Originally Posted by tessathebaddog
my buddy and i have done deso/grey in duckies in May the past 4 years with flow from 9000 to 20,000 cfs. we are set to roll on a duckies only trip with a couple of athletic novices on 5/15 2011 with flows predicted to be 25-30 thousand. anyone out there done the river when it's that high? aside from a very angry joe hutch whom may need to be snuck around and fewer beach campsites, any precautions?
All together duckies are only limited by the skill of their passengers. Swims could be violent and cold but shouldn't be long in most stretches. If they know how to read water their experience will be a lot safer. Some nasty hyrdaulics and features form in the picket fence gardens that are dry at most levels. Places like Flat Canyon and Upper Joe Hutch have easy to miss but serious hazards above 20k. As someone else mentioned, some features could easily be keepers. The rapids I am thinking will be more serious won't be easily portaged.
All in all, I wouldn't rate a high water Deso a beginner run for any paddler or oarsman. For years it has been considered a family run but there are some serious consequences for folks at these historic levels. Could also be nice to have a large boat to pick up the possible carnage of novice paddlers.
Watch out for debris. Your life will be simpler than rafters because you can pull you boats out of the water high and dry. We will launch May 22 on a 2 boat trip and will have to watch boats in camp closely. Definitely gonna have multiple lines on our rigs at night.
Sounds like we may see a major spike next weekend if the weather reports are accurate. Heavy, wet snow forecast above 8k followed by a warm spell....might actually start the real runoff cycle.