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Old 05-20-2014   #21
Wavester's Avatar
NorCal, California
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 330
I second running the N.Umpqua, fun rapids and a beautiful river. I actually think some of the rapids are tougher then Blossom like Pinball but have less consequences since you have a road nearby. The first time I ran the Rogue many years ago I was fortunate to follow someone who had ran it many times. Even though I was an experienced boater at the time it was comforting to follow someone through Blossom, it's a unique rapid with a lot of consequences if you mess up and almost every time I have run it since you see someone or hear about someone screwing up on Blossom. I have personally watched other rafts flip or wrap on Blossom more then once.
Anyway rafting is all about having fun not worrying if you have the skill to run the river, always good to error on the side of caution imho. I'll be running the Rogue the first week of June and then running the N.Umpqua if there's water still. Any locals here think there will be enough water to run the N.Umpqua the middle of June???

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Old 05-20-2014   #22
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
Unfortunately I've never done the Rogue, but I've quided a lot of paddle boats, most often full of first timers.

You should be competent enough to turn the boat pretty much on your own when it's full of people and take advantage of the current where ever possible.

Teaching people to paddle isn't a long or hard process, if you think about it all they have to do is hold the paddle correctly, take a proper stroke and understand "forward" "backward" "Left forward" etc. Takes about 10 minutes to teach that. The other part is getting them to work together; your two front people are the key to that, everyone behind them just has to follow what the one in front is doing.

After I got everyone into proper paddle mode, I'd generally turn the boat upstream and see how much power I had; I'd tell em if we can actually go upstream we'll feed you tonight. Knowing how much power you have, and can they keep it straight is pretty much a 10 minute job, and tells you what you have to work with.

Then, depending on the river, you can start dealing with stuff like recovering someone who fell out ("I won't let you back into the boat if you loose your paddle" and"Do not grab them by the collar or arms, take advantage of the situation and grab em by the crotch"), what "jump to" means, and so on.

I ran Northgate once when it was running over 4,500, 3 paddle boats and 2 rowing rigs. We made it to 6 mile in 45 minutes, and I did it only because everyone was experienced with WestWater or Dolores and we had a good crew. I don't think I'd do it again, but man, what a rush!

It was me, and I'd never done the Rogue there's no way I'd take a crew of newibies down. It's the blind leading the blind. Save it for another day.

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Old 05-20-2014   #23
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
My hat is off to those folks who are good paddle captains. Clear, concise, and loud are not my strong suits. The best paddle captain I ever saw was a very sweet, mild-mannered gal, who rarely ever raised her voice in camp. But on the raft, you knew exactly what she wanted your to do. She was so darn polite about it all though, that you never realized how well in control of the group she was until you made a perfect run through a tricky rapid. She was my hero!
"We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love....and then we return home."
Australian Aboriginal Proverb
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Old 05-20-2014   #24
Southern, Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 36
The N Umpqua should be good to go in mid June. Running around 2 right now. Day trips with a light boat should be no problem.

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