Professor Paddle: River Beta Guidelines
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Jed Hawkes
Rio Banditos
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Joined: 24 Aug 2008
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  Quote Jed Hawkes Replybullet Topic: River Beta Guidelines
    Posted: 25 Jan 2011 at 1:49pm
Over the past few weeks the Rio Banditos have been compiling a series of guidelines to follow when making beta updates. One of the issues we've noticed is a inconsistency when making beta updates, basically the terms access, fun facts, putin/take out, etc. have not been formally defined. Also there is a tendency for updates to say things like "putin: bridge, takeout: lake" or "take out: see Bennett, Putin: see Bennett", these sort of updates do not help the greater community because as I found out this weekend, the Bennett directions in some places are outdated. Also if someone doesn't have to local guide book then this sort of information is useless. So to clarify for the greater community we have come to a consensus on what these are.

The beauty of the beta updates is that the information is dynamic; as roads washout, become gated, or become privatized, the information on the site can be updated to stay current. This is particularly useful because the two main guidebooks for the state of Washington were published over a decade ago, and the Oly peninsula's information is far older than that.

So when you update take a few more minutes to get detailed about directions access and so forth.

Another related issue we've noticed is the river alerts tool. A general rule about the alert would be if a piece of wood has moved, delete the former alert and post a totally new one. Please don't make reference to a prior alert such as: "the piece of wood that used to be stuck in XYZ rapid is now downstream in ABC rapid on the MNO side of the river". In an effort to keep the page as clutter free as possible and simple please just make a new alert and delete alerts that are no longer applicable.

Also we added a tool that when you click on a page to update it a window will pop-up with the guidelines as a reference tool. (pop-up blocker will stop this, but don't worry it's not an advertisement)

Below is a list of definitions/guidelines for beta updates:

Access: is the put-in/ take-out on private or public land, is it a difficult hike to the put-in/take-out, are there any special permits required. Basically are there any special considerations in relation to getting to and from the river. Also making mention of any road issues that exist (washouts, high clearance,bring a saw, etc.)

Take-out: Starting with the nearest town give step by step directions to the takeout. Ideally with mileages. perhaps following a format that looks something like this:

From Shelton:
   1. Exit 101 at the MATLOCK Rd. exit.
   2. Take a LEFT at the bottom of the off-ramp.
   3. Follow W SHELTON MATLOCK RD for roughly 15 miles,
   once you see a lake on the right your approaching Matlock.
   4. In Matlock you'll see a corner store and post office,
   5. take a RIGHT onto W BEEVILLE RD. Follow for roughly 4.5-5 miles.
   6. Take a Right onto KELLY HALL RD, follow for roughly a mile.
   7. At big intersection take a left onto FR 2341
   8. Follow FR 2341 for about a mile park at bridge.

The capitalization of Roads, numbering steps and which direction to turn isn't required but we think it adds a nice touch.

Put-in: Like directions to the take-out but starting from where you would drop a car at the take-out.

Other Issues: Address undercuts, and general on-river hazards, maybe this would also be the space to talk about water levels, if the river doesn't have a gauge what other gauges to use, how fast the river drops after it comes up, and other weather/hydrological resources that are specific to the run in question.

Fun Facts: Where the closest place to get beer would be/food/water, it's locality to other cool outdoor opportunities, paid or free camping, or otherwise.

River Description: This is one area people need to be consistent. Describe the run, significant hazards and rapids and their succession, mileage, portages, etc. If you are going to edit an existing description be sure to add your name in the heading, if you are adding your own description Always preface your description with the following:
--- Submitted by: Your Username on Date & Time ---
This is very important because it allows users to associate a description with their knowledge of you and your paddling style. IE: A big hole to one person is a small hole to another and if you know who is describing what it will help. DO NOT ENGAGE IN DISCUSSIONS REGARDING FEATURES!!! IE I disagree with xyz's description it is more like a 12.89 foot drop, Leave that to the forum! If you disagree then discuss the matter in the beta area of the forum and come to a conclusion before making your sumission.

Rio Bandiot Notes: If you want to leave a note to the moderator or give explanation for your submission feel free to submit that here.
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