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Old 03-21-2014   #1
Jackson, Wyoming
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 276
Cross Mountain in oar raft

Wondering what Cross is like in a raft at current flows (say 1000 give or take a couple hundred). My wife and I have an invite for a early June MFS trip, and looking for early season runs to build confidence on. She rows the alpine canyon on the Snake comfortably, rowed Lodore loaded heavy last year. I'm not a rafter, so cant really judge rivers from that perspective. Was thinking of coming down Sunday, wondering if it is a reasonable trip for her. Any rafters interested in showing her the lines? Seems kayak groups are easy to find in there this time of year, not sure about big boats.


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Old 03-21-2014   #2
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,136
I personally have never seen an oar raft in Cross. Plenty of cats, kayaks and an occasional paddle raft, but I am sure someone has oar rafted it.

Definitely a step tougher than the MFS if only because there is only one way out. Fun in a cat from 1,000 to 3,000. At 1,000 it is very tight in places and the flat row in becomes shallow. At 3k it becomes huge.

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Old 03-22-2014   #3
Jackson, Wyoming
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 276
Not sure I understand about the step up in difficulty due to one way out- its a 6 mile canyon loaded for a day trip compared to a 100 miles loaded for a week? Just from watching videos, I dont doubt the water might be a step up, though I haven't really found much for videos at low water (at least not with flows listed, and they tended to be kayaks). Any other input? Mostly wondering about difficulty of the moves/ room for oars.
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Old 03-22-2014   #4
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,136
At low water there are several very tight moves with consequences, they work in a cat, not sure about an oar raft. I have broken oars in Cross because of very tight moves in fast water. At high water some of the huge holes become unavoidable. I like having multiple exit plans. On the MFS, I could walk out or even fly out, on Cross, there is only one way out.
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Old 03-22-2014   #5
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 141
We did it in 2010 around 1000 cfs. I We all had cats and ten foot oars. I popped an oar out of the lock at the top of Ostersizer, got lucky and grabbed two back strokes against the oar tower and that set me up to get through the rapid. It is pretty tight through the whole canyon at that flow(the only flow I have been down at) but we had no other issues. It was my first trip after I had my miniscus was repaired and was enough for that day...
There was no double cross for me.
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Old 03-22-2014   #6
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
Disclaimer, I have not run Cross so for what it is worth.

We had a permit for the Yampa one year at 10,000 cfs flow.

Buddy of mine (very experienced oarsman) and his passenger went out a day early and decided to run Cross in an Aire self bailer 143..

Oarsman said not a big deal, passenger said he was not going back in that canyon.

Bottom line, difficult oar boat run at any level, from what I hear. Low water makes for a easier kayak run. More pin chances for a oar rig.
okieboater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2014   #7
4CRS, Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 295
I would love to see a pic of a 14' oar rig in cross at 10k cfs.
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Old 03-22-2014   #8
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
Me too on the pictures.

From the passenger's story, there was no way or time to free up a hand for pictures and no go pro in those days.
okieboater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2014   #9
Bellvue, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 117
Please do
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Old 03-26-2014   #10
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 123
Did it last year as a kayaker with several cat boats and one raft rigged as an oar boat. The catch being I can't recall what size raft it was, I'm guessing a 13', I know it was green. Flow was ~950cfs. The only issue he had, which sadly I copied in a kayak, was getting stuck in the "eddy" river right of Osterizer. He made the rest of it look easy, including some surf attempts on a wave near the end.

I'd agree that it is a narrow run at those flows, haven't been on Alpine so can't compare. Definitely narrower than MFS.


"Basic research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing." -- Werner von Braun
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