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Old 04-10-2014   #41
The Russian
kazak4x4's Avatar
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
Originally Posted by restrac2000 View Post
sorry for confusion....meant I would love to see a RiverMap that is more updated than the Belknap river guide. Nothing does a good job for those of us who only run it at most once a year.

I would love to see a large scale series for both upper flat water sections and then a classic detailed map for the actual whitewater stretch. It would be especially nice for finding campsites which can be a bit of a pain down there (comparatively). It has taken me a while to get to know the names and places in Cat and I still am in the grey for a big section.

We tried to get as much info about access and rapids about Cat.

Colorado River - Cataract Canyon - River Brain

Click on top links to see access and rapids on the map. Everything can be dumped via GPS links as well.

-ALEX [ youtube ][ my boat ][ ]
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Old 04-10-2014   #42
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928
Originally Posted by Bigdrops View Post
The low water run is on the left. Satan's gut is feature of bd#3 in very high water. One should be scouting from Satan's gut (river left) which is high and dry in low water.
I should preface that I don't buy into the idea of each rapid having a "run", its a bit of a pet peeve. (I think it devalues the importance of reading the water you see in the moment. I have seen far too many people get wrapped up in a described run and ignore the nuance of the water they see).

There is a right run at low water. We ran right the first time because that is what they had previously done (my first time on oars). Its a snarly little series of moves. There is a razor rock that rooster tails a nasty little feature (at around 7k if I remember right) near the tail end. I worked harder on that run then I do on the left run now and there is a pucker factor. Left is my preferred run at low water but that mid-river rock island definitely eats a few boats a year and the right run completely bypasses that possibility.

Left slot = much easier but worse penalty box
Right slot (been 6 years) = significantly harder but consequences and run out are better if you miss your line

Like I said I prefer the left run but I can understand why someone would choose to go right. That view from the left scout is one of the most classic places in whitewater rafting in my opinion. Contemplating "Satan's Gut" from the exposure of low water features never fails to mess up my stomach for hours.


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Old 04-10-2014   #43
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
as restrac2000 stated "messed up my gut for hours"

We camped close by and spent a lot of afternoon time looking at that drop.

My bud had run it many times, my first.

His advice was follow my line. I did but was nervous as a long tailed cat on a porch full of rocking chairs.

As has been mentioned before, easy if you hit the line, Hades probably if you don't.
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Old 04-10-2014   #44
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 597
Is it #15 that you scout on the right by walking down from #13? Something like that.

Something else: There is a gooseneck that you can easily walk up and over (on a good trail) and meet the boats after they come around the bend. It's well worth doing. I'm not sure of the mile #, but it should be very evident when looking at the river map.

Kevin wrote: We are getting ready to launch in a week or so; flows are starting to pick up and could be in the 10k range. The only guidebook I have is the Belknap guide. Does anybody have scouting notes for the major rapids? e.g. scout from river left, pull over at about mile 26.3.
Thanks much, Kevin
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Old 04-10-2014   #45
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 727
It's been a while since I've been in there as well, but I remember it just the way Restrac describes it. The right line takes a really thorough inspection to see it from the left bank. It is a narrow line through a lot of boulders. The left line is a short and steep drop, and it is difficult to gauge your line from the water until you are right on top of it, so you really want to be sure of where you are on that side. It does flip boats at low water. There is a good view of it from the left bank. BD 3 is a very challenging rapid at low flows, and it can have people wavering between left and right for quite a while.

Good advice on watching out for the hole at #5, if you intend on camping there, it can throw someone off enough that they miss the pull in so best to skirt it in that case.

As I remember Island rapid, I don't remember significant flipping holes, but it seems it was a narrow, shallow, and rocky channel on the right side and I felt better just knowing where I wanted to be. Easy scout from the top of the island.

Looking forward to returning to Cat soon, it is one of the classics and I miss it in there.
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Old 04-18-2014   #46
king kong kev's Avatar
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 25
Thanks for the notes, hints, and videos for the rapids. We head out Sunday, flow is picking up and could be close to 15k when we get to the drops.
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Old 04-18-2014   #47
Bigdrops's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 70
Never underestimate the right sweeping current of BD3

At 15k you will probably go right. The line will present itself as a glassy tongue that divides the middle of the river and the nasty Frog Hole on river right. Don't forget to compensate for the huge right sweeping current.
On day's where the flow is less than 13k the run is on the left. There is a small marker wave just above the drop, if you place your right tube on that wave you will make it. It's a thin line. Hope this helps. Good luck.
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Old 07-02-2014   #48
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Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 488
Shuttle Options

What's the best shuttle option for Cataract? I've been trying to find out info for the option to fly from Hite to Moab, but for the most part my google-fu can't find any info other than the commercial trip options. Is this a good option for a private trip?
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Old 07-02-2014   #49
DoubleYouEss's Avatar
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 577
Redtail Aviation out of Moab
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Old 07-02-2014   #50
pojoaque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 109
We've always used these guys and they have been reliable and easy to work with:

Ric Schmidt & Kelly Dunham
River Express Shuttles
PO Box 341
Green River, Utah 84525

Cell: 435-820-4828

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