interspersed with river-wide logjams climaxing in a shotgun blast over a 12' sliding-waterfall at the very end. The eddies are there, but you get going so fast itÂs like a gravity beam pulling you into the big drops. It is generally possible to "wheel-chair" your way over and off the backside of the worst logjams, although some do chose to portage. Don't boat down to the confluence with the Slate, take out river left at the end of the large pool just below the last slide/waterfall.
To get there: From the OBJ camprground you will have to cross the Slate River. High clearance vehicles can ford the river, but there are many casualties each year. If you're going to drive across make sure you know that the air intake is high enough that it won't suck up water, and use granny gear to crawl acrss the river very slowly. The put-in is one mile up the road at a flat rocky meadow to your left, it should be obvious that lots of vehicles have been there and the vegetation is getting smooshed badly. If you have strong legs please hike your boats up:-)
The Quadruple Crown: Because of the short length and proximity of the Crested Butte creeks all 4 of them can be run in the same day. The East River is the best to start out with; it has the largest flow and the least gradient of the four. Next in line is Daisy Creek. Just continue downstream after Daisy to the confluence with the Slate River; there will be about 1 mile of slack water until the first rapid. The takeout for the Slate River is the same as Oh Be Joyful Creek so just walk or drive up to the OBJ put-in from there.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.3||1st big slide on upper OBJ (name?)||5.0|
|0.5||Last big slide on upper OBJ (name?)||5.0|
|0.7||Pick-Up Sticks (name?)||5.0|
|0.9||Ode to Joy (name?)||5.0|
|1.0||Oh Be Grateful (name?)||5.0|