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Old 04-27-2007   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 342
Idaho Whitewater & Wildfire YEEEEHAAAA!

So I'm headed up to some place 86 miles from the nearest wide spot in the road (Orifino, ID) to fight wildfires and run big whitewater on May 14. Life is great!!!!
It's kind of inbetween the sprawling metropolis of Orifino (population 3500) and Missoula's probably 100 miles away on some forest service roads into Montucky. Does anyone know of some backwoodsy paddlers around there. I'd really like to do some runs on the North Fork Clearwater being that I'll be living at a ranger station on it's banks. Does anyone actually paddle that strectch of 80 miles of class III to IV whitewater (it's broken into sections)? If not, I'll probably have to settle for driving to the Lochsa (rough life). Any paddler contacts or beta on local rivers would be greatly appreciated. I'm familiar with the Upper Selway and Lochsa, but the rest is a mystery. So long..... creul world .

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Old 04-27-2007   #2
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
There's a good paddler community in Missoula. You might head down to Brenan's wave in Missoula and meet some good folks. There's a guy named "Chucky" with pink WSRI hemlet I paddled with down there, dude is a great guy to paddle with. In AW mag, there was something about an upcoming paddler party in Missoula; another opportunity. Also, the guys at Edge of the World in Missoula are really helpful.

So far as runs, I hear teh Lochsa is great. Albertan Gorge is a staple Class III play run.

Have fun livin' the life!

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Old 04-27-2007   #3
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 380
Look up Tyco Isacson (sp?) in Grangeville. He's on a hotshot crew there. Great paddler. Look him up for a run on the SF of the Clearwater--a Class V river. Don't get me wrong, NF is sick too, but more big water play with the Irish Railroad? SF is straight-up gripping. Check with the Forest Service in Strangeville. They'll know how to find Tyco (pronounced teeco).
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Old 04-27-2007   #4
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 403
Whatever you do, DON"T PADDLE WITH CHUCKY!!! That guy is more dangerous than a Routte County'r with mushrooms, tequila and guns. Actually CHucky tried out for the RCRE(Routt chicken raping enthusiasts) and they denied him if that is any hint. The guy has a tattoo of snowbowl ski area and he's banned from Snowbowl for life.

N Clearwater is really good class IV, the rapids are spread out so you just run from upstream to freight train(i think that's the name of the biggest rapid) or from freight train downstream. S Clearwater rules for continuous pushy class V and the Lochsa is easily the best Class IV Play river in the country. That area runs out of water early though. By mid-June you will probably have to resort to driving to RIggins for playboating the Cats Paw and others. Last time I was there though this big fat kayaker girl with NRS gear scared me off so beware. The Smith is epic creeking but nearly impossible to hit the window.
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Old 04-28-2007   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 342
Thanks for the beta! I'll definitely stay away from Chucky. I'll be bringing my heard of chickens up there, and I don't want him laying a hand on them. I'll also try to contact Tyco down in "Strangevill" to see if he wants to go boating. This place is starting to sound a little like Deliverance. Should I carry a pistol with me while boating incase someone says "Boy, you have pretty mouth"? Just kidding.... no offence to all of you great Idaho boaters. Missoula is a little far away, but from my experience on the Lochsa, 95 percent of the boaters there are from MT. The other 5 percent are usually from Washington etc. I'll definitely drop by the store and hit Brenan's Wave on my days off to try and make a few more contacts.
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Old 04-30-2007   #6
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 169
north fork clearwater

has some sick surf of its own at the right levels, just all the misouloser's are on the lochsa and nobody boats in idaho! was up there last weekend and scouted some creeks. skull has a short class IV run and rock has a sic V+ woody landslide rapid waiting for a first D. further up, orogrande has a short V section, too. the big ass rapid on the north fork is called 'irish railroad'. the golden canyon stretch is probably around 4 hrs from where you are stayingn and the lochsa maybe 3. check out lolo creek near orofino (greer actually) for a 2000' deep canyon with some IV-V depending on level and some trees to keep you on your toes.

pm me if you need more info.


if i'd known it was gonna be that kinda party...
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