Crossing the state---human powered - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 6 Days Ago   #1
 
boof512's Avatar
 
Teacher, Colorado
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Crossing the state---human powered

I am turning 40 next summer and want to do something interesting to celebrate. Right now I am contemplating starting on my road bike in Nebraska and riding to the Pumphouse put in and sea kayaking from there (portaging Upper and lower death).

I can figure out the ride time easy enough, but I am wondering how long you all think it would take to paddle from Pumphouse to the Utah state line?

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Old 6 Days Ago   #2
 
Carbondale, Colorado
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Kinda depends on the time of the summer (peak versus late). I've done all of that in pieces. I'd say eight to ten days depending on how the run-off and how many hours you paddle. Two or three days from Pumphouse to Dotsero (sixty miles). Three days Dotsero to GJ (hundred miles or so). You would have to portage the diversion dam in Cameo. One or two days for Ruby Horsethief (twenty five miles) and one day for Westwater (18 miles)
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Old 5 Days Ago   #3
 
Carbondale, Colorado
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Also unless you are bomber I wouldn't plan on Shoshone before mid July in a sea kayak. It's short but knarly at high water - the commercials don't run it above 6000 or so. The rest is mostly Class II with a few III's. The portage at the diversion dam is not bad. There is a big irrigation ditch intake river right and a fish passage river left. Probably best to portage left unless you get permission from the District to treaspass
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Old 5 Days Ago   #4
 
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Teacher, Colorado
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Thanks

I would time the trip with peak run off and would be hoping to do 10 hour days. I am thinking 4 miles an hour average at peak flows in a sea kayak should be doable.

I agree Shoshone might be interesting in a sea kayak, that's why I was hoping I could trade out for a creakboat for a couple of miles so I could run parts of upper death and Shoshone.

Thanks for your thoughts
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Old 5 Days Ago   #5
 
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
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find a better boat!

why sea kayak when there are lots of amazing downriver self support boats! The Stinger XP, green boat, Katana, or any of the other ones would be awesome for that type of adventure, especially if the water was high. Then a high-water Shoshone would be casual. Great idea and have fun!

p.s. agree with all the above for time it would take.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #6
 
Eagle, Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2017
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This year at 5500 CFS on the Dotsero gage....... my 14' boat with gear, equipment and a little and big was averaging about 7 mph from Pumphouse down..... Anything above 5500 CFS you will have to portage two bridges as well, but that would be easy enough in a kayak.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #7
 
GJ, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boof512 View Post
I would time the trip with peak run off and would be hoping to do 10 hour days. I am thinking 4 miles an hour average at peak flows in a sea kayak should be doable.

I agree Shoshone might be interesting in a sea kayak, that's why I was hoping I could trade out for a creakboat for a couple of miles so I could run parts of upper death and Shoshone.

Thanks for your thoughts
If you're anywhere near peak, and your paddle is pulling water (not resting in your lap) in a sea kayak, you'll be doing 8mph easily.

By the time you've taken in the Eagle and Roaring fork you'll have more than 10k cfs. By the time the Gunny comes in you could have well over 20k. Not unheard of for Ruby/Horsethief to be at 30k+ then. The river is booming along.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #8
KSC
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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I did Palisade to Moab once. 4800 cfs. Did it in some sort of Dagger sea kayak. The sea kayak was definitely way better than taking a longboat whitewater kayak. Did Palisade to last camp spot in Ruby Horsethief the first day. Then there to Moab the next day. Something like 10-11 hr days I believe. Didn't push it too much but didn't lolly gag either. Esp the first day we had some unpleasant headwinds that slowed things down quite a bit.

Unfortunately I can't remember exactly, but I had a gps watch on and was looking at speed. Think we were generally in the 8mph range on the flats, though a bit slower with headwinds. The rapids as we got closer to Moab helped, but were interspersed with a lot of flatwater.

Westwater was a little more exciting in the sea kayak, but not that big of a deal since all you really need to do is point it straight.
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