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Old 07-19-2005   #11
Cd'A, Idaho
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9
AW and a local group of private boaters are working on a plan to provide access between the upper and lower runs right now. If they can get the old road cleared, there will be a way to hike out after running the Upper run. And the landowners didn't have issues with disrespectful kayakers. They're in disagreement with a Federal agency over the value of the land, and they're using the access issue to try to pressure the agency into raising their price.

The Gauley isn't really all that difficult of a run in terms of the moves necessary to get through the rapids. It seems like the class 5 rating is more due to all the potential hazards of the riverbed. There are a couple proven killers in really mild-looking places. Take a playboat, but run it with someone who knows where to avoid.

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Old 07-20-2005   #12
Monroe, Utah
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 137
Play boat, but

be prepared for more people than you've ever seen on a river in your life. The rapids aren't bad, but dodgin' the rafts is a challenge.

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Old 07-20-2005   #13
jonny water's Avatar
Geologist, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 583
Definitely bring the will kick yourself if you don't....who cares if if is a longer section this year, you will want the playboat for sure. I have been to 4 gauley fests and they rock, hard. Play on that section is incredible and the rapids are pretty easy....make sure you catch the "Room of Doom" eddy on Pillow Rock....also go back up and hit the seal launch off pillow into the meat! I have video of guys doing barrel rolls off the seal-launch from pillow.
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Old 07-21-2005   #14
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 33
Hey Jarrod,

I was out there a few years back. I flew across the country w/ some friends from Seattle. One of them knew the runs (Upper & Lower) real well. It would be optimal if you could get someone to show you the lines, but you already know that.

We shipped our boats ahead of time and picked them up when we got there. I took a play-boat (XXX). Forget about the creeker.

When I got there, I wondered about the water temp. It comes out of the bottom of a lake, so I figured it would be cold. Not so. I wore a short-top and did fine.

If you camp @ the festival grounds, watch out for the porta-potties. They are frickin' disgusting!
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Old 07-21-2005   #15
Lewiston, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 21
I know you already have your plane tickets, but in the future I would recommend any w/e except Gauley fest. The other weekends have many many less people. Later in the season, as the weather gets a little colder, there's a lot less rafts also. Gauley fest is fun, but I would rather have a less crowded river.
Also in if you go during the first 2 weeks of October you can do the Russell Fork, which isn't too far (maybe 2 hours). The Russell Fork usually runs the first 3 weekends in October, Sat/Sun, so it is possible to do friday/monday runs on the gauley and sat/sun runs on the RF. I would recommend a guide for the RF also.
I might try and go out this October. The Russell Fork Rendezvous is the best river festival I have been too. Although it seems to have been toned down a little recently.

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