IK on its own - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-06-2013   #1
Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1
IK on its own

Hi all,
I am looking for someone who has had experience(s) using a tandem IK loaded for multi- day use. How did it handle in rapids? How much of a load? What type of IK did you use? on what river section?

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Old 01-06-2013   #2
the grove, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Paddled the upper owyhee in 2011 in older style Lynx II at 2x flood stage starting on the SF Owyhee at Pipeline crossing to 3 forks. Good amount of Big water Class III, one Class IV (cabin rapid) and one IV+ (cable rapid). Ran it all, but lined about 100 yards of Cabin and full portage at the last huge set of holes at Cable. Trip report below and photo attached (1 at owyhee 2x flood stage). Only swam once on the upper owyhee on a bone head maneuver on a latteral wave.

something other than Hood - SF Owyhee 4/16-23/2011 - CascadeClimbers.com

Ran lots of other lower water runs like NF John Day, Grande Ronde, etc. with lots of gear. Handles pretty good, when real creeky and tight manouvering, like on the Uppper Chetco, we go single IKs, Singles can actually hold plenty for like a week long backpack trip style. (photos attached 2 NF John day low water, 1 NF John day medium water)

Singles on upper Chetco this year (to much tight manouvering ment a double would have sucked):
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Old 01-07-2013   #3
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
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I've never used one myself but some of my paddling partners regularly use IK's for multi-day trips. Not entirely sure of all the brands, but I know at least a couple of friends have Tomcat Tandems. They usually handle fine fully loaded up to solid III-III+.

Lower Gunnison:

San Juan:

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Old 01-07-2013   #4
Rojo's Avatar
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 225
Not me or mine, but a classic picture of the "Aire Freighter".

I've been looking for a deal on an IK for years, but always find them too late.
The kids may be big enough to push our 14 SB before I actually score an IK.
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Old 01-07-2013   #5
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Danville, California
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 253
Wow, I knew big rafts were good for supporting your dozen hardshell buddies, but I never knew a SuperLynx could do it!
I've done lots of multi-day trips in Lynx II's, and way back, in a Maravia tandem that was only 11'2" long. Both worked great. It takes a day or so to get used to pivoting the bigger size, but the hull speed is better than an equally loaded solo. The main key is to forego inflatable backrests, which take up too much space, and to load the heaviest stuff close to your back. This prevents the "flywheel effect".
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Old 01-07-2013   #6
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Jun 2011
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A buddy of ours came on the smith trip self supported. He dropped in at our camp up above the put in and met us on the river. 4 nites easy. Get a hammock.
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Old 01-07-2013   #7
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
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This is way too cool!

[QUOTE=Rojo;300009]Not me or mine, but a classic picture of the "Aire Freighter".

I have loaded my 13' boat pretty heavy. Lol But not that loaded, it would be hard to pee.
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Old 01-08-2013   #8
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Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 514
IKs are the sweet spot

for small river self support.

We routinely do the SF Salmon, Illinois, Jarbidge and other IV+ runs in IKs carrying self support gear. I've self supported in my IK on the Selway, MF Salmon, Salt, Yampa, Rogue, SF Salmon, Lower main salmon, Illinois, Jarbidge-Bruneau, MF Flathead, Lil NF Clearwater, Big Creek, Joseph Creek, the Grand Canyon Elwah, the Chetco, the grande ronde, the owyhee, the john day, the deschutes, the Virgin Narrows, the Verde, the Gila, and many smaller local Oregon/Washington runs.

Like in a gear raft, the biggest issue is learning how to manage the additional load. This affects route choice, because you need a little more time to maneuver. But short of trying to boof a 20' waterfall, I've never found a move I could make in an empty boat but not a gear boat. In fact, I've found more the other way, as I usually drop into some silly big holes my first day back in an empty boat, because a well packed gear IK is a hole punching machine. low, narrow, and long.

Packing is critical. You want to keep your load low and centered. I use down rather than synthetics, and I use compression sacks to keep things dense and small. I rely on Watershed bags (everything else is splash bag, not a drybag...) and have never been let down, even after leaving a boat wrapped for an hour.

You don't need a chair or table, the IK is a great couch/chair/cot.

Alcohol stoves are great for 1 person kitchens.

The Eco-safe boom box or the old school climbers pvc poop tube are great groovers (use wag bags).

For a firepan, I like 2" or 4" deep full size stainless steam table pans. cheap, light, bomber.

Get a good light tarp. Campmor sells nice silnylon ones that are uber light. 10x12 goes a long way to protect a small kitchen.

Pick tents, if use them, that pack tiny. I like the REI Qtr Dome UL, frequently seen for cheap on their outlet site.

what else? the k-60 is a great pump for hike in/fly in runs. top off pump that can inflate a boat, but will fit in a watershed ocoee.

I recommend a gravity water filter shared by the group.

Always carry a spare paddle for every 2 people. a robust repair kit. And a pin kit, because you might unpin an empty IK but a fully loaded gear boat often requires a z-drag.

Do a shakedown on a local run. Our first trip, some folks were sceptical. So we picked a day run with an intermediary bridge. We camped just below the bridge and that way there was a way out if a sleeping bag got wet or someone couldn't handle the gear boat or whatever.

Around here in the winter, IK self support trips require each boat to haul a bag of firewood. that can be a packing challenge ...

Do it and don't look back. You'll never find a better tool for having a wide range of rivers and flows. It lets you pick the weather, the crowd factor, or whatever and dial it in without compromising the ability to run real rapids.

One of my favorite trips to do is the SF Salmon around 2.2' -- NO ONE is there because it is "too low" for the gnar V boaters. Fine with me, every beach is unclaimed. Took a week once in late july, saw zero people for a week on the SFS. Pretty magical.

Share some trip reports when you go!
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Old 01-08-2013   #9
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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I would like to see some pictures or footage of you running a fully loaded ducky in IV+ Slickhorn. I know rapid ratings are subjective, but IV+ is full on, and I call bullshit.
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Old 01-08-2013   #10
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 514

Lots of evidence all over my blog, though I'm quite a few TR's behind.

Most folks, regardless of their personal boat of choice see IKs as "duckies" or "tuber" style boats, fit only for commercial custies or a timid girlfriend.

Well, the inflatable kayak is a legit boat. I've take mine down the Little White Salmon. Yeah, I swam Spirit. But I stuck Wishbone, S-Turn, and the rest of the drops. Not in a gear boat though I've often thought Farmlands to the Columbia would be a dope 2 night trip on the White Salmon, and yes, I believe I could paddle the Truss in a gear boat.

The Green Wall on the Illinois has never looked "only IV" to me, and I've paddled it self support in my IK several times. Fall Creek, Surprise, Devil Creek on the SF Salmon are pretty legit rapids that are every bit of IV+ at 2'. 1500+ CFS in Five Mile on the Bruneau? How do you rate that?

Maybe before you call someone out, you should revisit your preconceptions. But I'll take your request for proof as a chance to share some eye candy:

Here's Nick nailing a thin line through Devil's Creek on the SF Salmon:

Here's a self-support IK eddied out in Nightmare, the unscoutable unportageble class V sieve-laced crux of the Grand Canyon Elwha

Here's a little class V gear boat swimming from the Elwha:

Here's me on the Chetco at the top of the IV+ gorge (a classic shot by Shap -- thanks man!):

Here's me dropping S-Turn on the Lil White.

Here's Mark Yauney dropping BUD on McCoy creek. Not a gear boat, but not a class II one move ledge either.

Last but by no means least, here's Dr David dropping 45-foot Lower Lewis Falls. Also not in a gear boat.

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