Valid point Yeti. My first response was a bit glib, if accurate. We have a pretty good idea of the bail out options on our local creeks. For instance, vallecito is in a gorge, but you can climb out pretty easily in a handful if places ( without a boat). You can walk out of Lime at adrenaline and get out of the final gorge downstream pretty quickly. Bakers has much more limited options. I will admit that putting on bakers at 7:45 is a little nerve racking, but by that point, you are pretty much committed.
As I said, like many things, like paddling solo, putting on late just decreases your margin for error. I do think that knowing the run well makes a huge difference. Paddling an unfamiliar run in a hurry can lead to really bad decisions and dangerous situations. You just have to decide for yourself whether you can accept the smaller margin for error. Then once you decide to do it, paddle hard and don't worry about the setting sun.
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