Upper Animas like Beethoven's Fifth

Upper Animas like Beethoven's Fifth

Mountain Waters ushers in new era after three decades of whitewater rafting
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The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge train crosses a bridge as a crew of rafters eddies out on the Upper Animas, a world-class, 28-mile-long Class V stretch of rapids nestled in a canyon surrounded by 14,000-foot peaks and blossoming meadows.
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A Mountain Waters boat goes vertical while descending the Upper Animas from Silverton to Tacoma. “That place is magic,” said Mountain Waters co-owner James Wilkes.
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Dave Eckenrode, an Upper Animas guide for more than two decades, rows a crew down the Upper Animas. “When it’s rock ’em, sock ’em, it’s one of the most fearsome (stretches of river) around,” Eckenrode said.
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Ep 708039988
A parade of Mountain Waters boats snakes its way through Broken Bridge, one of four Class V rapids along the 28-mile stretch of Upper Animas river from Silverton to Tacoma.
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Two rafters find themselves in an uncomfortable position on the Upper Animas River: swimming. “It’s 30 miles of absolute mayhem. It’s got so much different personality at every water level, so you never really know what you’re going to find up there,” longtime Upper Animas runner Dale Womack said.
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Ep 708039988
Rafting companies and the railroad both have come a long way from the former’s first descent down the Upper Animas river in 1981. At the beginning, the two entities were at odds with each other; now, the two coexist as partners.
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