Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-18-2014   #1
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4
Rogue River Advice

I have a 3 day trip coming up next week on the lower Rogue and i'm looking for some advice. We have a group of 8 going on the trip, 5 of which have no river experience. We have 2 experienced kayakers on this trip (including myself) and we plan to guide two rafts down this stretch. I've taken multiple swiftwater rescue classes and I'm very comfortable on the river, but this will be both of our first times guiding rafts. Last week i took an 8 our private guiding class on the Nugget/Powerhouse stretch of the rogue and now I feel fairly comfortable on the oars. However, our other boat will be a paddle raft, which neither of us has any any experience guiding.

I've been studying all of the rapids and I'm mainly nervous about blowing the first move at Blossom bar. I'm debating changing this trip to a much easier stretch on the Lower Klamath, but I would hate to miss out on the Rogue if I'm overreacting. If any of you has any experience or advice, i'd love to hear it.


IlikeRivers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014   #2
Eureka, California
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 32
what is your experience as an oars man? Have you done this section in a kayak so you know what is coming?, Blossom Bar is a serious rapid. Have you looked at the Youtube videos of the good and bad runs? What other class IV stuff have you rowed? IMHO if you're thinking of taking a paddle boat down without an experienced boat captain, not a good idea.

I think starting your group out on the Trees Of Heaven (put-in couple miles below the campground)run, then Happy Camp run and then Ferry Point would be a good training trip. Currently Orleans is at @3000 cfs a fun flow.

But I have to add that my comments are from an OC2 paddler who has done both the Klamath lots and the permited Rogue, and the Rogue is at the very top end of my comfort zone.

Cheers Carol

kanoer2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014   #3
wildh2onriver's Avatar
irvine, California
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,197
Blossom Bar has probably killed as many or more people than most commonly run rapids. It's a timing move and if you mis-time it, the picket fence will ruin your day at best.

I would strongly suggest that you consider going with an experienced rower to lead the way for your first trip. At least see if you can run it with another group.

Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
wildh2onriver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014   #4
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928
Running a Class IV river that has a known reputation for killing people on a regular basis seems like a poor option for a first time running a paddle raft. As well, a multi-day oar raft takes some getting use to compared to a day raft. It sounds like you have a minimal field experience and could benefit from working your way up.

Finding cancellations and early/late season Rogue permits doesn't seem to be that difficult if you have flexibility in your life. You live in whitewater heaven so I would think going to Plan B would pay off for you in the short and long run.

The Rogue all around seems like a place to take passengers when you have more experience and confidence.

Wish we had as many bailout options as you.

restrac2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014   #5
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4
Thanks for the advice Carol. This would be my first time on the Wild and Scenic section. I've been watching every video I can find on Blossom as well as all of the other major rapids that we'd encounter.

Last weekend was my first time on the oars. I hired a guide for a day specifically to train for this trip. We did a couple laps on the nugget section practicing the back ferry to the right to simulate Blossom entry on nearly every rapid. I racked his brain the entire day with all of my questions about the lower. At the end of the day, i asked for his honest assessment on whether we should move to plan B (either sarah totten to happy camp or the stretch you recommended). He said we would have some "exciting moments" but believed that i could safely guide my group down.

As for as Class IV experience, just what I ran last weekend, which were clean runs on both Nugget and Powerhouse.

I appreciate your opinion about not taking a group down without an experienced guide, that's the kind of advice i'm looking for. With that said, safety is my top priority. Our group will all have helmets, pfds, and despite the hot air temperatures forecast for next weekend, drysuits.

If we still end up on the Rogue, and we arrive at Blossom bar feeling under prepared, I plan to R2 the paddle raft through Blossom with the other experienced kayaker and ask the rest of the group to walk (either around the rapid, or all the way to Paradise lodge).
IlikeRivers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014   #6
Wadeinthewater's Avatar
Walterville, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 559
Rowing a raft loaded with gear for 8 people on a multi-day trip will be much different than what you have practiced.

Originally Posted by IlikeRivers View Post
I'm mainly nervous about blowing the first move at Blossom bar........If any of you has any experience or advice, i'd love to hear it.
Blossom is serious business. It seems like several people die there each year. You should practice somewhere else first. John Day, Grande Ronde, Deschutes....
Real adventure is only one bad decision away.
Wadeinthewater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014   #7
Eureka, California
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 32
As said I've never rowed, so others may shake their heads over this statement, but I found the Rogue far more challenging in an open canoe then the MFSalmon at 1.8 ft., or the Main at August flows.

If you were my best buddy - or not, asking for advice, go with plan B, so much safer and you would never forgive yourself if something went wrong.

If you haven't been on the Klamath before, I probably would not suggest putting in at Sarah Totten campground and going down to Happy Camp. Other than the first couple miles that has Hamburg falls, there's lots and lots of flat water and afternoon wind. If your group is agreeable, I would suggest a base camp at Curly Jack campground In Happy Camp. Great pizza parlor there too. Lots of people do happy camp down to Coon Creek as an overnighter, with Dragon Tooth and Rattlesnake as the two rapids you really need to scout. Rattlesnake can develop quite a hole depending upon the flows, and boats do wrap on the "tooth". Trees of Heaven has lots of class II-class III drops depending upon the flows. And at some flows there is quite the surf wave at Schoolhouse.


kanoer2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014   #8
Ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 107
I think you're wise to be thinking long and hard about this. Rowing a boat loaded with gear for your group's 3-day trip would mean a much heavier boat than you've rowed in your practice sessions. Heavier = more sluggish = less responsive. The crux move into the Entrance Eddy at Blossom Bar is not difficult, but you have got to make it at the right time or risk drifting down into the Picket Fence, where people die on a regular basis. Missing an oar stroke or two while making this move, or not having a rock solid back ferry move into the entrance eddy, could lead to very bad things. Everyone has to have their first run on a rapid sometime, and I won't try to tell you what you should do, but it sounds like you would benefit from more oar time on loaded rafts before running Blossom Bar, where one mistake could be deadly. Wherever you end up going, enjoy! The lower Klamath is a wonderful river as well. And kudos for thinking about this; there are way too many bozos on the Rogue who blunder into things without a clue.
daveb1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014   #9
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4
I really appreciate everyone's input on this. You are all saying pretty much what I expected to hear, so I'll talk with the group tomorrow about a change of plans.

I'd love to hear some more alternatives that would be a safer, yet still exciting, 3-day trip.
IlikeRivers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014   #10
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
My concern would be your paddle raft, which you say neither of you have experience guiding. A paddle raft with a paddle captain who doesn't know what they are doing, guiding other newbies, could be dangerous. I personally hate paddle captaining. It's one thing for my brain to tell my body what to do on my raft with my oars. Totally different to communicate that info to 3-4 other folks in a few split seconds, in a calm, yet very clear manner, and have them follow through. Some people have a knack for paddle captaining, but not me. Make sure your paddle boat captain has his crew practice moves leading up to Blossam so that they are ready.

Plan B sounds like the best idea to me. It's supposed to be fun. Exciting is great.....up to a point.

"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
cataraftgirl is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rogue river intel Carl Spackler Kayaking | Trip Planner 18 04-29-2010 01:04 PM
Rogue River Questions??? IdahoJay Whitewater Kayaking 7 10-20-2009 01:46 PM
9-22-09 Rogue River trip Whitewater Kayaking 0 08-30-2009 04:23 PM
Rogue River; Rainie Falls rwilson Kayaking | Trip Planner 9 07-14-2009 05:39 PM
Rogue River Wild and Scenic, 6/8-6/11 ChuckT Kayaking | Trip Planner 0 06-03-2009 03:40 PM

» Classified Ads
vintage Avon foot pump

posted by Johnny

Vintage Avon foot pump from back in the '80s when I had a...

14' steel raft trailer

posted by groovy

hand made steel welded. This was a commercial trailer used...

2014 Rocky Mountain Storm...

posted by clinks

This package was put together in late 2014, and has been on...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:29 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.