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Old 05-12-2006   #1
Father of illegitimate San Juan sasquatch children, Climax. CO
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 211
Jarbidge/bruneau report

Jarbidge: 9 rattlesnakes, 8 riverwide pieces of wood, 7 portages, 6 lost throwbags, 500 cfs, 4000 miles from nowhere, 3 real hard rapids(V), 2 wraps & 2 flips, 1 twenty-nine mile long basalt canyon that took four full days. Major carnage. Would never, ever take a raft in there again, but it was worth it once we got to the bruneau. Epic wilderness. Animals outnumber people by the thousands.
Bruneau: Unbelievable canyon for the length (IV). Two days, fourty miles, but to remote to make it a yearly thing. Crazy remote. Wait until it gets big again (could be years from now).

On to the owyhee,
DES heard the word on the P,
back in a week or so,

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Old 05-12-2006   #2
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,012
We did a self-support kayak trip two weekends ago and had a much different experience. Three and a half days to do the 70 miles on the Jarbridge and Bruneau. One mandatory portage around a tree. All the other tress we could get under or around without getting out of our boats. One rapid portaged because of a log in it. One other rapid that two portaged and one ran. All portages were realtively easy. Pretty mellow float trip at 2600 cfs on the Bruneau Gage. No problems or lost gear.

Sound like a much different trip for kayakers vs. rafters. I agree that I probably wouldn't take a raft down there. But for a self-support kayak trip I highly recommend it. It's mostly easy Class II-III water with three IV-V rapids on the Jarbrige and several kick ass III-IV wave trains on the last 9 miles of the Bruneau (at 2600 cfs). But don't go for the whitewater... go for the scenery. It is out of this world. I posted some photos at the following link.[/url]

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Old 05-12-2006   #3
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 15
Sounds like the first post had too little water?
Second post , was Chris Uhtoff on your trip?
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Old 05-12-2006   #4
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 321
Sounds like a major epic!!! I did a raft supported trip down it in 2003, with 14' boats that encountered difficulties as well, although relatively mellow by comparison to the sounds of your trip. We only encountered 3 rattlesnakes, 2 portages (sevy and jarbidge falls), 2 riverwide logs / jams that were "runnable" as the rafts were able to just run over the top of them, 1 torn raft floor and about 700-800 cfs. I'd agree its better as a self-supported trip, but without doubt one of the coolest canyons I've ever boated through. Still had a great trip despite the difficulties.
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Old 05-12-2006   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 118
I'm headed up there in about a week Forcasts are for the Bruneau flow to kick back up to 2 grand How does that relate to the Jarbridge flow? From what I've read flows as they have been recently are plenty adequate. Is it one of those "the higher the better"
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Old 05-13-2006   #6
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,012
Yep, the higher the better. I'm not sure what the Jarbridge was flowing when Bruneau was reading 2600 on our trip but I was thinking even another 1000 would be great. There's alot of class II so the higher water makes for less paddleing. We were covering 20 miles a day quickly. I've never rowed a raft but I imagine five mile rapid on the Bruneau whoud get pretty burley at higher flows. There were some monster holes to avoid in there at 2600 but not difficult to avoid in a kayak.

kozmonot - nope Chris wasn't on our trip.
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Old 05-17-2006   #7
Father of illegitimate San Juan sasquatch children, Climax. CO
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 211
Just got off the owyhee. Much tamer drainage besides widowmaker, just bigger.
-The main thing about the jarbridge was that a fourteen foot raft barely fit in there. There were very small eddys and if the water had been up there would be no eddys to really speak of. We had four kayakers on this trip and we had a system of two ahead scouting with two lined up just in front of the raft and we still had little time with whistle, hand, and paddle signals to eddy the raft out. With any more flow the technical raft moves would become cleaner but the eddys would disappear.
-I agree that the only way i would do the trip again would be to drop a raft at the bru/jar confluence and let the kayakers do the jar or west fork in one or two days down to the raft.
-The jar puts about 1/4 to the flow at the bru gage. The west fork of the bruneau put in about 1/4 and sheep creek put in about 1/4 to 1/3. The rest comes from random creeks.
-I will say that there was so much carnage because of lack of water. One flip was just because the oarsman couldn't fit the boat around a strainer. the wraps were fine but who really wants to wrap anywhere, it was either try the line or carry the raft through some nasty shit which would have taken twice as long. We had a saying on this trip, "Is everybody ready to run this mandatory strainer?"
-Take home- two of the best, most beautiful canyons I have ever been lucky enough to have been in.
Rafts-I would never do it again, three days before our trip a cataraft broached and was left in the canyon cause they couldn't get it out. We were lucky and worked really long days.
Kayak- anyday, you will not be disappointed. But scout all major drops, there is hidden wood, and if it looks shallow at the put-in, don't do it.
If anyone needs more beta I would be happy to share our experience. PM me with a # and i will call you back.
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Old 05-19-2006   #8
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,768
i could raft it. i wouldn't take a 14 - thats gigantic!
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Old 05-19-2006   #9
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,012
Floaty22 - How was the scenery on the Owahee compared to the Bruneau/Jarbridge? I'd like to get up there again some time but try something different if it's as cool as the Bruneau was.

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