Moab Daily OK for Inexperienced Oarsperson at <5,000 - Mountain Buzz

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View Poll Results: Beginning rafter on oars with 8 and 11 year old kids OK on Moab Daily <5000 cfs?
Yes 3 37.50%
It depends (please leave comments) 3 37.50%
No 2 25.00%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-02-2016   #1
Hesperus, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 11
Moab Daily OK for Inexperienced Oarsperson at <5,000

A friend with very, very limited experience on the oars is hoping to join us on the Moad Daily for an overnight float later this fall by renting a 13' raft and taking her 8 and 11 year olds with her. I would certainly discourage it at higher water, but I'm looking for opinions for low water conditions - 3,500 to 5,000 cfs. Thoughts?


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Old 09-02-2016   #2
Rick A's Avatar
Henderson, Nevada
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 66
I am pretty new on the oars myself and ran it a few weeks ago in that range. I would recommend putting in at Dewey to give her some time to get used to the oars and work on some maneuvering. My wife rowed from Dewey to Onion camps and she did great. It was her first time ever rowing. There will be some rocks and shallow spots to avoid. Stay with the main flow or you might get hung up by a sand bar. There might be some trouble below Hittle Bottom if she hasn't figured out the oars yet or doesn't have the ability to spot and stay on a line. So you need to determine if she can move the boat and follow your line, if not take out at Hittle Bottom. Have fun be safe.
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Old 09-02-2016   #3
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New Castle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,139
I think I would discourage her. Lower water on Moab Daily still has some hazards. A couple holes and large pourovers in New Rapid and White's are easy to miss but could dump kiddos. Rocky rapid is pretty bony and it would be easy to get hung up or get an oar grabbed. Also, heading into fall the water temperature will start dropping and the winds and rain can be unpredictable. Without the kids, I would so go for it.
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Old 09-02-2016   #4
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 132
What is very very limited experience? Less than an hour? Less than a day? I would say that young kids shouldn't be involved until the captain has at least one comparable run under her belt. I usually err on the side of caution when kids are involved because a bad first experience can have a big impact on how they feel about an activity for a long time afterword.
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Old 09-02-2016   #5
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Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,427
Yep, you should have some experience rowing before you start bringing your kids.
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Old 09-02-2016   #6
Rick A's Avatar
Henderson, Nevada
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 66
I have to chime back in and agree with the others and say probably not a good idea with kids. I bought my boat this year and did multiple runs on a class 3 river I have been kayaking on for years. I also had some in our group who knew the river well and described me the lines. I just posted a video of White's on YouTube. White's Rapid Moab Daily.
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Old 09-03-2016   #7
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 189
This is a tough call. The Moab Daily is a pretty mellow section for sure. Pretty much ANYONE can rent a raft, ducky, etc. and float the river. I don't hear a lot of stories of carnage on the Moab Daily section. I think with a good safety talk, kiddies hold on TIGHT, mom keeps the boat straight, things should be just fine. Keep your group tight in case of anything happening and help mom read the lines.

There isn't a right answer here. You will need to assess the risk based on your experience, comfort zone, and risk you are willing to take. Bad shit can happen on ANY river. Mellow or not. Keep the kiddies safe, keep the PFD's tight if you do decide to go. Rig to flip, dress to swim.
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Old 09-03-2016   #8
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 380
More important than on River preparedness is the off River. I would camp at an area that has one obvious entrance to the river. Somewhere that a kid would be easier to corral. They will go to the river so be prepared. If it's not too hot, have them keep their Pfds on. Good idea to have one adult in a chair on the bank as a lifeguard. I was on a sanjuan trip where two kids fell in. On instance was straight to a bush strainer. Saving grace was that they both had Pfds on. I've even thought ski fence would be handy to block access . This sounds crazy, but if you ever see a kid sucked downriver into a strainer, you will know what I'm saying
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Old 09-03-2016   #9
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 216
One thing that people didn't specify is the water temp.

The kids could fall in. If the water temp is cold then that is a really bad idea. If the trip is in September and the water temp is still comfortable, then not so bad.

If the kids could ride through the five Rapids with a more experienced boater then this wouldn't be a concern. The issue of concern I would have, and everyone seems to have, is the safety of the kids. I don't worry about adults X doing this on the Daily.
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Old 09-03-2016   #10
Commerce/the Junc, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 34
I ran the daily for my first overnight trip at around 5500. I had a lot of canoe and ocean kayak experience and some of the rapids did require some beta and a good set up to run them properly (I did my research and made it through ok) It was October and very windy in the afternoon. Probably not a good deal for kids, swims could be chilly.
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