Mission: La Plata falls, CO
Location: near Durango, CO
Paddlers: Boyd Ruppelt, Adam Goshorn, and Matt Wallace
(Matt scouting "Silver Falls" by Boyd Ruppelt)
Continuing on our trip with Adam Goshorn and Matt Wallace through southern Colorado me and Samantha continued south toward Durango in hopes of replacing our broken video camera and fixing Adam's flat tire. With most of the things on our lists on the way south a bit high for our tastes we decided to check out a seemingly little known drop called La Plata Falls (Spanish for Silver). So with Adam's tire fixed and no new video camera we shot over for a quick afternoon run on La Plata.
(Boyd filming Matt's run... photo by Adam Goshorn)
The thing about this drop that doesn't seem to show up well in photos is that the entire creek converges and banks 90 degrees the moment it drops off the lip. But it banks so hard that it forms a green wall on the river left edge against the slightly overhung wall while completely drying out the riverbed at the lip.
(Boyd dropping in... photo by Samantha Brunner)
Then it crashes on itself, rolling it's way down the slot falls before slaming over a rock shelf and rocketing out into the runnout pool below. To make things more interesting, a sick looking whirlpool/terminal eddy thing forms on the river right and the river left exit was blocked by a huge log with only a tiny stream of water flowing over the far side. We decided to just focus on lining up the lip and riding it out and boofing over the log.
(Matt going first by Boyd Ruppelt)
(Boyd dropping in while Adam films on... shot by Matt Wallace)
(Adam's run as seen by Boyd Ruppelt)
This worked out well for me and Matt, but Adam's line proved a bit more interesting while providing the biggest carnage of the trip...
(Adam finally out of the whirlpool... by Boyd Ruppelt)
(the aftermath... by Boyd Ruppelt)
After watching her fears realized through someone else, Sam decided to wait for another day; I guess two out of 3 isn't bad. If you're ever in the Durango area when all this is running, La Plata Falls isn't a bad stop for a quick fix...