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Drainages: Grades: Keyword:
River: Jasper Creek : Boulder Creek Drainage Grade: Super Gnar
Section: Upper and Lower Jasper Author: Nick Wigston
Put In: Hessie Trail Photographer: Trey Chace
Take Out: Hessie Trail Nearby Town: Nederland

Upper and Lower Jasper, Super Gnar

By: Nick Wigston
Photographer: Trey Chace

JASPER : In memory of Charlie Beavers (1981-2002)

Gradient: ~ 700fpm

Season: Upper Section- Near Peak, Lower Section- Not Peak!!

Style: High Sub-Alpine Freezing Cold Gnarl

Lower Jasper

Lower Jasper Creek was pioneered by Sean Lee and a group of southeasterners in 2001. If you know Sean, you already have an idea of what this creek is like. It has been run a couple of times since, but not many. To get to this section, hike up the Hessie Trail and take the first possible left turn . There are some old no-trespassing signs, but I think it is all forest service land. When you come to a creek crossing, you are at Bridge Falls. There used to be a foot bridge here that was washed away. Hikers tend to put logs here to cross so some wood removal might be necessary. The meat is just upstream of you now. Hike up the side of the creek and scout as you go up.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Charlie Beavers

Beavers at the entrance to KMF

The put in is above two eight foot boofs that precede a gnarly fifteen footer landing in a cauldron. There are a couple of drops above the put in that have not been run yet (to my knowledge) due to wood. (We’re working on it.) The two eight footers are clean right down the middle. After the second one, you need to get left. Start left and drive right off the fifteen footer, “Are You Kidding Me Falls” (KMF). Get a good boof. This is definitely the gnarliest drop on the run. It lands in a five foot wide cauldron with a narrow run out. Land upright and paddle hard. Please, set up a strong safety team here!!! The hole is very sticky. If you get sucked back into the hole, you’ll know what I mean.

Tight cauldron, sticky hole

If you make it past KMF the next drop will come up fairly quickly. It is a six foot boof that lands right above “Bridge Falls”. Get a good boof and charge off “Bridge Falls.” It is a short, steep, and bouncy slide. After the falls, there is a sweet triple drop that is pretty mellow. It requires a couple of quick moves, but nothing like the other stuff. Take out after the triple drop and walk through the woods back to the Hessie trail.

Charlie at the Bridge Drop

Ya, it's steep

Things to remember: Once you’re in, you’re in. Jasper is steep and fast and it isn’t easy to get out between drops. Everything is easy to pre-scout. Make sure you are on your game. KMF is one of the craziest drops I have ever seen.

Sean KMF first descent

Sean Bridge Drop 1st D

Upper Jasper

Sean Lee Friday the 13th

Nick staying upright cause it's rocky underneath there

Upper Jasper Creek was first run in 2003 by Sean Lee, Andy Blakeslee, and myself. It is a short, high alpine steep creek near the small town of Eldora, Colorado. Jasper Creek flows into Middle Boulder Creek just below the take out for the popular run “The Source of Boulder Creek”. To get there take highway 119 West from Nederland, turn right when you see the sign for Eldora Ski area, continue on this road for about 3 miles (don’t take the left fork that leads up the mountain to the ski area). It will change into a dirt road after you pass the small town of Eldora. When the dirt road forks, go left. The creek floods the road here so you will need a four wheel drive vehicle with good clearance. Stay on this road until it ends at Middle Boulder Creek. Gear Up here, chug some Red-Bull and carry your boat up the Hessie Trail for about one mile. When you cross a bridge, look upstream. You will see a sick 25 foot drop, “Friday the 13th”. Put-in somewhere above this drop. There are a couple of smaller drops above it that you can warm up on.

Andy lookin' sweet on Friday the 13th

Raggedy Andy lookin' um, not so sweet

The approach to “Friday the 13th” is a long fast bouncy slide. Start right and move left. You need to be far left when you enter the drop due to an ugly sieve on the right. After a tight entrance the river turns to the right and drops about twenty feet. Stay upright! It is very rocky underneath. The small pool at the bottom is deep, it has been tested. When you resurface below the drop, eddy out and catch your breath. The rest of the run is fast moving, class V boogie water. Keep your nose up and don’t get pinned. Take out above a large cascading unrunnable waterfall.

Boogie Sean Lee

Andy and Sean doing the lambada

All of the Upper Jasper pics are from video by Trey Chase. Footage of Upper Jasper can be found on the White Album. You can order the White Album for under twenty bucks from Ology productions. CLICK HERE to order.