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Old 10-19-2015   #11
Somewhere, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 22

Well, we made it! We brought 2 fully loaded kayaks and a 10 ft raft down the South Salmon at 1.6 ft.

The trip was defined by lots of rocks, a couple of bad sticks for the raft, a cracked Jackson karma, and a lot of bewildered looks from hunters in the area wondering what the hell we were doing out there.

There were no portages (except for my buddy who portaged the entire Main due to his cracked boat).

Devil's was insanely fun. With all the huge boulders, everytime you made a move, it felt like you were going into a different room of a huge house. That one was very clean.

Surprise gave the rafters a tough time. They missed one crucial move and had to take a micro-channel to the right, picking up the raft over a few dry boulders.

Elk was interesting. The 2 kayaks took the left line, but the rafters decided to take the center line, bony as it was. It mostly worked out, with the exception of a funny stick near the bottom.

Greyhound was awesome. Took the left line in a kayak, and so did the rafters. They styled it, much cleaner than both the kayaks.

Plot twist: About 3 miles above Fall Creek, my buddy Chris suddenly proclaims that he has "a metric fuck-ton" of water in his boat. Eddies out to find a 13-inch crack in his hull. We try to make a quick fix with some gorilla tape, which still leaks about a gallon of water per minute into his boat. This translates to him draining his boat every half mile or so.

After the 4th time draining his boat, we decide to put him and his boat on the 10 ft raft until fall creek. Our plan was to make it through Fall Creek that day, but as we arrived at Fall 1 with only about 45 minutes of light left, we decided to camp at the beach right above Fall 1.

Tried to repair the crack that night with a spoon, a jetboil, and some spare boat plastic, which made it semi-dry.

Woke up in the rain and ran Fall Creek with big smiles. Fall 3 at low water presents a really fun move where you need to move hard left right after the entry move and go around those boulders that usually create a nasty hole in the middle of the rapid.

Made it to the Main and Chris's dry top once again was making him look like Pop-eye the Sailor man due to the pressure from so much water leaking into his boat. At the confluence, he puts his boat on the raft again and they R3 this heavy, tiny boat out of the Main.

Got to Vinegar and what do you know, our car isn't there. Shuttle dude fucked up, so we float down to Carey.

Phew, car is at Carey. Drink beers, eat burgers, go home. Success!

Attached some pictures, don't know if they worked or not.
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fostvedtm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015   #12
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 434
Glad you made it ok. I had a feeling that surprise and elk creek might give you trouble. The slot at Surprise was a somewhat-tight move at 2.15 feet, let alone 1.6. Devil's Creek is a fun and somewhat gripping rapid... probably my favorite along with Surprise. You might have the distinction of doing the lowest decent in a raft. Congrats.

When we quit believing in our corrupt political system, it will finally fall apart. REVOLUTION!!!
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Old 10-19-2015   #13
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 365
Awesome work! Great to see some ELF action doesn't stop folks!! Done in style!

I've heard that sticky tar roofing tape is a good field repair for these situations....

good on y'all!

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