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Old 02-14-2014   #121
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
Eric. Hells can be run all summer and cancellations can be had. You can get a similar experience on non permitted rivers or rivers in Utah.

The selway is much rarer. Your date may even be pre spring runoff peak. Check hydrographs. I have some idaho buddies who have run it in may and July they can provide good insight or possibly an extra experienced person.

I'd never do Hells again but would definitely run the Selway again

Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 02-14-2014   #122
BlueTurf's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 105
Thanks for the input guys. What's wrong with Hells in May? I have floated Hells twice (June and August) and had a great time both times? I can't be colder than the Selway in May.

I found this Hydro graph on

My date seems to be right in the middle of average peak run off which seems to run from the middle of May to about the 10th of June. Normally we would have tried for latter dates but we are going to be in that neck of the woods for a wedding.

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Old 02-14-2014   #123
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 505
Mostly, it's a very big and expensive trip from Colorado for a pretty average multiday experience. The time commitment, shuttle, and expense is not really worth it, in my opinion... especially when you have the option of rallying a Selway trip. That is a very rare trip; I would not give it up so easily.

I live only a few hours from Hells, and I don't even consider that run until the fall, and in a kayak.
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Old 02-15-2014   #124
Dipshit with the most.
carvedog's Avatar
Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,496
Originally Posted by Anchorless View Post
What I would do if I were you is to put together a solid crew for the Selway trip, but plan for you and your wife to just ride along with someone else.
What he said.
If this is really your first raft then I would consider riding as well. If you really feel the need to row it and have the experience consider it think of this:
1) the river will likely be high. The Selway is running 100% of normal and that will likely be right in the middle of the peak. Rain can make it come up substantially. Plan an extra day or two preferably in case the crap hits the fan.

2) I would want a mix of craft. 2-3 solid kayakers minimum. A couple of cats that can reflip midstream if necessary. A couple of rafts for carrying capacity.

3) Bring someone who knows the river well. I have been 5 times and I swear it looks different every time and I get a different kind of schooling.

4) Weather can be nasty at any time, I have been lucky but I have heard of trips that did not see sunlight although a complete rainout is unlikely.

5) A drysuit is almost mandatory. I have a two piece now and was very happy to have it last year and we had great weather.

6) It is one of the most beautiful rivers you will ever see and one of the most pristine. Well worth every effort it takes to get there.

Take your ego out of it and honestly evaluate your rescue and rowing skills. Have you and your crew ever dealt with a multiple flip? Swam out of serious class 4?

We had a pretty strong crew last year and had four flips. Two were first time evers and these were good boaters that have run quite a bit of class 4.

Will you have time to get two or three weekend trips and/or several days on something robust?

Originally Posted by Anchorless View Post
I live only a few hours from Hells, and I don't even consider that run until the fall, and in a kayak.
I do have a couple kayak buddies who raft down and park and play at one of the big waves. they take several days at the wave and have a great time.

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