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Old 10-07-2014   #21
Learch's Avatar
Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655
Last weekend I had a friend get pounded in a 13 foot raft rapid pretty hard at Washout. It was him and his wife, she fell out and went for her first ever swim, and he stayed with the ship and got it out of the hole. The hole looks to be river right, and there is a video of a paddle raft stuck there for quite some time on Youtube.
That said, it is safer to boat with people. If you are confident in your abilities, then go ahead. There are solo hunters wandering all over Oregon right now, and they are taking just as much risk as you would.

Wishing I was on the river instead of surfing the web...
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Old 10-08-2014   #22
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 78
If you have any doubt at all why not just lap the section between Pine Tree and Macks. Or make it a couple day trip with a camp spot. There is enough good water in that stretch for a lifetime. You will have to deal with guides out on day trips but if you set up camp you can have some prime water mostly to yourself. On the Deschutes this time of year fish are all over the place so it is well worth fishing through good water a few times before moving on. That could make that stretch well worth it.

And the posts about other traffic are 100% true. I doubt that you would ever be out of sight of other people on the entire lower stretch this time of year.

Go for it.

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Old 10-23-2014   #23
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 58
Dennis Julian was a trapper who sailed and rowed most of the Grand and Green rivers solo. In the 1840's. Left inscriptions all over the canyons. Safety is over-rated. Here in the Wasatch Mountains there are plenty of folks who go out and back-country ski solo. Given the cold and avalanche danger, risky indeed. Most of them are still walking around. It is often your friends who goad you into doing something stupid. I've run Westwater solo. Gives you respect for the country. I think it is how you choose to live rather than how long you live that matters. On the news here in Utah there is typically a story about some woman or another who lives in a the senior home and plays canasta every day. And is 95 years old. Where is the fun in that? Do something bold and brag about it. For the sheer fun of it, and because it ticks off careful people. My 2 cents.
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Old 10-23-2014   #24
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 149
Go. Scout everything. If you get to a rapid that you're not 100% comfortable with running solo, wait for a group of people to come along. Flag them over, ask if you can run through the rapids while they're around just in case. Who would say no? May need to time yourself so you show up at a rapid in the morning and can wait.
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Old 12-10-2014   #25
steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 14
sat. phone maybe?
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Old 12-10-2014   #26
Castle Rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 321
Check out the Delorme inReach SE. It is nearly perfect for this type of activity.
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Old 12-10-2014   #27
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 188
Whenever you want to... and can do so with no consequences for anyone else.
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Old 12-10-2014   #28
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 883

I was a long term volunteer ranger at Westwater for ten years, and have more than 300 patrol runs there, almost all of them solo. I've also done Westwater to Hite through Cat solo, and the bottom end of the Grand Canyon solo. Different boats, from late March to late October -- wonderful times on the river if you're wired that way.

As has been said, know your capabilities, be sure you're ready equipment-wise, and be wise in your approach to not just the river, but also off-river activities.


Rich Phillips
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Old 12-11-2014   #29's Avatar
lafayette, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 498
There are 3 major problems to consider when going solo.
1 you have to do all the driving
2 you have to do all the cooking
3 you have to assume all the responsibility for having fun

Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life on or off the river. is offline   Reply With Quote


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