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Old 07-30-2014   #11
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,906
Upper Blue, 1995, buddy picked up a 12' bucket boat with a huge gash in the floor for $150. We patched it, got some PFDs and a pump and away we went. He's a kayaker and I think I figured out his motive a few years later when I realized I was always hauling his gear on overnights and multi-day trips. I've moved up in terms of what kind of raft I've got these days. Sadly my friend's drifted away from whitewateri in the last few years.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 07-30-2014   #12
BlueTurf's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 105
I am cutting my teeth this summer in Idaho. I've had some experience paddling on commercial (and friend) day trips for about 10 years. I went on my first overnight trip on Hell's 2 years ago. Started applying for 4 rivers permits after that. Went as a passenger on Hell's and the MFS last year and rowed a little on the MFS and all of Hell's below Granite and Wild Sheep in my friends boat.

This year I moved from Colorado back to Idaho and bought my own boat.

Yeah, and that can happen on a class I or II.
Truer words have never been spoken Schutzie. I flipped my brand new boat, on it's maiden voyage, on the very first rapid, less than 2 miles from the put in on the Main Salmon. Oh ya and it's a class II rapid. It's called Killam and at 4.6 on the Corn Creek ramp there is a hole that if you hit it exactly wrong it will flip your brand new 143R right over. The rest of the trip went much better.

My friends say my new river name is Class II. I think I'll paint it on the bottom of my boat and work to not see it again unless I'm rolling it at the take out.

It's a learning process and I'm proceeding.

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Old 07-30-2014   #13
SpeyCatr's Avatar
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 267
So I see I'm not alone LOL!

Thanks for the input so far everyone! Interesting video, the Grand Canyon looks like an interesting place! I think what I'm going to do is when the time comes down the line when I do buy a Cataraft, I'll try and time the purchase so I can do a trip to see the Lochsa Falls Memorial Day Weekend event and pick everything up direct in Idaho! Probably not next years but maybe the year after? Woohoo!
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Old 07-31-2014   #14
Dipshit with the most.
carvedog's Avatar
Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,496
After spending a half hour deadheading with some guides I used to film a tour group with, I overheard a buddy in a bar talking about a trip coming up. Asked him what's up with that and got on the trip. I think he thought my gravity and ballast might keep the boat he put me in from flipping. It did. I spend 7 days bow busting in a 13 foot bucket boat on the Main Salmon at 24K in mid June 1989. I was working for a dirtbag contractor at the time and when I told him I needed the week off, he said 'you won't have a job when you get back'. See ya. Such an asshole. I found out later he created this procedure that called for therapeutic intravaginal massage….and rich, stupid women pay him for this shit. Oh well.

After the Main I started bugging the outfitter that ran the day trips I was filming. Got CPR, Wilderness First Aid and already had a bus license to improve my chances. Did the guide training the next spring. Two a days for about 10 days, sometimes in the snow. Stanley can be cold in mid May. Got hired.

Cataract that fall in an oar boat. Middle Fork the next spring as one of two oar boats and a cat for 16 people. Many kayakers. I was stuck a lot. Early June in a dry year is about 2.5 feet. Still had a ball and about three years later started guiding out there.

I put together my first river trip along in there - The Selway. I am so glad it was under 4 feet as none of us had seen it. And there was no internet to warn us we would die, so we just did it. The only one who flipped was the guy with the 'Class 5' experience just off the Bio Bio who couldn't wait for us to get ready in the morning because we were more hung over than he. No Slouch served up his ass whipping. In the book it's class "2".

I will never forget him still trying to get his sleeping bag dry by the fire at 2 in the am when I got up to pee.

Stay humble. Be flexible and never give up when the shit hits the fan or your first choice doesn't work out.
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Old 07-31-2014   #15
trevko's Avatar
Fort Fun, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 117
Originally Posted by carvedog View Post
Stay humble. Be flexible and never give up when the shit hits the fan or your first choice doesn't work out.
Truer words never more spoken. The advice given to me by "Coach" (as one of his guys rowing a 22' snout missed the eddy) was "read the water, give it your all, and never ever give up"
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Old 07-31-2014   #16
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1965
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 175
I grew up in Canon City on the Ark. Spent many a day on tractor tubes in the lower Gorge - not rafting but taught us a lot about being comfortable in fast water. In the early 70's a group of us bought an Army surplus ocean raft. It was big and floppy but got us into real rafting. My brother tried the Gorge (back then there was a low head dam that was a noted killer) and lost the boat and almost his life. During high school I spent a summer working for River Runners and have been on the river ever since.
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Old 07-31-2014   #17
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 97
I also cut my teeth on the grand. My buddy loaned me his 14' cat for a trip in Dec 2009. He knows the lines, so I just followed. Had a clean run until lava, where I flipped and took a bad swim. Was hooked after that and bought the cat off of him the next summer.
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Old 07-31-2014   #18
vail, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 29
Find a section you want to learn. Find someone you trust to show you the line. Ride along, and pay attention to where the hazards lie. Ride along as many times as necessary until you feel relatively comfortable with the lines. Once you think you've got the gist of it, take your own boat with people you trust following you in a sweep position. It's best if you also have another boat in front so you can follow there lines. Keep trip format tight in case there is an issue. This is how all commercial guides learn new water. Don't get cocky! Play it safe. There is a huge step up in consequences between class 111 and class 1V and V. Have respect for the river as well as those on the river with you, to learn the rivers before you jump in with both feet ( literally).
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Old 07-31-2014   #19
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 657
My first time on whitewater was on the upper yough (V). I was raised in an area rich in whitewater, but had never been exposed to it. I took my older friend up on the offer of a "free ride down" because he needed extra weight in the front to "catch the eddys".
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Old 07-31-2014   #20
Pinecliffe, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 447
Originally Posted by carvedog View Post

The only one who flipped was the guy with the 'Class 5' experience just off the Bio Bio who couldn't wait for us to get ready in the morning because we were more hung over than he. No Slouch served up his ass whipping. In the book it's class "2".

I will never forget him still trying to get his sleeping bag dry by the fire at 2 in the am when I got up to pee. .
Thats a great story. I've always noticed, especially when I was green and people gave out more advice or orders, the biggest d bags end up being the guys that brag the most and have to tell everyone how much shit they've done and how great they are. Its also funny to watch guys who were total greenhorns become "badass" in a couple years. I've seen that on here a lot lately.

One thing I've been thinking about lately is how at first its about hitting a line or setting the up the rig just right and as time goes on you begin to learn so much more about what the whole river life is about. I think this is true for a lot of things in life.

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. KARL MARX
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