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Old 06-05-2011   #31
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 51
Just got off 6 days at about 30k. Everything seemed pretty easy and straightforward. Some campsites were not that great and vegetation plus fast current made stopping difficult in places - we had some issues with missing agreed upon spots. Rapids all very manageable read and run. It was fast, 6.5 mph or so for the last few days when the wind wasn't blowing. Minor mosquitoes for the first few days, then annoying gnats for the remainder. The water was warm enough to dip in at least briefly. Lots of wood in the water but nothing scary. The water is over the road a few miles south of Neffertiti.

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Old 06-06-2011   #32
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 33
here is a video of outward bound running cow swim just under 30,000 cfs. pretty straightforward, I thought.


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Old 06-06-2011   #33
Gunni, Colorado
Paddling Since: 07
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 7
I was guiding the third boat in the video above. The line we took was very straight forward and clean and I would recommend it for paddle rafts (as any swimmers on river left could end badly with the sieve pile toward the bottom left). That being said, anyone rowing shouldn't have a problem taking the same line as the first boat in the video and running left to right.
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Old 06-13-2011   #34
Breckenridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 79
has anyone ran Deso at 40 - 50K?

Are there any old boaters out there who have run Deso at 40-50K? Camping? I don't know when it's been this high before...maybe it is around a 100 yr flood level and there isn't anyone alive! If you have any beta on camping at these levels bestow your words of wisdom...launch date June 17th...ha ha I would love to hear from anyone who gets off the river in the next day or two.
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Old 06-13-2011   #35
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 51
Paddled the Price yesterday and chatted with a group just taking off Deso at the takeout - they said it was great, no problems, some camps are underwater and require a little creativity and effort to catch. I was on Deso a week ago at 32k or so and had about the same experience. The current is very fast - makes the wind a bit irrelevant. Our shuttle driver told us that rangers at launch are strongly discouraging boaters from launching and that 5 of 6 groups scheduled for shuttle cancelled at the launch. I'd call the BLM office before leaving to see if they actually get to the point of prohibiting launches. I have lost some respect for the river rangers for that - the only safety issue is that the current is fast and a little more attention to keeping groups together and prepping for a shore landing is required. The water is warm and there are no dangerous rapids.
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Old 06-13-2011   #36
salt lake city, Utah
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 24
deso at high H20

We ran deso in the 83-84 (?) when it hit 48,500+. This was helped along with a reservoir failure on the lttle snake, this was the same failure that put northern pike into the river sysyem. This failure plus a LOT of water made for the high flows. Camping was tough, I remember using a "turtle camp" the first night! The flow was such that we made milage quota in 2-3 hours. The pull outs were tough with huge eddies and lots of trees, limbs dead animals ect.. The only other camp I remember was rabbit valley, you may have to double up on campsites, do not let a good one can always make up the miles next day! The only rapid I remember is THE Joe Hutch, those mid stream rocks made for some HUGE waves...stood a Havasu 3 straight up! The rest were washed out as I remember. This is just old history, you are on your own for your own trip...hang on and have fun.
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Old 06-14-2011   #37
Breckenridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 79
Thanks paulster and stevo1. I had gotten the same beta as you did Paulster, from the shuttle guy I'm using. Good to know he had it right. So, Stevo1, what's a "turtle camp"?
So far, our group is up for it. The flow dropped a few thou yesterday, but I think it may be due to cool weather. I'm keeping an eye on the CO River Basin Forecast center site and on the weather. It would be great if it went down a bit, but I"m sure not counting on it! Stressing out over camp is such a drag. And I will call the BLM daily until we depart. I agree it's lame of them to talk people out of going once they are at the put-in. They should call the permit holders if they feel that strongly. I guess just like the rest of the government, they are too broke for that.
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Old 06-14-2011   #38
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
My experience has been that the rangers at that put-in can be pretty conservative. The one I'm thinking of might be gone by now, but I have had a few put-ins at super mellow flows where the pre-launch inspection and lecture were... rigorous.

Maybe they are right to discourage some groups. Maybe some show up with Kmart gear...I don't know... but for me they have cried wolf to a group of very experienced riverrunners with all the right gear at levels that were super duper easy... so I'd use my own judgement and not put much weight on their opinion of the level of danger.
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Old 06-14-2011   #39
The Russian
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
Deso is considered to be an easy-family-beginner river, where new boaters go to test their skills with little kids on board. All rapids are drop and pool so a potential for a long swim or a hydraulic is almost none existent. So most people who apply for these permits count on an easy run. Deso at 40k+ is a very fast and cold current and I am sure a lot of people who go to Deso might not know the dangers, don't have access to Youtube for trip report videos or don't talk to rangers. I am not surprised that rangers are talking people out of it. Most rangers haven't seen Deso at these levels.

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Old 06-14-2011   #40
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 51
I agree with Alex - people that float Deso expecting to turn children loose on pool toys should be concerned. Someone with basic whitewater experience and reasonable equipment will be fine. A lone swimmer could be in the water a long, long time. Fortunately the water is fairy warm. Keeping the group close together is probably the most effective safety measure. There was quite a bit of wood floating, but it was easy to see and avoid.
The camp issue was not that bad for us at 32k. The issues we had were boatmen not prepared to pull quickly into an eddy, favorite camps that didn't look very appealing, and camping on less desirable benches (not as much shade as we wanted). Campsites were a minor nuisance and gave us something to complain about - it did not detract from the trip.

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