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How to run Heaven’s Gate Rapid

Heaven’s Gate / Heaven Help You is a fun rapid, requiring some technical moves to make sure you hit “The Gate” at the bottom correctly. The river makes a left bend, with a lot of water pushing towards the right. A lot of boaters will enter on the left (inside of the bend) to take advantage of slower moving water, and to avoid getting pushed too far right. Ideally, you stay left of center so you have time for the crux move. The crux of this rapid is to thread the needle between a large boulder on river left and a nasty pourover just right of this rock. At higher flows, this hydraulic gets meaner, so the line becomes quite exciting. After passing through the Gate, keep paying attention. There’s a nasty rock garden on the left, that you’ll want to avoid. It’s a good idea to have swimmers work right if there is carnage in the Gate.