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UER Mobile > US: Four Corners > Anything important to know about Denver Drains? (Viewed 5933 times)

post by ghostmemory   |  | 
Re: Anything important to know about Denver Drains?
<Reply # 20 on 12/3/2020 4:47 PM >

Posted by plight
Getting me real jealous now, seems like your finding out more and more. I've been trying to find a good pair of waders for a while now, I don't want to drop $150 on them if boots are suitable for most locations. Could you link the kind you got? I've been looking for a rubber, chest high, boot-foot style but can't seem to find exactly that. I noticed some PVC waders online but can't imagine those would hold up if your in contact with rough surfaces.

And the longboard? Damn. Sounds very fun and convenient. Have a recommendation for a specific brand when it comes to that? I just found a somewhat steep 3 or 3.5' RCP which seems perfect for a longboard, how steep would you go with yours? And how the hell are you measuring the RCPs? Maybe I'll bring a tape measure for my next outing.

Thanks for the write up!


Here are the ones I picked up:
https://www.basspr...074457345618617662

Probably won't hold up to too much wear and tear, but we'll see. I need to get a wader belt as well (it doesn't come with one). I just wasn't sure I wanted to drop $150-200 on a pair.

As for the board, I went to a site where they will custom build you a complete longboard from parts. I used muirskate, there's a few different places that do this, however I can only vouch for the one I used, and it's great so far. As far as brands, Moonshine MFG boards are waterproof, so I picked that up for the board itself, but that was most of my cost as well. I recommend picking up ceramic bearings, they're way more water resistant, I got Zealous brand, but there are several good brands out there. Paris trucks work fine. As far as wheels, I got 65mm Orangatang Freeride wheels, but I would suggest getting the biggest size you can. It really makes the difference for the gaps. I want to get a set of Cloudride wheels 90-95mm size at some point. It may effect the effort it takes to roll, so I may need to experiment with the wheel sizing.

So far the inclines I've got up were all pretty slight in my drains, but I really want to find a steep one and really see how this baby operates.

As for measuring, it's mostly been referencing my maps, and then eye balling it to see if it seems correct. I should bring my little tape measure though, to confirm in the future and see how accurate the maps really are.


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post by TurtleMonkey   |  | 
Re: Anything important to know about Denver Drains?
<Reply # 21 on 12/3/2020 8:04 PM >

Posted by ghostmemory

As for the board, I went to a site where they will custom build you a complete longboard from parts. I used muirskate, there's a few different places that do this, however I can only vouch for the one I used, and it's great so far. As far as brands, Moonshine MFG boards are waterproof, so I picked that up for the board itself, but that was most of my cost as well. I recommend picking up ceramic bearings, they're way more water resistant, I got Zealous brand, but there are several good brands out there. Paris trucks work fine. As far as wheels, I got 65mm Orangatang Freeride wheels, but I would suggest getting the biggest size you can. It really makes the difference for the gaps. I want to get a set of Cloudride wheels 90-95mm size at some point. It may effect the effort it takes to roll, so I may need to experiment with the wheel sizing.

So far the inclines I've got up were all pretty slight in my drains, but I really want to find a steep one and really see how this baby operates.



ORANGATANG WHEELS REPRESENTT!

I currently rock 85mm Orangatang Caguamas on my longboard (not used for urbex yet... you've inspired me though! gotta get a new deck...) and I can attest that they're some gnarly wheels. Idk about 90-95mm effort compared to these, but I did switch to these from 60mm wheels and while there was a little more effort to get rolling, the ease at which I can go over bumps/cracks/pebbles/snakes (whoops) made it completely worth it IMO.


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post by plight   |  | 
Re: Anything important to know about Denver Drains?
<Reply # 22 on 12/7/2020 1:34 AM >

Posted by ghostmemory


Here are the ones I picked up:
https://www.basspr...074457345618617662

Probably won't hold up to too much wear and tear, but we'll see. I need to get a wader belt as well (it doesn't come with one). I just wasn't sure I wanted to drop $150-200 on a pair.

As for the board, I went to a site where they will custom build you a complete longboard from parts. I used muirskate, there's a few different places that do this, however I can only vouch for the one I used, and it's great so far. As far as brands, Moonshine MFG boards are waterproof, so I picked that up for the board itself, but that was most of my cost as well. I recommend picking up ceramic bearings, they're way more water resistant, I got Zealous brand, but there are several good brands out there. Paris trucks work fine. As far as wheels, I got 65mm Orangatang Freeride wheels, but I would suggest getting the biggest size you can. It really makes the difference for the gaps. I want to get a set of Cloudride wheels 90-95mm size at some point. It may effect the effort it takes to roll, so I may need to experiment with the wheel sizing.

So far the inclines I've got up were all pretty slight in my drains, but I really want to find a steep one and really see how this baby operates.

As for measuring, it's mostly been referencing my maps, and then eye balling it to see if it seems correct. I should bring my little tape measure though, to confirm in the future and see how accurate the maps really are.


Thanks for the info! Let me know how the waders hold up, I was going to go with a White River pair from Cabellas but they were out of stock. I figured the felt sole wouldn’t be too good in drains though, has that been an issue?


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post by ghostmemory   |  | 
Re: Anything important to know about Denver Drains?
<Reply # 23 on 12/8/2020 2:45 AM >

Posted by TurtleMonkey


ORANGATANG WHEELS REPRESENTT!

I currently rock 85mm Orangatang Caguamas on my longboard (not used for urbex yet... you've inspired me though! gotta get a new deck...) and I can attest that they're some gnarly wheels. Idk about 90-95mm effort compared to these, but I did switch to these from 60mm wheels and while there was a little more effort to get rolling, the ease at which I can go over bumps/cracks/pebbles/snakes (whoops) made it completely worth it IMO.


Awesome! After my most recent trip, I can definitely see I need to get a bigger set of wheels. I may go with another pair of Orangatangs when I do. There are also a few all-terrain longboard wheels available, I may have to try those. They would likely be more ideal for drains with a lot of debris.

I'm thinking of writing a guide for drainboarding once I have some more experience with it and maybe try out different wheels or setups. I've only really seen any detailed guide on it in Approach. There's a lot that could be added and updated.

Posted by plight


Thanks for the info! Let me know how the waders hold up, I was going to go with a White River pair from Cabellas but they were out of stock. I figured the felt sole wouldn’t be too good in drains though, has that been an issue?


Absolutely! Ah that's a shame they sold out. As for how the sole works, I've still yet to go out and use them in the field. Potentially in the next 2 weeks I will. My drain explores recently have been mostly smaller/dryer drains, but I have some huge ones to explore in Denver soon


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post by ghostmemory   |  | 
Re: Anything important to know about Denver Drains?
<Reply # 24 on 12/8/2020 3:12 AM >

So, I have some big explorations planned very soon. I just have to work out schedules with my buddy, as these are going to be larger and more complex drains I prefer not going solo.

I believe I've located quite a few of the notable drains in Denver.

Crystal Pepsi (Brick Titan), Rivergate Hollows, and Phantom Creek (AKA The Gallery, The Temple). As well as possibly a few other smaller ones.

According to my maps, there may also be a HUGE chamber under one of the railways from one of these drains in the area. I have to map a route and check, it may be a long ass trek - potentially better to pop a manhole. It could also be a typo or mistake on the map. If not, it must be some kind of underground reservoir or something, but no point in speculating until I can confirm it exists. Perhaps it's a known part of an explored drain that I'm not aware of.

I know what Crystal Pepsi looks like, but haven't found pictures of the later two - hopefully with more research, or when I get pictures from inside someone can confirm if it's the right spot.

I'll be sure to avoid posting entrances and location specific info I was actually in the area one night recently, but there were a lot of homeless, so I got sketched out poking around solo in the dark. When I return, it'll definitely be with a buddy or at least during the day.

Raccoon City:

Here's another small drain explore that I did to tide myself over until we get into the massive ones.

This drain is located in one of those concrete box drains that just goes under a road. This one was interesting in that it was a quadruple box, with four sections instead of the usual double or single I usually see. Inside along each of the outermost walls is a drain outfall. One side's is only 3 foot, but the other starts off about 5ft.

I hopped inside the 5ft with my trusty drainboard. After a bit, it shrinks to 4ft, then eventually 3ft. And yeah I actually brought my measuring tape and confirmed most of the heights, the maps are mostly right

Here's the first junction/chamber- absolutely covered in shitty graffiti, to the point I can barely make out what most of it says.







It shrank to the 4ft pretty quick. This drain had a little bit of a flow, and sometimes hitting a deep gap between pipes splashed me a bit. At this point in the trek, it wasn't too bad however. As I went further, I came to more chambers, most with side inlet pipes too small to venture into, and the main pipe itself, which was mostly a straight shot with only one big turn from what I recall.



The manholes here all had brick-laden openings leading to them:



Although the first manhole chamber was a chaotic mess of graffiti, further on the graffiti was seemingly from just a few people. A bunch of metal heads and stoners, the tags with dates all from 1991. They tagged band names, the Van Halen symbol, their own names or nicknames, a shitload of silly satanic stuff, childish swastikas/racist scrawl, and tagged names on several of the junction rooms. Some of the names included 'The Doom Room', 'The Devils Room', and the underwhelmingly named: 'Rob's Room'.

In fact, this Rob guy seemed pretty popular, tagged a lot of rooms in here as 'Rob's Room', as well as his name in some of the 2-3ft sections, further in, and a supposed exit through a tiny crawling pipe. I wasn't going to crawl through all those leaves and garbage though to find out An old drainer perhaps?

It was actually pretty interesting to find. I definitely got the sense of the group of metalhead punks who probably used to come down there to smoke weed, drink beer, and freak each other out with candles and pentagrams- almost 30 years ago. There wasn't much graffiti other than these guys stuff as I said, so it's possible no one had been in that far in quite a few years.





Eventually it got tighter, until I was rolling through 3ft sections. I then reaction a chamber where I had another run in with some glowing animal eyes. This time, down a small 18" inlet pipe, very obviously a raccoon or other small animal, and it was quite a ways away from me. I spoke to it, barked at it a few times to see if I could scare it off, nope, it didn't really care. I hoped I just freaked it out enough that it wouldn't come into the main tunnel and lose it's shit when I came back that way on my exit.

I explored a few of the bigger side pipes at some of these junctions, that's where I found some more writings of the mysterious 'Rob'. They didn't go very far however, and had a lot more leaves and dry debris. While going to explore one, I had put my board in front of me to get on, and it rolled out from under me, my entire front half took a nice dip in the cold drain water. Funny in retrospect, but also not really great considering the outside temperate was about 30 degrees Fahrenheit, although warm in the drains. My gloves also began to take on more water, leading to me losing a little body heat.

I ventured further, determined to get to the point where it should have been too small to traverse. I got most of the way there I think I hit a section where the pipe continued at about 2ft in height changing to a black plastic PVC kind of material. I thought about going in, but there was even more water, I was already wet, and the beginning 5ft of the pipe had a lot of rocks and dirt in the bottom as well, meaning it could prove difficult for the board. So this is where I called an end to the pushing forward:



This was a pretty long one, I think the main pipe goes for more than a mile. I believe I spent around 2 hours exploring this place and taking my exit. Speaking of which, the fun part was now rolling back down and out of this little drain. There was a section in here that was smooth enough to not kill my speed, and I was cruising for a minute! Hard to say the speed, but you could definitely go dangerously fast in a long and smooth enough drain tunnel. It's much more worth exploring some of these smaller pipes now, just for the potential of finding a truly good sloped pipe without huge gaps in the RCP, then seeing how fast I can go!

I must figure out some sort of good padding setup, as without it, the board definitely leaves a few bruises from hitting big gaps. The grip tape being abrasive will also eat through clothing, so that's another motivation to cover it. A helmet and maybe some elbow pads are not a bad idea either.

As I started to roll back, I ran into a problem. Not only was I somewhat wet from before, upon my return trip with the extra downhill speed, some of the rougher gaps would splash me like a mini-waterpark. By the time I was nearly out, my front half was soaked.

And this was the one time my dumb ass thought: 'I haven't needed the spare set of dry clothes at all yet, why bring the extra weight?'. I was about a 20 minute walk from where I parked as well. Always bring spare clothes when draining in the winter guys, seriously. If I was more completely soaked, or if it was a decent bit colder, I could have been in a lot of trouble. I trudged along and made it to my car with mostly just my legs burning from the freezing cold. I got home quickly, and was dry and warm in no time. Lesson learned!

Oh and I nearly forgot- As I was leaving I had a total oh-shit moment. I reached the last chamber before the exit, and I could see out the pipe into the concrete box that leads out of there.

Out of fucking nowhere I hear a bunch of splashing- it sounds like people running through the water outside the pipe, then getting INTO the pipe entrance!

I'm shining my light and see glowing eyes first, then I realize it's two chunky ass raccoons GALLOPING toward me down the pipe. I don't think they realized I was there for a few seconds. They definitely did when I barked and yelled at them to get back, and held my board up to bat them away worst case scenario. Raccoons are damn cute, but they're still wild animals and I'm not trying to be trapped in an enclose space with a terrified one.

Luckily after a few tries my wildman noises and monkey grunts worked and they scampered out of the outfall. I made sure they weren't inside still and followed suit. I approached the very exit of the pipe with caution and made some more noise, poking the board out first. No angry raccoon attacks. I hopped out and looked around quickly, there was one just outside of the box drain, looking at me all like 'wtf man?' - then he dashed off somewhere.

I noticed numerous of their prints in the fresher drain water sediment in the pipes. I should make a mental note that, in future explores, if there are a bunch of those fresh tracks, and they all lead OUT of the drain, that might mean a big family may be coming back at some point soon!

That's it for that one. I'll be back soon, hopefully with some pictures of these fancy Denver drains I've been hearing about for awhile Wish me luck!




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post by Lomax   |  | 
Re: Anything important to know about Denver Drains?
<Reply # 25 on 12/8/2020 8:41 AM >

Posted by uLiveAndYouBurn


There be sharks.

https://live.stati...5_246f0352d3_c.jpg


Yes. This Made my night


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post by ghostmemory   |  | 
Re: Anything important to know about Denver Drains?
<Reply # 26 on 12/24/2020 10:13 PM >

Well I'm bummed guys. I visited a new drain in Aurora, a 8-10ft black plastic pipe that goes for a mile or so and eventually shrank but was still fully walkable for quite a bit. I did a whole write up, only to find out I had accidentally deleted all my photos, thinking I had them properly uploaded already... This was the biggest drain I visited yet as well, and I'm not sure if anyone has documented before. I guess I'm going to have to go back to document it again. There was a 'dam' formed by debris further into this one, holding back about 2 feet of water above the level in the pipe I was in, so I plan on returning anyways when it's a bit more dry, and possibly attempting to clear it, if I can do so safely.


If you guys are interested I could post a shorter version of the trip without the pictures.


[last edit 12/25/2020 5:46 AM by ghostmemory - edited 1 times]

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post by Floodway   |  | 
Re: Anything important to know about Denver Drains?
<Reply # 27 on 3/3/2021 2:42 AM >

Amazing write ups, thanks for writing so in depth and posting good photos! This is the kind of thing that keeps me excited about draining.
I know Denver has some absolutely killer laid-brick drains, but some of your finds look pretty spectacular as well. I'm in Colorado Springs and have only found a few large drains in my area so far, but I'm hoping to make it to the Denver area one of these weeks and check out the drains there. If you're looking to meet more exploring buddies, we could try to meet up sometime!
Following this thread now, I love your write ups. You've convinced me that I've gotta make myself a drain board! I've got an old long board deck, I'll probably pick up some trucks and wheels and get it all set up for drain cruising.


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post by Heisenberg2JZ   |  | 
Re: Anything important to know about Denver Drains?
<Reply # 28 on 5/2/2021 2:58 PM >

This makes me want to check out a few tunnels I've come across in my adventures😮


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post by BoredFun27   |  | 
Re: Anything important to know about Denver Drains?
<Reply # 29 on 5/3/2021 2:21 PM >

Just saw this older thread, and had to immediately spend the past 30 minutes reading every update. It sounds like you've had some amazing draining. Please update us on that large reservoir you thought might exist!


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post by ghostmemory   |  | 
Re: Anything important to know about Denver Drains?
<Reply # 30 on 7/17/2021 11:36 PM >

Hey y'all, thanks for the support! I ended up taking an unintentional break from exploring, just been busy and all. I may visit some of those large Denver drains soon, I'll try to give you guys a proper update with pictures if I do!



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post by Floodway   |  | 
Re: Anything important to know about Denver Drains?
<Reply # 31 on 2/20/2023 10:49 PM >

Your write-ups are fantastic! I'm in the Springs currently, some drains here but nowhere near as big as some of the Denver ones I've seen. I'm hoping to come up there and explore for myself, just need to plan for it! Hopefully I have as much luck finding interesting spots as you have!


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post by hoover 2   |  | 
Re: Anything important to know about Denver Drains?
<Reply # 32 on 7/14/2023 3:51 AM >

I love these drain pictures you have here! I also love all the graffiti in the tunnels! I really loved the octagon shaped tunnels you posted too! I saw that you took a picture of a cool manhole grate with a different pattern than we have here where I'm at if that makes sense! Great work! Keep it up!


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post by Aran   |  | 
Re: Anything important to know about Denver Drains?
<Reply # 33 on 7/17/2023 5:50 PM >

Well, if you find the drain with the motion-activated spotlights and half built stage in the junction room, let me know. It's an ongoing project of some friends and I (when I was in town) to create an art gallery.


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